Karen Dolton

Can Using Cash Help Tame Credit Card Debt?

October 18th, 2016
Can Using Cash Help Tame Credit Card Debt? image

Many people use credit and debit cards as a matter of convenience, but reaching for the plastic too often can lead to overspending that grows worse over time.  Writer Miriam Caldwell offers tips to help you cut back on credit card spending, including creating Cash Only categories for groceries, clothing, eating out, and any other areas where you’re tempted to splurge. Find out more in this month’s shared blog from thebalance.com.        [ read more ]

Go Credit Card-Free for the Holidays | The First National Bank Blog

October 4th, 2016
Go Credit Card-Free for the Holidays | The First National Bank Blog image

If you’re like most people, you’ll use credit cards for holiday purchases this year—especially department store cards offering deep discounts throughout the season. But using credit cards too often in November and December can lead to a serious case of buyer’s remorse when bills start showing up in January. The good news is you can avoid holiday credit card debt with four simple strategies. 1. Start saving now! If you haven’t already, begin putting money aside for gifts, holiday décor items and extra goodies from the supermarket. Saving cash now means you’ll be less likely to use credit cards as [ read more ]

Stopping Cyber Theft

September 22nd, 2016
Stopping Cyber Theft image

Financial institutions are always working to stay on top of the latest online security techniques, but banking customers can also help keep their accounts safe. In this month’s shared blog from NerdWallet, you’ll find out what you can do to protect yourself and your money from cyber-thieves. How do you safeguard your online financial accounts? Let us know in the Comments section. [ read more ]

Advantages of Mobile Deposit | The First National Bank Blog

September 13th, 2016
Advantages of Mobile Deposit | The First National Bank Blog image

Mobile deposit—using your mobile device to take a picture of a check and depositing it via a special app—has been available for several years. Still, some people feel uncomfortable using what is one of the most convenient banking innovations since direct deposit. Here are responses to common concerns people have about mobile deposit: I don’t know what to do with the check after I deposit it. After making a mobile deposit, The First National Bank recommends storing the check in a safe place until you see that the check has been successfully deposited into your account on your account statement [ read more ]

Community Banks Flex Commercial Lending Muscle | The First National Bank Blog

August 17th, 2016
Community Banks Flex Commercial Lending Muscle | The First National Bank Blog image

When your small business needs a new vehicle, a larger space or upgraded equipment, you might be tempted to turn to a mega-bank for your commercial lending needs. But did you know that more than half of small business loans originate from community banks? That’s even more impressive when you consider the fact that community banks hold only about 20 percent of the financial industry’s assets. Why Borrow from a Community Bank? The most obvious reason is that a smaller, independent bank is heavily invested in the local community. They’re helping to build a strong local economy by keeping funds [ read more ]

Choosing a Student Checking Account | The First National Bank Blog

July 12th, 2016
Choosing a Student Checking Account | The First National Bank Blog image

Starting on the road to college? A good first stop might be your community bank. In the age of electronic banking, most college freshmen have only handled a paper check long enough to photograph it for mobile deposit. That service alone may be one of the best reasons to open a student checking account. Finding the right student checking account, however, requires a little homework. You’ll want to research different financial institutions to see which banks offer free student checking and which don’t. While you’re comparing various checking accounts, see what other free services you can score. Look for no-cost [ read more ]

Using a HELOC to Pay for College | The First National Bank Blog

June 7th, 2016
Using a HELOC to Pay for College | The First National Bank Blog image

In 1999 (when the parents of this year’s graduating seniors began putting aside money for college), the cost of attendance was much lower than it is today. It’s ironic, but college tuition costs actually dropped in 1999. All that soon changed. In fact, 2015 saw tuition rates rise 3% at a time when the rate of inflation remained relatively flat. If you noticed the cost of college was going up and were able to save accordingly, you’re fortunate. Some parents are only now realizing that the money available from savings and federal student loans won’t be enough to cover the [ read more ]

Best Reasons To Apply For A Home Equity Loan | The First National Bank Blog

May 10th, 2016
Best Reasons To Apply For A Home Equity Loan | The First National Bank Blog image

You’ve owned your home for several years now, building up equity along the way. With major expenses such as college and home repairs looming on the horizon, perhaps you’ve considered a home equity loan. But what constitutes a good reason for borrowing against the value of your house? Home Improvements One of the most common reasons people take out home equity loans is to put money back into their homes. The right improvements can increase a house’s resale value and make it a nicer place to come home to each day. It’s important to use the money for improvements that [ read more ]

Beat The Tax Deadline

April 12th, 2016
Beat The Tax Deadline image

Still haven’t gotten around to doing your taxes? This month’s shared blog has tips to help you meet the tax deadline. Tax expert and Huffington Post contributor, Mark Steber, offers ideas for getting your taxes done correctly even if you’ve waited until the last minute to complete your return. Note: The information contained in this blog is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified tax professional. [ read more ]

Which Forms Do I Need to File My Taxes? | The First National Bank Blog

April 5th, 2016
Which Forms Do I Need to File My Taxes? | The First National Bank Blog image

If you haven’t done it already, you’re probably gathering IRS forms and other documents you’ll use to file your tax returns. Here’s a quick list of what you might need this year: W-2 – The W-2 shows what you earned, how much income tax was withheld, how much you paid in Social Security and Medicare taxes, and any benefit contributions. If you didn’t find your W-2(s) in your mailbox, check your email. Some employers send it electronically. 1095-A, B or C – This form is issued by your health coverage provider. Version A is sent by the Health Insurance Market [ read more ]

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