Ready for the Flood? 2 Ways We Can Help…

Preparing for a flood in advance can help you and your family minimize stress and damage to your property.

Protect with Safe Deposit Boxes

One way to do this is by renting a safe deposit box (sometimes called a safety deposit box). At Bell State Bank & Trust, our safe deposit boxes are located inside our vaults, which are resistant to theft, fire and explosions. You can rent them annually, and we offer various sizes to fit your needs. Availability, sizes and prices vary by location. Contact a personal banker at any Bell State Bank & Trust location for more details.

Many of our customers use safe deposit boxes to store valuable documents and jewelry in one safe place. Here’s an example of what’s commonly found inside one:

  • Wills
  • Trust Papers
  • Wedding Certificates
  • Car and House Titles
  • Insurance Policies
  • Jewelry

A good rule is that if you don’t see a document or touch a document at least once a week, and you consider it “valuable,” put it in the box. Any valuable items stored in a safe deposit box should be insured under your homeowners or renters insurance. We also suggest that you make a copy of all of your important documents to keep at home as well.

Recover with Home Equity Loans

If the worse-case scenario happens and your home is damaged by flooding, we’re here to help you with a home equity loan to get your house back to the home you love. A home equity loan is a loan that uses equity in a borrower’s home as collateral and it’s sometimes referred to as a second mortgage. You borrow a certain amount at a fixed interest rate and you pay it back, just as you would a mortgage.

If your home is worth $200,000 and you have a mortgage of $100,000 then you can potentially get a home equity loan up to $60,000.

Many people will take out a home equity loan to do home repairs and remodels. The reasoning behind this is that the repairs and remodels will help to build the value of the home, and so it makes sense to borrow the extra money against your home. You are cashing in against the equity (or the amount of home that you own), so while you may be increasing the value of your home, you are not increasing how much home you own.

Compared to other loan options such as personal loans, a home equity loan may be your best bet after a disaster such as a flood, for a few reasons:

  • It is a secured loan, so may have a lower interest rate than an unsecured loan
  • There’s no pre-payment penalty
  • It may have tax benefits (talk to your tax advisor)

Home equity rates do change from time to time. Check with our personal bankers, call our customer service center at 701.298.1550 or click here to get the latest rates.

In conclusion…

From employees who volunteer to sandbag to financial services that ease your recovery, Bell State Bank & Trust is here to help the greater Red River Valley – just let us know how!

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