Monday, September 20, 2021

Mobile Banking for College Students

If you’re the parent of a college student, you’re probably feeling anxious about a lot of things as the fall semester begins. One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about? Your child having access to funds if and when they are needed. Online banking can put your college student in touch with money 24/7/365 from any computer or handheld device that has internet access. Here are three great reasons to consider having your child download the MSB banking app:


Mobile banking has no hours of operation the way brick and mortar branches do. Customers can check their account, move money, pay bills, and more at their convenience, 24/7, wherever they are. Banking has never been easier!


Mobile banking is safe and secure. All reputable banks and financial institutions use encryption to safeguard and protect your privacy and identity information on mobile apps. As an added safety measure, make sure you are using your banking app on a secure network to avoid having sensitive information stolen, and never access it using public Wi-Fi.

Money Transfer

Does your kid owe their roommate money for ordering late night pizza? Our mobile banking app allows the user to pay people back, without needing to find an ATM to withdraw physical cash.

Parental Control

Mobile banking allows you, as the parent, the ability to keep track of your child’s usage of the app and available funds. You can see transactions made connected to a payment card, and even turn the cards off and on if the need arises.

Many of our services are available via phone, online, or the app. If you’re an existing or new client of McHenry Savings Bank, we have the online banking functionality you want. You can learn more about our mobile and online features by contacting us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Is It Wise To Open Multiple Savings Accounts At The Same Bank To Allocate Savings?

Everyone knows it’s in your best financial interest to have both a savings and a checking account. While checking accounts are useful for daily spending and expenses, savings accounts are great for saving for larger purchases while saving for investments may take more time. But what about multiple savings accounts? Is it wise to have multiple savings accounts, even at the same bank?

Though it might seem redundant, it’s actually very beneficial to have multiple savings accounts at one time. Multiple savings accounts come at no risk to you; in fact, it may help you save more money in the long run, and it has no effect on your credit score. Here are some of the best reasons to open multiple savings accounts, coming from a trusted and established savings bank

  • Interest. One of the best reasons to open a savings account is interest, meaning you can earn money just by having your money sit in the bank!
  • Goals. Sometimes, people open different savings accounts to help them save for different goals. If you’re saving for a car, for a house, and for a wedding, you can open different accounts for each to help you keep track of how much you have saved for each goal. This can be helpful for many people, as it helps give them a clearer picture of how close they are to each goal, instead of seeing one large lump sum of money. 
  • Spending Habits. If you do have one savings account, seeing one large number can make it tempting for you to start spending unnecessarily. But having several accounts with lower balances may help you manage your spending habits. If you’re really trying to control your spending, you can set up weekly transfers from your checking account to your savings account, helping you save more money by making less money available for daily expenses. 
  • Insurance. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers up to $250,000 worth of insurance on savings accounts, meaning if anything happens to your money under that amount, your deposits are insured up to that amount.

Reach out to one of the Personal Bankers at McHenry Savings Bank (MSB) to discuss how we might help you save, invest or build wealth. Don’t have time to come in to a branch? You can open a savings account online while in the comfort of your home or office or anywhere! We work hard to ensure your money is safe, since we know that trust is earned, not given. Visit our website to learn more or give us a call at 815-385-3000. 


Thursday, July 22, 2021

Flexibility with “Farm” Financing

Do you have a small acreage farm in the country with a nice home, small barn and a few animals like a horse, a couple of goats, a few sheep and maybe some chickens? Would you like to lock in today’s remarkably low, long-term rates for as long as possible on that land?

If you would like to finance between 10 and 100 acres of agricultural-related land, you have probably run into a variety of roadblocks to refinancing. Perhaps you had a standard mortgage loan and now your lender says they can’t help you because you have livestock, or too many acres and you don’t qualify. Perhaps somebody told you to talk with the Farm Service Agency for financing and when you got there, they tell you that you need to show at least 3 years of Schedule F income (Farm Income schedule) to qualify. Maybe you found a local bank to work with you but you needed more than 20% down or the interest rate was only fixed for 5 years? How do you finance your land?

The truth is there is a tremendous range of alternatives to finance agriculturally-related land, whether it is a smaller hobby farm or a larger production farm. No one structure meets every need - but working with a bank that has access to Farmer Mac’s programs will open up some flexibility to resolve these constraints. With these products you will not need to meet the three-year minimum of Schedule F income, in fact you do not need a farm background at all. What you need is to be able to prove that your farm could generate $5,000 of annual income; it just needs to have the potential and does not have to actually be used to earn the $5,000.

There is flexibility in financing these properties but there are also limitations. We also can’t provide financing for every deal. Some general insight on financing these properties would be as follows:

  • If you have strong personal credit and equity in the property, and the loan balance will be less than $750,000, we can work with a short application and likely receive a decision within 24 hours.
  • Loan balances up to $1,500,000 are available with a slightly more detailed application and 2yrs worth of tax returns, and the limited underwriting process will take approximately 10 days once all required information is received.
  • Depending on the exact loan structure that works best for you, required income levels (from all sources) can range from 1x to 1.5x debt costs and the amount of equity required will vary.
  • Loan rates can be locked for 3,5,7,10,15,20,30 years and balances amortized 10,20,25, and 30 years.

