Cortez Joins Arvest Bank in Westville, Okla.

Friday, January 23 at 05:20 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Since 2006 Francisco Cortez has been serving the Arvest community. We're excited to see his continued service in his new role as branch manager in Westville, Okla.

WESTVILLE, Okla. — Arvest Bank in Westville is pleased to announce that Francisco Cortez has accepted a promotion to branch manager.

Cortez has worked for Arvest Bank since 2006, starting as a teller in Fayetteville and then as a member of the assistant branch manager trainee program. After nine months in the program, he was named the assistant branch manager of the University branch in Fayetteville where he worked for two years, then was moved to the Township branch where he supervised 11 tellers for four years.

“Francisco has proven himself in every position he has occupied with Arvest Bank,” said Kurt Price, community bank president in Westville. “He understands how to provide the superior customer service for which Arvest Bank is known and demonstrates the ideals we want in a branch manager. We are excited to welcome him to Westville. 

A native of Bakersfield, Calif., Cortez moved with his family to Lincoln when he was 15, where he graduated from Lincoln High School.

He attends the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fayetteville, Ark.

Tags: Associates, Oklahoma, Press Release

Fuel Economy in Cold Weather

Thursday, January 22 at 07:50 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Cold weather and winter driving conditions can reduce your fuel economy significantly. Fuel economy tests show that, in short-trip city driving, a conventional gasoline car's gas mileage is about 12 percent lower at 20°F than it would be at 77°F. It can drop as much as 22 percent for very short trips (three to four miles). The effect on hybrids is worse. Their fuel economy can drop about 31 percent to 34 percent under these cold conditions.

Why is winter fuel economy lower? Cold weather affects your vehicle in more ways than you might expect: 
  • Engine and transmission friction increases in cold temperatures due to cold engine oil and other drive-line fluids.
  • It takes longer for your engine to reach its most fuel-efficient temperature. This affects shorter trips more, since your car spends more of your trip at less-than-optimal temperatures.
  • Heated seats, window defrosters, and heater fans use additional power.
  • Warming up your vehicle before you start your trip lowers your fuel economy — idling gets 0 miles per gallon.
  • Colder air is denser, increasing aerodynamic drag on your vehicle, especially at highway speeds.
  • Tire pressure decreases in colder temperatures, increasing rolling resistance.
  • Winter grades of gasoline can have slightly less energy per gallon than summer blends.
  • Battery performance decreases in cold weather, making it harder for your alternator to keep your battery charged. This also affects the performance of the regenerative braking system on hybrids.
In severe winter weather, your mpg can drop even further. 
  • Icy or snow-covered roads decrease your tires' grip on the road, wasting energy.
  • Safe driving speeds on slick roads can be much lower than normal, further reducing fuel economy, especially at speeds below 30 to 40 mph.
  • Using four-wheel drive uses more fuel.
What can I do to improve my fuel economy in cold weather? You may not be able to completely mitigate cold weather's impact on your fuel economy, but you can do some simple things to help your gas mileage. 
  • Park your car in a warmer place, such as your garage, to increase the initial temperature of your engine and cabin.
  • Combine trips when possible so you drive less often with a cold engine.
  • Don't idle your car to warm it up. Most manufacturers recommend driving off gently after about 30 seconds. The engine will warm up faster being driven.
  • Don't use seat warmers or defrosters more than necessary.
  • Check your tire pressure regularly.
  • Use the type of oil recommended by your manufacturer for cold weather driving.
  • Remove accessories that increase wind resistance, like roof racks, when not in use.
  • If you drive a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, preheating the cabin while plugged into the charger can extend your vehicle's range.
  • If you drive a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, using the seat warmers instead of the cabin heater can save energy and extend range.
With some advance planning you can help mitigate some of the impact of lower fuel economy on your car this winter.

Friday Financial Forum Jan. 23 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Thursday, January 22 at 07:05 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Join us Friday, Jan. 23, at 10 a.m. for our Friday Financial Forum. We’ll meet in the Friday Forum Room at Arvest's Eastside Branch located at 4225 S.E. Adams Rd., Bartlesville, Okla. Every Friday we invite customers like you to attend our one-hour Financial Forum.

Our featured speaker will be Chris Wilson, director of downtown Bartlesville, who will be letting us know about all of the great things going on with downtown businesses and community activities.

What you can expect at the event:

  • News: "The Scoop" about businesses coming, going and expanding in Bartlesville (Billie Roane, Arvest Bank)
  • Information: Community leaders share topical, local and state information (Sen. John Ford and Rep. Earl Sears)
  • Updates: Arvest provides current economy and stock market trends (Josh Randolph/Sonya Reed, Arvest Bank)
  • Hilarious Anecdotes: Jim Bohnsack, Arvest Bank

We look forward to having you join us! There is no need to R.S.V.P.; just join us if you can! If you have any questions about the event, please contact Billie Roane at (918) 337-4358.

Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma

Auto Loans: Test Drive the Financing Part 2

Wednesday, January 21 at 09:45 AM
Category: Personal Finance

This is the second part in a two-part series on auto loans. In case you missed it, check out part one.

The sticker price isn’t the only thing to look at when car shopping. While you’re at the dealer, be aware of decisions that could cost you more money and actions that could save you money.

If you have been pre-approved for a bank loan, consumer advocates suggest keeping the financing decision separate from the negotiations on the price of the car. If you negotiate the vehicle price with the dealer before discussing a possible trade-in and financing, it is easier to see if you are getting a good price on the car.

Be cautious about offers to “pay off” anything you owe on a car to be traded in. A car dealer might advertise that it will pay off the balance of the loan on your trade-in vehicle, no matter how much you owe. However, if you have “negative equity” — you owe more on the car being traded in than it is worth — the promise to pay off the entire loan may be misleading. Instead of being paid off, the amount you owe on your trade-in may be rolled into your new loan, deducted from your down payment, or both. The result would be an increase in your monthly payments and, most likely, a major jump in the total cost of the loan after factoring in the interest to be paid.

If you still owe money on a car that you plan to trade in, consider waiting to make the new auto purchase until you have paid off your existing loan. “Then, when you buy a new car you will not have to borrow as much money and you will pay less in interest over the life of the new loan,” explained Luke W. Reynolds, FDIC acting associate director for community affairs.

Remember that, as with the price of the vehicle, the interest rate and other financing terms offered are typically negotiable. “Instead of relying solely on a dealer’s rate quote, you should speak with multiple lenders about the APRs they can offer you and let them know you are comparison shopping,” suggested Keith Ernst, associate director of the FDIC’s Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection in charge of consumer research. He added, “Explore any opportunities to lower your financing cost with each lender by asking about options such as different repayment periods or discounts for setting up automatic payments.” Many auto dealers offer discounted loans (such as zero-percent financing) or cash rebates on car purchases, but usually not both.

Make sure you understand what any additional products you agree to purchase will or won’t do, and how much they cost. The prices of those extras will be added to your original loan amount and will increase your total financing cost. Remember that products such as extended warranties or credit insurance (which could cover loan payments if you die, become ill or unemployed) are optional purchases. If you are interested, you don’t have to buy them at the dealership. You may be able to find a better or cheaper offer elsewhere.

Read the contract carefully before you sign it. Federal law requires lenders to tell you the terms of a loan, including the APR and the total cost. Federal and state laws also prohibit unfair, deceptive and/or abusive business practices. “Before signing any loan documents, you should fully understand all the aspects of the transaction,” said Ernst. “Verify that anything that was told to you is reflected in the agreement, including the treatment of a trade-in.”

Don’t rush into making a decision to buy a car or accept financing. Perhaps you’ve read in the news about reports from consumer groups that people sometimes mistakenly believed that a car purchase and dealer financing were final. The reports suggest that these consumers signed contracts or attachments (with titles such as “Special Delivery Agreement,” “Rescission Agreement,” or “Supplemental Agreement”), took the vehicle home, and then days or weeks later were asked to return to sign a new financing agreement with a higher interest rate or other less-favorable terms. Consumer groups refer to these as “yo-yo” scams.

The Federal Trade Commission has been seeking public comment to help evaluate the extent to which these concerns are found in the marketplace. To avoid falling for a scam — or just getting into a deal you don’t want or don’t understand — be careful to read through all the terms and conditions of any documents you are asked to sign.

“If you are unsure the loan is finalized, you may want to leave the car at the dealership and continue to comparison shop until the financing process is complete,” added Gratton. “This way you can be certain about the final financing terms.”

By arming yourself with information and not rushing into a car purchase, you can help ensure you’re making the best auto purchase for your situation. To learn more about purchasing a car, check out our Pinterest board, “Buying a Set of Wheels.”

Information courtesy of FDIC Consumer News.*

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

Tags: Financial Education

Popcorn Selfie Facebook Contest

Tuesday, January 20 at 07:20 AM
Category: Arvest News

Need an excuse to take another selfie? We’ve got one! On Tuesday, Jan. 20 we’re doing a Facebook contest where we’re inviting customers like you to comment on our Facebook thread with a popcorn selfie. Vote for your favorite popcorn selfie by “liking” your top pick. The popcorn selfie with the most likes by 4 p.m. that day receives a popcorn gift basket! 

We’re not picky with the pictures – they just need to be family-friendly, include popcorn and be a selfie. Pop on over to the Arvest Bank Facebook page* and post your pictures on Jan. 20. Many Arvest Bank branches will be popping popcorn on Jan. 19 in honor of National Popcorn Day. That’s a great time to take selfies which you can post on Facebook the following day.

Why Jan. 20? National Popcorn Day is Jan. 19, but why not celebrate popcorn the whole week?! In honor of Martin Luther King Day which this year also falls on Jan. 19, we’re going to save our kernel fun for Jan. 20. Pop the corn, snap a selfie and post to Facebook. #popcornselfie

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

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