Thinking About a Personal Loan? We’re Here to Help
Most banks designate loans for specific purchases. You buy a home with a mortgage, you buy a car with an auto loan and you pay for college with a student loan. But there are times when you may need money for other things. For those situations, a personal loan offers many advantages.
Personal loans can be used for almost anything:
- Consolidate credit card debt
- Make improvements to your home
- Go on vacation
- Spend for the holidays
- Buy a car
- Pay medical expenses
If you’re ready to move forward with a personal loan, you should take a few steps before you begin your loan application:
- Get a complete credit report.
More than 20 percent of all credit reports contain errors that make potential borrowers appear riskier than they are. If you find inaccuracies in yours, report them immediately to the credit bureau that provided the report and to the creditor that provided the information to the credit bureau. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, both parties are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. Get a free credit report.
- Create a budget.
That will show you how much you can afford to borrow and how long you’ll be paying it back. If your budget allows for larger monthly payments, you can take out a shorter-term loan, saving you money. Use our budget tool.
- Gather your financial information.
Although the personal loan application process is significantly more streamlined than applying for a mortgage, some basic information is required. You’ll need to provide proof of income, your most recent tax returns and your Social Security number.
If you’re thinking about buying that new car, remodeling your kitchen or taking that vacation you’ve been dreaming about, stop into your local First Nebraska Bank. Our experienced loan officers are happy to sit down with you to discuss all of your financial options so you have the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family.
Four Steps to Protect Your Identity
Although online information security is continually improving, so are the tools and techniques of those who want to break that security and access your private information. Why does a hacker want your Facebook, Twitter or Gmail login information? What can they gain from seeing your Yahoo emails?
What Do Hackers Want From Me?
Hackers don’t care about reading your emails or your latest tweet. They are hacking online companies to steal your personal information because there is a lucrative market for it on the dark web. Buying and selling personal information has become an industry, and business is booming. Hackers will try your stolen password on every banking, retail and investment website to see if you use the same password on other sites. Why do they bother to do this? Simple. It works.
They continue to get away with it because it’s difficult for law enforcement to stop them. Most hacking operations are set up in countries that don’t have strong privacy laws, don’t have the resources to enforce them or don’t extradite criminals.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself?
Each of us can do our part to protect ourselves and minimize the overall damage caused by high-profile data breaches:
- Use a different password for all your online accounts.
It can be challenging to maintain multiple logins, but there are several tools available that will do it for you. LastPass, 1Password and DashLane are just a few trusted apps.
- Always use double authentication when available.
Also called two-factor authentication, this practice gives you an extra layer of protection from hackers by asking you to verify your identity when you log in. If the site you’re using offers it, activate it.
- Use a phrase instead of a single word for your password.
Think of something that is easy for you, but only you, to remember. What’s your favorite line from a movie? Your favorite inspirational quote? Favorite song title? Phrases are more difficult than words for hackers to compromise.
- If a service you use has a data breach, change your password immediately.
If the website says your data was not compromised, change your password immediately. If the site says that it was a false alarm and that there was no data breach, you guessed it – change your password immediately.
Your personal data is valuable to criminals, but you can take these simple steps to help protect it. At First Nebraska Bank, protecting your data security is crucial to us. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please stop by your local First Nebraska Bank location. We’ll be happy to discuss it with you.