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One of Our Oldest Traditions – THE SEEDS ARE IN!

Those that have been with us for any length of time know that the beginning of spring means it is Seed Time. Customers young and old (and anywhere in between) are invited to take a free packet or two from our display when they come into the branch, bring them home, and plant a new selection of flowers in your garden (or perhaps it can be the first selection in a brand new garden that you or your children are starting).

The seed tradition at Midstate has been in place for decades, before even our own Miss Kitty’s first day at the bank.  Why seeds of all things? Well, there are a number of reasons. On a broad scale, community banks and rural America have always been tied throughout history.  In the past, farmers could take out loans knowing the money they were paying back would help build the community that could eventually buy their products. Even today, community banks across the country have shown a great understanding of the agriculture industry and the long-term benefits they can provide. Approximately 75% of all commercial bank agriculture loans are from community banks with assets under $10 billion (with nearly 60 percent of those being from community banks with under $1 billion in assets).

More specifically though, our main reason for distributing seeds is just another way we try to give back to the community. We love Baltimore and have quite literally evolved with the city since our inception more than 12 decades ago. So, we want to do everything we can to keep the community thriving in our own way. Obviously, our professional services are our main offering, but we also like to supplement that with a personal touch, such as continuing a tradition to help encourage local gardeners in the area.

So take a minute to come visit us at the bank and participate in one of our oldest traditions. It is the perfect way to welcome in spring.

 

 

3 Home Loan Myths to Watch Out For

Surely you have heard that no words rhyme with orange and silver. Everyone knows that, right?

Well, it’s a myth. The truth is that both of these words have rhymes but the words that rhyme with them are rare. Sporange rhymes with orange and chilver rhymes with silver.

While knowledge of this will hardly help you buy or sell a house, or qualify you for a home loan, there are some other myths worth knowing about. In this post, we will discuss 3 home loan myths and help you understand what the truth actually is.

 

The importance of understanding these myths is to avoid making costly mistakes that can be difficult to rectify later. In all areas of life, we may be operating under certain presumptions that are actually not true. We want to make sure you make the right decisions when it comes to your home loan.

If you have further questions after reading this, we invite you to contact us so we can help you with your money matters.

Myth #1: The lowest rate is the best rate

Truth: The lowest rate might appear the most appealing, but there could be strings attached like higher fees and lower flexibility, or the cheap rate might only last for a short period of time.

First, work out what product type and features best suits your lifestyle and financial needs and objectives, and then focus on cost.

Myth #2: A fixed rate loan is better than a variable rate loan

Truth: Similar to the above, the fixed vs. variable decision simply depends on which type of loan best meets your needs. Fixed loans provide repayment certainty and can save you money if interest rates rise (or lose you money if rates fall). But they can also be costly to exit during the fixed rate term and they lack the flexibility of variable rate loans.

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Myth #3: Paying the minimum loan repayment each month is the way to go

Truth: If you want to reduce your interest costs and get your loan paid off as fast as possible paying more than the minimum repayment each month is the way to do it. The interest you owe is calculated daily and charged according to your repayment cycle, so the more you pay off the more you’ll save, especially in the first few years of your loan. But, if this is a strategy you’re considering make sure your lender allows for repayments above the minimum or for lump-sum payments without penalty.

When you need any help in your money decisions, please reach out and contact us.

Toys for Tots

Please help bring the joy of Christmas to a needy child!  Midstate is proud to be a drop off location.  Please drop off new unwrapped gifts or toys at 6810 York Road during our regular business hours.  We will be accepting these donations thru December 5th.

How to Finance a College Education

In a 2013 survey, nearly two thirds of the 1,602 polled undergraduates planned to use grants and scholarships to pay for college tuition. The reason? Increasingly cost-conscious parents. The recession not only took a toll on our bank accounts, but also on our mental understanding of finances. With more and more students seeking scholarships to fund their college education, it’s more important than ever to have a plan. Here are a few tips to help you find the financing you and your family will need:

1.)    Seek Out the Free Money First

Often times, students don’t know how much aid there is available to them. That’s why it’s important that involved parents are aware of the resources and options.

Online scholarship databases can give you an idea of what’s available to students. However, that’s nowhere near the end of the list. Search for outside resources. For example, does your child share a unique heritage? Are they skilled in a unique sport or extra-curricular activity? Does your company offer any educational grants? All of these are areas to investigate for potential scholarship or grant funds.

2.)    Don’t Fear the Loan

Of course, for many parents this is not ideal, but if it is a necessity, than there are options to look in to.

Federal loans are usually the less expensive route, as they carry lower interest rates and the repayment plans tend to be more flexible. There are three levels of federal college loans – Perkins loans, subsidized Stafford loans, and unsubsidized Stafford loans. The Perkins and subsidized Stafford loans each come with a set of qualifications, but the unsubsidized Stafford loan is available to any applicant. Each carry fairly low interest rates and offer a repayment plan that should be fairly easy to achieve, with most deferring repayment until several months after receiving a diploma.

Private loans can be a bit trickier. Lenders will base the loan amount off of your credit score, so if you have any gaps or snags affecting your number, ask us how to get them resolved as quickly as possible, and try to avoid applying for your loan until you’re able to clear things up.

Helping your child to enhance their future through higher education may be daunting, but it is possible. If scholarships and grants won’t be enough to fund college tuition, come in to talk with a qualified bank representative to help you sort out a financial plan that can get you on the right path.