Low Rate Environment Allows Farmers to Mitigate Future Risks

Wednesday, July 30 at 10:15 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest now offers long-term, fixed-rate financing through  Federal Agriculture Mortgage Corporation.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arvest Bank, ranked #26 in the American Bankers Association Top 100 Farm Lenders in the U.S. for 1Q 2014, announced today the bank is expanding its agriculture loan products through the Federal Agriculture Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Farmer Mac. These products are some of the best tools a farmer/rancher has in order to mitigate risks that have plagued the industry for the past few decades.

The interest savings available through the Farmer Mac program allows farmers/ranchers to have more control over their financial futures.  Locking in low, long-term rates can free up funds that can be used to counteract other business risks such as decrease in crop prices, drought expenses, decrease in demand and other unpredictable situations those in the agricultural industry face on a year-to-year basis. 

While today the average US farmer or rancher is in good financial shape, many in the industry see potential pitfalls that could cause problems similar to what the industry experienced in the 1980s. Land prices are increasing while grain and cattle prices are becoming volatile; all are affected by global factors including the Chinese economy, trade agreements between Japan and Australia and exchange rates along with weather, inflation and domestic demand.

We’re currently in a situation similar to the farming boom of the 1970s – which was followed by the farming crisis of the 1980s. The best way a farmer/rancher can reduce their financial risk is to take advantage of the current low interest rates and lock them in for a longer period of time. The Farmer Mac program allows them to do so.  We are thrilled to make this program available in the regions Arvest operates because we have so many customers who make their living in the agricultural industry.

Arvest Bank has consistently ranked in the ABA’s Top Farm Lenders by Dollar Volume. In the first quarter of 2014, Arvest showed $503,679,000 in total balance of outstanding farm loans.

While Farm Credit and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency can only offer loans, Arvest provides complete banking services to its agri-lending clients. From equipment financing to real estate loans and checking accounts with loan sweeps to pay down debt, Arvest can provide customers with total banking services, all with convenient locations and hours and a deep level of agricultural lending expertise.  

Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking, Lending and Financing, Press Release
 

Helping Students Prepare for College Life

Tuesday, July 29 at 11:35 AM
Category: Arvest News

The time has finally come — the day when your child will leave home for college. It's the culmination of all your years of sacrifice, hard work and preparation. While it's exciting to think about this new phase in your child's life, it's not uncommon to become emotional and worried about the prospect of your child living without you. Here are some easy ways to prepare your child (and you) for the big moment:

  • Teach your children how to do laundry. Having your college student come home for visits with a full laundry bag is pretty much a parental right, but your children will still need to be able to do their laundry when they are away from home. You can give them a head start by teaching them how to do laundry before they leave.
  • Have them open a bank account at school. To successfully live on their own, your children will need to understand how to manage money. Have them open a bank account with a debit card. Be sure to teach them about overdrafts, bank fees, and the importance of paying their bills on time. You may even want to help them apply for a low limit credit card, which will allow them to learn to use credit responsibly and start building their credit history for the future.
  • Get (them) cooking. Even if your child is on a meal plan, there may be times when they don't have time to get to the cafeteria. Teaching them how to cook for themselves will ensure they don't miss meals or spend money on fast food.
  • Go shopping for dorm room needs together. Make a list of all the things your child will need for school and go shopping with them. For a list of college must-haves, visit collegepackinglist.com.*
  • Make a plan to communicate regularly. Whether your child prefers to talk on the phone or to text, make sure you establish a plan for staying in touch that works for them. Let your child establish the frequency and timing of your discussions. Remind your child that you will be there if you need them.

Once you've done this, make sure you take an important step — congratulate yourself. While it's never easy let go, you've achieved a major step in being a successful parent. Enjoy the peace and quiet and the reduced laundry (at least until you child comes home to visit).

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

 

Arvest Promotes Faddis As Consumer Lender in Tontitown, Ark.

Monday, July 28 at 05:15 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Since 2009 we've enjoyed the privilege of having Stefanie Faddis work at Arvest. We're excited for her recent promotion to Consumer Lender so she can continue her excellent service to customers.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Arvest Bank is pleased to announce that Stefanie Faddis has joined the Tontitown branch as a Consumer Lender.

Faddis started her career with Arvest Bank in 2009 as an Agricultural Loan Assistant in Siloam Springs. She transferred to Arvest Bank in Tahlequah as a Commercial Loan Assistant in 2012.

