May 25, 2012

Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc. Declares Dividend

Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc. Declares Dividend

Luxemburg, WI, May 24, 2012—Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc., parent company of Bank of Luxemburg, announced the approval of a semi-annual dividend of $.52 per share, payable on June 15, 2012, to shareholders of record as of June 4, 2012. The dividend was increased from the dividend of $0.51 per share paid on June 24, 2011.

President John Slatky noted, “The dividend reflects an improvement in earnings in 2012 and is an example of the solid financial position of Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc. and Bank of Luxemburg. While the Bank continues to contend with the challenging economy and the current real estate market, the Bank is profitable and expects to remain profitable.”

Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc. and Bank of Luxemburg have banking offices in Luxemburg, Green Bay, Forestville, Dyckesville, Casco and Algoma. The company also operates Raymond James Financial Services, offering financial planning and the sale of alternative investments to its customers in each community. For more information about Luxemburg Bancshares, Inc. contact John Slatky at 1-920-845-2345.

May 10, 2012

How to Become a Good Loan Candidate

From car purchases to mortgages, almost everyone needs loans throughout their life. When you need a loan, you’ll want to ensure you are able to get the loan you need, at a desirable interest rate. That’s why you should do everything you can to make yourself a good candidate for a loan.

How to become a good candidate for a loan:
  • Pays your bills on time—every bill, every month.
  • Maintain a good credit score.
  • Save for a down payment or find a source for down payment funds.
  • Have a good source of collateral (i.e., your home or business) 

Your Credit Score
A credit score is primarily based on credit report information typically sourced from credit bureaus (see below). Maintaining a good credit score is a key factor in determining your suitability for a loan. If you are just starting out establishing credit, or need to improve your credit, here are a few things to keep in mind:
  •  Avoid maxing out credit lines on cards or loans.
  • Avoid applying for excessive credit (numerous department store credit cards can add up).
  • Consistently make payments on time.
  • Pay down the balances currently on credit cards or loans.
  • Satisfy any “past due” bills.
  • Request and review copies of your credit report and verify the information for accuracy.

Obtaining a Credit Report
You are entitled to one free credit report—within a 12-month period—from each of the three major credit bureaus. The bureaus run where you can get your free credit report. Your credit score is available for an extra $10 fee. If you dispute something on your report you can request an investigation and/or ask that a note be included in your file. The FICO credit score is the most common. It ranges between 300 and 850. As a rough rule of thumb, ideal loan candidates—those with the easiest time getting a loan at the lowest interest rate and associated fees—usually have scores above 740. Bank of Luxemburg will work with each customer on an individual basis to find the best loan option for you, even if your credit score is not ideal.

If you have questions about obtaining a loan, contact your local Bank of Luxemburg for information and advice.

May 7, 2012

Loan Consolidation

When is Loan Consolidation a Good Idea?

Do you feel that you’re drowning in debt? In some cases, individuals with a large amount of high-interest debt may see a benefit from a debt consolidation loan. Usually a debt consolidation loan is a single, lower-interest loan used to to pay off your other, higher-interest loans. This allows you to make only one monthly payment, pay off what you owe more quickly and take advantage of a lower interest rate.

Debt consolidation isn’t a free pass though. It takes the willpower to follow through on paying off current debt and changing your spending habits.

1.     Calculate your debt load by listing of all of your current debts (excluding your mortgage) and determine what you owe in total. For discussion purposes today, let’s say it’s $20,000.

2.     Next add up the monthly payments you’re making on these accounts. (For credit cards this can vary. Use an average of your last several payments.) Again, let’s use a figure just for our discussion and say your monthly payments total $1100.00.

3.     Seek the best loan for consolidating your debt. Usually this means looking at one of the following:

  •  Home equity loans & lines of credit can offer lower interest rates and, because they’re a type of mortgage, the interest you pay may be tax-deductible.
  • Cash-out refinancing is taking out a new mortgage on your home that’s larger than your current one. For example, if you have a $100,000 mortgage and your house is worth $200,000, you could take out a new mortgage for $120,000 and use the extra $20,000 to pay off your credit cards or higher-interest auto loan. Even if your monthly mortgage payment increases your total monthly payments (current mortgage payment plus the $1100.00 we mentioned above) will decrease and you’ll pay much less interest in the long run.
  • A personal loan offers interest rates that can be higher than a home equity loan, but usually lower than credit cards.

When comparing loans, don’t forget to include upfront fees and points as well as the interest rate and use each loan’s annual percentage rate (APR) for comparison purposes.

Make a plan and stick to it!
Look at the time it will take you to pay off your debt. Home equity loans and personal loans have a fixed term, so you’ll know exactly how long you will be paying.

If you’ve decided to consolidate with a home equity line of credit you’ll be making a small minimum payment every month—but this will not usually reduce your debt. In this case, determine how much you can afford each month on top of the minimum payment. Setting up automatic payments can help you keep on track.

Controlling spending is key.
This final step is key… Debt consolidation only works if you change your spending and don’t incur significant debt again. If you don’t change your habits you’ll end up in trouble again in a short while.

There are numerous companies that offer loan consolidation services for a FEE. Make a smart choice if you decide consolidation is your best alternative—contact your local Bank of Luxemburg for advice and assistance you can trust!