Archive for the ‘ Loans ’ Category

2013 Harvest Season


The 2013 harvest season is here.  During this busy season, it is important that we do not forget about farm safety.  Farmers should be checking their equipment to make sure that all safety equipment is in place – safety shields, fire extinguishers, etc.  The fall season brings us shorter daylight hours, so make sure that you have adequate lighting, flashers and reflective strips on your equipment. Most important of all, let’s all slow down on the rural highways and keep a watchful eye for slow moving vehicles and equipment.

Farm producers need to keep several things in mind when they begin to harvest their crops.  Be aware of your crop insurance coverage.  You will find that this year’s crop yields will be extremely variable.  We experienced many challenges planting the crop and then moisture was very limited during July and August.  If you notice your yields are below or near your insurance guarantees, contact your crop insurance agent immediately so that a claim can be filed.  Claims need to be filed within 10 days of harvest completion.  Please keep load records of yields from each farm and mark your bins if you are co-mingling production from several farm units.  This is important even if you are on enterprise units so that you retain that individual farm yield history in event that you change your insurance plan in the future.  Also, if you are comingling 2013 crop with carry-over 2012 crop inventory, you need to request a measurement of the 2012 crop on hand.  Without a measurement, your 2012 crop would be counted as 2013 production on 2013 crop claim.

If you need a crop appraisal in the field, you need to leave a four- row strip the entire length of the field.  You should have a strip for every 20 acres.

Once harvest is completed, report your yields to your agent as soon as possible while the data is readily available.  This year some producers may have a revenue claim on their crop insurance policy.  This may be the case in corn as currently, December 2013 corn is over $1.00 lower than the established spring price guarantee of $5.65.  If you have any questions about crop insurance, don’t hesitate to ask any of our crop insurance agents.

The harvest season gives our producers time to reflect on their equipment needs as they spend many hours in their tractors and combines.  When evaluating those needs, please consider Citizens Bank Minnesota for financing those needs.  We offer very competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms.

All of us at Citizens Bank Minnesota hope for a safe and bountiful harvest.

By: Kevin Yager, Vice President

Investment and Insurance Products:

  • Are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency.
  • Are not deposits of or guaranteed by a bank or any bank affiliate.
  • May lose value.

Three Great Career Opportunities at our Lakeville branch!


Are you looking for a new career opportunity?  Our Lakeville branch currently has three openings – we are looking for a Loan Processor, and a Full-Time and Part-Time Client Service Representative.  If you or someone you know would be interested in any of these positions, please fill out a resume and send to our HR department!



Citizens Bank Minnesota is seeking a skilled and experienced commercial/mortgage Loan Processor in our Lakeville Branch. If you are a high-performing person with attention to detail skills this is the position for you. This position will assist lenders by preparing and processing loan documentation, ordering and obtaining any necessary supporting documents, filing recordable documents, inputting and maintaining loans on the Bank’s core software, maintaining loan files and renewal documentation and providing service to loan customers. Citizens Bank Minnesota continually receives a 5-Star Superior Rating by Bauer Financial, and has been in the banking business for 137 years. This is an outstanding opportunity to join a trusted financial institution. If you have the ability to multi-task, are self-motivated and would enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, this is the job for you. This full-time position offers a competitive wage and full benefits package. Experience preferred but will train the right person.




Citizens Bank Minnesota, Lakeville Branch, is expanding their team and is looking for 2 high performing people with great attention to detail skills to take care of our clients in a fast paced environment. If you are a people person with an outgoing personality this is the position for you. Responsible for executing financial transactions, researching and resolving client questions and balancing a cash drawer.Citizens continually receives a 5-Star Superior Rating by Bauer Financial, and has been in the banking business for 137 years. This is an outstanding opportunity to join a trusted financial institution. This position is a high profile client contact person and requires a professional appearance. Full-time and part-time opportunities available, this will include some Saturday mornings. Full-time position includes a benefit package. Experience preferred but will train the right person.


Submit your resume to:

Sara Bode, HR Director

Citizens Bank Minnesota

PO Box 547

New Ulm, MN 56073

Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action

Spring Planting

tractor planting

Spring is here, at least by the calendar. As I look outside, we are getting snow and the cold temperatures just don’t seem to want to leave us. We know, however, that it will change and we will be in the fields shortly. This is a very busy time of year as we get our start on planting this year’s crop. We all know that timing can be everything when it comes to optimum conditions.

Now that we have reviewed our crop insurance and have our best plan in place, we work hard to get machinery ready to get to the fields timely and plant in best ground conditions to give the crop its best start possible.

Just a couple reminders on key dates to remember: the earliest planting date for corn is April 11th and soybeans is April 21st. If you decide to plant ahead of these specified dates, you do lose replant benefits on those acres. Once the crop is planted and you certify your acres with FSA, those acres and planting dates need to be submitted for your crop insurance acreage report.

Spring tillage and planting time is always a great time to review future needs in your farming operation. Now is the time to analyze everything from low areas requiring additional tile, to tillage and planting equipment that need updating, enhancing or replacing. We see how, time and again, a good drainage system gives you certain efficiencies that pay rewards. Good planting conditions in the spring, being able to handle the large rainfall at one time and proper drainage at harvest time after a fall rain is key to the larger yields to be obtained. Tillage and planting equipment also have efficiencies that need to be considered. Trips over the field, proper seed bed and plant spacing all have impact on profit dollars. As always, every operation has to work with their lender for what is feasible for your size farming operation, debt load and a pay back analysis needs to be done. As always, we have your best interest in mind as we talk these things through and develop a loan package, if needed.

We look forward to a great 2013 crop year and wish the best for our farmers. Even though it is a busy, fast paced time of year, please remember to get your needed rest and stay safe.

