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Coming Soon: New Website

November 30th, 2016

Website homepage on a laptopOur new website is coming soon, and we’re excited about how much easier, more functional, and more flexible your online experience will be.

Personal Loans website page on a mobile phoneIn addition to clear sections for whatever your financial needs, we’ll have calculators for simple “what if” trade-offs, easy-to-read graphics for comparing different offerings like loan types, smooth transitions between desktop, laptop, and mobile environments, and intuitive navigation.

Get a sneak peek at the screenshots here, so the new site is more familiar to you once we make the switch. We look forward to having you try it out.
Typical website page on a tablet

Charity in Season: Kids Oneida

November 28th, 2016

Volunteers deliver Thanksgiving dinnersIt’s important to be involved in and support your community whenever you can. Our efforts throughout the year include developing partnerships with area organizations for greater impact. Kids Oneida is one such organization. They are a unique home- and community-based not-for-profit network that provides individualized and non-traditional services to our highest risk youth—those with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges.

Working with at-risk youth and their families, Kids Oneida has consistently been able to divert out-of-home placements, keeping children with their families, and in their homes, communities, and schools. They accomplish this through a variety of programs designed to meet the needs of families and children in Oneida and Herkimer Counties. Using the “wraparound” treatment philosophy, these programs range from very intensive to less restrictive.

First Source is proud to have helped Kids Oneida for many years through corporate funding, volunteering, and personal employee donations. Funding has gone toward maintaining programs and services; volunteers have helped feed more than 100 families Thanksgiving dinner; and personal employee donations go toward “adopted” families each holiday season, providing gifts where there otherwise might not be any. Over the past 6 years, we have adopted 136 children from 48 different families.

In 2016, we’re proud to have given almost $3,000 in corporate funding to this great organization. In addition, we’re providing gifts to needy families, adopting 28 children from 8 families.

Please consider joining us this year. Together we can do so much more!

Holiday Loan: Is it Right for You?

November 16th, 2016

Mother and daughter buying Christmas itemsThe holidays are coming, and the expenses can add up. Presents for family and friends, out of town travel, extra groceries for the big family meals, and even wrapping paper and shipping costs, all add up. We don’t want you to stress about the post-holiday credit card bill surprise. A Holiday Loan could be the answer, allowing you to focus on what matters most: your loved ones.

If you’re considering applying for a Holiday Loan to help cover your expenses, review this list to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you. If you have any questions, simply make an appointment with us, and we can help you work through the entire decision process.

1. Have you budgeted properly?

It’s always helpful to have a budget for your holiday spending. Make sure to include not only gifts, but travel, food, decorating, and other relevant expenses. If your budget is sound and you’re still not able to cover expenses, a Holiday Loan may be the answer.

2. Do you know how much you’re able to repay?

This one seems obvious, but some people don’t consider it: you should only borrow as much as you’re able to repay. Borrowing can save your holiday, but taking on too much debt won’t help. Make sure you know how to accommodate the new loan in your monthly expenses. If you’re not sure how to figure this out, we can help!

3. Do you know exactly how much you need?

Another pretty obvious one. It’s tempting to consider borrowing more than you need, so you can have a little extra funding for the unexpected, but it’s never worth it. Figure out what you’ll need to cover your holiday expenses, and stick to that amount. Again, if it fits into your repayment budget, consider a Holiday Loan.

4. Do you have a spending plan for the loan amount?

Have a spending plan in mind, and resist impulse purchases. Know what you consider acceptable, and what’s not part of your plan, and stay within the limits of your available funds.

If you’re ready to apply, it’s time to plan ahead and get started. That way you can apply, and if approved, get your cash in time for everything you need, well before the last minute! Call us today at 315.735.8571 to make an appointment.

New Halloween Safety Tips

October 31st, 2016

Boy in skeleton costume holding bowl full of candiesWe want you to have an enjoyable Halloween, so we’re sharing some updated safety tips from our friends at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

Before Halloween

  • Choose bright costumes, and have children carry flashlights or glow sticks so they are easily visible. (Hint: Add reflective tape to costumes and candy bags!)
  • Plan a trick-or-treating route in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets.
  • Make sure children know your cell phone number, their home telephone number, and address, in case you get separated. Consider giving them a cell phone so they can reach you easily.
  • Teach children how to call 911 in an emergency.
  • Teach children to say “NO!” in a loud voice if someone tries to get them to go somewhere, accept anything other than a treat, or leave with them. Tell them to try everything they can to escape, including yelling, hitting, and kicking.

On Halloween

  • Make sure older children take friends and stay together while trick-or-treating.
  • Never send younger children out alone; they should be with a parent, guardian, or another trusted adult.
  • Always walk younger children to the door to receive treats.
  • Don’t let children enter a home unless you are with them.
  • Be sure children do not approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless you are with them.
  • Have a safe, fun, and happy Halloween!

Is a Rewards Credit Card Right for You?

October 17th, 2016

Customer paying for their order with a credit card in a cafe.
There are many credit cards to choose from, and the type you choose will be affected by a number of factors, including your personal and financial goals. We’d like to keep it simple, and give you a few factors to consider before deciding if a rewards card is right for you.

A rewards card is simply a card that gives you something back for using the card. Everything from airline miles to merchandise and even cash back can be yours for using your card. Every card’s rewards formula is different, so make sure you understand what your rewards options are before you decide. Many people have no plans (or desire) to earn or use rewards, and shouldn’t apply for this type of card. Keep it simple!

Other factors include your credit history and credit score, which may qualify (or disqualify) you for a particular card. A high credit score and clean credit history tend to allow you many more choices, including lower rates and costs for a rewards card, while the converse can limit your selection of cards. At First Source, we can analyze these factors for you, and see if you qualify for the card you want.

Finally, if you already own a credit card (or a number of cards), you should take a clear-eyed look at your payment history. If you tend to pay off your full balance every month, a rewards card with a variable interest rate will be a positive addition to your wallet. If you tend to carry balances forward and pay interest charges every month, a low-fixed-rate card without rewards may be more practical.

Consider your goals and plans, then make an appointment at your local branch to let us help you make your decision. We look forward to helping you make a smarter, more rewarding choice!

First Source and the Utica Zoo

October 4th, 2016

We were very proud to sponsor the Utica Zoo Master Plan unveiling reception, “Dream Big with the Utica Zoo”, where the Zoo’s exciting new improvements and future expansion plans were shared with the community. We also pledged major financial support for the new Education Animal Enrichment and Training Center. Who will join us in supporting this amazing gem of the Mohawk Valley? Give to the Utica Zoo here!


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