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Preparing to Borrow - for Individuals

Preparing to Borrow

Borrowing money is a part of almost everyone’s financial lives.  Mortgages, auto loans and college loans enable us to afford things that are beyond our current financial reach.  Credit cards provide convenience in our daily lives that many find essential.  But borrowing money also carries serious responsibilities and too much borrowing or the wrong type of borrowing can cause many problems.

Some fundamentals
Before applying for a loan or a credit card, here are some things to consider:

  • Why are you borrowing?  Borrowing for things that provide long-term and lasting value should come before borrowing for things that provide only momentary or limited enjoyment.  It is much easier to justify borrowing for a home or a college education than borrowing for a great vacation or a great outfit that you may only wear occasionally.
  • Do you understand your responsibilities?  Remember that any money you borrow must be repaid along with interest.  Be sure you can afford the payments that the borrowing will require.  Also, spend some time to find the loan with an interest rate and terms that best fits your situation. 

Getting ready
Before sitting down to fill out a loan application or arranging a meeting with a loan or mortgage officer, here are some items you may want to have handy:

  • Your credit report.  Most lenders will automatically order a credit report and you should know what it contains.  A program enables you to receive a credit report once a year and you can do this at the website – www.annualcreditreport.com.  Otherwise, for a small fee, you can order your credit report from the three large credit reporting agencies by calling them:
    • Experian – 888/397-3742
    • TransUnion – 800/888-4213
    • Equifax – 800/997-2493
  • Proof of income.  Depending on the type of loan, you may need to provide a copy of a recent payroll check stub or a W-2 from the prior year.
  • Tax return.  If you are applying for a mortgage or a large personal loan, you will probably need to supply copies of at least one federal tax return. 
  • Personal financial statement.  For mortgages and other large loans, lenders may require that you supply a financial statement listing all your assets and liabilities.  It is also a good idea to prepare a personal financial statement annually as part of managing your finances.

What lenders are looking for
Remember that lenders are loaning you money that they want repaid along with interest.  This is their business and they want to make sure that you will be able to live up to your repayment responsibilities.  Along with the items mentioned above, they will be looking at other aspects of your finances to get the comfort to approve your loan.

  • Stable employment.  Having a steady job can help give lenders confidence that you will have an ongoing income to repay your loan.  If you have a history of several job changes, it may raise a yellow flag so be sure you can explain them.  For example, if you have frequently changed jobs for better opportunities, be sure to mention it.
  • Stable residence.  Lenders like to see at least six months of residence at the same place.
  • Responsible handling of other debts.  Having a solid history of timely and regular payments on other borrowing also helps give lenders confidence that you will be able to handle this debt in the same manner.

Final Words
The decision to borrow money or to apply for a loan is serious and you should thoroughly understand your side of the transaction.  Spending a little time to think about borrowing and being properly prepared will make the process easier and may improve your chances of getting the loan approved and being able to get more favorable terms.
*Loans are subject to credit approval. 

Apply Online 

Check Rates

Contact a Representative Today

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Personal Banking Security Measures for the 21st Century

clientuploads/21st-Century-Securitysquare180.pngMany of us are constantly connected to the online world these days. This means that the potential is there for our computers and personal information to be compromised which greatly increases the risk of ID theft and financial fraud to occur. However, by taking some basic precautions you can significantly reduce the risk of your computing environment being compromised. Following these simple guidelines should help your computing environment become more secure:

Keep your computer and software up-to-date

Keep your computers and network equipment secured with the latest software updates and enable automatic updates whenever possible.  This includes updates to third party applications such as Java and Adobe Products.  

Use hard drive encryption

In the event your machine is lost or stolen, drive encryption can prevent others from accessing the data on your hard drive.  The purpose is to encrypt or scramble your data on your machine so that it can only be read with your encryption key.Many operating systems offer drive encryption.  Microsoft offers Bitlocker and Apple has FileVault. There are also other third party encryption offerings.   

