Nov 18, 2013

Online Banking Security Updates

Bank of Luxemburg is making updates to ensure your online banking experience is even more secure.

Beginning in October, you will be prompted to confirm your personal contact information to ensure a secure online banking experience.

You will be asked to provide or verify the information below so we can immediately send you a verification code (also called one-time passcode).
  • Phone number (you can add more than one for automated voice or text message)
  • Email address (only one is allowed)

Following your one-time passcode, you will need to re-register your computer by marking it private or public based upon your personal security preference. Your online banking experience will also be enhanced for better usability.  A few things you will notice include:
  • Improved navigation on various screens
  • My profile link (formally user options) allows you to update your personal security settings.
  • A more secure way of resetting your password via the phone number(s) you have set up for verification code delivery.
  • Redesigned payment features within the eBill tab.
If you have any questions regarding your online account or Bank of Luxemburg services, please contact your local Bank of Luxemburg.

Sep 26, 2013

Tips for First-time Homebuyers

At Bank of Luxemburg we regularly guide first-time homebuyers through the very exciting, but often confusing, process of purchasing their first home. Bank of Luxemburg’s local lenders can help you with important tasks such as obtaining pre-qualification for a loan, or deciding what monthly mortgage budget you can afford. To get started, check out this brief overview detailing the full buying process from the first step through the door of your lender’s office, to the first step into your new home.

Consumer Tips from Your Community Banker

Home Buying 101

With a generally improved employment picture and continuing low mortgage interest rates, more Wisconsinites are considering buying a home this year. Whether you have your eye on a starter home or a new construction, planning ahead can help ensure you're happy with your new abode after move-in day.

Maybe you've been planning for a while and are clear about what you want. In any case, be sure to consider whether you want to live close to your job or particular schools, the size of the ideal yard, your desire for a garage, the number of rooms, and the composition of the neighborhood-young families, retired couples, or a mixed group?

You can also benefit from identifying your lender, such as a community bank. Consider whether it's important to have a good relationship with a local banker if questions arise down the road. Ask friends and relatives for their recommendations.

A lender will pre-qualify you for a loan of a certain amount, which can help narrow your house search. Based on your credit report, income, and assets, a lender can also provide pre-approval, guaranteeing a loan up to a certain amount and shortening the mortgage application process.

You can then contact a real estate who is a buyer's broker and will help identify potential properties that fit your needs. You can also look at properties yourself and then contact the seller's realtor on your own, but beware that this agent is working in the interests of the seller.

When you're ready to make an offer, your buyer's broker can help you draft the offer to purchase. You may want to include various contingencies, such as specific repairs or a home inspection to prevent any maintenance issues or other unwelcome surprises later.

After you reach a deal with the seller, your lender can help you decide which type of mortgage is best for you-for example, a fixed rate mortgage where the monthly interest and principle payment remains the same for the life of the loan or an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) where the lender may increase the interest rate over time. Your lender can also help you apply for government loans, such as FHA, VA, or WHEDA (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority) loans.

The last stage of home buying is the closing, when you sign the mortgage note and related paperwork. Ask about any item you do not clearly understand. If you are unhappy with any part of the transaction, several regulations including the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act are designed to help resolve problems. Begin by contacting your lender. Other resources are the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); phone: 1-800-669-9777.

These tips are largely from "Buying a Home," a brochure published by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. Read it by following the Financing brochure link on this web page:

Aug 12, 2013

Teaching Financial Literacy

It’s no surprise … Bank of Luxemburg supports financial literacy programs for today’s young people.  We have employees that regularly visit local high schools like Luxemburg-Casco to teach our community’s youth about budgeting, saving, and balancing checkbooks among other important financial skills.  The Community Bankers of Wisconsin agree that teaching our youth financial literacy is an important, yet often overlooked, area and offer some websites and workshops to help parents take control.  

