Four Ways To Spring Clean Your Finances

Spring is a great time to clean up your finances! Here are four easy ways to get started!

  1. Review your credit report –It is important to make sure your credit report is accurate and free of mistakes. By law, you are entitled to order one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus. Access yours here. 
  2. Review your budget and plan to pay off credit card debt – Is your budget current? Do you even have a budget? Every person with an income and expenses needs a budget to help them know what is happening with their money. While reviewing your budget, also look at your debts. Do you still have leftover holiday debt hanging around? It’s time to knock that out.
  3. Start an emergency fund – Most Americans have less than $1,000 saved. If faced with a crisis, how would you pay for it? Putting away just a few dollars every payday can be a big help in an emergency. Click here to open a Passbook Savings at VCNB with as little as $100.
  4. Organize and shred old financial documents – Sort through your old files and only keep what you absolutely need. Remember, the IRS has up to six years to audit you so be sure to keep tax records and supporting documents for that long. Learn more here.

A couple more thoughts – take a look at your bank accounts, credit cards and even the way you pay your bills. Are you paying too much credit card interest? Are you pleased with your checking account? Talk to a VCNB account representative about how you can be rewarded for your credit card purchases with a Platinum Visa© Card and for your everyday banking habits with a Rewards Checking Account at VCNB. Also ask about how Online Bill Pay can save you time and money and even prevent late fees!

Finally, we just confirmed some shred days for two of our offices:

May 5, 2018 from 10 a.m. to Noon
Canal Banking Center
 
June 9, 2018 from 10 a.m. to Noon
Friendly Bremen Banking Center (W. Fair Avenue location)

This is a great, free way to safely dispose of important documents that you do not need to keep. We’ll post more information as it becomes available!
 
Learn more about our Rewards Checking Account, Platinum Visa, Online Bill Pay and other VCNB products here!

Now Is The Time For Home Improvements!

JCBC Billboard - HELOC Now is the Time - (Jackson Digital)

How long is your home improvement wish list? Is there something special you would like to do that would make your home perfect? Is it the bathroom of your dreams or a bigger kitchen to accommodate your growing family? Maybe you want a more spacious family room or a pool so your home can be the hangout for all the neighborhood teens?

Whatever it is you would like to accomplish, here at VCNB we believe that now is the time to make those dreams a reality. Now through June 30, open a new home equity line of credit to receive an introductory annual percentage rate (APR) of 3.99 percent for the first twelve months.

If you have equity in your home, why not use it to make your house the home you’ve always wanted it to be? See below for the terms of this promotion and click here to get started! 

This promotion is available April 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018. The introductory Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will be fixed at 3.99% for the first (12) months from the note date and will be terminated at the end of the twelve (12) month period. After the introductory period, the loan will become a variable rate loan. The subsequent APR may vary from Prime Rate (index) to Prime Rate plus 0.25% (margin is dependent on loan-to-value ratio). Prime rate is based on the current rate published in the Wall Street Journal. As of March 22, 2018 that rate was 4.75%. The current APR using the prime rate plus the 0.25% margin is 5.00%. The APR will never exceed 18.00%. This promotion applies only to new lines of credit. Promotion available for single family, owner-occupied, primary residence only; excludes manufactured properties. Minimum line amount of $10,000 is required. Maximum loan-to-value ratio is 89.00%. After the initial 12 month period there is a $50.00 annual fee. Title Insurance and Survey Fees will be assessed to borrower for loans of $100,000 or greater. Fees range between $350.00 and $1500.00. Property and flood insurance will be required, if applicable. Applicants must successfully meet our Home Equity Line of Credit underwriting standards. Not all applicants will qualify for this promotional offer. Alternative rates and terms are available. NMLS #483350

 

Now Is The Time To Buy!

FBBC Billboard - Home Loan Now is the Time Alt (Nauman Digital)

Buying a home isn’t a decision to be made lightly. However, if you’re thinking about buying this year, now is the time to buy and finance your new home with VCNB.