Maybe you own your property and want to access the equity you have built, but can’t get a standard home equity loan. We have a product that is very similar to a home equity line and gives you 10 years of draw potential, providing important cash flexibility. McHenry Savings Bank (MSB) is one of a handful of banks to make the commitment to work with Farmer Mac to be able to offer you a full range of alternatives in farm financing. We understand each client has a unique set of circumstances and we can bring our experience to find the best available approach that fits your needs. Please call or email me directly to discuss your specific objectives.

Tim Kempel is our SVP, Director of Agribusiness Lending at McHenry Savings Bank (MSB) and has over 35 years’ experience in Agricultural lending with an emphasis on Real Estate. He also owns farm land and operates a crop and beef enterprise in northwest Illinois. MSB is a privately owned bank helping farmers, agribusiness owners, and commercial clients meet the demands of their ever-evolving businesses. Member FDIC. Farmer Mac Approved Lender. Equal Housing Lender. McHenry Savings Bank NMLS# #630527

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Market Trends and Home Selling: The Housing Market for First-time Home Buyers

It's no secret that the housing market for first-time home buyers is hot. But what are some of the reasons behind this? There are a number of factors that may be contributing to this increase in demand, including low interest rates and an improving jobs climate. Here are some trends from last month according to Illinois Realtors. 

“This year’s moving season has started out bright for sellers with their homes being purchased at top prices,” says Sue Miller, President of Illinois REALTORS® and designated managing broker of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group in McHenry. “But the future remains overcast for those trying to purchase their dream home due to the continued record low inventory of available housing of all types.”

  • The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 2.95 percent in May 2021, a decrease from 3.06 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In May 2020, it averaged 3.23 percent.

  • Last month, 12,768 homes (single-family and condominiums) were sold in the nine-county Chicago Metro Area, a 63.5 percent increase from the 7,809 homes sold in May 2020.

  • The median home sale price in May 2021 was $310,000 in the Chicago Metro Area, an increase of 19.2 percent from $260,000 in May 2020.

  • It took an average of 38 days to sell a home in April, down from 53 days a year ago.  Homes for sale totaled 24,749, a 48.7 percent decline from April 2020 when there were 48,232 homes on the market.

  • According to the data, home sales in the Metro East MSA (Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties) totaled 847 sales, a 27.6 percent increase while the median price rose 5.0 percent to $156,900. In the Carbondale-Marion MSA (Jackson and Williamson counties) home sales totaled 124, a 39.3 percent increase. The median price increased 7.7 percent to $118,500.

McHenry Savings Bank offers loans to fund your major purchases and make your dreams reality.

Are you ready to purchase a home, or refinance your existing mortgage? We can customize a financing plan to your specific needs using a variety of loan options including:

  • Fixed Rate Loans
  • Adjustable Rate Loans
  • Jumbo Loans

Due to increased call volume, please call 815-385-3000 or email directly for assistance. We are working to respond to all of our clients as quickly as possible during this time. If you're looking for a new home, our mortgage calculators can help you determine how much your estimated monthly payment will be. The calculator automatically recalculates anytime you press the tab key after making a change to an input field and is easy to use with just one click of the mouse button. We hope this helps make finding that perfect house or condo easier than ever before! McHenry Savings Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. NMLS #630527.




Thursday, May 20, 2021

Supporting Small Businesses

Earlier this month, we recognized Small Business Week. In 2020, 
46% of consumers said they were more likely to shop at a small business. However, that same year, 66% of small businesses face financial challenges, with 43% claiming the most prominent challenge is paying operating expenses.

No community wants to see its small businesses struggle. The area risks losing the business, and the local character they bring to the residents and visitors. With that in mind, we are reminded of why it’s important to support local businesses.

Supports Local Character and Community

Online shopping and big corporations have created a homogenized shopping world. If our local communities preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses, their distinct features have an economic advantage.

Keeps Dollars in Your Local Economy

Since COVID-19 shuttered so many businesses, any support for your local economy is appreciated, but also recycled. Unlike the big box stores, a local business is likely to reinvest in its local economy, creating jobs and better wages or supporting neighboring small businesses.

Promotes Sustainability

Local stores help sustain the town center that we often see in small towns outside of bigger cities. They are vibrant and walkable, critical to reducing urban sprawl, vehicle use, and pollution.

What we can do to support our local small businesses:

Spend Local

Is your family planning a weekend getaway? If you find yourself walking the town village, look for souvenirs from a local craftsman. A souvenir from a local shop is likely handmade and unique to the region.

Eat Local

Eating locally is a special treat, particularly when you’re on vacation. Most families don’t want to visit a chain while spending quality time together. Look for a restaurant where its food represents the region or popular favorites of the area.

Spend Local

In addition to shopping and eating locally, there are other avenues to supporting your community.

Consider services from your local small business. For example, is your home’s exterior looking tattered, and you need to hire a painter? Don’t go into your local big box hardware and ask for a painter. Take the time to search and hire somebody locally, possibly making a difference in their small business.

