OSB Helps to Protect Your Holiday Purchases (including Cell Phones!)

Are you considering making a significant purchase such as a new cell phone this holiday season? If so, you’ll want to know more about how you can protect your investments with OSB’s buyer’s Debit Advantage Buyer’s Protection ProgramTM and Extended Warranty2 program.

Plus, if you are buying a the cell phone, check out the details below about our Cellular Telephone Protection Program2 included with OSB’s Advantage Checking and Advantage+ Checking accounts.

Protect Purchases with OSB’s Debit Advantage Buyer’s ProtectionTM and Extended Warranty2

OSB’s Debit Advantage Buyer’s Protection gives you peace of mind by providing 90 days of coverage for the accidental breakage, fire or theft of items that are purchased entirely with an eligible Advantage Checking or Advantage+ Checking.

OSB’s Extended Warranty benefit extends a U.S.  manufacturer’s original written warranty up to one full year on most new retail purchases if the warranty is less than five years. (Item(s) must be purchased entirely with eligible account.)

Learn How the OSB Cellular Telephone Protection2 Program Works

If you are an Advantage Checking account holder, you are eligible to receive up to $300 of replacement or repair costs if your cell phone is stolen or damaged, in the U.S. and abroad. The Cellular Telephone Protection program covers the first three phones on a cellular telephone bill paid through your checking account. Your cellular telephone bill must be paid through this account. There is a maximum of two claims per year.

Cellular Telephone Protection increases to $400 and covers up to 4 phones for Advantage+ Checking account holders.   
OSB Gives You Peace of Mind While You Shop this Holiday Season

More than just a checking account, Advantage Checking or Advantage+ Checking accounts can help you reduce the risks associated with the theft, loss or breakage of your purchases, including new cell phones, all year long. Both of these accounts come with many other benefits, which are summarized here.

Visit your local OSB branch today to open your account and get peace of mind while you do your holiday shopping.

Some benefits require registration and activation. For complete details of this checking account, speak with an OSB representative.”
 Special Program Notes: The descriptions herein are summaries only and do not include all terms, conditions, and exclusions of the Benefits described. Please refer to the actual Guide to Benefit and/or insurance documents for complete details of coverage and exclusions.  
 2IDProtect service is a personal identity theft protection service available to personal checking account owners and their joint account owners. For revocable grantor trusts, the service is available only when a grantor is serving as a trustee and covers the grantor trustee(s). For all other fiduciary accounts, the service covers the beneficiary, who must be the primary member (Fiduciary is not covered). 
IDProtect included with Advantage Plus Checking is also available to account owners’ eligible family members. Family includes: Spouse, person qualifying as domestic partner, and children under 25 years of age and parent(s) who are residents of the same household. 
Advantage / Advantage Plus Checking accounts are not available to businesses, clubs, organizations and/or churches and their members, schools and their employees/students.
3Credit file monitoring may take several days to begin following activation.
 Insurance Products are not insured by FDIC or any Federal Government Agency; Not a deposit of or guaranteed by the bank or any bank affiliate.

Strategies to Make Your Home Key to Your Success in 2018

Enjoy this “Closing Thoughts” guest post from OSB’s Mortgage Lender, Kacie Eberenz (NMLS# 1458409). Looking for mortgage loan advice to help you purchase real estate in Michigan’s  Lenawee, Jackson and Washtenaw Counties? Contact Kacie today!

The old saying, “Home is where the heart is,” still holds true for many of us; but did you know that with the following organizational strategies, your home can also be key to your success? Whether you are looking to buy a new home, or maybe refinance or spruce up an existing one, these tips from Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing can help you create an environment to support greater success in the year ahead:

Tackle categories instead of rooms in your home. One of Kondo’s key strategies is to tidy things up by category instead of room by room. For example, start with your clothes, then move on to books, then photographs, etc. Doing so will allow you to have a feeling of accomplishment by getting one area done at a time—a strategy that you can use to tackle work projects and the items on your resolution or goal lists, too.

Respect your possessions. While it may seem a little odd at first, Kondo encourages people to consider how their physical items feel about how they are stored in their homes. For example, do clothes crammed into a messy closet look happy? Likely not—so use this “personalization” of your clothes and any other items to set things right, to weed out what you don’t need and to bring harmony to your environment.

Let go of the past. Just like hesitating to leave an old home for a new one, hesitating to part with sentimental “stuff” will only hold you back from the future.  As Kondo says in her book, nostalgia is not your friend when it comes to creating an environment that supports your success. Be selective in what physical memories you keep and get rid of those that don’t truly stir positive emotions.

Seek joy from your surroundings. According to Kondo, you should focus on keeping only the things that give you joy or are truly necessary. In short, when you organize your possessions you should discard anything that you don’t absolutely need or love. The same theory can be applied to the people, places and work that you do when you focus on creating more success in your life and career.

