How Costly Is Bad Credit? Many Don’t Know, Survey Shows

It’s 2017: Do you know what your credit score is?

Good credit is important for many reasons beyond qualifying for the best loan rates. And the very first step in building it is knowing your starting point. But a NerdWallet survey finds that while more than a quarter of Americans (26%) check their credit scores monthly or more often, nearly 1 in 8 (12%) have never checked their scores.

In an online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, commissioned by NerdWallet and conducted by Harris Poll in April 2017, we asked Americans what they knew about the impact of bad credit, as well as factors that do and don’t affect credit scores. Here’s what we learned:

  • About half of Americans (49%) don’t know that having bad credit can limit a person’s options for cell phone service. There are ways to get a cell phone without a credit check, but consumers with poor credit have fewer options.
  • Almost a quarter of Americans (23%) think a person has just one credit score. Most consumers have many scores, and they can vary based on the information used to calculate them. The score provider and score model your lender will consult depends on the reason you’re looking for credit: there are auto-specific and mortgage-specific scores, for instance.
  • More than 2 in 5 Americans (41%) think carrying a small balance on a credit card month to month can help improve a person’s credit scores. This is a common misconception. To avoid interest charges, pay off credit cards each month.

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What you don’t know about credit can cost you

About 40 million Americans have a FICO credit score lower than 600 [1], and many might not understand the impact it can have on their everyday lives, even if they’re not applying for loans or saddled with high-interest debt.

The everyday effects of bad credit

Having bad credit is expensive, and not just because of the high interest rates lenders charge. More than 2 in 5 Americans (43%) don’t know that having bad credit can negatively impact the price of car insurance, and more than half (52%) don’t know that it can negatively impact the cost of utility deposits. These expenses are often cheaper or nonexistent for those with excellent credit, even though they don’t involve borrowing money.

Bad credit can even limit housing opportunities. Many landlords check applicants’ credit reports, but almost a quarter of Americans (23%) don’t know that having bad credit can negatively impact a person’s ability to rent an apartment. And almost half (49%) don’t know that bad credit can limit the ability to get a cell phone. Consumers with bad credit might be restricted to prepaid phones and miss out on carriers’ best plans. It might even be challenging to get certain jobs with poor credit.

Bad credit means fewer credit card choices

More than 1 in 5 Americans (21%) believe that a person with a credit score above 600 will qualify for any credit card he or she wants. Another 40% aren’t sure if a score above 600 qualifies a person for any credit card. In fact, 600 is a below average score and won’t give consumers access to most of the cards on the market.

Consumers with excellent credit have almost eight times as many credit card options as consumers with bad credit do. [2] Those with bad credit miss out on the cards with the best rewards and lowest interest rates, as well as the best purchase protections and travel benefits.

Misconceptions surround credit scores

Why do so many Americans have bad credit? Here’s one possibility: Increases in the cost of living have outpaced income growth for the past 13 years, according to NerdWallet’s annual household debt study. Many consumers might be maxing out credit cards to bridge the gap and then falling behind on payments or defaulting.

Another theory is that Americans simply don’t understand how credit works. Our survey found many misconceptions about credit scores, including the number of scores people have and the factors that go into them.

What’s a credit score?

A credit score is a three-digit number, usually on a scale of 300 to 850, that estimates how likely someone is to repay borrowed money. If you make regular payments to a lender — on a credit card or auto loan, for example — you probably have credit scores.

More than 1 in 10 Americans (11%) think everyone starts out with a perfect credit score. Actually, you must build your scores from scratch — but they don’t start from zero. Want to measure your progress? Your scores won’t necessarily be listed on your credit report, although almost two-thirds of Americans (64%) think they are. The free credit reports available once per year from AnnualCreditReport.com don’t include scores. However, you can get free scores from various sources, including NerdWallet.

The components of a credit score

Five basic factors go into most credit scores: payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, types of credit in use and new credit.

Payment history: One of the best things you can do for your credit scores is to make payments on time, 100% of the time. You’re best off paying your entire credit card balance, but at least pay the minimum by the due date. Creditors won’t report payments that are only a few days late to credit bureaus, but pay 30 days or more late and you can tank your scores.

Credit utilization: This refers to the proportion of your available credit you’re using at any given time. Between 1% and 30% is ideal, but people misunderstand these numbers.

