May 25, 2016, 9:11 PM
It’s a fact: car dealers are much more experienced at selling cars than you are at buying them. It’s their job to make money, and they do that by getting the highest possible price for the vehicle you want. Keep these common car-buying pitfalls in mind to avoid overpaying for your next car.
Trick #1: It’s all about the monthly payment.
Salespeople want to know how much you can afford to pay per month so they can calculate the maximum you can spend. To sell a more expensive vehicle but keep within your payment range, they might extend the term of auto loans for as long as possible – and you end up shelling out thousands more than you planned over a longer loan period. To get the best deal, focus on the selling price of the car, not on monthly payments.
Trick #2: Using rebates in the negotiation.
Rebates can be an enticing selling point, but keep in mind that rebates come directly from the manufacturer and apply regardless of the price that you negotiate with the individual dealer. Be clear that you are negotiating on the price of the vehicle before rebates. Then make sure the rebate is applied to your purchase price so you don’t have to pay taxes and interest on the rebate.
Trick #3: Telling you your credit sucks.
Before you head to a dealership, take the time to check out your credit report and credit score. Even if you have to spend a few bucks to get it, knowing this information could save you big-time. Occasionally dealerships will say you don’t qualify for a better rate due to your credit; if you already know where you stand, there will be no room for rip-offs.
Trick #4: Adding profit with add-ons.
Dealers can increase their profit by adding extras to your purchase or financing. Extended warranties, document preparation fees, loan acquisition fees, fabric protection ... the list of add-ons can be long and unnecessary. Make sure you check the sales documentation carefully and deny any extras you don’t want.
Save with a City Bank Auto Loan Get competitive rates on your next vehicle purchase and save yourself the stress of haggling with a car dealership with an auto loan from City Bank! You’ll love our competitive rates and simple online application process. Fill out an application to get started on the approval process for Dallas auto loans.
May 25, 2016, 4:48 PM
Nearly 45% of Americans carry a credit card balance every month, with an average household balance of just over $15,000 in 2015. Because this type of debt tends to be very costly due to high interest rates, it’s usually wise to pay the balance off as soon as possible. Here are strategies that will help you eliminate debt and improve your financial position in the coming year.
Stop using credit cards. Making large debt payments is pointless if you’re still charging. Instead, buy only what you can afford to purchase with cash or a debit card until you have paid off all credit card balances.
Target one card at a time. Throw as much money as you can at one card first – such as the card with the smallest balance or the highest interest rate. By making meaningful progress toward debt reduction, you will receive a boost of confidence that can help you stay motivated as you tackle other balances.
Transfer balances. If you are committed to paying off debt within a limited-time 0% APR promotional window, such as 12 or 15 months, it makes sense to transfer balances to a new card. The lower rate will reduce your minimum monthly payments and the total amount you’ll repay on the debt.
Take out a home equity loan. If you have equity in your home, put it to work by paying off credit card debt. For example, if your home is worth $200,000 and you owe $150,000, you have $50,000 worth of equity you can utilize. Home equity loans come with much lower interest rates, so it may make sense to trade high-interest debt for low-interest debt.
Consider a personal loan. If you qualify, a personal loan with a lower interest rate than your credit cards can also give you a leg up on repayment. Because personal loans have set terms and a set repayment schedule, you will know exactly when you’ll be free of credit card debt.
Be Debt-Free in the New Year
At City Bank, our goal is to help you achieve yours. Call us today at (800) OUR-BANK so we can discuss your needs.
May 24, 2016, 4:20 PM
City Bank has added a new layer of communication to keep customers informed when it comes to potentially fraudulent activity on their debit card(s). On June 1st, City Bank began texting customers in the event there is any fraudulent activity as precautions are taken on customers' behalf to temporarily deactivate their City Bank debit card.
This new feature—utilized from 7am–9pm in customers' respective time zones—will allow customers to quickly respond and confirm or protest transactions to avoid any further card deactivation if it is a fraudulent charge, reactivate debit cards quickly if it is a legitimate charge, or opt to receive a call from a Fraud Analyst. If a customer fail to respond within 5 minutes after the text notification has been delivered, an automated call from the City Bank Fraud Center will contact customers asking to confirm or deny any fraud.
Additionally, this service is not associated with BNK-N-GO, City Bank's text-based mobile banking product. Messages sent to customers in regards to possible fraudulent activity on their debit cards will come from a separate short code, 328-74.
It's the latest solution to help customers better manage their finances and keep them in the know as City Bank monitors account(s) in the fight against fraud.
Customers are encouraged to update their mobile phone number by calling 1-800-OUR BANK (1-800-687-2265) or by logging on to their online banking account, selecting the "Services" tab and clicking "Address Change" and adding/changing a cell phone number. This will ensure that important texts involving debit card activity will be delivered promptly.
