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College Is Expensive... Start Saving Now

By Heather Indelicato & LaTonya Jackson - Midwest BankCentre | October 1, 2018

So, you haven’t started saving for your child’s education… you are not alone! As a matter of fact, nearly half of us (in America) have  savings of less than $500.00. Yes, it is hard as a new “Saver” but with the tips below, you can be well on your way to becoming a Savvy Saver! A simple guide to Start Saving:

  1. Consider when to start saving. NOW! Don’t wait ‘til you get your income tax return, or a windfall of money; save what you can NOW… START NOW! Our Savings Products
  2. Define your goal. Consider the future cost of education and develop a savings plan from there.
  3. Consider the how and where to save:
Piggy Bank Method - Creating the habit to save is more important than the amount that you save. Condition your mind to make saving as routine as daily hygiene. The best way to do this is to put any loose change in a clear container everyday, so that you can feel the pleasure of the buildup
Direct deposit - put money directly in to a savings account automatically on payday! Eliminate the hassle of trying to “put” money in your savings account. And don’t rely on your memory to be prompted to set something aside
Youth Savings Account - A youth savings account gives your child a great place to put their allowance, birthday, and holiday money. Help your child build a savings account and learn about banking in order to ensure a brighter financial future
A 529 Plan - is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future education costs. 529 plans, legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” sponsored by the State of Missouri

Save yourself from stress later…Start Saving now! #saveformore #risingtogether


Silhouettes of Strong Women

Women in Leadership

By Marsha Benney, EVP - Chief Risk Officer & Erin Erhart, EVP - Retail and Fee Services, Midwest BankCentre | August 27, 2018

Search the topic ‘women and leadership’ and you will find any number of articles and books with advice on how to overcome challenges and achieve success in your career. As we reflect on our individual challenges and successes, the following are four lessons we have learned along the way that were helpful in moving us to the next level:

  • Accept a Challenge. Seek out and accept those assignments and career opportunities that will take you outside of your comfort zone and push you beyond your perceived limits. These are the growth opportunities that will take you farther than you expect, increasing your confidence and technical knowledge, opening doors for future opportunity.
  • Manage Perfectionism and Fear of Failure Perfectionism and fear of failure, or the fear of making a mistake, can be significant deterrents. Left un-managed, they may prevent you from seizing opportunities to accept a stretch assignment and/or further advance your potential. Don’t allow fear of failure to stop you from moving forward. It is often said we have more to learn from our failures than our successes.
  • Emotional Intelligence. A healthy dose of emotional intelligence is a key leadership trait. According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy for others and social skill are the hallmarks of emotional intelligence. There are many resources available to learn more about emotional intelligence and help you assess your level of “EI.”
  • Be an Active Learner. Seek to continuously expand your knowledge base and continually hone your leadership skills. Change is constant and you will never reach the point in your career where you have learned everything you need to know.
Career paths are not always linear. There are times when your career may take an unexpected turn. No matter where you are in your journey, it is never too late to invest in yourself. Whether it is obtaining your undergraduate degree, an MBA or other certification, investing in yourself is something no one can take away. A final word to those women who may have taken time away from their career to raise children and/or take care of aging parents: You can absolutely resume your career if you have the desire to do so. Refresh/update your technical knowledge, re-engage your network and immerse yourself in the possibilities.
 
We believe in the power of Rising Together .

 Evening Portrait of Midwest BankCentre's Lemay Branch

The Benefits of Building a Positive Culture

By Amanda Wren & Laura Durnin, Midwest BankCentre | July 30, 2018

Midwest BankCentre is honored to be selected by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as one of St. Louis’ 2018 Top Workplaces. Our selection was based on the responses of our employees to an independent survey conducted by Energage. 

It takes an exceptional team to create a workplace where we enjoy working together, find meaning in what we do and express unity in building community, one relationship at a time. As we extend our thanks to our employees for their daily contributions to our distinguishing spirit of Rising Together®, we also turn our gratitude to you, our valued customers. 

You inspire us to be attentive and responsive to your needs, and to join our efforts with yours to make St. Louis a place of opportunity and prosperity. St. Louis is our home, and we are proud of how our remarkable team expresses generosity: 

  • More than 70% of our employees give to United Way.
  • As a team, we are on track to exceed 5,000 hours of caring community service in 2018.
Your success is our goal. Thank you for the opportunities you extend to us through your trust in us, and for the privilege of serving you.

Since 1906, we pride ourselves in building communities one relationship at a time and want to create the biggest impact because St. Louis is our home. Your success is our goal. We believe in the power of Rising Together.


Scam Alerts!