Possibly because using credit helps your scores more than not using it at all, more than 2 in 5 Americans (41%) think carrying a small balance from month to month can help improve a person’s scores, while one-fifth (20%) think it can hurt it. In fact, whether someone carries a small balance probably doesn’t affect his or her scores at all.

“The idea that you have to carry debt to have good credit is a dangerous, expensive myth that needs to die,” says NerdWallet columnist Liz Weston, author of the book “Your Credit Score.” Carrying a balance will mean you pay interest, but it probably won’t have any impact on your credit — just your wallet.

Length of credit history: This includes the total time you’ve had credit — starting from your first credit card or loan — and the average age of all your credit accounts. It’s a good idea to keep your oldest account open and avoid closing other older, unused accounts unless you have a good reason, like they charge annual fees or you need to shed a joint account. If you do choose to close other accounts, keep length of credit history in mind to limit the negative effect on your scores.

Mix of credit accounts: Having a mix of account types doesn’t have a large impact on credit scores, but it might be helpful to have both revolving accounts, such as credit cards and lines of credit, and installment loans, such as mortgages, auto loans or student loans. You can build and maintain good credit with just one type of account.

New credit: The final factor concerns the number of new accounts you’ve opened or applied to open. When you apply for a credit card or loan, a “hard” inquiry appears on your credit file. Checking your own scores results in a “soft” inquiry that won’t hurt your credit. But hard inquiries aren’t great for your scores, so you’ll want to limit the number of applications you submit.

The exception is when you’re “rate shopping” for a mortgage or auto loan. In these cases, it’s smart to apply at several different lenders to get the best rate. The credit bureaus count multiple inquiries as a single inquiry as long as they’re made within a certain time frame, usually a few weeks.

How to improve bad credit

Improving your credit means working on the five factors above. However, you also might be able to improve your credit by catching mistakes on your credit reports. Most consumers have one at each of the main credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You can obtain each of these reports for free once per year.

Once you receive your reports, read each one closely and dispute any errors. Incorrect information could hurt your credit, denying you access to low loan rates, superior credit products and other benefits of good credit.

People trying to build credit commonly run into a catch-22: They need a loan or credit card to increase their scores, but they can’t get approved for a loan or credit card because their scores are low or nonexistent. For example, it’s hard to find good credit cards for bad credit.

Those with poor credit have a few options:

Credit-builder loansThese loans typically have low interest rates, regardless of your credit scores. But there’s a catch: You don’t receive the money from the loan until you pay it off. These loans exist solely for the purpose of building credit. The lender puts the money into a savings account, and you can claim it once you’ve paid the balance in full. The bank will report your payments to the credit bureaus, which should help your scores, provided you’ve made all the payments on time.

Secured credit cardsWith a secured card, you put down a security deposit that’s usually equal to the card’s credit limit, but sometimes is less. This reduces the issuer’s risk. Not everyone who applies for a secured card gets approved, but they’re still a good option for those with bad credit.

Secured cards aren’t prepaid, so it’s critical that you pay off your charges each month. After “graduating” to an unsecured card or closing the account in good standing, you’ll get your deposit back.

Secured personal loans: If you want to build credit but also need a loan, a secured personal loan might be the way to go. These allow you to borrow against a car, savings account or other assets, including such things as a recreational vehicle or furniture. The rate will likely be higher than it would be on a credit-builder loan, but you’ll have access to the loan money.

“You don’t need to carry credit card debt to have great credit scores,” Weston says. “But you do need to have credit accounts and use them responsibly.”

Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of NerdWallet from April 6-10, 2017, among 2,250 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact cc-studies@nerdwallet.com.

Footnotes

[1] According to Ethan Dornhelm, principal scientist at FICO, there are about 40 million U.S. consumers with credit scores below 600. There are an additional 53 million Americans who can’t be scored because they have too little information on their credit file or no credit file at all.

[2] According to the NerdWallet database of more than 1,200 cards, there are 7.7 times as many cards available to those with excellent credit compared to those with poor/bad credit.

A Presidential Portrait: Remembering George Booth

In honor of our 150th anniversary in 2017 we are taking a look back at bank history and the people who have helped to shape our bank into the successful, secure institution that it is today. Read on to learn about one of our former presidents!