Here at VCNB we have experienced lenders who will help you along the way. Plus, now through June 30, qualified borrowers will receive a $500 closing cost credit with a new home purchase mortgage!

The $500 Closing Cost offer is valid for applications received April 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018. This offer is only available for purchase mortgage transactions of a new, single family, owner-occupied primary residence. All loans are subject to underwriting and property approval. Not all applicants will qualify for this promotional offer. The $500 closing cost offer will be in the form of a lender credit and will be applied at the time of closing. Other restrictions and limitations may apply.

What are you waiting for? There is no better time than the present to finance your new home with VCNB! Click here for details and to find a lender in your neighborhood!

NMLS# 483350

Why Teens Need a Checking Account

VCNB began offering a student checking account a few years ago in response to a growing number of teens and parents who requested it. There is significant value to a teenager having an age appropriate checking account and we are optimistic that this generation of teens will be more financially savvy because of it.

After all, a teen will be an adult in a few short years. Whether they are headed straight to the workforce or to higher education, your teen soon will experience some degree of independence. Helping them establish good money habits at a young age is an important way to give them a good start to adulthood.

Here’s some food for thought:

Expense tracking and budgeting
Having a checking account teaches teenagers the very basic of skill of not spending more than they have as well as how to record expenses and debits. In general, it helps them develop budgeting skills they will use for a lifetime.

Independence, good habits and financial responsibility
As a parent, you have spent years managing every aspect of your child’s life. While you may not like to think about it, soon your teen will be an adult who needs to make responsible decisions. Independence starts in the teen years and helping them make sound decisions with their money is part of preparing them for adulthood. Habits are created every day – work with them and use a checking account to teach them good ones

Safer than cash
We notice that many of our student checking accounts are opened by teens who are going on school field trips, sometimes out of country. It’s far safer to travel distances or even just around town with a debit card than with a pocketful of cash.

Check out this link to learn more about Student Checking My Way at VCNB. You’ll find this account listed under the Checking Accounts tab.

 

VCNB Introduces Improvements To Mobile App

We are pretty excited to tell our customers about some new updates to our mobile app, VCNB Mobile! We’re always on the lookout for things that will improve the app experience for our customers and we think you’ll be pleased. Here’s a summary:

Add a bill payee – You asked and we answered! Now you can add a new payee to Online Bill Pay from the app and not just from the website!  Just go to the Payments tab and select Manage Contacts to get started.

Digitize paper bills – Use the camera on your device to take a picture of your paper bill. The app will read the bill’s details from the image so you don’t need to type a word. You can pay the bill now or add it to your To Do list so you can pay it later!

Request money using Popmoney® personal payment service – If someone owes you money, all you need is their email address or mobile phone number to request the amount owed. You can even include a message reminding them what it’s for! The funds they send will be deposited into your VCNB account.

As always, you can use VCNB Mobile to open an account, change your password, transfer funds between VCNB accounts, deposit checks and more! You can even view your balances via Instant Balance without actually logging in to the app.

In case you missed it, you can also use the app to control how, when and where your debit card is used. Click the More tab and then Cards to set spending limits including by type of merchant, geographic location and how much your card can be used for in a single transaction. You can even turn your card on and off at will, ensuring that only you can use your card when you are ready to use it!

What are you waiting for? Log into to VCNB Mobile today to try out all these changes!

 

 

Turn Coins Into Cash At Select VCNB Locations

If you’re like a lot of us, you probably have in your home a jar or a piggy bank filled with loose change. You empty your pockets each evening and give those pennies and dimes a toss into the jar until it gets full. Now, instead of rolling that coin, you can bring it to some of our banks to run it through a coin counting machine.

These self-serve machines are available at the following locations:

     Friendly Bremen Banking Center – East Main Street branch
Friendly Bremen Banking Center – Pataskala branch
Ross County Banking Center – Western Avenue branch
Ross County Banking Center – Richmond Dale branch
Vinton County National Bank – McArthur branch

To use one of these machines, simply follow the instructions on the screen and dump your change onto the conveyor belt. The machine does all the sorting and counting! Then it prints a receipt which you can take to the tellers to receive your cash or have the funds deposited into your VCNB account.

