Families on the Go

Managing the financial responsibilities of family life

By the time you have a family of your own, there will be accompanying expenses such as fees for various activities and lessons for your children, family vacations, saving for college educations or buying a new home.  With all the demands a family places on your income, it is still important to build your long-term investments. Planning and discipline that determines what and how you spend contributes to your future financial success.  

Here are some tips First Southern Bank recommends for sound financial management during this demanding time of your life.

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Shop for the best mortgage and consumer loans

Seeking the best mortgage or consumer loan by  shopping, comparing and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars.  A mortgage—whether for a home purchase, refinancing or a home equity loan—is a product, just like a car, so terms may be negotiable.  You’ll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage including interest rates, points, fees and down payment and private mortgage insurance requirements.   Home equity loans and lines of credit can be helpful when extra cash is needed to reduce significant credit card debt—but be cautious about re-building credit card debt once it is paid.

With competitive rates, experienced lending professionals and local decision-making, you’ll be sure
to find a loan at First Southern Bank that meets your needs.  To apply for a mortgage or consumer loan, stop by and talk with one of our lending officers. 

        Fixed Rate Mortgages
        Adjustable Rate Mortgages
        Construction Loans 
        Installment Loans
        Home Improvement Loans
        Second Mortgage Loans
        Installment Loans 
        Home Equity Loans
        Home Equity Line of Credit 


Understand your credit report

Your financial behavior over the past seven years, including how much credit you have, how long you've had it and whether you pay your bills on time is information included in your credit report.  Three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — maintain these reports, and  lenders buy them to help them decide whether to offer you a prequalification.  Your credit report also carries your credit score ranked between 300 and 850 that many lenders use to decide whether you are creditworthy and will you repay a loan.  Your credit score can also influence the interest rate you pay.  In many cases the higher your score, the lower your interest rate. Your credit score is available from the three credit reporting agencies: 

Equifax –  www.equifax.com
TransUnion –  www.transunion.com
Experian – www.experian.com

You are entitled to a free report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.  Security experts advise you get a free report from each one every four months.  That way, you can keep an eye on your personal acount safety year 'round.



Start Saving for College

By starting early, when your child is in preschool or before, you can
build a realistic fund through the power of compounding over many years.  

The earlier you start, the less you’ll have to save per month.

Here are some sources to help you plan how you will finance a higher education:

  College Savings Plans - It’s OK to start small, but start now with a college savings plan that you can contribute to:        

CollegeCounts 529 Plan  –  CollegeCounts, a 529-qualified tuition program that provides flexible investment options specifically designed to help you build college savings.  For more information go to www.collegecounts529.com. 

US Government EE Savings Bonds  –  EE Bonds are reliable, low-risk government-backed savings products that you can use toward financing education and other special events. For more information go to www.treasurydirect.gov.

 •  Federal Financial Aid for Higher Education (FAFSA)  –  All college applicants and their parents or
    guardians should become familiar with the most recent FAFSA guidelines and deadlines which can
    be found at www.fafsa.ed.gov/.  Applications for federal student aid may also be available
    from your high school counselors, public library or college financial aid office. 


Conserve time, money and paper with First Southern Bank’s convenient checking accounts with online banking and bill pay and no-charge ATM services

You’ll reduce the time it takes to pay your bills and save on  the expense of printed paper checks and postage while helping the environment as well.

Find the checking account that best fits your lifestyle, without the hassle of unnecessary fees.  No matter what your financial needs are, we have an account that is perfect for you.

First Southern does not charge you fees for using any ATM nationwide.  We will even refund ATM fees charged to you by other banks when using your First Southern Visa Debit Card at their ATM*. 

*Original receipt reflecting fee must be presented to a First Southern Branch within 60 days to receive reimbursement.  Reimbursements are limited to $25 per month per account.

Choose an account that is right for you:

Totally Free Checking

No Monthly Service Fees!!

  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly service charge
  • No per check charge
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Easy-to-balance monthly statement
  • Return of check images for easy record keeping
  • FREE ATM/Debit Card
  • FREE Online Banking and Bill Pay


VIP First Southern Interest Checking

No Monthly Service Fee with the convenience of direct deposit or any automatic payment!

  • Competitive interest
  • No minimum balance
  • No monthly service charge
  • No per check charge
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Easy-to-balance monthly statement
  • Return of check images for easy record keeping
  • FREE ATM/Debit Card
  • FREE Online Banking and Bill Pay


Southern Advantage Checking

An account for those interested in higher interest!

  • Free personalized checks
  • Higher interest rates with balances of $2,500 or more
  • Competitive interest if balance falls below $2,500
  • No per check charge
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Easy-to-balance monthly statement
  • Return of check images for easy record keeping
  • Only $8 monthly charge if minimum balance falls below $1,000
  • FREE ATM/Debit Card
  • FREE Online Banking and Bill Pay


Save for Retirement

Many people underestimate the amount of money they’ll need in retirement.
Be realistic about major expenditures, e.g., will your mortgage be paid off by retirement?  If so, you may need less income than you do now.  Do you plan to buy a vacation home or travel extensively?  Will you have to pay for your own health insurance?  These and other financial considerations all come into play.  

We offer a complete range of savings and investment accounts to help you achieve your financial goals.  

Individual Retirement Account      
First Southern Bank is always willing to help you plan for financial success. Individual Retirement Accounts are a great way to prepare for the future. Contact one of our Customer Service Representatives for qualification requirements or any details concerning these retirement accounts.

We can help you with:

  • Traditional IRA - A Traditional IRA is a retirement account that offers tax-deferred earnings and the potential for contributions that are tax-deductible. Traditional IRA earnings are taxed upon withdrawal.
  • Roth IRA - The Roth IRA is a retirement account in which non-deductible contributions can grow tax free and can be withdrawn tax free upon retirement.

    Certificates of Deposit     
    First Southern Bank offers a variety of Certificates with competitive terms and rates. CD's are time deposit accounts that earn interest for a specified term. It can be used essentially as a savings account because it restricts the holder from withdrawing funds on demand. Although it is still possible to withdraw the money, this action will incur a penalty if the Certificate has not reached maturity.

    Contact one of our Customer Service Representatives for questions or assistance.

    See our CURRENT RATES-

Tiered Money Market Account      
•  $500.00 minimum balance to open
•  $12.00 service charge fee each month account
    balance falls below $2,500.00
•  Maintain minimum balance of $500.00
    to earn interest
•  Limited to six transfers per standard cycle

Statement Savings Account 
•  $25.00 minimum balance
•  Maintain minimum balance to earn interest
•  Receive quarterly statement
•  Transfers from statement savings account to
   another account or to third parties by automatic or
   telephone transfer are limited to six per quarter
   without a service charge



Tips for Effective Financial Management

  • Make sure your mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, represents no more than 29 percent of your gross monthly income.
  • Review the cost of your health care insurance and make sure you are getting adequate coverage at the best price.
  • Make wise purchasing decisions by determining what you “need” compared to what you “want.” This will help you make ongoing decisions to keep your finances in check.
  • Guard against impulse shopping, especially for costly purchases such as vehicles, major appliances, furniture, jewelry and the like.
Mortgage Calculator
Retirement Calculator


For help determining the best accounts and products for sound and productive money management during
your Active Families Lifestage, please contact us at 800-625-7131 or firstsouthern@firstsouthern.com.