Friday Financial Forum Feb. 27 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Thursday, February 26 at 05:50 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Join us Friday, Feb. 27, 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. Each week is different with a few surprises!

This week's featured speaker will be Kary Cox, director of Washington County Emergency Management (WCEM). Washington County Emergency Management is dedicated to minimizing the effects of disasters upon the people of the community.

The professional and volunteer staff are trained to respond to a wide variety of technological and natural disasters. Hazard mitigation is an important part of group activities and includes the identification and elimination of possible long-term hazards. Another function of the group is the coordination of local, state, and federal response to a disaster event. WCEM is responsible for the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and for the coordination of disaster emergency response. WCEM personnel are trained in a wide variety of skills including disaster preparedness, disaster team organization, search/rescue, emergency medical, basic fire fighting, traffic control, weather spotting and damage assessment.

With spring storm season just around the corner, you will want to hear the valuable information that will be presented by Director Kary Cox.

What you can expect at the event:

  • Information: Community leaders share topical, local and state information 
  • Updates: Arvest provides sourced information for current economic and stock market trends (Josh Randolph/Sonya Reed, Arvest Bank)
  • News: "The Scoop" about businesses coming, going and expanding in Bartlesville (Billie Roane, Arvest Bank)
  • Humorous Anecdotes: Jim Bohnsack, Arvest Bank

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Billie Roane at (918) 337-4358. We look forward to seeing you there!

Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma

Branch Hours Due to Inclement Weather (**As of 2/25 at 12:45 p.m.)

Wednesday, February 25 at 09:15 AM
Category: Arvest News

Due to inclement weather the following branches have revised hours on Wednesday, Feb. 25.


  • Hot Springs: Close 2 p.m.
  • Hot Springs Village: Closed

We will update this blog as more information becomes available. We apologize for the inconvenience.

For your convenience you can bank 24 hours a day, 7 days a week using:

Tags: Hours, Weather Closings

5 Tips to Hack Your Small Business Credit Score

Wednesday, February 25 at 08:05 AM
Category: Business Banking

Article authored by Jared Hecht, courtesy of Visa and Inc.*

It's a fact – financing is essential for starting and running a small business. Unless you're independently wealthy or your company's vision doesn't extend beyond a limited, home-run operation, most businesses will at some point require capital. And when you seek small business financing, one of the first inquiries any lender will make involves your credit score.

Maintaining a solid credit rating, both for yourself personally and for your business, is essential for obtaining financing. But a lot of business owners assume their credit rating is completely out of their hands. These owners would be surprised to hear just how much they can do to improve their credit, and as a result their likelihood of being approved for funding by banks and other small business lenders.

If you're struggling to find business financing due to a less than stellar credit score, here are a few tips to help you get back on track.

1. Regularly monitor both your personal and business credit reports

Most people know the importance of monitoring their personal credit report for erroneous information. But if you're a small business owner with an established Employer Identification Number (EIN), did you know that your business also has a credit score? It's essential that you continuously monitor both of these credit reports for false claims, which can have dramatic impact on your ability to secure financing.

If you're having trouble getting approved for a small business loan and aren't sure why, take the time to dig into all of your available credit reports – business and personal – to check for false information. Experian and Equifax are well-known reporting agencies that will track both your personal and business credit. Dunn & Bradstreet is another agency that specifically generates business credit reports.

2. Always pay on time

The most important thing you can do to keep both credit scores in good standing is to always, always make payments on time – both in your personal finances and for your business. Payment history is the single largest determining factor of your overall credit rating, making up 35 percent of your score.* This is particularly important for new businesses since the shorter your credit history, the greater the impact of even one single late payment can be. There's just no getting around this one – you have to pay your bills on time, every time.

3. Avoid using your personal credit for business

Because the information given to credit bureaus to establish business credit is sent voluntarily, establishing credit for your small business can be tricky. Lenders and other businesses aren't required to report your payment history or any other information, so establishing good business credit can take a long time. Making sure that all your accounts are categorized correctly as for personal or business use is one way to help establish your company's credit.

As you seek to establish your business credit rating, make sure that you're using your Employee Identification Number (EIN) and not your social security number to open your business accounts. Although the lender or credit card company might check your personal credit history in order to open a new account, business accounts should always be established under the business' name and tax identification. Otherwise your activity on these accounts – on-time payments and appropriate utilization, for example, won't help to improve your business credit rating.

4. Reduce credit utilization

After payment history, the next largest determining factor of your FICO credit rating is "amounts owed" or credit utilization – with a 30 percent impact on your overall score. This number is impacted by the percentage of available credit your business has outstanding at any given time. Ideally, you should try to keep that number as low as possible, close to 30 percent. For example, if the combined credit limits for your business accounts is $100,000, you should aim to carry a maximum total balance of $30,000 at any given time. One way to keep your outstanding balances low is to make multiple payments per month, instead of waiting until you've reached the end of the month or are close to your credit limit before paying off an account.

