News Blog

October 16, 2017 – Decorah & Cresco – To promote local shopping we’re giving away $1,000 in cash! Two people will win $500 in December. Here’s your opportunity to join us in supporting our local retail community. You’ll automatically be entered to win $500 every time you use your debit card to make a purchase in Howard and Winneshiek Counties in November and December.

One qualifier (contestant) will be selected at random each day and notified by phone. On December 20, 2017, two qualifiers will be randomly selected to win $500 in cash. We will announce the winners on December 20th. 

Qualifier’s and winner’s first name with last initial will post on this page and the Bank’s Facebook/Twitter pages. 

No purchase necessary. See details below.

Interested in a Debit Card MasterCard® (https://www.decorahbank.com/debit-card/)? Stop in or call 563.382.9661 or 563.547.2244 to set up your debit card.

Are you a business owner that would like your business featured in this shop local promotion? Click here.

Lots of contestants, two will win $500

 

Prize details: Use your Decorah Bank or Cresco Bank debit card however you like, as a debit or credit, where Debit Card MasterCard® is accepted at retailers physically located in Howard and Winneshiek Counties from November 1 – December 19, 2017, and you’ll be automatically entered to win $500. One randomly selected qualifier will be chosen daily during the 34 business day promotional period. Thirty-four (34) qualifiers and two (2) winners will be notified by phone. Qualifier’s and winner’s first names with last initials will be listed on DecorahBank.com and the Bank’s Facebook and Twitter pages. A $500 check will be presented or mailed to each winner within 7 days of winning.

A debit card or purchase does not increase your chances of winning. To enter without a debit card or purchase: Mail or drop off a 3″ x 5″ postcard with your name, address, and phone number to Decorah Bank & Trust Co., Debit Card Drawing, 202 East Water Street, Decorah, IA 52101. Mail-in entries must be postmarked by December 11 and received by December 18, 2017, to be eligible. Enter as often as you wish; however, each mail-in entry must be mailed in a separate postmarked, stamped envelope and not mechanically reproduced, illegible, or incomplete – any such entries are considered invalid. Any expenses not specified relating to the acceptance and use of a prize are the responsibility of the recipient. Must be 16 years or older as of November 1, 2017, to win. Employees and their immediate household family members are ineligible to win. Member FDIC.

 

picture of Brendon Kacher

October 10, 2017 – Decorah and Cresco – Brendon Kacher understands that operating a successful business or farm is more than numbers. It’s about knowing where you are today, identifying goals, and making smart choices. Brendon is now located at our Cresco location after spending over a year at our Decorah location helping customers. He has a passion for helping farmers succeed and knows that helping others do their best is at the heart of what we do every day. If you would like to meet Brendon, give him a call at 563.547.2244 and he’ll meet you at your farm or business.

Presidents

Decorah Bank leaders Joe and Ben Grimstad pictured with Cresco Bank president, Donna Thomas.

September 22, 2017 – Decorah & Cresco – Family and employee-owned Decorah Bank & Trust Company is named among the top one-percent most extraordinary banks in the United States by The Institute for Extraordinary Banking™. Decorah Bank & Trust and its affiliate, Cresco Bank & Trust Co., was recognized with the Institute’s Banky™ Award for its commitment to excellence in banking and its community.

Decorah Bank’s CEO Ben Grimstad says, “The award recognizes strong performance in community banking. It considers employee culture, customer service, community involvement, and thought leadership initiatives which are important to us.”

The Extraordinary Banking™ Awards exist to highlight the vital, yet often overlooked role community banks play in the economy. Consumers use the Grammys to guide their music purchases, the Emmys to watch the best of television, and the Tonys to enjoy the most outstanding theater.

[Video: 1:39] Click below to view Ben Grimstad thanking customers and the community for the Bank being named as Extraordinary in Banking.

Team hands within logo symbolSeptember 22, 2017 – Decorah – If working for a high-energy company that loves its customers appeals to you and you have administrative assistant skills, you’ll want to check out this exciting career opportunity!

