Credit Unions, small banks shine in rocky financial times

January 27, 2009 in bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, Uncategorized

While the biggest banks are suffering from a subprime mortgage fallout, community banks and credit unions haven’t had big losses. They never made risky loans.

Credit unions are different from other financial institutions because they are not-for-profit cooperatives. They are owned by the members and often operated by volunteer boards.

One financial analyst interviewed on Fox Business says the shareholders and board members in credit unions know their own money is at risk when they make a loan, so they are more conservative.

The capital in credit unions is at an all-time high, according to the Credit Unions National Association, Inc., in Madison, Wisc. It’s a safety cushion that protects them against loss and that allows them to continue in spite of recessions or turbulent financial markets.

They are known for share accounts, which may pay a little more interest than bank savings accounts, and for their auto loans, which may cost a little less. Most also offer mortgages.

The lifeline of credit union funds is particularly important now because big banks have tightened their lending standards and may only make loans to people with the highest credit scores.

Some credit unions can refinance subprime mortgages, and offer banking products no longer available from other lenders, including a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage. One reason: They don’t pay dividends to shareholders. The money is reinvested in loans to meet the needs of their members.

The American Bankers Association encourages consumers trying to consolidate debt or refinance mortgages to contact community banks. While they are typically conservative, according to The Wall Street Journal, they have plenty of money to lend.

In Galileo’s honor: The 100 Hours of Astronomy

January 27, 2009 in bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, Uncategorized

galileoFour hundred years ago, Galileo Galilei lifted his new telescope to study the sky, setting in motion a myriad of astronomical discoveries that forever changed our view of the universe.

Contrary to current wisdom, Galileo was not persecuted by the church for his belief that the planets orbited the sun. In fact, that idea had been around for hundreds of years and was the publicly held belief of other scientists, including Copernicus (1473-1543). But in a time before the concept of free speech, Galileo was not exactly diplomatic. When he publicly mocked the Pope in a book published by the church, he landed in jail for several days. Later, he was confined to his villa and during those 10 years he continued his research, writing, received visitors, and remained outspoken in his beliefs. He died in 1642.

It was actually his development of the telescope that constitutes his greatest contribution to science.

In honor of Galileo, the United Nations declared 2009 the International Year of Astronomy.

The 2009 opening ceremony will be in Paris on Jan. 15-16.About 400 participants are expected, including Nobel Prize winners and 200 student ambassadors from 100 countries.

On of the main events of the year is the 100 hours of astronomy, April 2-5, days when the early evening is good for observing. The goal is to have as many people as possible peering through telescopes to study the sky.

For more information check www.astronomy2009.org.

Pennsylvania Auto Insurance Quotes

January 4, 2009 in bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, pennsylvania auto insurance quote

You want a pennsylvania auto insurance quote, and you want a good one.  Well Okay, then what are you gonna do ? Have you thought about buying online ? Is this your first online insurance inquiry ?  How do you know you can trust this company?

All are good questions for the beginner internet shopper. If you’ve always dealt with a local agent the online experience can be a bit overwhelming.  Take care to be sure the pa auto insurance provider you’re checking with has intimate knowledge of pennsylvania laws and insurance requirements. Pennsylvania auto insurance laws are unique and need to be explained completely to anyone who is seriously considering an online purchase.

Is there a toll free # to make actual contact withthis company ? This is a must if you need assistance in a hurry and goling online is not an option. Many online companies do not list a physical address, this is another critical “trust factor” of knowing that you’re dealing with a real live company. When the client needs an agent in an emergency situation they need a human being who can listen to their concern and react in an empathatic and considerate manner. Be sure to research your online provider to ensure that they can provide you with this assurance.

We are a “brick & mortar” agency operating in pennsylvania auto insurance since 1986. We serve clients all over the state of pennsylvania for their auto, home ,life and health insurances. Our home telephone numbers are all “listed” just another way of letting you know that we mean it when we say “overdeliver on service”.  We offer many different options and insurance companies to choose from, you will notice however, that we only represent the top rated companies.  Your protection is the utmost concern and other, lower rated insurance companies just can’t give the service you may need. 

Go ahead, try us out and see how we do. Then pick up the phone, make sure we’re real,live people and then you’re ready to choose an agent who is committed to providing you with true value.

Super Bowl Sunday

January 4, 2009 in bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, Uncategorized

Well…I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that I won’t be watching the Steelers in the Superbowl this year. So…I probably won’t be hosting a superbowl party at my house. However, My friends at Erie Insurance have put together a “common sense” super bowl party guideline that could prove to be very helpful to those who host a party this year.

 

If you are one of the millions giving or attending a Super Bowl Party this year, Erie Insurance reminds you to play it safe when it comes to drinking and driving. Super Bowl Sunday is one of the deadliest days for drunk driving. The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) reports that nearly 60 percent of traffic deaths on Super Bowl Sunday involve alcohol. In more than 30 states, party givers who serve alcohol can be held legally liable if their guests cause an accident because their driving ability was impaired by the consumption of alcohol.

 

Tips for a Winning Super Bowl Party

Erie Insurance recommends the following tips to help you play it safe on Super Bowl Sunday.

  • If you are giving the party, be responsible. Limiting your alcohol intake will allow you to better determine if someone is fit to drive home.
  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages for those guests who are driving or choose not to drink.
  • Always serve food and water with alcohol.   Food and water can help counter the effects of alcohol.
  • Encourage drivers to wear seatbelts and drive defensively.  Try to stay a safe distance behind aggressive or impaired drivers.
  • Encourage all guests to have a designated driver.  Make sure that any guest who has had too much to drink does not drive.
  • If a friend is unfit to drive home, call a cab or offer the guest room.  This will protect your guest from having an accident and protect you from a lawsuit.

 

Oh yeah, and when your pennsylvania auto insurance rates go up again, contact my office and see how affordable Erie Insurance can be.  Maybe I’ll save you enough to go ahead and buy youself those Bills season tickets next year !