Applying Kondo’s strategies for organizing your home can help to make it key to your success. It will also help to create mental clarity about what you need to do to achieve your objectives. If buying a new home is one of your goals in 2018, an OSB mortgage can help clear the way to make it a reality. Contact Kacie Eberenz, Mortgage Lender/Lead Personal Banker (#1458409) at 517-592-3205. today to get your mortgage approval process started.

Use OSB’s $hopping Rewards Benefits to Make the Most of 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Savings

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner and if you’re an OSB Advantage Checking or Advantage+ Checking account holder, this year you may be able to stack your savings even higher to score lower prices using your $hopping RewardsTM benefits.

As a member of OSB’s $hopping Rewards program, you have access to exclusive offers and discounts at thousands of leading online retailers including these and many more:

  • Home Depot
  • Target
  • Macy’s
  • Best Buy
  • Banana Republic
  • Rockport
  • Nine West

Use OSB $hopping rewards for more 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings.

Once you complete the online registration for the $hopping Rewards program, all you need to do is shop your favorite retailers online using the customized shopping portal and you will receive cash back. Your cash back rewards will be held in your $hopping Rewards account to use toward future purchases or they can be conveniently sent to you as a check.

While you are making your 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping plans, be sure to add registering online for $hopping Rewards to your list of must-dos. If you are not already an OSB Advantage Checking or Advantage+ Checking account holder, don’t delay opening your account! Visit your local OSB branch today to get your account in time to use the $hopping Rewards for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping.

Additional tips for shopping 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

In addition to using your $hopping Rewards to get the best deals, use these tips to make sure that your Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargain hunting is successful:

  • Create a holiday shopping plan prior to making purchases by researching deals in advance.
  • Screen all direct mail and email offers against your shopping list, so you buy only things you really need.
  • Be sure to check social media for exclusive deals, too.
  • Enlist a buddy if you need moral support to avoid unnecessary purchases.

If you are like many southeastern Michigan shoppers, you are planning to kick-off your holiday gift buying this Thanksgiving. Be sure to use your OSB $hopping Rewards to maximize your savings. If you have questions about OSB Advantage Checking or Advantage+ Checking accounts and the $hopping Rewards program please contact your local OSB branch.

Make Time to Enjoy These Local Autumn Activities

As your local mortgage lender, OSB can help you secure the southeastern Michigan mortgage loans in Lenawee,  Jackson and Washtenaw counties. To help you make optimal decisions about your mortgage options, we’re featuring  this “Closing Thoughts” guest post from OSB’s Mortgage Lender, Kacie Eberenz (NMLS# 1458409).

Fall is one of the best times to get outdoors for some quality time with family and friends and there’s an abundance of fun fall activities in our local area to enjoy. From walking through rustling leaves on a nature trail, to finding treasures at craft shows and downtown shops, to cheering on young athletes at school sporting events, the fall season in southeastern Michigan has something for everyone.

Although the weather has been warm recently, the sure signs of fall are appearing! The leaves are changing color—and a new crop of delicious apples is coming into season, which means that apple picking, another favorite fall family activity is ready to enjoy at local orchards in Jackson County, Lenawee County and  Washtenaw County. If you’re ready to celebrate this year’s harvest season, here are a few of the area’s local farms and orchards you may want to visit:

In Jackson County—Meckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm was established more than 60 years ago. It is located at 11025 S. Jackson Road in Cement City, Michigan. This full “farm experience” truly has something for everyone, including an orchard, cider mill, farm tours, a bakery, plus a cidery and wine cellar. There’s even special live music events throughout the season.

In Lenawee County—Carpenter Farms in Adrian, Michigan is a place that’s perfect for making family memories. The working farm offers lots of fun activities during the fall season including a corn maze, hayrides and pumpkins, a petting farm and more. Plus, you can take a great family snapshot in their beautiful fall photo-staging display.

In Washtenaw County—Part farm, part orchard, part county fair—a trip to Wiard’s Orchard in Ypsilanti, Michigan adds up to a ton of family fun! Located at 5565 Merritt Road, you can plan to spend a full afternoon at Wiard’s to enjoy lunch and take in all of the amusements such as games, slides, the corn maize, tractor rides, pony rides, paintball and a trip through the haunted woods. Not to mention, you’ll want to spend time picking apples and pumpkins in the u-pick area and paying a trip to the country store featuring baked goods and more.

These favorite fall destinations are just a sampling of the outings that you and your family can enjoy in our local community. By exploring all of the fall activities and events in Jackson County, Lenawee County and  Washtenaw County you’ll make the most of one of the most beautiful times of year in southeast Michigan.

Reinvesting in Our Community, One Organization at a Time

OSB’s President & CEO, Rick Northrup shares what’s at the heart of OSB’s passion for helping small businesses grow.