Decorah Bank and Trust Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. Decorah Bank & Trust Company is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. Minority | Female | Disabled | Veteran

September 13, 2017 – As you may or may not have heard, Equifax Inc., a credit reporting agency announced that they had experienced a cyber security incident potentially impacting up to 143 million U.S. consumers. We, Decorah Bank, have received initial notification from Equifax that they found no evidence of unauthorized activity on any of the information that the Bank has provided for credit purposes. Although this is good news, it does not mean that your information wasn’t impacted by this breach as you may have had credit checks performed elsewhere. At this point, assume that these cyber criminals have all of your highly personal information. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

Watch out for the following:

  • Phishing emails that claim to be from Equifax where you can check if your data was compromised
  • Phishing emails that claim there is a problem with a credit card, your credit record, or other personal financial information
  • Calls from scammers that claim they are from your bank or credit union
  • Fraudulent charges on any credit card because your identity was stolen

Consider these 6 steps to help prevent identity theft:

  • Sign up for credit monitoring (there are many companies providing that service including Equifax but we cannot recommend that)
  • Place a fraud alert on all three of your credit files. For more information visit the Federal Trade Commission on how to place a fraud alert.
  • Freeze your credit files with all three major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Remember that generally it is not possible to sign up for credit monitoring services after a freeze is in place. For more information about freezing your credit files, visit the Federal Trade Commission Credit Freeze FAQs. The following are phone numbers and links for the three major credit bureaus: (These websites are experiencing a high volume of traffic and may be temporarily unavailable)

Equifax Credit Freezehttps://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp
P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, Georgia 30348
Toll-Free: 1.800.685.1111

TransUnion Credit Freezehttps://freeze.transunion.com/
Fraud Victim Assistance Department P.O. Box 6790 Fullerton, CA 92834
Toll-Free: 1.888.909.8872

Experian Credit Freezehttp://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013
Toll-Free: 1.888.397.3742

  • Check your credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com
  • Regularly check your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized activity. Fraudsters know you will be on high alert immediately following this attack, so ongoing monitoring of your accounts is critical.
  • If you believe you may have been the victim of identity theft, and are a Decorah Bank/Cresco Bank account holder, we offer a free service to assist you! Call or stop in for details and personal assistance.

 

 

construction on  new parking lotDecorah – September 6, 2017 – We’re excited that work has begun on our additional staff parking lot. It will provide 23 parking spaces for our growing staff and will help make parking more available for others on the East end of downtown. Unique features of the lot are a solar production canopy and rainwater runoff gardens.

Young mother teaching her children at homeOpportunities galore

Decorah & Cresco – September 5, 2017 – If your child is old enough to ask you to buy them a toy, they are old enough to start learning basic financial lessons. The best teachable moments come in everyday moments – usually while shopping or viewing an advertisement. Look for opportunities to talk about money, read books and play games that involve spending wisely and saving money.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

While shopping
Tangible items will provide good examples of needs and wants. During a grocery store visit, you can show that an apple is a good source of energy and a candy bar doesn’t have any health benefits.

Explaining your pay check
For older children, you can talk about how the work you get paid to do helps to pay for your housing, meals and clothes, and how you like to set money aside to save for costly emergencies, future college expenses, vacations, etc.

Paying bills
Show your child a bill and then talk about how you are able to pay for it. Talk about how you will pay for it: by check, cash, or from your online bank account. Explain how this money comes from your bank account and your funding source (eg. your pay check). Be sure to cover late penalties and emphasizing the importance of paying bills on time.

Embracing chores
Assign tasks and give them a monetary value. Your job is to pay them fairly and on a routine basis after the tasks are completed by the child. Discuss ways to budget and encourage them to divide each “pay day” into spend, save, and share categories. Help your child to set a goal, such as saving for a toy.

Planning a get-away
Set aside a family savings goal that involves your children. Figure out the cost and discuss ways everyone can contribute to reaching the target by vacation day.

Going to the bank
Bring your kiddos with you and show them how transactions work. Bank employees can explain how a bank operates, how saving money generates interest in their savings account, and how community banks help the community. If you’re getting a loan, don’t shy away from bringing in your older child. There’s a lot a child can observe during each visit. Plus, who doesn’t love a child with an inquisitive mind?

 

Dollar SignsDecorah & Cresco – September 1, 2017 – In an effort to improve the U.S. payments system, you may have noticed a change in the times during the day the electronic Direct Deposits post to your account. This recent change was made by NACHA (National Automated Clearing House Association) as part of phase 1 of the Same-Day ACH Rule to help provide you with faster access to your same-day credits.

