News Blog

Phone with Apple PayDecorah & Cresco – April 4, 2017 – If you have our debit card, you have a new way to pay! Decorah Bank and Cresco Bank debit cards can now be enrolled in Apple Pay, and used anywhere mobile payments are accepted. Mobile wallets are the latest in smart phone payment technology, and offer a fast and secure method of using your card. Once you are enrolled Apple Pay will provide further instructions on how to use this simple technology. Check out our Mobile Wallet page to learn more about Apple Pay, and other mobile wallet options coming soon!

Interested in Apple Pay but don’t have a debit card? Call now and ask a personal banker to set up your new debit card at 563.382.9661 or 563.547.2244.

Apple Pay and the Apple Logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. registered in the U.S. and other countries


Limestone stairsDecorah – March 9, 2017 – That’s right. You have the capacity to become wealthy. Many of the wealthiest people in America have similar spending habits. It may not be obvious by seeing what millionaires drive or where they shop. You can learn a lot on how to build wealth by looking at these shared habits of the wealthy.

They live within their means and spend less than they earn. Many wealthy people live just like the average household. Many don’t drive expensive cars or live extravagantly. They are content with what they have and don’t try to “keep up with the Jones’s”. As you receive pay raises over the years save the excess.

They automate their savings. You’ve heard the saying “pay yourself first.” Many people use the savings plan that they will save whatever is leftover at the end of each month. For most of us, there won’t be much leftover if we do it that way. Instead, decide how much you will save each month and have that automatically taken out of your paycheck or transferred from your checking account. It’s a painless way to save.

They plan their spending. Make a budget and stick to it. Without a plan, you will spend more than you intend. People are often surprised when they add up what they spend in a year on clothes, restaurants, entertainment, and many other budget categories. A spending plan helps you choose where your money goes and make sure that you are on track to meet your financial goals.

They don’t carry credit card balances. The more monthly payments you have, the harder it is to save. Instead of paying high interest on credit card balances, save for purchases in advance and earn interest on your savings.

They set financial goals. It is important to think ahead about things like purchases you want to make and how much you need to save for retirement. Over half of American workers have never calculated how much money they will need for retirement. You need to set goals and make a plan to reach them.

They take care of their health. Exercise and eating right improves your health which can lower your health care costs.

They maximize their contributions to retirement savings. Any saving you do now will create big returns for you later.

As you can see it’s the little habits that will bring you the most glory. It takes more than dreaming about becoming wealthy – with a little savvy planning and pinching pennies, you’ll be well on your way to building wealth.

Enjoy the journey!

Decorah Bank leadership Joe Grimstad, Donna Thomas, and Ben GrimstadDecorah & Cresco – February 21, 2017

Greetings!  The books are closed for 2016 and we just finished preparing thousands of tax notices for interest paid and earned. 2016 was a solid year for the bank. Following are some highlights.

If you look around town there is quite a bit happening! The Bank is an active partner in many of the projects you see. These projects don’t happen without entrepreneurs with a vision and a willingness to put their capital at risk.  We are proud to support these projects and their owners investing in their future.

The basics of banking haven’t changed. We gather deposits from many and lend those out to people, businesses and farms. The spread between what we earn and pay is our margin. Our margin covers our overhead and risk and provides a profit. We also earn fees from managing money and other assets and underwriting and servicing home loans. We were fortunate to grow a little in all areas in 2016 which is healthy growth.

Agriculture is a big part of our local economy and our farmers are working through a second year of low commodity prices which slows their spending and investing. There is no telling how long a down cycle will last. Factors include weather, global trade, politics and more. We’re having lots of productive discussions with our farm customers about how to adjust through this cycle.

The Bank saw many big projects in 2016. We re-issued over 7,000 debit cards featuring the new chip technology.  This was an important project for us because it is a more secure way of using debit cards. This should help protect our customers and the bank by reducing fraud cases and loss. Of course fraudsters are adapting and have found new ways to commit financial crime. It’s a good idea to remain vigilant in who you trust. We’re here to help!

A logo refresh and new website was another undertaking for us last year. Our classic diamond has served us well and now we added a little color for more energy and combined the look in both Decorah and Cresco. This move provides us some efficiencies and a combined website. Decorah Bank and Cresco Bank are one, but each proudly carries the name of the community it serves which we think is important.

We thank you for banking with us. We know there are many options for banking and financial services. Just like shopping locally stimulates our community, provides jobs and supports families, so too does banking locally. We employ over 90 employee-owners (through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan) who are active in our community.

