Protect Yourself While Shopping Online

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Many consumers will do some, if not most, of their holiday shopping on the Internet. According to the National Retail Federation, the average shopper will do 44% of their holiday shopping online, most in survey’s history. But as more consumers turn to the Internet to do their shopping so do the fraudsters with their scams. West Suburban Bank® suggests that consumers follow some simple steps to protect themselves while shopping online

Some people like to shop online because of the convenience and others like the exclusive sales available only on the Web. Whatever the reason, we all have to take steps to protect ourselves and our financial information. Don’t let the spirit of the season get ruined by online fraud.

West Suburban Bank offers the following tips:

If you’re not sure, don’t share. Anyone can set up a website these days so be sure you’re familiar with the retailer’s site before you give them any of your financial information. The Better Business Bureau has a list of about 70,000 safe websites. Check it out at: http://www.bbb.org/online/consumer/default.aspx

Is the site secure? Look for the ‘s’ in https:// and a small padlock at the bottom of the screen before entering any payment information.

Know the terms of your purchase. Is the product returnable and if so, who pays the shipping fees? How long will the product take to ship? What does shipping cost? Read the fine print. If it’s not clear or you don’t agree, make the purchase elsewhere.

Print & Save. Be sure to print and save the transaction receipt, the order number, a customer service phone number, and any other information you can just in case there’s a problem with your order.

Check the privacy policy. Find out what they’re doing with your information by reading the privacy policy. If it’s too complicated to read or they don’t have one, choose to do business with a more consumer friendly website.

TMI. Don’t divulge too much information to anyone on the Internet. If a website is asking for your bank account number, social security number or driver’s license number, don’t share it.

Know your rights. If you suspect you are a victim of fraud, notify the financial institution involved, you can also contact the Federal Trade Commission at: http://www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Visit our Consumer Security Tips page to learn more about the ways you can be proactive in protecting your accounts.

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Is it time to Refinance Your Home?

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There are many reasons why homeowners choose to refinance their home. You can save time and money by lowering your rate or shortening the term on your loan. If you have equity in your home, you may even qualify to take out additional funds to use for other expenses, such as tuition, a new car or a home improvement project.

Typically, you would refinance to lower your rate, or perhaps you have a variable rate and want to get a fixed rate so you do not have to worry about the uncertainty of your rate going up during the term of the loan. You will also want to factor in mortgage closing costs, application fees, appraisal fees and other charges that may significantly eat up your savings.

Another possibility, if you’re looking to refinance your mortgage is to consider a home equity loan. If you qualify to refinance your first mortgage with a home equity loan, you could potentially save thousands in closing costs and other fees.

Run the numbers and see how much you will saving in the end. You can find mortgage calculator online to help you. When you are reviewing your mortgage, you should consider rates, types of mortgages, monthly payments, fees associate with the loan, closing costs, and how long you plan to be in your home. There are plenty of reasons to refinance your home; however, some of them may not be beneficial. Before you make the decision to refinance, you should evaluate your long-term financial goals.

Credit Card and Debit Card Protection with West Suburban Banks’ CardValet App

With the CardValet app, get ready to save time and gain peace of mind knowing you can control your WSB debit and credit card with the smartphone in your pocket or purse. If you can’t find your debit or credit card, you can instantly protect your card against fraud and theft by turning it on and off and get real-time alerts to ensure your card is used only by you.

Isn’t it nice to breathe easy?
We think so, too.

CardValet is just another way we’re here to help you keep things cool over complicated.

Cheers to that!

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Mailing address:
711 S. Westmore-Meyers Road
Lombard, IL 60148
Phone: 630-652-2000

Consolidate your debt with a Home Equity Line of Credit.

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Now that the stress of the holiday season is behind us, it’s maybe the perfect time to consolidate any high interest credit card debt using the equity in your home.

A home equity line of credit (HELOC), from West Suburban Bank, can be used to consolidate all your bills into one payment. Chances are you will get a much lower APR, which will help you save money that can be used to pay off your debt sooner. The best part is a HELOC is a revolving line of credit. You can continue to borrow against it for any of your lending needs as you pay it down.

For example:
If you had a $25,000 Home Equity Line of Credit and you used $10,000 to consolidate high interest credit card debt, your loan balance would be $10,000 and you would still have available $15,000. As you make payments and pay down the balance, the principle amount paid off becomes available to be used again*. Let’s say, you paid $5,000 down within 6 months. Your available credit on the HELOC would be $20,000, which you could use for any purposes such as home improvement projects, tuition costs, or virtually anything else.

Take advantage of the equity in your home today. Check out of current Home Line of Credit promotion. It’s simple to apply. Just stop and apply today at any West Suburban Bank branch near you.

* During the “Draw Period”, minimum payments are accrued finance charges, any past due amounts, and other charges (if applicable). During the Draw Period, only making minimum payment will not reduce your outstanding obligation. An increase in rates will increase your monthly payment. After the Draw Period, all outstanding balance enters a “Repayment Period.” During this period, you will no longer be able to obtain credit advances and must repay the outstanding balance over a specified period of months. For additional information, please click here or speak with a WSB representative.

What is your New Year’s Resolution?

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 The New Year is right around the corner. What is your New Year’s Resolution? Is it to save money? Get out of debt? Start a home improvement project?

At West Suburban Bank, we care about our customers. Your goals are our goals. As your financial partner, we are available to help you achieve your goals.

Setting goals and creating a budget are a great way to get started. If you are looking to save more money in 2018, start by putting part of your paycheck into a separate savings account each month. There are two reasons for this:

  1. If your money is in a separate account, you don’t see it and are less likely to spend it.
  2. The longer you are not spending your money, the more time your money has to grow.

Consider consolidating high interest credit card debt with a WSB low interest rate credit card*. Our credit card program helps you pay off your existing credit card debt by lowering your interest rate; which saves you money and allows you to pay down your debt faster.

Our Home Equity Lines and Loans offer a flexible and affordable way to use the equity in your home. Use the equity in your home to finance a home improvement project, pay off medical expenses, or to get money for a dream vacation. West Suburban Bank can help you get the loan you need*. Visit us at https://www.westsuburbanbank.com/loans.php to learn more.

Being more aware of your money will help you prioritize on what you choose to spend your money on. It’s important to keep track of your finances and we offer the tools you need.

Use Online Banking to set account alerts. You can customize the alerts you receive directly to your mobile phone** or email.

With the mBanking app**, you have a safe and secure way to check your WSB accounts on the go.

Our CardValet app provides you with the ability to turn your debit and credit cards on and off, plus you can get alerts each time your card is used so you know exactly when and where your money is being spent.

To get started on your goals today, schedule an appointment online with one of our personal bankers to develop a plan. Tell us what your goals are and find out how we can help!

* All loans subject to credit approval. Property and flood insurance (if applicable, is required).

** Message and data rates may apply