By: Tim Hoscheit, Vice-President

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Investment and insurance products:

  • Are Not Insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency
  • Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by a Bank or any Bank Affiliate
  • May lose value

What you should know about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

One of the most common comments that I hear from clients today in the market to purchase a home is “I can afford the monthly housing payment” or “My rent payment is higher than what my house payment will be”, but “I do not have 20% for the down payment.” For most homebuyers, the biggest hurdle is the down payment. Using private mortgage insurance or PMI is a way for you to purchase a home with less than 20% down.

Why is PMI needed? History has proven that homeowners with less then 20% invested in the cost of a home are significantly more likely to default, making low-down payment mortgages riskier for lenders. To offset the risk, lenders typically require mortgage insurance for loans with down payments of less than 20%.

Here is an example of how it works:

A borrower buys a home for $125,000.00 and has a down payment of 10%, or $12,500.00. The lender then requires the borrower to purchase PMI to reduce the risk exposure. The cost to the borrower is based on the size of the down payment, the borrower’s credit score, type of mortgage and the amount of insurance coverage needed. The borrower typically pays the PMI premium monthly when they pay their mortgage.

PMI may be cancelled once the borrower has built up enough equity in the home, typically 20%. Every PMI company has established criteria that need to be met to cancel PMI.

PMI allows a buyer to purchase a home with minimal down payment, but it also raises a borrower’s monthly payment. Planning ahead and saving for a new home can help reduce the cost of the monthly PMI premium and allow you to apply more of your monthly payment to equity.

By: Lisa Schneider, Mortgage Loan Officer

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Investment and insurance products:

  • Are Not Insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency
  • Are Not deposits of or guaranteed by a Bank or any Bank Affiliate
  • May lose value

Asking for a Loan Made Easy!

For many people, the thought of needing money and having to approach a banker for a loan makes them nervous and uneasy.  We fear that our loan request could be denied.  Having been in banking for forty years, I have been approached hundreds of times by customers both new and established about all types of credit requests.  From those encounters, I would offer the following suggestions to those considering making a credit request.

Prepare yourself prior to discussing your credit request with a lender, gather your financial information, prepare a list of your assets and your liabilities or in other words, a list of what you own and whom you owe money to, including your required monthly payments; bring a copy of your most recent tax return to the appointment. Call ahead and request an appointment with a lender, it will save you time and avoid having to wait to be seen.

Remember lenders are there to help you, be candid and ask questions to clarify what is being proposed to you regarding rates, terms and collateral required.  Communication is vitally important to both parties to avoid misunderstandings.   If you have had previous borrowings with the institution you are approaching, your prior payment history is established.  From a lenders viewpoint, how you paid your previous obligations is a good indication on how you intend to pay in the future.  For the customer, you should be comfortable in what is being suggested to you and or what will be required of you; only you can judge if the proposed loan package is something you can and should commit yourself to.

Remember Citizens simple credit policy, you have to ask for it and you have to pay it back.

Bill Brennan – Sr. Vice President

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Consumer Lending and Credit Worthiness

Consumer lending consists of installment loans, both secured and unsecured, credit cards, real estate mortgages and home equity lines of credit.

Two of the most common types of consumer installment loans are those which fund the purchase of a vehicle or a new residence for a borrower.  These two types of loans typically consist of a borrower making a down payment and then borrowing the balance of the purchase price from their lending institution to be repaid over time.

The borrower needs to be aware of what his bank will look at in evaluating his credit worthiness. To determine the credit worthiness of a potential borrower a lender will typically evaluate what are known as the five Cs of credit.

The five Cs of credit are:

1)      Character- the borrower’s reputation and payment history as viewed on a credit report.

2)      Capacity- the borrower’s ability to repay (debt vs. income).

3)      Capital- the down payment put into the transaction from borrower.

4)      Collateral- the value of the borrower’s property used to secure the loan.

5)      Conditions- the rates and terms of the loan.

In summary it is first important for a borrower to understand what information a lender will examine when he receives an application for credit. It is also a must for the borrower to take care of the five Cs of credit by developing solid household budgeting and payment habits, and by building a consistent savings plan for future needs. Solid financial preparation in these areas can help ensure success for the loan applicant in many circumstances of life.

By: Brant N. Drill, Assistant Vice President

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Be Prepared To Buy A New Home

Whether you are a first time home buyer or are looking to move to a different home, beware that we are in a different environment than we were 2-3 years ago.

Key items you should know before purchasing a home:

1) Know your own credit: You may obtain a free copy of your own credit report annually from  It is important that you have credit and that the credit you have is clean. You should get copies of your credit report a few months before you start house hunting.  Make sure all the facts are correct and fix any problems you may discover.

2) Have some savings or equity that you can use towards a new purchase: You will need money for the down payment, closing costs, and the first year homeowner’s insurance. You also want to have a reserve fund in the bank after your new purchase.  As a homeowner, you never know what you may need to repair.

3) Meet with your banker and be pre-approved: Meet with someone that you know will have your best interest in mind.  They will go through your credit, look at your current payments and determine what you can afford for a house.  A good rule of thumb is to compare your current house or rent payment to your new proposed payment.  Do not try to buy more house than you can afford since you will have these payments for a longtime.  Rely on your banker to lay out product options for you and then together you can determine which loan is right for you.

4) Plan for your future: When you become a homeowner, you are responsible for all the maintenance, yard care, property taxes and homeowners insurance.  All of these items should be factored in as an expense in addition to your monthly principal and interest payments.

Purchasing a new home will be one of the most important purchases of your life.  Work with someone that you know and trust to provide you with a good experience.

By: Maria Anderson, Asst. Vice President

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