As a community bank, OSB understands what makes our neighborhoods, villages, and towns unique. We focus on lending to the small businesses and organizations that make us who we are.

A recent example illustrates this:

A charter school in our community was looking to grow and move into a new facility.  The school had been operating in a rental building and the administration wanted to own a building in order to control the school’s future and growth. Although the school and staff had been in operation locally for many years, the only financing available to them was from large, out-of-town financial institutions, which was expensive with very disadvantageous terms. The school could not afford this type of financing without inhibiting its growth. In fact, the school would have had serious financial struggles under the terms, placing its long-term success in jeopardy.

At OSB, we looked at the situation and found that the school’s students had very high academic results; the school’s staffing was strong and experienced; and the school also had committed parents. The building that the charter school wanted to purchase was an old elementary school, which would allow the school to double in size. At the time, the school was serving over 140 students, representing over 100 local families. The school and its plans made sense to us.

The team at OSB got to work, examining the school’s track record, business plan, staff, and education philosophy.  We also investigated the school’s collateral, learning about the potential for reestablishing a school there for the long-term, and understanding its value. When all was said and done, OSB offered a package of term loans and line of credit financing that allowed the school to meet its goals, without placing its financial future in jeopardy.

Since purchasing the building, the charter school has grown and is on track to double its size, as planned.  For the current academic year the school is serving over 200 students and 150 families. Soon the school expects to serve 300 students.

This is how OSB Community Bank reinvests in our community, making things better for all of us who share this little corner of the world—one organization at a time.

OSB’s Flexible Financing Creates Opportunity for Small Businesses

Ted Schork, Vice President, Commercial Banking at OSB shares how our community banking philosophy has helped one local business succeed.

“A key benefit of community banking for small businesses is our willingness and ability to be flexible in the financing solutions we offer. I was recently reminded of this when OSB had the opportunity to serve one of our long-term, residential mortgage clients who also operates a small, family-owned business which has been part of our community for more than twenty years.

The business is co-owned by a father and his son and daughter-in-law. It provides excavating, logging and trucking services. Earlier this year, one of the company’s main customers indicated that two of its other subcontractors would no longer be providing trucking services due to their retirement. This customer needed to find another subcontractor to take on the additional work and contracts. They offered this opportunity to our client.

To be able to capitalize on this opportunity, the client needed to purchase another semi-truck, a trailer and logging equipment for their business. They approached our commercial lending team with their financing needs and the desire to keep as much of their current cash position as possible for working capital. Typically, a loan requires using a good portion of cash as equity or a down payment. Instead, OSB worked with this client to utilize the equity in their other vehicles and equipment to structure a loan that met their needs.

Creativity and flexibility in OSB’s approach to commercial lending helped to create a “win-win” situation and the ability to honor our commitment of serving our clients for the long haul.”

SBA Loans Provide Alternative Funding Options to Fuel Local Business Growth

Matthew J. Chrome, Senior Vice President, Chief Credit Officer, at OSB shares how SBA loans can help local small businesses grow, as we recognize National Small Business Week.

Over the course of my 20-plus years in banking, I have found that when working with small businesses, it is often necessary to look beyond conventional commercial loans in order to help fund their growth. The government’s Small Business Administration loans are often an ideal option that a community bank like OSB can access for its small business customers.

I recall two particularly poignant examples of using SBA loans to fund small business clients—one at the beginning of my career and one not too long ago.

In the first example, I learned about the power of SBA loans as I worked with a more senior lender who was trying to structure a loan for a minority-owned, fledgling business to buy or build a new building for their headquarters.  The business had some warts in its financial statements, including friendly debt and stagnant lines of credit. These are things that are commonly found with small, growing businesses. By looking outside of traditional lending options, this commercial lender found opportunity in the SBA 504 program.

The bank took on 90 percent of the construction loan to build the new headquarters, and the Economic Development Corporation took on 40 percent of the end loan exposure, leaving the bank with a 50 percent advance on the end loan. This alternative funding option gave a small, cash-strapped (but growing) business the money it needed to build a new headquarters—and the company is still performing well, 21 years later.

More recently, I was able to structure a series of SBA loans to support a prominent, growing restaurant business that wanted to expand further. The business has a track record of sufficient cash flow and is a consistent supporter of the community, but it does not have the collateral needed to support a conventional commercial loan with the bank.  Their significant shortage of collateral would normally stop the commercial loan process, but the SBA 7A loan program provided a government guarantee to the bank, in case of loan default, encouraging the bank to make the loan.

For small, growing businesses, having access to capital can make all the difference when it comes to achieving the next level of success. However, many businesses may have sufficient cash flow, but not enough collateral to qualify for traditional commercial loans. Or, they may have had some debt issues or some past financial misfortune that puts a blemish on their financial records. This can leave them limited in their ability to move ahead—unless they work with a lender who can offer some non-traditional financing options, like SBA loans.