Archive for the ‘ Loans ’ Category

Citizens Bank Minnesota Partners With Farm Service Agency Lending Programs

Citizens Bank Minnesota assists borrowers who utilize Farm Service Agency Lending Programs.  This assistance can range from beginning Farmer Loans to FSA Guaranteed Operating and Real Estate Loans.  Citizens is a Certified Lender with the Farm Service Agency which means that the application process is streamlined with minimal paperwork.  We have several lenders trained to walk you through the process.  A current popular lending partnership that the Bank has with Farm Service Agency is the Beginning Farmer Down payment Loan Program.  This program enables a beginning farmer who has less than 10 years experience to purchase a farm with favorable loan terms.  Terms and conditions of the loan program are as follows:

  1. Loan funds must be used to purchase farm real estate.
  2. Purchaser must have at least 5% cash down.
  3. The Bank will finance 50% of the purchase price with a 1st mortgage on the property with the loan begin repaid over a 30 year period.  Interest rates are at the Bank’s normal rates and terms.
  4. The Farm Service Agency will finance 45% of the purchase price at an interest rate fixed for 20 years.
  5. The borrower must qualify as a beginning farmer, which means that he cannot have operated a farm for more than 10 years and he does not own a farm greater than 30% of the median size farm is in his county.
  6. The beginning farmer may be required to be enrolled in an Adult Farm Management Program.

In addition to the Beginning Farmer Down payment Loan Program, Citizens can also provide Farm Service Agency guaranteed operating and farm ownership loans.  Guaranteed loans cannot exceed $1,119,000.00.  Loan purposes can be for annual operating needs, equipment purchases, real estate purchases or debt refinance.  Our Bank lending officers fully understand the Farm Service Agency loan programs.  We are here to assist you in filling out the necessary Balance Sheets, Cash Flows and Application forms.  Our Certified Lending Status makes the application process much easier than applying directly with the Farm Service Agency.  Citizens will be happy to assist you.

By: Kevin Yager, Vice President

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The Truth About Refinancing

Mortgage rates are low but does that mean refinancing is right for you?  Everyone has different goals or situations in their life.  One size doesn’t fit all when discussing mortgage refinancing.

A few things to think about when considering refinancing:

1)     Are you looking for additional monthly cash flow?

2)     Do you want to shorten the term of the loan and save interest expense?

3)     Should you refinance the existing mortgage and pull additional equity out of you home for various reasons?

4)     Will you be moving out of your current home in the next 3-5 years?

5)     What are your personal financial goals?  Age of children, retirement, etc.?

We’ll ask these questions so that we can give you the best advice and options.

If you are shopping to refinance your mortgage:

1)     Beware of the full cost of refinancing your mortgage.  The rate is only a part of the cost.  It is very important that you also know what your total closing costs will be.  It is a “package deal”.  You may be quoted a low rate only to find out that the closing costs are very high.  Review the closing costs and understand what they are.

2)     Is it important to you to be able to stop in and talk directly to your mortgage lender or are you comfortable with contacting your lender via an 800 number for questions or service?  This is the difference between a Service Retained and Service Released mortgage loan.

To summarize:  Be comfortable with your mortgage lender.  Trust that person to do the best job for you and to put your best interest first!

At Citizens, we are available to answer any questions that you may have.  Our goal is to make sure that our clients have the right mortgage!

Shirley Laraway, Vice President

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An Interesting Alternative to Student Loans

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129727074

I found this interview, which ran on NPR on September 8, 2010, quite interesting.  The interview is with Neoga Leviner, General Manager, Lumni Inc., a company that has created an interesting alternative to traditional student loans.

Traditionally, students borrow the money they need for college and are able to defer interest from accumulating until after their graduation.  Once they graduate, students may have thousands or dollars worth of debt to pay off – a sizeable hole that students are forced to climb out of before they can even dream about saving for a car, a house, or – gulp! – retirement.

Lumni offers students an alternative.  They will loan students up to $6,000 a year for college – not enough to completely fund a college education, but an amount meant to help bridge the gap between the amount available to the student and the amount needed by the student.  In exchange, students sign a contract to pay Lumni a percentage of their salary (the actual percent is not mentioned in the interview) for a fixed period of time, usually 10 years, after they graduate.

Lumni was started in Latin America, and this year will be making their first loans to students in the United States.  If you are going to start college soon and are forced with the dilemma of financing your education, you may wish to check with Lumni. Would this type of loan interest you?

By: Joe Geistfeld, Marketing Intern

Equal Housing Lender - larger

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