Things You Should Never Do Online

How to Avoid These Red Flags

By Linda Hemmer, Midwest BankCentre | June 25, 2018

All of the below situations are real and, in some cases these victims are still paying for the scam that they fell for online.

The best way to think about all of these situations is to ask yourself if they are too good to be true. If it’s too good to be true, then it will almost always involve fraud. Do Not be afraid to just say, NO!
  • Do Not share your online banking credentials with someone online - No matter what they are promising to do for you in return
  • Do Not deposit checks that you receive in the mail from an unknown person or business - No one just receives a check in the mail for no reason - these are always scams
  • Do Not sell anything online to someone that lives out of state and is paying you extra for an item to be shipped
    If you do sell something online
        – don’t accept a check for more than the asking price. Meet the buyer at the local police station during daylight hours

    If you decide to accept a check
      – insist that you go to the bank it is drawn on to get a cashier’s check
  • Do Not apply for loans online based on pop-up messages on social media websites like Facebook
  • Do Not make a financial decision based on a phone call that you receive from someone posing as a relative needing help to get out of jail
  • Do Not agree to send money to someone that you have only met online

If you feel you have been the victim of a scam, contact us. We can help you work with the proper authorities to try to resolve your situation.

Since 1906, we pride ourselves in building communities one relationship at a time and want to create the biggest impact because St. Louis is our home. Your success is our goal. We believe in the power of Rising Together  .


Renter to Owner

From Renter to Owner – Are You Ready to Make the Move?

By Kellie Streeper, Midwest BankCentre Mortgage Lender, NMLS #1690311 | June 14, 2018

Most people have rented an apartment or a home when first starting out or when moving into a new area. But given the choice, once they get settled most people would prefer to own their own home. Homeownership is usually a good investment and can have some favorable tax advantages. Here are some things to consider as you take steps to make your dream of owning your own place a reality.

Budget – Create a written budget. This exercise will help identify where you are spending your money and help you determine how much you may be able to save toward a down payment on a new home.

Credit Score - your credit score is a very important part of the home buying process. Basically it shows a lender how much debt you currently have and how likely you are to repay a mortgage. Request your free credit report by going to annualcreditreport.com . Read it carefully, make a note of any false information and take the necessary steps to have that misinformation corrected. Also, check to make sure that your rent payments are being reported correctly. Don’t be discouraged if your report is not perfect or if your score is low. By obtaining your report and reviewing it thoroughly, you will be able to take steps to correct past mistakes and get yourself prepared to buy a home.

Down Payment – In addition to saving for a down payment you may qualify for down payment assistance. Lenders understand that stable neighborhoods strengthen the entire community, so some may offer special programs to help people more easily afford the down payment required to purchase a home. Check with your local bank about any down payment assistance for first time home buyers or for purchases on homes located in certain census tracts.

A little preparation work ahead of time will really pay off in the end. Follow these steps and you’ll be shopping for that new place sooner than you might think! 

Looking to discuss your housing situation? We would love the opportunity to serve you! Since 1906, we pride ourselves in building communities one relationship at a time and want to create the biggest impact because St. Louis is our home. Your success is our goal. We believe in the power of Rising Together .


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How Merchant Services Can Boost Your Business

By Jennifer Kulich, Midwest BankCentre | May 14, 2018

It’s a question almost every business owner eventually encounters: Do I need merchant services? Decades ago, you probably would have been advised to consider the specifics of your industry, your target market, your company’s size and other factors. But these days, in almost every case, the answer is a resounding yes .

Here are six great reasons why you should start accepting credit cards immediately – no matter your business type or whether your company is small, large or somewhere in between:

  1. It legitimizes your business
    Credit card acceptance has become so widespread that consumers may actually feel skepticism toward companies that are not yet equipped with this capability.
  2. It can boost sales
    Being able to accept credit card payments enables sales among consumers who only carry plastic – and also prevents those would-be customers from turning to your credit-card-accepting competitors instead.
  3. It encourages impulse buying
    Some consumers tend to spend more (and make more impulse purchases) when shopping with credit cards than when shopping with cash, simply because they aren’t actually seeing any money leave their hands.
  4. It is crucial for online business
    If you sell products or services online, being able to accept credit card payments is far from optional. It’s downright essential.
  5. It’s convenient for consumers
    Nobody likes to fumble with cash at the checkout counter. By making it easier for people to pay, you may be able to increase your chances of obtaining repeat customers.
  6. It reduces risks
    Don’t fall prey to accepting bad checks. Credit card payments are more reliable – and may even help improve your cash flow!

Looking to discuss your Merchant Services options further? We would love the opportunity to serve you! Since 1906, we pride ourselves in building communities one relationship at a time and want to create the biggest impact because St. Louis is our home . Your success is our goal . We believe in the power of Rising Together.