Beginning on Friday, September 15, 2017, phase 2 of the Same-Day ACH Rule will change the times that electronic debit payments post to your account. Once the second phase of this rule goes into effect, any ACH debit can clear your account on the same day it is initiated. ACH debits include, but are not limited to, automatic drafts, check conversions and electronic payments.

For example, if you write a check at ABC Store and they turn your check into an electronic payment, that check could clear your Decorah Bank & Trust account the same day you write it.

Other things you should know:

  • When you authorize a merchant or biller to debit your account with Decorah Bank & Trust, the merchant or biller should include information or a statement about the timing of the payment. If the merchant or biller offers the consumer the option to make a same-day payment, it might be referred to as a same-day payment, or noted that they intend to collect the funds as quickly as possible. That means that debit may withdraw funds from your account on the same day.
  • You should always have sufficient funds in your account to cover every payment you make, authorize, or initiate. You should frequently review your transaction history and your account statements.
  • If you have pre-authorized a recurring electronic payment, such as a water bill, insurance payment, newspaper subscription, cable bill, etc., there will likely be no change to the time these payments are posted to your account.
  • Decorah Bank & Trust has no control over when these ACH files are received and/or when they post to your account.
  • Same-Day ACH impacts all financial institutions, not just Decorah Bank & Trust.

In short, we’re doing our part to make it faster and easier for our customers to make payments, and to update account balance information more frequently during the day. Should you have any questions about how the new Same-Day ACH rule can affect your automatic debits, please contact Customer Support at 563.387.5230.

Piggy Bank CHalkboard $+$=College

Hint, it has nothing to do with test scores.

Decorah & Cresco – September 1, 2017 – College students have a tremendous understanding of test scores and GPAs, but how can we help them understand their credit score and the value of saving? Here is the American Banker’s Association top 10 tips that are designed to give students an edge on mastering personal finance. If you are a college student and take these nine tips into account, you will be well on your way to success.

  1. Congratulations! You are in charge. You are responsible for your finances, and you should act accordingly by creating a realistic budget or plan and stick to it.
  2. Watch spending. You control your money, determining how you spend or save it. Pace spending and increase saving by cutting unnecessary expenses like eating out or shopping so that your money can last longer.
  3. Use credit wisely. Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. How you handle your credit in college will affect you after graduation.
  4. Use your bank account. Banks are more than money in a vault. Bankers offer valuable services like mobile banking apps, balance alerts, direct deposit services, financial education, and identity theft resolution services.
  5. New is out. Consider buying used books or ordering them online.
  6. Entertain on a budget. Get creative with fun activities to keep you busy in college. Make simple recipes instead on eating out.
  7. Be picky. Don’t trust just anyone with your money. Be skeptical of classmates, friends, or salespeople that have ideas for your money.
  8. Save it. Things happen, and it’s important that you are financially prepared when your vehicle or computer breaks. No matter how small the amount, you should start putting some money away. Start today.
  9. Just ask. Mastering your finances is a journey. Your parents or your banker are a good place to start learning.

Source: ABA.com/Consumers

Financial Education on chalk board

Getting ready for the real world

Decorah & Cresco – August 14, 2017 – As the back-to-school date approaches, many of today’s younger consumers are likely gearing up to spend money, yet among U.S. adults ages 18-34, just over half are paying bills on time. Furthermore, 44% of high school students report that they don’t know what a credit score measures, according to a recent study conducted by the Consumer Federation of America. We want to help change these numbers.

Decorah Bank and Cresco Bank is trying to change those statistics at a local level by providing financial literacy education to our Decorah, South Winneshiek, and Turkey Valley High School students and our Crestwood Middle School students. To help in that endeavor, we have partnered with EverFi, the nation’s leading education technology company. To date, EverFi’s financial literacy programs have helped 209 area students, equating to 1,260 hours of learning in these four schools. The eight-hour program per student covers key financial topics such as saving and budgeting, financing higher education, identity protection, credit scores, and more through web-based courses that use video, 3-D gaming, avatars, and social networking to bring financial concepts to life. Course curriculum aligns with both the state of Iowa and national financial literacy standards.

According to pre-and post-assessment surveys, students’ knowledge of the primary financial topics rose by an average of 49%. We’re excited to be supporting this kind of change and helping teach the next generation of adults.