George Booth

George E. Booth

 

George E. Booth holds the distinction of being the first bank President who was not a member of the Will family, an accomplishment that was both an honor and a symbol of his abilities as a banker.

George had a lengthy career with the bank, working in a number of roles, both with the customer and behind the scenes in the operations area of the bank. This experience gave him a good grasp of how to balance the profitability of the bank with providing customers with a top notch experience.

He was born May 18, 1918 on the Yankee Street family farm south of Wilkesville that belonged to his parents David R. and Minnie Wilcox Booth. George earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Rio Grande College at the age of 24 and taught elementary school for four years before enlisting in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He attained a rank of Warrant Officer in Normandy, France.

George began his banking career in 1952 and had served as Vice President, Cashier and Director before being appointed President in 1984. He held that position through 1988 and continued as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors until his retirement in 1996. He also served as Secretary/Treasurer of Community BancShares, Inc.

Upon retiring in 1996, George joked that he was retiring by degrees as he had begun retiring almost ten years before.

The years of George’s term as President were exciting at the bank as these years saw Community Bancshares purchase First Bremen Bank and growth into Fairfield County.While the Bremen Bank continued to operate independently of Vinton County National Bank, there was much opportunity for cooperation and for Vinton County to assist Bremen as it grew. He worked closely with his longtime friend and colleague Bob Will to guide the bank through this period.

When George stepped down from the office of President, Bank Chairman and CEO Bob Jr. complimented George’s accomplishments, noting that George had been an important member of the bank’s staff since 1952. George was an important part of the bank’s growth from three million in assets in 1952 to 66 million in 1988.

During his lifetime George not only worked for the bank, he and his wife Dorothy Booth started the Booth Real Estate and Insurance Agency, Inc. He was also a member of the Orphan’s Friend Masonic Lodge in Wilkesville. George enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, and loved spending time with his family. He also was known to embrace technology and was well known for his presence on the social media site Facebook for several years prior to his death.

George and his beloved wife Dorothy were married for seventy years and had five children: David Booth, Janet Bolender, Janice Smith, Mary Ann Simmons and Ellen Lash. Their large family now includes grandchildren and great grandchildren.

George died at his McArthur residence on April 27, 2014. He was 95.

Read other posts about bank history and 150th celebrations here.

 

A Quick Look: Simplify Your Banking

Most of us lead busy lives. In the spirit of Simplify Your Life Week, we wanted to do a quick summary of some ways you can simplify your banking and {hopefully} free up time for things that are important to you.

Online and Mobile
Gone are the days you have to wait for the mailman to bring your monthly statement. You can still do this but you can also just log in to your online account and see your current balance, past statements, current statement and even pay bills, open an account or prequalify for a loan. It’s free and easy to use our website, plus it gives you greater control over your own money. With VCNB Mobile, you’ll find a one stop shop for your quick banking needs. This is free app gives you access to your deposits and loans from your mobile device. Here you can also pay bills, transfer funds and even deposit a check. It’s like carrying around the bank on your phone.

Want to know more? Here are some specifics!

Online Bill Pay
Many customers seem to think Online Bill Pay is the greatest thing since sliced bread and we are inclined to agree. Set up recurring bills to automatically pay at your convenience or log in and pay a single bill. Either way, it saves using checks and stamps. It also guarantees your payment will be taken from your account when you say. It’s free as long as you use it at least once a month. The great thing about Bill Pay is that it requires so little effort and time to keep paying bills within your complete control.

Popmoney® personal payment service
While Bill Pay helps you pay bills, Popmoney allows you to send funds electronically to individuals. All you need is the person’s email address or mobile phone number. They will receive a text or email notification that your money is waiting for them. They can deposit the money into the checking or savings account of their choice.

Mobile Deposit
Have a check but no time to hit the bank? Deposit it using VCNB Mobile and the camera on your mobile device. You can deposit funds in to the VCNB checking or savings account of your choice for free!

Account Alerts
You don’t even have to log in to keep up with activity related to your checking account, savings account, certificate of deposit or loan. There are nineteen notifications to choose from, allowing you to receive an email or text for activity that interests you. Want to know when your debit card is used or when your checking balance dips below a certain amount? Request reminders for when your loan payment is due or late and even get an alert when your CD is about to mature. Sign up for this free service online.