This is a free service to VCNB customers. Anyone who does not have a VCNB account but who wishes to use the machine may do so for a five percent fee.

Advice From The Experts: American Heritage Homes Talks Construction

Amercan Heritage exterior

Building a home is the biggest investment most people will ever make. Over the years, VCNB has helped scores of customers finance their new home projects and our lenders have noted that the same types of questions frequently pop up during home construction projects.

That’s why VCNB sat down for a long chat with Teri Robison, Sales and Design Representative with American Heritage Homes. Teri shared with us some of the things she wishes people knew when they are thinking about a home construction project. And Teri should know. American Heritage Homes is an established leader in the custom home business in central Ohio. Designer Gary Libertini and longtime carpenter Bill Crum opened the business in 1995. Today Gary is in charge of the Sales Team and Product Development while Bill runs the Production side of the business. Together they have built a business that can literally guide the client from A to Z, from locating land to turning the key.

It is Teri’s job to guide the customer through this process and to help make it go as smoothly as possible. She insists that trust is the number one factor in making this process less stressful. “Stress is what makes it intimidating to so many. That’s why you have to choose a builder who you trust. If I do my job right, you will be more confident,” she explained. “You will work with us a lot. It’s important that you trust us so if you don’t like something, I want you to tell me so that I can take care of it for you.”

When you meet with American Heritage, be prepared to talk. Teri suggested that when someone is ready to build, they typically have been thinking about it for some time. “You’ve been thinking about it, dreaming about it. They have researched, they have a Pinterest Board, they have a lot of ideas and dreams already” she said.

“You need to come in and sit with me. Talk to me. We’ll talk about kids and animals and how they live. Are their kids in soccer every night and there’s not a lot of time to cook big meals? Do the kids sit at the counter and do their homework while mom cooks? How do they live in their house? Is this a forever home or a stepping stone? That’s what I want to know,” Teri added.

If you do not have land or a location in mind, American Heritage can help you with this piece. First they will discuss how much land you want and where you wish to be. Then they can help you narrow down the options and ultimately find the land that is right for you and your budget. “Are you looking for ten acres with a pond and woods? Maybe you don’t care about the land but want a big house close to town. Knowing how you live and how you want to live is key,” she said.

With the land in check, Teri can begin guiding you through designing your home on paper. She says that a good builder will have a lot of questions about how you will live in your home. “I don’t want to just sell you any house. I want to build for you the home you want and need. My job is to disseminate the difference between what you think you want and what you really want,” she said.

“We will talk a lot because I want to understand you and I want to help you see what’s really important in your home. Where do you live in your house? Is the kitchen the heart of your home? Do you spend all your time in the living room or den or do you want your master bedroom to be a sanctuary? Do you soak in a tub? Would you prefer a big, luxurious shower? These are things we need to know to get started on your design,” Teri noted.

She recommends coming to your builder with a floor plan in mind first. “Don’t worry about what the house will look like. First we need to talk about how it will flow, how your home will work for you,” she said.

But before you ever begin designing your new home, Teri recommends shopping builders and considering a few key points:

Customer Service – when you visit a model home, how are you treated? Are they friendly? Do you feel pressured? Do they ignore you? Teri points out that you can tell a lot about a builder’s customer service by how they treat you on this first meeting. If you are uncomfortable or if you feel undervalued as a potential customer, these are red flags.

Stress Management – This is a huge investment and there’s always going to be stress where money is involved. However, Teri says that it is her job to make sure you do not feel that stress.

Better Business Bureau – Teri admits that most businesses will have a claim with the Better Business Bureau. The question is, how do they address the claim? Are there repetitive claims for the same issues?