May 12, 2016, 7:12 PM
It’s out with the old chalkboard paint and in with the new art deco-inspired wallpaper, among other styles trending for 2016. That’s according to research by Zillow Digs that includes surveys of interior design professionals and analysis of popular photos on the website. Here are some home designs that experts predict will be popular in the coming year.
Geometric patterns and shapes. If it looks like it came out of the 70s, it’s probably going to be hot this year. The recent interest in bold geometric shapes echoes this decade, and can be easily incorporated into home décor by means of wallpaper, furniture, textiles and even floor tiles. Look for this trend to be especially popular in the form of elegant statement lighting fixtures with gold accents showing up in the kitchen and dining room.
Natural fibers. A mix of materials and finishes are trending this year, with natural fibers as the go-to texture. The neutral beige, cream and gray shades of nubby wool and other fibers provide a nice contrast to bold patterns and dramatic statement pieces, and will figure prominently in area rugs and room accent pieces.
Encaustic tile accents. In line with the geometric pattern trend, expect encaustic tile to pop up in a variety of locations throughout the home in 2016. Encaustic tile – which gets its coloring from different types of clay rather than glaze – can be used to create a beautiful focal point on kitchen backsplashes, bathroom showers, accent walls and fireplace mantels, in addition to floors.
Artisan accent pieces. The eye-catching accent piece is taking a front seat in home design as more homeowners try to personalize their space with artwork that tells a story. Whether it was a flea market find or a travel souvenir, unique accents bring your home decorating style and your past to life.
Come Home to City Bank
If you are ready to find your dream home to decorate, count on City Bank for mortgage services that will make the purchasing process hassle-free. For more information about home mortgage loans and to apply for a mortgage loan, contact City Bank at (800) OUR-BANK.
April 07, 2016, 3:18 PM
Fraud Resource: Below is an article published by the FTC as a resource for consumers to help avoid suspicious or fraudulent situations.
by Andrew Johnson
Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
There’s a new twist on tech-support scams — you know, the one where crooks try to get access to your computer or sensitive information by offering to “fix” a computer problem that doesn’t actually exist. Lately, we’ve heard reports that people are getting calls from someone claiming to be from the Global Privacy Enforcement Network. Their claim? That your email account has been hacked and is sending fraudulent messages. They say they’ll have to take legal action against you, unless you let them fix the problem right away.
If you raise questions, the scammers turn up the pressure – but they’ve also given out phone numbers of actual Federal Trade Commission staff (who have been surprised to get calls). The scammers also have sent people to the actual website for the Global Privacy Enforcement Network. (It’s a real thing: it’s an organization that helps governments work together on cross-border privacy cooperation.)
Here are few things to remember if you get any kind of tech-support call, no matter who they say they are:
- Don’t give control of your computer to anyone who calls you offering to “fix” your computer.
- Never give out or confirm your financial or sensitive information to anyone who contacts you.
- Getting pressure to act immediately? That’s a sure sign of a scam. Hang up.
- If you have concerns, contact your security software company directly. Use contact information you know is right, not what the caller gives you.
Read on to learn more about tech-support scams and government imposter scams. And, if you spot a scam, tell the FTC.
February 11, 2016, 8:51 PM
If your small business needs to accept credit card payments, it has never been easier to do so! There are a number of methods to process these payments; the most convenient route will depend on how you want to do business with your customer. If you will make transactions in person, a traditional credit card machine or a mobile swiper could be the best fit. If your sales are made remotely, via the internet or phone, a secure payment gateway service can handle transactions on your behalf.
Credit card machine. This hardware is used to swipe a credit card in person, or if necessary, to manually enter a credit card number from a phone or internet order. Credit and debit card processing equipment is usually provided with a merchant account. Credit card terminals are best for a business that only needs its credit card processing system to accept payments.
Mobile card reader. You can accept credit cards anywhere using a mobile credit card processor attached to a smartphone or tablet, such as ProcessNow® Mobile. It works like a regular credit card terminal and is ideal for businesses that only have a few transactions per day, that conduct transactions on-the-go or that want to sell anywhere within a brick-and-mortar store.
Online payment gateway. For businesses that conduct a significant amount of business transactions online, a payment gateway service allows credit cards and electronic checks to be accepted on a website or online store. Funds are automatically deposited into a merchant bank account.
Are You Getting the Best Rates for Payment Processing?
City Bank offers competitive payment processing services that make it easy for your business to accept credit card payments and stay profitable. Enjoy local weekday support, dedicated sales and support staff, and a 24/7 Merchant Help Desk. If you’re currently using another provider, we welcome the opportunity to do a price comparison so you can see if you’re really getting the best rates. If you’re getting a better deal, we’ll tell you! Call (800) OUR-BANK or walk in today.