Avoiding Home Improvement Scams

Wednesday, January 30 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Signs of a Home Improvement Scam

Finding a capable and reliable contractor is important — a home improvement project gone wrong can cost you more than money; it can lead to delays, subpar work, and even legal problems.

A good ad isn’t proof a contractor does quality work. Find out for yourself. Check with friends, neighbors, or co-workers who’ve had improvement work done. Also check out a contractor’s reputation on online ratings sites you trust. Get written estimates from several firms, keeping in mind the lowest bidder may not be the best choice.

How can you tell if a contractor might not be reputable? Don’t do business with someone who:

  • Pressures you for an immediate decision.
  • Only accepts cash, asks you to pay everything up-front, or tells you to borrow money from a lender the contractor knows.
  • Is not licensed. Many states, but not all, require contractors to be licensed and/or bonded. Check with your local building department or consumer protection agency to find out about licensing requirements in your area.
  • “Just happens” to have materials left over from a previous job.
  • Knocks on your door for business or offers you discounts for finding other customers.
  • Asks you to get the required building permits.
  • Tells you your job will be a "demonstration” or offers a lifetime warranty or long-term guarantee.
  • Doesn’t list a business number in the local telephone directory.

For more tips, check out Hiring a Contractor.

The Home Improvement Loan Scam

Here’s how it works: a contractor calls or comes to your door and offers a deal to install a new roof or remodel your kitchen. He says he can arrange financing through a lender he knows. After he starts, he asks you to sign papers; they may be blank — or he might hustle you along and not give you time to read through them. Later you find out you’ve agreed to a home equity loan with a high interest rate, points, and fees. What’s worse, the work on your home isn’t done right or isn’t completed, and the contractor — who may already have been paid by the lender — has lost interest.

To avoid a loan scam, don’t:

  • Agree to a home equity loan if you don’t have the money to make the payments.
  • Sign a document you haven’t read or that has blank spaces to be filled in after you sign.
  • Let anyone pressure you into signing any document.
  • Deed your property to anyone. Consult an attorney, a knowledgeable family member, or someone else you trust if you’re asked to.
  • Agree to financing through your contractor without shopping around and comparing loan terms.

Source: Federal Trade Commission

Tags: Consumer Protection, Financial Education
 

6 Tips to Sleep Better and Save Money

Wednesday, January 30 at 02:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

It’s no secret that getting a good night’s sleep is good for your health, but did you know it can also be good for your wallet?

The average person spends about 1/3 of their life sleeping – that adds up to around 25 years! Studies show that poor sleeping habits can cause long-term medical conditions like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Sleep deprivation can also affect your brain functionality, leading to mental exhaustion and impaired decision-making. Any of these consequences from poor sleep can have a hefty impact on your bank account, whether it be from increased medical bills or poor financial decisions made while tired. By adding a few healthy habits to your daily routine, however, you have the opportunity improve your health and your savings.

To maximize your sleep, The National Sleep Foundation offers these tips for healthy sleeping habits:

  • Establish a sleep routine. Try to go bed and wake up at the same time every day – including weekends.
  • Exercise. Staying active during the day will help you sleep when your head hits the pillow.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals at night. Wait at least two to three hours after eating before going to bed.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. Shop around and test products until you find what is right for you.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime routine. Calming activities like taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to soft music can help ease you into sleep mode.
  • Create a sleep haven. The ideal sleeping environment should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees, quiet, and free of light. Consider a fan, ear plugs, or eye masks to obtain the optimal setting for sleep.

Make these tips a part of your routine to enjoy the benefits of a good night’s sleep – and maybe some extra savings too! For more information about the importance of sleep and tips on how to catch more Zzz’s, grab your pillow, put on your PJs, and check out The National Sleep Foundation.

Tags: Financial Education
 

Arvest Bank Offers Special Assistance to Customers Affected by Shutdown

Friday, January 25 at 08:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank has announced additional accommodations for our customers affected by the current government shutdown. Because we understand the uncertainty caused by an interruption in income, we’ve established a Special Assistance Customer Care hotline for our customers who need help managing their accounts during this time.

If you have concerns about your accounts related to the government shutdown, please call this dedicated line during normal business hours – 

Arvest Special Assistance Customer Care: (877) 483-2940.

A customer care associate will walk you through specific accommodations available to you.

  • ARVEST MORTGAGE CUSTOMERS: Arvest is suppressing credit reporting, waiving late fees and offering payment assistance including forbearance. In addition to calling (877) 483-2940, mortgage customers can visit the Arvest website to learn more about hardship assistance. Options will vary based on loan type and investor guidelines.
  • PERSONAL LOANS (AUTO, HOME EQUITY, DEBT CONSOLIDATION, ETC.): Arvest is offering payment deferrals for existing loans based on need. In addition, Arvest is waiving origination fees and offering an extension of the first payment due date for some new consumer loan types. Affected customers are encouraged to call (877) 483-2940 to discuss options.
  • CONSUMER AND BUSINESS CREDIT CARD CUSTOMERS: Arvest is offering payment deferrals. Affected customers are encouraged to call (877) 483-2940.
  • CHECKING ACCOUNT HOLDERS: Arvest is waiving account insufficient funds and overdraft fees, as well as monthly account fees, when applicable. To request these waivers or refunds, please call (877) 483-2940.
  • BUSINESS OR COMMERCIAL LOANS: Please contact your local Arvest banker for personalized assistance.

At Arvest we are committed to helping our customers through this challenging time. If you have questions about any of the above accommodations or your eligibility, please do not hesitate to call (877) 483-2940.

Tags: Arkansas, Budgeting, Business Banking, Community Support, Credit Cards, Credit History, Credit Score, Customer Question, Debt, Home Loans, Kansas, Lending and Financing, Missouri, Mortgage, Oklahoma, Overdraft Coverage
 

Arvest Bank Offers Assistance to Customers Affected by Shutdown

Wednesday, January 09 at 04:00 PM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank wants to advise any loan customers dealing with a reduction in income due to the current government shutdown that help is available for those who need assistance. Customers who have concerns about their loan obligations are encouraged to contact the bank during normal business hours to discuss their options.

  • Any affected Arvest Mortgage customers can call (800) 232-5524 or visit the Arvest website to learn more about hardship assistance due to the shutdown, natural disasters or other loss of income.
  • Arvest customers with concerns about other Arvest personal loan types (auto, home equity, debt consolidation, etc.) are encouraged to call (855) 303-5479. 
  • Arvest consumer and business credit card customers should call (800) 356-8085.
  • Business customers with business and/or commercial loans should contact their local Arvest banker.

Arvest Bank understands the uncertainty created by an interruption of income by situations like this, and is committed to helping those customers who need assistance through this difficult time.

 

Tags: Arkansas, Credit Cards, Debt, Kansas, Lending and Financing, Missouri, Oklahoma
 

Arvest Branches Closed Jan. 21

Tuesday, January 08 at 06:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, all Arvest branches and the customer service line will be closed on Monday, January 21.

We will resume normal hours on Tuesday, January 22.

For your convenience, you can bank 24/7 using:

Thank you for being a loyal Arvest customer! We appreciate your business.

 

Tags: Arkansas, Holiday Hours, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma

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