Read The Specs – Pay attention to the specs of a builder’s plan. Teri advises looking at even the smallest details from the quality of the plumbing fixtures to the type of doors they use. For example, American Heritage fills garages and porches with gravel to provide greater support and stability for the concrete being poured on top. Other builders often just use dirt which settles more easily than gravel. Also, a base plan with American Heritage includes about forty percent more cabinets than other builders provide. Teri said they maximize available spaces for additional storage space in closets and cabinets. She emphasized the need to examine these specific items in the quotes rather than just the price per square foot which can sometimes be deceiving.

Trust Your Gut – Go with the company that makes you feel calm, the one you think you can trust. “Trust is the most important thing. I cannot stress enough that you have to trust your builder to have the best possible experience,” Teri said.

Learn more about American Heritage and even view sample home plans by visiting them online. Follow them on Facebook or visit their model home at 11143 US. 23 South, Lockbourne, Ohio.

 

 

Card Valet Is Now Part Of VCNB Mobile!

Many of our customers have been using a mobile app called Card Valet to exercise control over their VCNB cards. The app is genuinely useful because it allows you, the customer, to turn your card off when you’re not using it, to set spending limits and to even determine where your card can be used.

In this age of fraudulent activity, this app has been a sensation among customers who use it.

So, many of you will be pleased to know that Card Valet services are now part of the bank’s mobile app, VCNB Mobile. No more will you need two separate apps – our app does all the work!

Here’s what that means to you:

Get started by logging in to VCNB Mobile. If you don’t currently use the app, read more about the app and how to get it by clicking here.

On the Accounts Page, find and select the Manage My Cards option at the bottom.

On the next page you can set rules for each card attached to your account. Each card is treated individually, making it easily customizeable.

One of the most popular features is the Block Card option. This allows you to temporarily block transactions except pending or recurring transactions. By blocking the card, you are essentially turning the card off. It takes just a few seconds to turn it back on so some customers turn their card on while they stand in line and turn it back off again when they’re done using it.

The Set Card Limits option is also useful. Here you can set it so that a single transaction cannot exceed an amount you choose. You can also block card transactions outside a defined geographic area or limit the merchants where your card can be used. There are several categories to choose from including restaurants, department stores, groceries, gas stations and entertainment. You may want to block all categories except gas stations and groceries. It’s up to you! Easily turn off and on categories at your convenience!

As always, you can use Online Banking to set Account Alerts for a number of reasons, including alerts to notify you when your card has been swiped or when a purchase as cleared.

This is just one of many ways VCNB is working to make banking easier and safer for you! Check out these new options in VCNB Mobile and tell us what you think!

 

VCNB Mobile: Banking Made Easier

If you hang around our Facebook page very long, you will figure out that we are enamored with VCNB Mobile, our mobile banking application. With VCNB Mobile, you can access your account information with a password or even with your fingerprint, if your phone allows. There are tons of features that make this a quick and easy way to securely access your banking information.

As you might expect, you can transfer funds among accounts, check balances and pay bills but did you know about these other features?

Instant Balance
Just need to know your balances? Simply tap the icon at the top of your log in screen to securely view your balances!

Mobile Deposit
Use your mobile phone to deposit a check! Mobile Deposit uses your phone’s built in camera to take pictures of your check and submits the images electronically to make a deposit to your desired checking or savings accounts. When using Mobile Deposit, remember to endorse your checks “For Mobile Deposit Only” for them to be accepted.

CardValet
A relatively new feature in VCNB Mobile is something called CardValet. This feature allows you to easily safeguard your card information. CardValet allows you to deactivate your debit card when it’s not in use. Protect your debit card against fraud and theft by turning it on and off, limit international purchases and be selective about what merchants you allow or how much can be spent in a single purchase.

Want to try it out? Installing VCNB Mobile is a simple four step process! This mobile banking application requires a phone running an operating system that supports application downloads and may require a data services plan.

How To Install

  1. Visit your phone or tablet’s app store and download VCNB Mobile
  2. Enter your Access ID (online banking username)
  3. Answer your Online Banking security question (previously set)
  4. Enter your Online Banking password

There is no charge for VCNB Mobile or for Mobile Deposit. Learn more about VCNB Mobile and many of its features by watching a video here!