At MSB, we know supporting small local businesses has a positive environmental and financial impact on our community. We encourage our customers to consider local businesses before going online or visiting a bigger store.

MSB also recognizes Trust Is Earned™, not simply claimed. To that end, we seek first to understand your financial needs and objectives. We offer commercial loans with a diverse selection of commercial loan products specifically designed to fit the needs of your business. Contact us at 815-385-3000. Visit our Facebook Page!


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Financial Literacy for Your Children

Piggy Bank McHenry Illinois

As a child transitions into their teen years, it is imperative they develop an early understanding of their personal finances. This discussion and lesson too frequently emerges as they graduate high school and enter the workforce or attend a college, where their understanding or lack thereof is put to the ultimate test in the real world.

Teaching a teen about finances is certainly not a simple undertaking. Largely, they may find the concept unengaging. This is natural, as they may be a young adult, but developmentally are still very much a child.

But just because a teen may find finances a droll concept does not mean they should just be thrown to the wolves immediately after high school. It is the duty of parents and educators alike to get them engaged and connect those teachings to real world principles of financial literacy. 

Basic Financial Concepts For A Teen

The world of personal finance is broad to say the least, so start with some basic concepts that you as a parent or educator can teach to a teen.

Start with budgeting and the importance of discerning between income from a career, cost of living expenses, and having savings in a bank account. There are discernable differences many teens may not comprehend. Create a chart and prompt them to brainstorm simple real world examples that you have them identify as either an income, an expense, or savings. As they get the hang of it, explore each one more deeply.

While on the subject of income and savings, design an exercise around the concept of a credit card and their credit score. This can be an active learning exercise teaching them both what credit is, how interest can build up and damage your credit score, and additionally give you an opportunity to have them itemize what expenses are necessities and what are luxuries.

Gamification Can Help

Any exercise you as a parent or an educator can think of will help, but giving them a lecture is a dated and often ineffective concept. Let's take it a step further.

Teens are increasingly hands-on and intelligent, so learning anything passively will turn their minds off. Gamifying financial education and finding an active learning curriculum to demonstrate the incentives of being fiscally responsible connects them to the material in a tactile, emotional way not presented by merely talking to them about the subject.

From there, connect it to their reality. If you are their parent, sign them up for our Essential Student Checking account here at McHenry Savings Bank. This package allows teens to have their own personal checking account with your help in managing it with them. It also gives them access to their own e-statements, bringing interactivity to their banking experience in a hands-on way, similar to the active learning in finances they receive.

For more information about our Essential Student Checking and more, visit our website and be sure to follow us on Facebook. To discover more helpful tips in financial literacy go to FDIC: Learn Money Smart.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Financial Planning 101 for 2021

Piggy Bank Graphic McHenry Illinois

While most people start New Year’s resolutions in January, there’s nothing magical about the start of the year when it comes to improving your finances. With tax time upon us, now is a great time to review your current finances and set goals for the rest of the year. If you’re ready to make a change, it’s not too late to start!

Here are some habits that you can start today to improve your financial fitness in 2021 and beyond:

Live Within Your Means

Sometimes it can be difficult to live within our means, especially if we find ourselves living paycheck-to-paycheck. The best way to cut expenses is by making a monthly budget. Calculate how much income you (and your partner) bring in monthly, and subtract necessary expenses such as mortgage or rent payment, car payment, utilities, and groceries. Reduce spending in leftover areas, such as eating out, impulse purchases, shopping, and entertainment. Look for ways to reduce other recurring expenses. Some ideas include shopping around for lower insurance rates, canceling subscriptions and memberships, couponing, buying bulk, and buying sale items to reduce grocery bills.

Build Your Emergency Fund

Financial planners recommend saving at least two paychecks in your checking account for unforeseen expenses. Once you have that saved up, aim to have an emergency fund of six to nine months of income in a savings account, where it can accumulate interest but still be withdrawn if needed. Unplanned expenses include car repairs, medical bills, job loss, and more. It may take a while to save these funds, but after you’ve made your budget and reduced expenses, your next priority should be to set aside an amount from your paycheck each month. Keep saving until you’ve built up your cushion.

Pay Down Your Debt

Paying down debt, as well as avoiding future debt, is key to financial success and security. Eliminate your “bad debt” first, including credit cards, car loans, and any other loans that have high-interest rates.

Increase Your Retirement Savings

Financial security and stability also involve saving for the future. After you’ve completed the steps above, increase contributions to a retirement account, such as an employer-matched fund or a Roth IRA. If you haven’t started to save for retirement, it is never too late to start, but begin now. It is ok to start small but plan to increase your contribution as you become more financially stable. There are plenty of online tools and resources as well that are worth checking out to help offer some guidelines on how much to set aside over a given period.

No matter what your current wealth is, financial stability is within your reach with some careful planning. If you’re ready to take control of your financial security, consult a financial planner today.

At McHenry Savings Bank, we work hard to earn your trust by seeking to understand your financial needs and goals. We can then provide investment and insurance solutions designed to meet the needs of our customers. Visit our website to learn more about our services call us at 815-385-3000 to speak with an expert to discuss your personal financial goals.