5. Increase your credit limit

If you're unable to reduce your company's need for credit, getting your credit limit increased is another way to minimize the appearance of overall utilization. In this case, instead of reducing the slice of your metaphorical credit limit pie being used, you're simply making the pie bigger. You can increase your credit limit either by opening additional lines of credit or requesting a higher credit limit on your current accounts.

But if you do decide to try this path, it's important to exercise caution. Credit card companies will usually perform a "hard credit inquiry" as part of the process, and each hard credit inquiry can negatively impact your overall credit score. Also avoid opening multiple new credit accounts at once, which can give the appearance of desperation from a sinking business.

Unfortunately, there's no single quick fix to improve your personal or business credit rating. Your credit score is ultimately measuring your likelihood of making on-time payments and fulfilling the obligations of a loan. So although you do have some control over establishing good credit and ensuring the accuracy of your various reports, your most important job is simply to be a good borrower.

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

Rene Purtee Named Person of the Year in Raytown, Mo.

Tuesday, February 24 at 05:10 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Rene Purtee, Business Banking Specialist in Greater Kansas City, was awarded the 2014 Chamber Person of the Year by Raytown Area Chamber of Commerce.* She was honored for her service to the Raytown Area Chamber of Commerce, participation and promotion of Chamber events, and guidance to the Chamber staff and Board of Directors.  

In 2014 Rene attended multiple luncheons, coffees and after hours; was a member of the recruitment committee; volunteered at the annual Raytown Chamber/Rotary Golf Tournament; and volunteered the Senior Celebration. She helped with the Each One Reach One membership drive and participated in the Raytown Academy Success mock interviews. Rene has been involved with the Raytown Chamber for 10 years and strongly believes in the importance of supporting local businesses and the community. 
“I believe you get out what you put in. I enjoy being on committees and working on special projects where we can partner with the school district and different community organizations to make Raytown a better place,” Rene said.  
She values the importance of volunteering and is an advocate for giving time and talent to help support the community. Congratulations, Rene! 

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

Tags: Associates, Missouri

8 Ways to Cut Expenses and Still Enjoy Life

Monday, February 23 at 09:35 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Saving money isn’t about depriving yourself. Instead, it’s finding cost-effective ways to enjoy life. With a little creativity you can shave expenses while still having fun! America Saves Week, which is Feb. 23-28, is the perfect time to review some clever ways to cut costs and thus increase your nest egg.

Procure services from students. Visit beauty schools, massage schools, dental schools and similar establishments for discounts on services like haircuts and colors, massages, dental work, etc. Just don’t get upset if the quality of service isn’t what you get from an upscale salon or professional medical office.

Start a garden. Growing your own fruits and vegetables will obviously reduce your grocery bill, which is an expense many feel is hard to decrease while maintaining a healthy diet. A garden can also help reduce last-minute trips to the grocery store, which burns fuel for your car, when you forget something.

Pare down your hair services.
Extend the time between salon visits, color your own hair or don’t color it at all. Cut your hair; you’ll use less hair products like shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, etc. To extend the savings even further, males may consider shaving their head bald which will allow savings on haircuts in addition to hair products.
Exchange clothes and shop discounts. Adults often find it’s not that their clothes wear out, but they just get tired of wearing the same thing. Swap clothes with a friend or co-worker to add variety to your wardrobe without spending any money. Shop secondhand stores, eBay,* Craigslist* and virtual bulletin boards for gently-used items, especially accessories which often get less wear and tear than clothing. This allows you to freshen up your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Swap services with a friend. Find a friend who has a skill you need. Exchange services by sharing one of your talents. Have a friend with a nice camera and an eye for detail? Ask him or her to take family photos in exchange for an oil change or another talent you can share. Even a straight across swap like babysitting for each other works well!

Use Online BillPay. You’ll save money on checks, envelopes and stamps. Plus, you can schedule payments ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about an overdue payment and late fees.

Attend a nearby community college. Staying local with a community college will allow you to live with family thus saving on housing and tuition. After two years, transfer to a university for more advanced schooling. Just remember to research beforehand to make sure your credits transfer to the new university.

Scale back on parties. With birthdays, baby showers, graduations, promotions, award recognitions and more, there’s no shortage of excuses to party, but the cost to celebrate can add up quick. Opt for free venues (like a park or home) and skip the décor. For food, just do appetizers or dessert instead of a full-course meal or have everyone meet at a restaurant going dutch.

Don’t stop having fun just because you’re trying to save money. Consider the suggestions above, or one of your own, to meet your savings goals while still enjoying life.

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

Tags: Financial Education, Savings

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