In 2017 we will bring you real-time technology, mobile payments, two more ag bankers offering crop insurance, an expanded home mortgage team offering mobile and online application technology, and continued wealth management services.

Our doors are always open! We recognize the ease and speed of electronic banking and communication, but know that there will always be a live person here ready to greet you with a smile.

Thanks again and we wish you a healthy and prosperous 2017!

In the Driftless Area & beyond

Decorah & Cresco – January 20, 2017 – Buying and maintaining a home is a big deal. It’s quite the commitment. Feel confident knowing that we offer a knowledgeable team of eleven employee owners to support you during the life of your loan. We’ll have you relaxing with your favorite beverage on your comfy couch in your new home before you know it.

Do you like the tech approach? We are equipped with online mortgage application technology, backed by our team of bankers, making the home financing process more convenient for you.

Call, stop in, or apply online!

Picture of the Mortgage Team: Dorothea Dahlen, Emily McConnell, Mike Huinker, Laura Schmauss, Becky Mitchell, BreeAnn Hageman, Jody Roberts, Muriel Lensch, Joe Grimstad, Rachel Kemp, Ruth Schraeder

Mortgage Team: Dorothea Dahlen, Emily McConnell, Mike Huinker, Laura Schmauss, Becky Mitchell, BreeAnn Hageman, Jody Roberts, Muriel Lensch, Joe Grimstad, Rachel Kemp, Ruth Schraeder

That’s right, not one, but two open houses happening this week!

Reagan Barta will perform at Decorah Bank December 22, 2016

Decorah Bank & Trust’s Christmas Open House is 9-4 on Thursday, December 22nd. You’ll be treated to homemade treats and hot cider all day long. Pianist Reagan Barta will play from 2-4 pm. Reagan is a 22 year old freelance musician that has 10 years of performing experience. Reagan is an advanced level pianist and improvisationalist who is trained and an experienced performer in multiple genres and is classically trained with an emphasis in Romantic time period music. He has composed and arranged multiple pieces for both voice and instruments. Reagan has also trained and received lessons under multiple master class pianists, the most nifty being Frank Sinatra’s. Then, at 4 pm, the children that won the Christmas Coloring Contest will gather for a photograph and collect their cuddly teddy bear.
Cresco Bank & Trust is offering a week-long celebration with cookies and coffee. Pop in anytime! Plus, for every signature we collect in our guestbook we will donate $1 to the Howard-Winneshiek Service Learning Committee. This committee provides clothing for children in need. Join us!

Julie with one of Decorah Bank’s ITMs which also functions as an ATM

Decorah – December 20, 2016 – Now you can have the best of both worlds when it comes to doing banking transactions with your money. You may be familiar with the two Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) at Decorah’s main location drive-thru on Water Street. These ITMs offer a live teller on the screen to help with your transaction. Now you get to choose if you want ITM or ATM functionality during business hours. After business hours these two machines will work as the ATMs most people are accustomed. Stop by and give our ITM/ATMs a try.

Cresco – October 25, 2016 – Greetings from Cresco Bank. This picture was taken by Zahasky Photography in October 2016, they really know their way around a camera, wouldn’t you say?


Cresco – October 13, 2016 – Here’s someone you should get to know. Kaitlyn Otteson joins us as a personal banker. Kaitlyn has nearly two years of experience in customer support and as a banking assistant for the lending team at our Decorah location. Help us welcome Kaitlyn to Cresco and stop in to say hello!dsc_0054

Decorah – November 10, 2016 – Do you remember the song, “Our house”, Madness © 1982? On November 9, 2016, there was literally a house in the middle of the streets of Decorah. We secured a buyer for our big blue gem that retains its original wood work, charming character and great “bones”. We are excited to tell you that the new owner has successfully moved this soon-to-be restored beauty from Riverside Avenue to Mechanic Street and will give it new life. This exciting project will give new purpose and usefulness to this old home, will keep it out of the landfill, and keep it in our community’s much-needed housing inventory.



Decorah-October 5, 2016 – A warm welcome to Jody Roberts, pictured 3rd from left, who joins the Decorah team with 27 years of banking experience! She’s now a part of the leading mortgage lending team in the region. If you talked with Jody you’d quickly see how she embraces top-notch customer care and commitment to community. Decorah Bank knows that being a part of something great doesn’t just happen, it requires hiring and retaining the brightest and best employees. Whether you’re just beginning your career, or taking it to the next level, stop by to pick up an application or drop off your resume – we just might have the right career for your future.