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News & Alerts

Simply More Newsletter

July-August 2012

Printable PDF version

In this newsletter:

A Parent’s Perspective: Four Ways the Mobile App Makes My Life Easier

Have you found yourself asking the question “How would I use a mobile app from my bank?” Here are four examples of some benefits Jen Rose of our Arena staff found while using our new mobile app.

  • Keep your children from being stranded. Do you have teenagers? Have you ever received the call “Mom (Dad), I’m out of money and need help!” If your children have a checking account with a debit card, they will never be left stranded. Whether they need gas money or just something to eat, just a few taps with the app can transfer money into their account—from wherever you are to wherever they are.
  • Get help with those errands before you forget. Again, do you have teenagers? How many times have you found yourself thinking that you should’ve sent money with them to pick something up for you?  Guess what? With the mobile app, you can give them a call, and transfer the money, on the spot.
  • Manage your finances while you’re on the go. Do you travel often? Are you always on the go? Use the app to transfer money or make payments. It will save you time, reduce your worry and reduce postage.
  • Locate surcharge free ATMs. Login to the app to find surcharge-free ATMs anywhere by simply clicking “Locations.” A map will appear with your location along with the locations of the ATMs closest to you.

These are just a few ways that our new mobile app can save you time and money. Available for download from both the Apple (iPhone) and Android marketplaces, your choice of mobile app can also be accessed from our website. Download it today and see how mobile banking can make your life easier.

Five Tips for Low Interest Rate Periods
Advice for customers on how to take advantage of a low interest rate environment.

With interest rates at record lows, there are a number of choices for managing your money. Whether you want to save, spend or invest, the bank encourages you to consider your options and choose the strategies that best suit your particular financial circumstances.

Here are some tips to help improve financial management during low interest rate periods:

  • Consolidate debt. With interest rates at historic lows, it makes sense to consolidate debt into one low-interest loan. For example, if you have outstanding balances on several credit cards, consider transferring those balances to one credit card with the lowest interest rate. If you qualify, it may be a good time to apply for a home equity line of credit to consolidate debt or make a home improvement.
  • Shop around for credit cards with the best interest rates. You may be able to get one with better terms than the one you are currently using. Or, ask your credit card issuer to lower your interest rate to make it more competitive.
  • Make large purchases now. If you’ve been thinking of making a major purchase like a house or a car, today’s low interest rates make it a good time to finance these big-ticket items. However, make certain your credit is solid and that you’re able to repay the loan you apply for.
  • Know your credit score. Before you apply for any loan or credit card, check your credit report and learn your credit score.  Make sure your score is higher than about 680 to qualify for the very best rates. If your score is lower than that, pay down your balances, remove errors from your credit report, and pay bills on time to raise your score.
  • Keep saving. Just because standard savings accounts aren’t paying a lot of interest now doesn’t mean you should stop saving for your future. Your savings will still accrue, you’ll be less likely to spend it, and you know it will be safe. If you can afford to lock up your money for a while, longer-term Certificates of Deposit (CDs) typically pay the highest interest rates.

“Customers should never take on more debt than they can afford to repay, but this could be a good time to consolidate debt to make payments easier, or make a home improvement that’s been put off for a long time,” said Gary Harrop, bank president. “Low interest rate periods offer a variety of opportunities and challenges for customers deciding how to manage their money.”

If you are unsure of how to take full advantage of the current low interest rate environment, speak with one of our personal bankers, lenders or staff in our Investment Center.

Scholarship Winners for 2012 Announced

We recently announced high school scholarship recipients for 2012. These recipients were selected based upon academic merit, leadership and community involvement:

  • Barneveld:  Kami Clerkin, Mindy Kelly and Jaimie Barnes
  • Wisconsin Heights:  Hannah Bonneville, Isabella Dozier, and Dylan Kahl
  • River Valley:  Travis Jacobson, Austyn Alt and Joshua Taylor

Candidates of these $500 scholarships are graduating seniors who are non-relatives of any officer or director of The Peoples Community Bank and who are planning to attend a post-secondary program of study.  The Peoples Community Bank Scholarship Fund was established with a mission to support the educational growth of talented, young leaders within the various communities served by the bank.

Each year, more than $5,000 is awarded to qualifying students in the Barneveld, Wisconsin Heights and River Valley School Districts. High school seniors wishing to apply for a scholarship from the bank are able to pick up and return applications at their respective school guidance office.

Bank Welcomes David Jones to Lending Staff

David Jones of Plain recently joined The Peoples Community Bank as an Assistant Vice President-Lending. He will be working on an interim basis with mortgage loan customers before transitioning into his longer-term role in commercial and agricultural lending.

For the past six years Jones has been employed with Community First Bank of Boscobel in their Reedsburg and Baraboo offices, working as a loan officer in the areas of commercial, mortgage and consumer lending.

A native of Arena, Jones is a graduate of River Valley High School and a 2006 graduate of UW-La Crosse with a major in finance and a minor in accounting.

“We’re pleased to have David join us,” said Gary Harrop, bank president. “He’s a very talented and personable young man who is well-acquainted with this area and already familiar with a good portion of our customer base.”

Please join us in welcoming David to our bank!

Prepaid Debit Cards – Features and Benefits


According to the FDIC, more than 60 million people in the United States do not have a traditional deposit account or have limited access to a payment card. The Peoples Community Bank encourages consumers to look to prepaid cards to avoid the fees and inconvenience associated with check cashing and money orders.

Prepaid cards are a safe alternative to carrying large amounts of cash and they provide most of the same conveniences as credit or debit cards. Since they’re typically available without a credit check or a bank account, prepaid debit cards are a convenient option for consumers who rely primarily on cash to make payments and may not have access to traditional banking relationships.

In most cases, prepaid cards are usable for online shopping or bill-pay and withdrawing cash at ATMs.  For more information about our prepaid cards, click here.