A Few More Things
Our website and mobile app provide a host of other ways to simplify your banking and save you money. For example, if you’re in the market for a new home, use our online pre-qualification to learn how much you can afford. Open accounts online, track the UChoose Rewards® you earn with Rewards Checking, request a credit increase for your credit card and even chat online with someone in customer service!

Life is too short to waste time on banking. Streamline your banking and your money management with these and other great products at VCNB!

VCNB Business Banking: On Your Corner and In Your Corner

If you own or manage a business you could probably write a book about everyday headaches like tax laws, payroll and managing people.

However, we don’t want your banking experience to be a chapter in that book. In fact, we want to make your life easier and banking more pleasant. That’s why we are constantly looking for better ways to serve our businesses customers. Just this year we restructured our business accounts so that we can do just that.

As your community bank, we want to help your business grow and prosper. We want banking to be one of the easiest things you deal with in your fast-paced day.

In fact, we don’t want you to think of us just as bankers who handle paperwork and wait on customers. We want to be your ally.

We want to help you build your business and we want to see you succeed. As a leader in advanced technology and new services, we help large and small businesses every day. As a community bank, we offer personal service that will make you feel comfortable and appreciated.

At VCNB, you can have a conversation with a real person who can address your real problems and help you set up services that will make your real life a little easier. We know you’re busy. We know you’re up early and hard at work before a lot of folks have their first cup of joe. We know your schedule isn’t always flexible. That’s why we keep skilled people on hand to assist with your business banking needs, people who will respect your time and deliver the solutions you need.

Speaking of solutions – did you know that you can deposit checks from the comfort of your office? No need to leave work for a bank drop when you can do it while minding the shop. Did you know that we offer a payroll service or that we now have a Rewards Checking account for businesses? We even have a fraud detection tool that protects against altered checks and counterfeit check fraud. The list of perks that come with our new Business Rewards Checking and Business Rewards Checking Plus is too long to cover here!

We like to say that we’re “On Your Corner and In Your Corner.” This isn’t just an advertising line. With sixteen convenient locations, there’s a VCNB banking center somewhere close to you. Stop by the bank in your neighborhood or give us a call to get started. Learn more about business banking opportunities by visiting our website.

 

 

Celebrating 150 Years and Counting

Big Flag

It isn’t every day that a bank celebrates a big milestone anniversary like the big 1-5-0 so we threw ourselves a big party earlier this month. If you attended the festivities, we thank you for being part of our celebration. We can’t tell you what it meant to have so many of our customers and friends come out to support us.

When we started planning our festivities, we knew we didn’t want it to be all about us. We’re a community bank so we wanted to do something for the community that gave us our start. Since we’re an all American company, we chose to partner with the folks who stage our July 4th celebration and to give their event a little boost.

The results were fantastic.

Wills with flag

Members of the Will Family are pictured outside the Bank during the 150th Anniversary Open House.  Photo Courtesy The Vinton County Courier

Working with the Vinton County High School Athletic Boosters to enhance and support their event was a great experience. They were open to letting us add some things to their schedule that we might not ordinarily have. They also were kind enough to name the bank and the Will family grand marshals of their parade.

It was a real thrill to have the Will family come home from places both near and far to ride in John Hutchinson’s horse drawn wagon while our employees passed out what else, but American flags! This parade is always fun because it includes all the student/youth athletes, classic cars, queens and clubs that are willing to walk, ride or march the route through downtown McArthur.

The next day we had an open house that brought together so many familiar faces – it felt like a family reunion! The ladies of the McArthur United Methodist Church served some of the most delicious homemade pie you’ll ever taste and the Adelphi Band (which has been around for over 130 years) was kind enough to provide a lively soundtrack for the day. The speeches were short and the smiles were big as we officially opened the Bank’s new museum and asked our guests to vote for their favorite photo contest entry (more to come on that next week).

Special thanks to our friends Vinton County Juvenile/Probate Judge Bob Grillo and Pastor Carl Radcliff for joining President Ron Collins, McArthur Branch Manager Jane Nickels and VCNB Board Chairman Tom Will in speaking to the open house attendees in a brief ceremony.

That night we sponsored a concert by Jason Michael Carroll, a country artist who has enjoyed some commercial success and who put on a first rate show. The crowd loves this guy and we think he loved Vinton County.