Jul 16, 2013

Budgeting Tips From Your Community Banker

Budgeting is something Bank of Luxemburg discusses with customers on a daily basis.  We agree with this recent article from the Community Bankers of Wisconsin on the same topic.  From unexpected veterinary bills to changes in career, budgets should be looked at thoroughly and regularly.  The CBW takes a thoughtful look at budgeting with great suggestions and helpful online resources.

Jun 3, 2013

Summer Toys

In summertime, kids aren't the only ones who want to have fun. Grown-ups need summer toys too. Budgeting for them can be difficult though. John Kaye, Bank of Luxemburg's Chief Financial Services Officer, has some thoughts on the topic and how to purchase summer toys without "breaking the bank."

May 1, 2013

Home Loans

Buying a home can be an intimidating process. Know what helps? Solid background information from someone you know and trust. Tim Treml, Bank of Luxemburg’s Chief Lending Officer, has useful information about both buying and building a home in today’s market that should save you time, money, and hassle!

Apr 29, 2013

Community Banking

Did you know April is Community Banking Month?  When you’re a community bank, it’s really a reason to celebrate.  At Bank of Luxemburg, our involvement started in 1903 with a group of local farmers pooling their assets together to open a community bank, and that commitment to Luxemburg and the surrounding communities remains strong today.  Bank of Luxemburg remains an involved and supportive part of the community whenever possible.

Bank of Luxemburg is a corporate sponsor for a variety of events including:
  • The Kewaunee County Fair
  • Mardi Gras Event
  • Taste of the County

Bank of Luxemburg supports the economic development of our community through:
  • Kewaunee County Economic Development Program
  • Main Street Program
  • Buy Local Initiative in Kewaunee County

Bank of Luxemburg holds various “drives” to help those in need including:
  • School Supply
  • Toys for Tots
  • Food

There are other ways Bank of Luxemburg stays involved:
  • High School Sports Sponsorship Opportunities and Programs
  • Summer Cookouts (with proceeds benefitting local organizations)
  • Community Easter Egg Hunt
  • Participation in Local Parades

Supporting a local bank means supporting yourself and others like you in the community.  We think our employees say it best.  Check out our YouTube video where real Bank of Luxemburg employees share what community banking means to them.

Apr 8, 2013

Overwhelming Debt?

No one wants to be in debt.  But…it happens.  Instead of giving up and continuing down the same path, think about taking a good, hard look at your debt and coming up with a plan to get out of debt.  The good folks at Bank of Luxemburg also want to help, starting with these easy steps:

Step 1--Don’t Panic
Some people work well under pressure.  More often though, too much pressure can be a hindrance to finding success.  If you are bearing an emotional load due to the debt you’re experiencing, it may be difficult to move forward and deal with it.  With that being said, stop feeling bad and start looking ahead.  The damage is done, and all you can do now is work to fix it.  Any other energy you expend feeling “bad” about it, is quite frankly, just wasted energy.

Step 2--Look at the Big Picture
Are you on the run from creditors?  Is your debt so crushing that you are living in a box, going to bed hungry each night?  Can you not afford the essentials for your children?  Chances are, despite your debt, you have it pretty good.  Keep that in mind as you forge ahead to handle your debt.  Chances are your debt is from a few maxed out credit cards and ongoing student loans.  Count your blessings and realize that compared to the other 97% of the world, you’re actually doing just fine.

Step 3--Make a Plan
To avoid increasing late fees and finance charges, it’s important to not stand idly by and do nothing.  A plan is necessary—a good, solid plan.  Start by looking at how much money you bring in each month and comparing that to how much goes out each month.  What are you spending money on?  Do you see places right off the bat where you can start cutting?  (Sorry morning latte.)  Find as many places to cut your expenses as possible, even if that means a smaller cell phone plan, doing without cable TV, and cancelling monthly memberships and subscriptions.  These cut backs may only be for a short period of time until you get back on track.

List your debts in order of importance:  As you look at the credit cards that are maxed out, consider making extra payments on the ones with the largest interest rates first and then move down the line.  You can even contact the credit card companies and negotiate lower interest rates.  (Minimum payments are not going to cut it, if you want to get out of debt.)