“Stefanie has the great customer service background that Arvest Bank instills in all its team members,” said Christy Queary, Consumer Loan Manager for Arvest Bank in Springdale. “She also understands lending and how the bank can help customers achieve the best deal for them and what they want to accomplish.”

A native of Westville, Okla., Faddis graduated from Westville High School in 2003. She graduated from Tahlequah Beauty Technical College with a license in cosmetology in 2008. 

She and her husband, Hank Faddis, share their home with daughter, Aubrey Dickinson, and sons Bandy Faddis and Colton Faddis.

Tags: Arkansas
 

Together We Can Help Get Little Rock, Ark. Children Ready for School

Friday, July 25 at 06:10 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Arvest Bank is pleased to support Our House -- a Little Rock, Ark., organization which provides working homeless families with housing, job training, education and children’s programs.

Dressing for Success
Arvest Bank has partnered with Our House* to host a School Uniform Drive. New and gently used uniforms can be donated at Little Rock Arvest branches until July 31. Learn what types and color uniforms our students in the Little Rock School District need.*

Collecting School Supplies
In addition to providing school uniforms, Our House also provides a backpack full of school supplies. Help set a student up for a great school year by donating school supplies and back packs. School supplies needed include: backpacks, boxes of tissue, glue sticks, markers, scissors, lined paper, notebooks, folders, pencils, erasers, pens, calculators, compasses, protractors and more.* Supplies can be brought to the Our House Children's Center.

Volunteering
Interested in volunteering to fill back packs with supplies? Contact the Children's Programs VISTA by emailing kids@ourhouseshelter.org.*

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Arkansas, Community Support, Little Rock
 

Hiring a Contractor

Thursday, July 24 at 09:55 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Whether you're planning an addition for a growing family or simply getting new storm windows, finding a competent and reliable contractor is the first step to a successful and satisfying home improvement project.

Your home may be your most valuable financial asset. That's why it's important to be cautious when you hire someone to work on it. Home improvement and repair and maintenance contractors often advertise in newspapers, the Yellow Pages, on the radio and on TV. However, don't consider an ad an indication of the quality of a contractor's work. Your best bet is a reality check from those in the know: friends, neighbors, or co-workers who have had improvement work done. Get written estimates from several firms. Ask for explanations for price variations. Don't automatically choose the lowest bidder.
Interview each contractor you're considering. Here are some questions to ask:

  • How long have you been in business? Look for a well-established company and check it out with consumer protection officials. They can tell you if there are unresolved consumer complaints on file. One caveat: If there is no record of complaints against a particular contractor that doesn't necessarily mean no previous consumer problems. It may be that problems exist, but have not yet been reported, or the contractor is doing business under several different names.
  • Are you licensed and registered with the state? While most states license electrical and plumbing contractors, only 36 states have some type of licensing and registration statutes affecting contractors, remodelers, and/or specialty contractors. The licensing can range from simple registration to a detailed qualification process. Also, the licensing requirements in one locality may be different from the requirements in the rest of the state. Check with your local building department or consumer protection agency to find out about licensing requirements in your area. If your state has licensing laws, then ask to see the contractor's license. Make sure it's current.
  • How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year? Ask for a list. This will help you determine how familiar the contractor is with your type of project.
  • Will my project require a permit? Most states and localities require permits for building projects, even for simple jobs like decks. A competent contractor will get all the necessary permits before starting work on your project. Be suspicious if the contractor asks you to get the permit(s). It could mean that the contractor is not licensed or registered, as required by your state or locality.
  • May I have a list of references? The contractor should be able to give you the names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least three clients who have projects similar to yours. Ask each how long ago the project was completed and if you can see it. Also, tell the contractor that you'd like to visit jobs in progress.
  • What types of insurance do you carry? Contractors should have personal liability, worker's compensation and property damage coverage. Ask for copies of insurance certificates, and make sure they're current. Avoid doing business with contractors who don't carry the appropriate insurance. Otherwise, you'll be held liable for any injuries and damages that occur during the project.
  • Will you be using subcontractors on this project? If yes, ask to meet them, and make sure they have current insurance coverage and licenses, if required. Also ask them if they were paid on time by this contractor. A "mechanic's lien" could be placed on your home if your contractor fails to pay the subcontractors and suppliers on your project. That means the subcontractors and suppliers could go to court to force you to sell your home to satisfy their unpaid bills from your project. Protect yourself by asking the contractor, and every subcontractor and supplier, for a lien release or lien waiver.

Do your homework on home improvement contractors by asking your friends for recommendations and interviewing the contractors using questions like those above.

Article courtesy of
Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Information.*

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Home Loans, Mortgage

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