The next day we set up shop at the Vinton County High School where we hosted something a little different – we hosted a Civil War themed day for the family! Since the bank was born in the years following the war, we thought it would be fun to play some nineteenth century baseball and invite some special guests including President Lincoln, General George Armstrong Custer, Steve and Lisa Ball who provided beautiful music for the day, and a gentleman who taught us about the life of an Ohio soldier during the war.

The Ohio Village Diamonds womens’ team played a rousing round of softball that ended in a tie with our local team of alumni softball players. The Ohio Village Muffins mens’ team eeked out a win over our team of bankers and local school employees. In the nineteenth century, they played ball by different rules (think no mitts and you can’t run past a base) so there was a learning curve for our local players. But at the end of the day, they were happy, if not a little worn out from playing baseball in the hot sun in old fashioned uniforms.

The weather forecast was questionable but turned out to be perfect at all the right times throughout the weekend. We’re grateful for that. We’re also grateful that so many people came out to our events and had a good time. That’s what it’s all about. We think 150 years is pretty important but for this weekend, what was more important was knowing that our guests and all the folks who participated in the festivities had a great time.

In the grand scheme of things, the weekend was short but the memories will last a lifetime. We expect this anniversary to live on in our bank’s history for a long time to come and we were honored to take our place in history as the employees who got to be there for it.

See below for a few pictures from the festivities!

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Tom Will is a fifth generation banker whose ancestor Daniel Will founded the bank. Here’s the complete text of his speech from the open house:

In 1867, shortly after the Civil War had ended, two union officers Captains McDowell and James W. Delay opened the Vinton County Bank. Within in a few months my three great uncle Daniel Will opened his own bank. The next year the banks combined with Dan becoming the President of the bank. Uncle Dan was President of the Vinton County National bank until 1924. He died at his desk in the bank at the age of 92. I will tell you right now, I do not plan on working at the bank that long.

My dad, Bob Will stated that the main reason why Dan became a banker was that he first started in business with a general store. His store had a safe and it was a secure place to keep money.   So, Dan would keep some customers cash in his safe, and he made loans to customers to buy merchandise.   Safe keeping customer’s deposits and making loans is the core of community banking. 150 years later we are still performing the same service.

Dan did not marry or have any children, so he left the care of the bank to his two nephews. Aaron Will, my great grandfather and John L Will, Christyne’s grandfather. Since Dan, the bank has had eight other presidents. I have had the pleasure of knowing six of them.

150 years is a long time to remain in business for any company. According to Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, their scientists state that the average business will last about ten years. Our bank started before there were light bulbs, cars, telephones, and radios.

I compared the largest 25 banks currently chartered in Ohio and only 6 banks of those banks were older than VCNB. Of those six, only two were more than four years older than us. The oldest bank now chartered in Ohio is Chase bank in 1824. Chase was started in New York with the help Aaron Burr under the name of the Manhattan Company. Yes, that Aaron Burr who that the famous duel with Alexander Hamilton.

The second oldest bank is Key bank which also started in New York state in 1849.

The other four large Ohio banks that were started after 1863 in order were U.S. Bank (the former First Cincinnati), 1st Financial of Hamilton, Fifth Third, and Huntington.  

Currently we are the 24th largest bank in Ohio out of 191 banks. The number of banks in Ohio and nationally, continues to decrease as a result of more government regulation and automation.

I sometimes wonder what Uncle Dan would have thought about what has happened to his bank after 150 years. I hope he would be pleased, as the bank grown and remained strong and profitable. Some things have changed, like computers, cards and mobile banking. But others have not, people still want loans for homes and to start a business. They want a safe place to keep their money. And we still have a safe or vault.

They want to speak with a knowledgeable person with the bank if they have a financial problem.

I think we have done pretty well with adapting to change over the last 150 years.   But a lot more change still needs to occur.

Today, we are investing more capital into trying to provide our customers with better service. By the end of the year we hope to allow customers to apply for credit cards and auto loans at home via the internet. We have stream lined our home loan process by allowing electronic signatures for disclosures.

I am excited about our new Jackson County Banking center which will offer full branch services later on this year.

Uncle Dan started a good business 150 years ago and I look forward to seeing that it is ready for the next 150 years.