Step 4--Search Out Help
Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s hard to be unbiased when you’re too close to the problem.  That’s why financial experts exist.  A good credit counselor can advise you more objectively on places to cut back, whether debt consolidation is best, and how long it will realistically take to pay off debt.

Reaching out to local experts who can help is a smart idea.  Bank of Luxemburg has staff available for debt consolidation and financial planning.  Call Bank of Luxemburg today at 920 845-2345 to start down a better path. 


Mar 12, 2013

Evaluating Interest Rates

Various financial institutions want to service your loan. Whether it’s a home loan, a car loan, or a personal loan, this can be a big decision. How do you decide if an interest rate is right for you?

First, let’s take a look at where interest rates come from and whether or not there is a standard interest rate or whether they are being selected arbitrarily. Interest rates are based on a couple factors.  One …the amount of money you are looking to borrow. Two … the number of months in the loan’s term. 

Second, learn the difference between fixed and variable interest rates. A fixed interest rate will stay the same for the duration of the loan. A variable interest rate will fluctuate without warning. Also important is to make sure to understand the special terms and conditions that may apply with “special” or “introductory” rates. In other words, be skeptical about “special financing offers,” and be sure to read the fine print.

Third, calculate some numbers on your own before visiting a financial institution. Compare across the board to see which financial institution offers the lowest interest rates given your circumstances.

Determine how many months are reasonable for your loan’s term. Once you discover a suitable interest rate, determine how the lenders you are considering will apply that rate to your loan’s principal. 

It’s always best in these situations to consult with someone you trust to get the best information. Call a Bank of Luxemburg loan officer at (920) 845-2345 to see how our interest rates and service compare. You can also learn more about us by visiting our web page at

Jan 24, 2013

Financial Fitness for 2013!

Looking to start the new year on the right foot?  Here are some great ideas from the Community Bankers of Wisconsin that Bank of Luxemburg endorses.

Create a New Financial Plan for the New Year

Now that the holiday gifts have been unwrapped and thank-you messages expressed, January is a great time to review what went right with your financial goals last year and where you’d like to make improvements in 2013. Are credit card balances larger than expected? Maybe last-minute gift purchases, holiday entertainment or travel expenses were higher than planned. Or, perhaps a year-end emergency required extra cash. 

A financial review can help you set a new direction and get on a stable path for the New Year. First, add up any unexpected year-end expenses. Do they exceed what you can realistically pay within a month or two? 

If these expenses present a real challenge and will likely take several months to pay off, consider how you might confront the task. 

Can you cut back on some expenses? Even several small changes can make a difference. For example, you might decide to join or start a carpool; cut back on soda, alcohol or cigarette purchases; or give up all restaurant meals until the debts are paid off. 
Can you temporarily increase your income? Maybe you can work extra hours, help a neighbor with snow shoveling, or tutor students. 

Once you have a handle on dealing with any recent, higher than expected expenses, look at the year ahead. Try to identify any possible bumps in the financial road. Will you owe additional federal or state taxes? Will there be added travel or school costs this year? 

If your anticipated income will not meet your anticipated expenses, consider how you might close the gap. It’s easier to explore your options now before a foreseen gap becomes a true emergency. 

Can you decrease or eliminate any ongoing expenses? Maybe a neighborhood movie night or board game tournament could substitute for more costly nights out. Many libraries offer after-school programs for children, not to mention free books and DVDs. Maybe you can replace a vacation with trips to local museums or backyard camp-outs. 

Can you increase your income—perhaps by adding a part-time job or offering lessons in your favorite hobby? Maybe this is the time to finally start that business you’ve been dreaming about. If you decide to start a business, begin it as a part-time venture. This is not the time to quit your day job. Still, the desire to increase your income can sometimes lead to the beginning of a new and exciting career path. 

Additional resources: 
Source: Community Bankers of Wisconsin

Bank of Luxemburg Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Edler provides more tips on Fox 11's Living with Amy: