River Valley is a strong financial center firmly integrated into the 13 communities it serves. River Valley’s philosophy on corporate giving is again integrated into the mission of growing together with our business partners. The company targets 2% of its annual earnings before taxes for charitable donations every year. As a community bank it is also part of our responsibility to fulfill Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credits. This regulatory practice is in place to make sure financial organizations serve low and moderate income families. River Valley supports many small businesses established to meet the basic needs of those demographics. We also encourage our employees to get involved in our communities by volunteering.
River Valley Bank FAQ
Q: What are some of the unique challenges that women – especially mothers – face regarding their long-term financial security and retirement savings?
A: 1) Women typically spend less time in the work force than men. For every year that a woman stays home caring for children, she must work five extra years to recover lost income, pension coverage and career promotions.
2) Women still tend to earn less than men. Lower earnings mean lower contributions into retirement plans and therefore less money for retirement
3) Women live longer than men. At age 85 & over, there are twice as many women than men in the US. Your money needs to last for a long time
4) Loss of spousal income and support. Due to death and divorce, 9 out of 10 American women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point.
Q: What is one of the best way's to keep insurance costs down with a student driver?
A: Encourage your child to keep above a "B" average or a 3.0 or better average and they can receive up to a 15% to 20% discount on their auto premiums. Also, check with your agent to see if your company offers an "away at school" discount once they go off to college, that' usually a, even bigger discount than good student. Some companies will let you keep the good student discount up to age 25, so it can add to be a quite a savings in premium.
Q: What are the benefits to the borrower of an SBA loan?
A: The benefits to the borrower of a SBA loan versus conventional financing are as follows:
1) Improved cash flow via longer loan terms than conventional financing.
2) SBA loans do not “balloon” i.e. there will not be any renewal costs over the life of the loan.
3) Generally a lower interest rate than conventional financing. SBA has statutory maximum loan rates and spreads.
4) Improved balance sheet ratios: more debt classified as long term.
5) Most importantly: the program allows banks to say “yes” to certain loans that do not qualify for conventional financing e.g. start-up businesses or insufficient collateral.
Q: How do I know if I am eligible for a refinance under HARP?
A: You may be eligible if:
- You are the owner-occupant of a one- to four-unit home.
- The loan on your property is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (See "How do I know if my loan is owned or has been guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?").
- At the time you apply, you are current on your mortgage payments ("Current" generally means that you have not been more than 30 days late on your mortgage payment in the last 12 months; or, if you have had the loan for less than 12 months, you have never missed a payment).
- The amount you owe on your first lien mortgage does not exceed 125% of the current market value of your property.
- You have a reasonable ability to pay the new mortgage payments.
- The refinance improves the long term affordability or stability of your loan. (See "Will refinancing lower my payments? How might HARP benefit me?")
Q: What options are there for buyers with no money down and no cash for closing costs?
A: Although there are some new programs that allow buyers to purchase a home with little or no cash, you will generally need some funds for down payment, closing costs or both. Since a mortgage payment will take a good percentage of your income, lenders will usually want you to be "involved" (meaning having your money involved) from the very beginning. There are options for low downpayment (5% or less) mortgages such as FHA mortgages and there is always the possibility that the seller could absorb some of your closing costs (which are usually 3-5% of the selling price) but to buy a home with no cash down is a rare occurrence. If you have cash for closing costs, though, and excellent credit, there are new options in the conventional loan arena.