 

 

Presidential Portrait: Remembering Bob Will

Modern bank customers and employees speak fondly of a man who began life with journalistic aspirations but who instead became a community banker.

Robert Burson Will, Jr. was born December 31, 1929 to Robert Buskirk and Helen Burson Will. He was a McArthur native and 1947 graduate of McArthur High School. Bob graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Miami University of Oxford in 1951 where he was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. He served the United States Navy from 1952 through 1954 when he went to work for the bank, starting out as a Teller.

Bob WillRobert Jr., known better as Bob or Bobby, started as a bank employee in 1954 and became a Vice President in 1963. This quiet career beginning led to great things as he went on to serve as bank President and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Under his leadership, the bank grew from offices in McArthur and Wilkesville to thirteen banking centers in six Ohio counties.

Bob was named President on June 6, 1978 after J.G. Will stepped down to become Chairman of the Bank Board. Bob would later follow in J.G.’s footsteps to serve as President of the Bank Board as well as President and CEO of Community Bancshares, Inc.

He worked with J.G. to expand the bank into Wilkesville and was instrumental in the creation of Community Bancshares, Inc. This holding company positioned the bank to purchase other banks. Under his leadership, the bank expanded into Fairfield, Ross and Hocking counties, growing to thirteen offices at the time of his death.

Bob supported anything that might improve the banking experience for the customer. He was a driving force behind the creation of The Depot Drive-Thru, the bank’s embrace of the ATM and the new, exciting ways that computers could make banking better. He is said to never use a computer but was excited to introduce computers into the bank.

He was also known to have a knack for understanding how to work with available resources and finding ways to grow. Bob had a flair for the written word, typing memos and essays on the typewriter in his office and leaving behind a trove of writings that remain relevant to young bankers today. With a genuine love for marketing and a flair for the imaginative, Bob encouraged unique campaigns that kept the customers talking.

Like all who held this post before him, Bob worked for the betterment of Vinton County seeking ways to improve local schools, recreation and the economy. He was involved in everything from school facilities improvement to the creation of the Vinton County Airport.

Bob and his wife Ruth Dunlap Will had five children: Emily, Kathleen, Laura, Margaret and Thomas. Some of his children and grandchildren continue the family legacy today, including Tom, who today serves as CBI Chairman.

Bob was a member of the Ohio Forestry Association and served on the University of Rio Grande Board of Directors. He graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He was a member of Delta Lodge #207 F. & A.M., Scottish Rite Valley of Columbus, was a 33rd Degree Mason, a member of McArthur Chapter #102 Royal Arch Masons, Trowel Council #71 Royal and Select Masons and Jackson Commandery #53 Knights Templar. A lifelong member of Trinity Episcopal Church in McArthur, he enjoyed hours spent with his horses, hunting dogs and family picnics at his cabin.

Bob died November 28, 2007 at the age of 77.

 

VCNB Day To Feature Nineteenth Century Fun

Our bank was born less than two years after the Civil war ended. At the time, the country was still recovering from war and the town of McArthur was a booming place that needed a bank. As it turns out, two banks opened that same year. The Vinton County Bank opened in January 1867 and the bank of Will, Brown and Company opened shortly after. The following year, the two banks merged to form one, keeping the name of the first bank while adopting the leadership of the second.

It’s a story we have told a lot this year as Vinton County National Bank has celebrated its 150th anniversary throughout 2017.

In a few weeks, we’ll have our biggest celebration in our hometown over the 4th of July weekend. We have partnered with the Vinton County High School Athletic Boosters to help them with their annual 4th of July celebration. In doing so, we’re sponsoring a concert by Nashville recording artist Jason Michael Carroll, sponsoring a big hot rod and vintage car show and a host of other things. There will be an open house at the bank and we’ll be offering free wagon rides with John Hutchinson following the parade where we are the grand marshals! Thanks to the Boosters for allowing us this honor!

On Sunday we’re doing something extra special. The Boosters were kind enough to make this Vinton County National Bank Day at the Festival. While they’re having tournament games, vendors and food, we’ll be doing something a little different by embracing our post-Civil War roots. Here’s what we’ve got going on starting at 1 p.m.:

Ohio village muffins19th Century Ball Games – Have you ever thought about how baseball was originally played? The Ohio Village Muffins Men’s Baseball Team and the Ohio Village Diamonds Women’s Team will put on a good show as they play bankers and other community members in nineteenth century style games! The ladies play in skirts and the gentlemen play in long sleeve wool shirts! They didn’t have mitts or protective gear back then and they played by much different rules than we have today! An announcer explains the rules and etiquette and helps spectators understand what’s going on! The ladies play at 1 p.m. and the gentlemen at 3 p.m.

