New Home in 2020?

Is a New Home Part of Your Plans for 2020?

Cut Bank - Sissy Nygaard

Pauline Sissy Nygaard
AVP/Residential Lender
Cut Bank

Start planning now for success in 2020! Whether you are looking to become a first time homeowner or wondering if you should refinance your current mortgage, checking on your financial health should be on your list of New Year’s resolutions right beside “losing weight” and “joining a gym.” Let us help you achieve your resolution of improving your financial health with a few helpful tips.

How important are credit scores?

Having a healthy credit score will help you with pre-approvals, lower interest rates, and decreased insurance premiums. Did you know that your insurance premiums you pay on your home or autos are partially based on your credit score? Although you may be able to qualify for a home loan with a credit score in the low 600’s, you will have more options for mortgage products with a credit score of 640, 660, or above.

We are happy to help you learn the differences between conventional and government guaranteed mortgages. These different loan products will determine the amount of your down payment, your mortgage insurance, and your interest rate. The higher your credit score, the more options you will have when determining what type of mortgage loan to choose.

New Home in 2020?

Look over your credit report.

To get your credit report, go to to obtain a copy from one of the three credit reporting agencies.

You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months. This credit report will not give you your current credit score, but it will let you know the items on your credit report and who is looking at your information each month. Look for any collections, judgments, public records, and past due items. Immediately contact every creditor who has reported an adverse item, whether you are disputing it or working to have it removed from your active and open accounts. You cannot remove past due payments as they are a part of your credit history, but with each current monthly payment you make, these adverse payments will become less damaging.

Many savvy consumers are actually following a plan to become debt free. Although this is a healthy goal to have, it might be a good idea to keep a couple of items open and active on your credit report by maintaining reasonable balances and keeping your payments current. If you do not have any active items on your credit report you may actually lose your credit scores. Without a credit score you may not be able to purchase a home, auto, or even a cell phone, and you’ll have to start over like a teenager establishing credit.

Review Your Credit Report

Have a financial plan as the correct first step.

If you don’t follow a budget currently, start following a structured plan now with the new year.

By writing down your current monthly income and current monthly expenses, you can develop a plan to decrease your unwanted consumer debt and start planning for that new home, auto, or career. Our new online app has a terrific Money Management section to help with creating a realistic budget based on your actual spending. Be honest with yourself when tracking your monthly expenses. If you purchase a latte four days each week, write it down; If you belong to a gym, write down the cost of your membership; if you want to go on vacation this year, research the cost and start saving.

If the expenses are more than your income at the end of the month, you need to make some changes. Most of us can’t increase our income, so that means we will need to take a hard look at the monthly expenses and make the changes necessary to bring our budget into balance. And if you can’t decrease your expenses enough to match your income, then perhaps a second job is needed to make the change you need to become financially responsible.

My most important message for you this year is to BE SAFE! Please only deal with people you know and trust. Don’t give out your personal information, and watch your accounts and monthly statements closely for accurate transactions. From all of us, we wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2020!

Bank Disclosures

100 Years of Community Banking

Tonya Breding

Tonya Breding

Post written by Tonya Breding, Customer Service Rep/eBiz Cash Management Specialist – Conrad

If only a time machine could give us a glimpse of Conrad, Montana in March 1918.

Amidst a country torn by war, imagine the hustle and bustle of a growing community, marked by the excitement of a new bank. Farmers State Bank received its charter and opened for business on Saturday, March 9th, 1918.

Farmers State Bank was family oriented and strived to be the center of the community. It provided stability and growth for its citizens.

Although its capital and deposits totaled only $117,576.96, no one could have predicted how successful it would become! By its 50th anniversary in 1968, the bank had grown to over $12.5 million in assets.

Over the next 50 years, as the Conrad community grew, so did the bank. Anniversaries, name changes and even a sale to Stockman Bank would be in store for this little hometown bank.

Conrad_Group_Photo_2018Today, Stockman Bank continues to serve Conrad as a bank built on family and community values, guided by the following principles set in those early days of 1918 by cashier J F Kumpf, who later became Vice President of the bank.

  1. Responsible Banking
  2. Capable Management
  3. Courtesy
  4. Increasing Helpfulness

Every employee and member of the Conrad community was encouraged to take on increased efficiency—to cooperate in every practical project in making this a better community to live—to cause every individual entering its doors to feel a cordial atmosphere—to encourage every ambitious person of integrity to further financial advancement—TO HELP.

These original principles still hold true today, as they match the principles and values set by Stockman Bank’s founding family and are included in a letter on our website by CEO Bill Coffee.

  1. Reliable, dedicated people here to meet your needs.
  2. Local decisions from people who live and work in your community.
  3. Products and services that fit the way you live and work.
  4. Strength and expertise in all areas of financial services.
  5. Deep Montana Roots.

Stockman Bank has grown to be the 20th largest agriculture lender in the nation and Montana’s largest privately-held, family-owned bank with 34 locations and assets of $3.4 billion. As Stockman continues to grow, our commitment to Conrad and the communities we serve has not wavered.

Thank you for being a part of the Stockman family. We invite you to join us in celebrating 100 years of community banking in Conrad! We’re proud to serve the people and businesses of Conrad and look forward to serving you for many more years to come!
















Bank Disclosures