One Size Fits for Life

by Elizabeth Sherman 26. September 2012

Is Your Business in the Right Checking Account?

Recently, I got a call from a potential new customer inquiring about our business checking accounts. These calls always get my blood pumping with the anticipation that the business on the other end of the line will need every service I can offer. It can be very exciting!

In this case, the business was a startup and not expected to carry very high balances for the first year. In an attempt to put this business in the right account, I asked a few questions. How many deposits will you make each month? How many checks will you write each month? What is the anticipated average balance each month? Based on the answers, I was able to suggest an account that mirrored the needs of the customer. Okay – end of story, right?

WRONG!

The type of account that may work during the infancy stages of a business will most likely be detrimental to the business as it grows. With any luck, as the business grows, so will the volume of transactions processed through the account. It is for this reason that banks offer a multitude of business accounts. Each account offers something different, whether it’s a higher number of transactions allowed or a higher balance requirement.

It is imperative that you, as the business owner, keep an eye on your account and assess the activity that flows through the account. If you suddenly start to see service fees where there were none the month before, look at the volume of transactions. Has it increased dramatically over the months? If so, touch base with your banker to find out what options you have to upgrade to an account that will fit your growing business. The most basic business account that initially appears to be the best value could end up costing you a bundle in fees.

As a Business Banker, it is my job to sell business products, but more importantly, to bring in new business and help business owners navigate through the product jungle we call banking. I can suggest every product under the sun, but if it isn’t a good fit, I won’t have that business for long.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out these related articles:

I do, I do, I do...believe in my business

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It's 11:00 p.m. Do You Know Where Your Money Is?

Buy Local, Bank Local

by Renee' Anderson 19. September 2012

Buy Local, Bank LocalWhether you were born and raised in Maryland or have recently joined the community, I’m sure we all agree that it is important to support Maryland businesses. Growing up in a Baltimore suburb myself, I try to do my part in helping my community flourish. WMAR-TV’s Buy Local, Buy Maryland program is a great way to help me accomplish that!

If you are looking for ways to share in this, read on!

Basically, Buy Local, Buy Maryland is a customer savings club, featuring locally owned businesses. Card holders can save money by shopping in the stores featured in the program! Your member card and key tag that will give you exclusive savings and rewards when you spend your money at the featured businesses in Maryland. Participating retailers are listed on the website, www.BuyLocalBuyMaryland.com.

1st Mariner Bank found its way to the Buy Local, Buy Maryland program as well. Being a local bank, we know that the best customer service comes from local businesses, so we jumped on the opportunity to sponsor WMAR-TV’s Buy Local, Buy Maryland program. Local businesses help create jobs, reduce environmental impact and keep our communities unique!

Not only are we sponsoring Buy Local, Buy Maryland, we have a deal of our own! Businesses, bring this flyer into your nearest 1st Mariner Bank branch to open a checking account with no application fee! View the flyer for more details.

Visit www.BuyLocalBuyMaryland.com for more information, today!

For more information about 1st Mariner Bank's sponsorships, community activities and other news, visit 1st Mariner Bank's News and Updates page.

How Your Credit Score Affects Your Health

by Stacy Tharp 5. September 2012

Having a good credit score is important. We all know that. We’ve all seen the commercials, been told who checks our scores and why, and heard horror stories about what can happen when you have a bad credit history. (But if you’d like a refresher on credit scores, read Credit Scores: GPAs for Adults.) But what if I told you that having poor credit can have adverse effects on not just your financial life, but also on your health?

Before I begin to explain my reasoning behind this claim, it is important to note that I am not a doctor, nor do I have a medical degree, nor have I ever considered attempting a medical degree. That was a career path that I was able to quickly rule out after nearly passing out in high school Biology class while attempting to dissect the organs of farm animals…but that’s a story for another day. (Stay tuned!) I DO, however, have the ability to perform some skillful research! So with that, I’d like to share some of my findings.

Stress

Calls from creditors or collection agencies, realizing that you are spending more money than you’re making, waking up each morning in fear that this will be the day that your water or electricity will be turned off, an unexpected and costly emergency for which you are financially unprepared. These are all examples of situations that could easily leave you in a perpetual state of stress. According to Psych Central, long-term stress can cause high blood pressure, susceptibility to infection, slow recovery from illnesses and possibly even diabetes.

Health Insurance

Since many employers check their potential employees’ credit scores, having a low credit score can make it difficult for you to find a job. If you can’t get a job because of your credit score, besides having something to add to the list of things that can cause you stress, you won’t be able to take advantage of low health insurance rates that companies often provide for their employees. You may be forced to purchase insurance with high premiums, high deductibles, and/or limited coverage. Having sub-par health insurance might lead you to try to avoid visits to the doctor’s office, which of course could lead to the possibility of medical issues not being properly addressed.

Emotional Health

According to Daily Finance, overspending can be connected to such emotional states as avoidance, depression and low self-esteem. Overspending can in turn lead to a low credit score due to high credit card balances. These emotional states are most likely a cause, rather than an effect, of overspending. According to Advantage Credit Counseling Service, having a positive mental outlook is essential for effective debt management.

If you have experienced any of the symptoms or behaviors I have mentioned, it is essential that you talk to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

If you have difficulty managing your debt, here are a few things you can try:

Be sure to teach your children at a young age how to be financially responsible, and maintain that good credit score yourself, if not for financial reasons, then for your health!

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

True or False? Five Myths About Credit Scores Unveiled

Four Things the Easter Bunny Taught Me About My Credit

How I Graduated Debt-free from College



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