CusterReenactors and Music – Have you ever wanted to meet a President? Ohio’s Premier Abraham Lincoln impersonator will be joining us to talk with folks and pose for pictures. We also have Ohio native General George Armstrong Custer coming for the day and a reenactor who will set up camp, talk with folks about the life of a soldier, do some demonstrations and pose for pictures. Finally, Ohio musician Steve Ball will join us for the day. He and his wife play Civil War era music on period instruments. They do a beautiful job and will surely provide some good entertainment for us all.

Giveaways – The first 150 kids to arrive that day will receive a commemorative 150th piggy bank. One of those banks will contain $25 to help one lucky youngster jump start their savings! We’ll also have some giveaways for adults.

Travis West and OSU Extension will be there to offer old fashioned games for kids and the Vinton County High School Athletic Boosters will be selling ice cream sundaes in addition to all the other fun activities and food the Boosters are planning!

Bring some sunscreen, a lawn chair and a few bucks if you want to buy lunch or snacks. We’ll take care of the entertainment! Visitors will also have access to restrooms inside the high school as well as a shady spot under our big tent to relax and enjoy the day. Want to know about other things happening that weekend? Click here to learn more about what we’re doing and check out the full festival schedule below!

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A Presidential Portrait: Remembering J.G. Will

In honor of our 150th anniversary in 2017 we are taking a look back at bank history and the people who have helped to shape our bank into the successful, secure institution that it is today. Read on to learn about one of our former presidents!

Group with J.G at Board Table sixties era

J.G. Will is pictured above at far left during a 1957 Vinton County National Bank Board of Directors meeting. From left are John G. Will,  Joseph W. Saltz, Robert B. Will, Sr., Robert B. (Bob) Will, Jr., Mary Will Pilcher, Margaret Sprague and Alice R. Will.

John G. Will was a banker with the family business for over fifty years. Better known as J.G., he was born in McArthur in 1913 to John Lawrence and Alice Reid Will. A 1930 graduate of McArthur High School, he attended The Ohio State University and in World War II served in the Army for three years. Part of that time he spent overseas in the China-Burma-India Theater.

J.G. started with the bank on a part-time basis in 1930 and as a full time employee in September 1935. He became Assistant Cashier in April 1938 and Vice President and Cashier in May 1951. In 1965, J.G. was elected President of the bank, a position which he would retire from in 1978. During his tenure, J.G. oversaw a number of major events including the bank’s centennial celebration in 1967.

These were years of healthy expansion as he oversaw the opening the bank’s first branch in Wilkesville in 1974 and the construction of a facility called The Depot. This four-lane drive-thru with a railroad theme made quick banking accessible to bank customers. J.G. was included in the newspaper’s coverage of The Depot dedication and open house. Many local residents likely still have dollar bills he signed that day and passed out to guests at the open house.

He stepped down from the role of President in 1978 and continued his career as Chairman of the bank board for several years longer. He also went on to chair Community Bancshares, Inc.

He was known as a fair man, an introvert who was a private man. He brought much thought and consideration to every conversation and was loved by all who worked with and knew him. Many speak fondly of his sense of humor and ability to put problems into perspective.

J.G. was a member of the Ohio Bankers Association and a member of McArthur Episcopal Church. He was a lifelong resident of Vinton County. J.G. and his wife Francoise Thibault Will had one daughter, Christyne, who continued in her father’s banking footsteps. Christyne Will Calvin served the bank for 34 years until her own retirement in 2015.

J.G. died in April 1987 at the age of 73.

Learn more about our 150th year here and about Bank Presidents Daniel Will , Aaron Will ,  John L. Will and Robert B. Will. Find details on our 150th Anniversary Bash in McArthur here.