Enable your firewall

Think of the firewall to your computer as the fence around your property.  If there were multiple holes cut in the fence, it wouldn’t be very useful at keeping people out.  Firewalls are typically enabled by default on Windows machines, but double check to make sure it’s on.  Here are instructions to do so if you are using Windows 7. Only allow necessary applications inbound access through your firewall. The same principles apply to your network firewall. 

Configure your screensaver

Set an auto-locking screensaver so your account gets locked out after a few minutes.  This is useful if you forget to lock your machine when are away from it. On Windows machines this can usually be done by pressing the “Windows Key” and the “L” button simultaneously.

Make your passwords stronger

The longer and more complex the password, the better.  At least 16 characters with a combination of upper and lowecase letters, numbers, and special characters is a best practice.

Configure your router

Use the strongest wireless security available (currently WPA2-CCMP) with a long and complex password for your wireless network. Disable WPS on your wireless router for greater security.   

 


Think that some secure banking information
of yours has been compromised?

If you suspect that your personal financial information has been compromised, call MutualBank Customer Support at 800-382-8031.


 

Monday, April 7, 2014

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Preparing to Borrow - for Individuals

Preparing to Borrow

Borrowing money is a part of almost everyone’s financial lives.  Mortgages, auto loans and college loans enable us to afford things that are beyond our current financial reach.  Credit cards provide convenience in our daily lives that many find essential.  But borrowing money also carries serious responsibilities and too much borrowing or the wrong type of borrowing can cause many problems.

Some fundamentals
Before applying for a loan or a credit card, here are some things to consider:

  • Why are you borrowing?  Borrowing for things that provide long-term and lasting value should come before borrowing for things that provide only momentary or limited enjoyment.  It is much easier to justify borrowing for a home or a college education than borrowing for a great vacation or a great outfit that you may only wear occasionally.
  • Do you understand your responsibilities?  Remember that any money you borrow must be repaid along with interest.  Be sure you can afford the payments that the borrowing will require.  Also, spend some time to find the loan with an interest rate and terms that best fits your situation. 

Getting ready
Before sitting down to fill out a loan application or arranging a meeting with a loan or mortgage officer, here are some items you may want to have handy:

  • Your credit report.  Most lenders will automatically order a credit report and you should know what it contains.  A program enables you to receive a credit report once a year and you can do this at the website – www.annualcreditreport.com.  Otherwise, for a small fee, you can order your credit report from the three large credit reporting agencies by calling them:
    • Experian – 888/397-3742
    • TransUnion – 800/888-4213
    • Equifax – 800/997-2493
  • Proof of income.  Depending on the type of loan, you may need to provide a copy of a recent payroll check stub or a W-2 from the prior year.
  • Tax return.  If you are applying for a mortgage or a large personal loan, you will probably need to supply copies of at least one federal tax return. 
  • Personal financial statement.  For mortgages and other large loans, lenders may require that you supply a financial statement listing all your assets and liabilities.  It is also a good idea to prepare a personal financial statement annually as part of managing your finances.

What lenders are looking for
Remember that lenders are loaning you money that they want repaid along with interest.  This is their business and they want to make sure that you will be able to live up to your repayment responsibilities.  Along with the items mentioned above, they will be looking at other aspects of your finances to get the comfort to approve your loan.

  • Stable employment.  Having a steady job can help give lenders confidence that you will have an ongoing income to repay your loan.  If you have a history of several job changes, it may raise a yellow flag so be sure you can explain them.  For example, if you have frequently changed jobs for better opportunities, be sure to mention it.
  • Stable residence.  Lenders like to see at least six months of residence at the same place.
  • Responsible handling of other debts.  Having a solid history of timely and regular payments on other borrowing also helps give lenders confidence that you will be able to handle this debt in the same manner.

Final Words
The decision to borrow money or to apply for a loan is serious and you should thoroughly understand your side of the transaction.  Spending a little time to think about borrowing and being properly prepared will make the process easier and may improve your chances of getting the loan approved and being able to get more favorable terms.
*Loans are subject to credit approval. 

Apply Online 

Check Rates

Contact a Representative Today

Back to Education Resources

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