Open House Set For 150th Bash

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VCNB has been celebrating 150 years of community banking this year and we’ve saved our biggest anniversary bash for McArthur this July 4th weekend. We have partnered with the Vinton County Athletic Boosters to help with their 4th of July celebration and, as part of the celebration, we are also hosting an open house at our McArthur office on Saturday, July 1 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This is very meaningful for us. You see, the bank began at this very location in 1867. Aside from a few months back in 1925 when we temporarily relocated during the construction of our existing building, our bank has always operated at this address.

This is our home.

And we are welcoming the community, visitors, customers, non-customers – anyone who wishes to attend – to join us for this important celebration. It doesn’t seem fair to call it an open house because we’re really hoping it’s more like a family reunion. So many people in our community have worked for us and countless others have banked with us. These folks are our friends and neighbors, they’re our families – they’re everything to us because they are our community and our customers.

We hope to see everyone come out to our open house and join in the fun. We will be opening our new Bank Museum and will have entertainment provided by the Adelphi Community Band. We will have ice cream and homemade pies that were baked by the United Methodist Church Women as well as some special giveaway items, speakers and more.

It is an honor to know that people trust us with their money and that they include us in special life events. We have customers who we have known since they were newborns. We’ve watched them grow up, bringing piggy banks filled with change to deposit in their Passbook Savings Accounts. We’ve helped those same kids finance their first car, we’ve helped them buy a home, watched them get married, have babies, save for retirement, upsize, downsize, put down roots and travel to places far away.

We love our community. We love our customers. We love our history and can’t wait to see what the future holds. Won’t you help us celebrate?

Want to learn more about the huge concert we’re sponsoring, the great car show and the truly unique way we’re celebrating on VCNB Day July 2? Read more here!

VCNB Tips and Tricks To Keep Your Vacation Running Smoothly

School is letting out across our region and summer vacations are underway. You’ve packed the sunscreen, boarded the dogs and loaded the car but you might not have considered things you should do for your vacation finances. Whether you’re flying to Florida or headed to the mountains, there are some basic things you can do to keep your finances running smoothly and to insure you aren’t stranded somewhere with no access to your money.

Here’s a checklist of some things you can do:

  • Update Your Phone Number With VCNB – In recent years we have seen a spike in fraudulent activity. That’s why we have a talented team to detect and prevent this kind of crime. If we notice activity that’s outside of your normal spending pattern, our fraud department may turn off your card and call you to verify the attempted purchases. If you’re at a gas pump far from home and the only number we have on file is your home number, you won’t understand why your card isn’t working and we will have no way to contact you. PLEASE, take a moment to contact your local branch or our Customer Service Department and give us your mobile phone number.
  • Give Us a Heads Up – If you know you’re traveling, let Customer Service know where you’re headed. It takes just a minute and we appreciate hearing from you.
  • Plan A Second Form Of Payment – Always carry a second form of payment. We actually advise this even when you’re just tooling around town close to home but it’s especially important when you’re far from home. If you plan to use your debit card for primary spending, take a credit card, some cash and/or a prepaid card. VCNB offers credit and debit cards as well as prepaid and gift cards that can be used anywhere Mastercard© is accepted.
  • Download CardValet® – Knowledge is power, especially where your money is concerned. If you haven’t tried it, Card Valet is a fantastic way to keep up with activity on your VCNB cards and even to control how, when and where your cards can be used. With the Card Valet app, you can turn your cards on when you need them and turn them off when you don’t. You can also receive alerts whenever your card is used and place limits so that it can only be used at merchants you choose. You can even place spending limits on your card. This is free and easy to use! Look for CardValet in the app store on your mobile device.
  • Use Account Alerts– Another way to keep up with your money is to sign in to your online banking account and register for account alerts. You can receive a text or email whenever there is activity on your account, when your balance dips below an amount you decide and for a host of other reasons. Knowing how much money is in your account will help keep your spending under control and seeing activity on your account will help you spot unauthorized purchases. This is a free perk of online banking with VCNB.
  • Don’t Forget To Pay Your Bills – Being away on vacation doesn’t give you respite from paying bills. If you have bills due while you’re away, use Online Bill Pay to schedule payments while you’re gone. This is a free service of VCNB online banking, as long as you use it at least one time each month.

Vacation is supposed to be fun! Don’t let money, bills or card problems ruin your relaxing time away. Remember, VCNB Mobile and our http://www.vcnbfamily.com/ are here whenever you need them! You can also call our Customer Service Department at 1.800.542.5004 during business hours.