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In The
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iHelp Loans are Now Available at Kensington Bank

Looking for a student loan through a local lender you can trust? Good news! Kensington Bank is now offering private student loans through iHELP.

The student loan process can be confusing and stressful. We’re here to simplify it and help you make the best financial plan. Here are a few things to know about our new student loan program.

iHELP Loans

What is an iHelp Loan?

An iHELP student loan is a private loan direct from a community lender. The iHELP loan offers many features for the loan, including excellent interest rates, assistance from US-based student loan experts, and comprehensible information to ensure you completely understand your loan.

Am I Eligible for an iHelp Loan?

In short, you likely are. Here are the eligibility requirements on an iHELP student loan:

  • You must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • The borrower or cosigner must meet the legal age requirements set by their state of permanent residence
  • The borrower or cosigner must demonstrate a minimum 3 years of positive credit history in addition to meeting other ‘creditworthy’ factors
  • The borrower or cosigner must have at least a $24,000 annual income for the past two years
  • The minimum loan borrowing amount is $1,000. The maximum amount is $100,000 for undergraduate and $150,000 for graduate students
  • The cosigner cannot surpass the debt to income limit of 45%

What are the Repayment Plans on an iHelp Loan?

We offer flexible repayment plans so that you can choose the best way for you to pay back your loans. While you are still in school and up to six months after you graduate, you are given a grace period during which you do not have to make payments on your loan. You also have the option of making interest payments, which keep your loan amount from growing, or making principal and interest payments, which would reduce the amount you owe after your grace period.

You also have options when your loan does reach the end of the repayment grace period. You are automatically enrolled into principal and interest payments, which are set up over a 20-year plan. However, if you are unable to make these payments, you can request an interest only payment plan. There are two options on the interest plans: one is a 24-month interest only plan that steps up to the principal and interest plan after. The other is a graduated plan that allows you to pay interest on the loan for a set period, then gradually increases until it reaches the payments of the principal and interest plan.

How do I Apply?

The application method is straightforward. Simply set up or open an account on our website and we will walk you through every step of the process. We want to be sure that you understand and feel comfortable with your loans, which is why we have a practice of transparency and guidance from our team of loan experts.

We know that researching student loans can feel overwhelming and stressful, so please contact us or stop in to one of our locations with any questions.

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Health Savings Accounts

Getting the Most from Your Health Savings Account

When it comes to health insurance, a Health Savings Account can help you save on health insurance, control your health care spending and reduce your taxes.

This kind of account combines high-deductible health insurance with a tax-favored savings account for use with medical expenses. But you may be surprised which expenses are eligible for HSA spending.

What can I use my HSA for?

Broadly, eligible expenses include items that “diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent illness or disease,” along with healthcare related transportation.

That includes expected items, like doctor and dentist visits, prescriptions, hearing aids and surgery. But it also includes treatments like acupuncture, batteries for medical equipment, Chiropractor visits, contraceptive devices, contact lenses and Lasik eye surgery and hot and cold packs.

In addition, there are a number of expenses that are potentially eligible for use with the HSA plan, which require additional documentation to prove medical necessity.

These include alternative healing, childbirth classes, therapy, CPR classes, dietary supplements, exercise equipment, hair loss treatment, language training, hormone therapy, sleep aids, vitamins and weight loss programs.

medical drillsWhat Happens if I use my HSA incorrectly?

Spend HSA funds on non-qualifying expenses, such as food, and you’ll find yourself paying income tax on the purchase, as well as a 20 percent fee. Cosmetic surgery, toiletries, and over-the-counter medicines don’t qualify for your HSA in most cases.

Because the funds roll over every year, you shouldn’t feel an urgency to spend the money in your HSA, especially on non-qualifying items.

At Kensington Bank, we want you to get the most out of your money. We offer great rates on HSA accounts, including 2% APY, tax-free contributions, growth, and withdrawals. To learn more about the HSA options available at Kensington Bank, visit a branch or contact us today!

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Check out our great rates!
Kensington Bank announces special rates on HSAs and 39 month CDs!

Health Savings Accounts

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Choosing A Checking Account
To Fit Your Needs

Checking accounts have evolved a lot over the years. Today, they offer a lot more than just the ability to write checks. The checking account options at Kensington Bank offer our members some of the best options for every phase of life. Let us introduce you to our three options to help you choose the right checking account for your needs.

Checking Account, change on a table

Free Checking Account

Our free checking account is the no hassle option that offers many free features, including online banking, bill pay, mobile banking, and a debit card*. Plus, you are eligible for a rewards credit card* and additional rewards when you refer a friend! It really is the easiest checking account you will ever use and offers you many advantages over a simple savings account for using your money. The only requirement is that you must enroll for estatements to help us save on paper and be more environmentally friendly.

Interest Checking Account

This checking account option gives you a little more simply for carrying a higher balance. If you keep $750 or more in your account at all times, you will receive all the perks of our free checking account but you will also earn interest on your money! If you do not have a checking account, it is time to reconsider. Click to learn more about this opportunity!

Rewards Checking Account

This option is our premier checking account offering many benefits for those who meet a few simple requirements. If you complete 15 debit card transactions per month, enroll in online banking and estatements, and have at least one direct deposit post per month, your Rewards Checking Account will reap the benefits. Earn a high interest rate on the first $10,000 you keep in the account, receive free paper checks, ATM fee rebates, and all the perks of a free checking account!

If you have never taken a close look at the amazing checking accounts we offer at Kensington Bank, it is time to visit our website and get the details. We even offer special perks for senior members age 55 or better and two different business checking accounts to service our members.

Stop into one of our locations or visit our website today!

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EQUIFAX DATA BREACH
Important Information you should know!

Last week, Equifax, one of the nation’s three largest credit bureaus, disclosed that it was subject to a massive data breach – one of the worst in the nation’s history. By the company’s own admission, the breach affects as many as 143 million Americans or roughly half of the U.S. population. This constitutes a much larger share of Americans with a credit history.

According to the company’s press release, “(t)he information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver's license numbers.”

Consumers could face significant financial risk from harm caused by fraudulent loans taken out by cybercriminals.

What Should Consumers Do?

  1. Visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, an online service Equifax has set up, to check if personal information has been compromised.

  2. A number of experts also advise consumers to place a credit freeze on their credit reports, if they believe they are at risk of identity theft. Based on Equifax’s disclosure, it’s reasonable to assume that the risk is high. To learn more about the credit freeze process, follow these links from the Minnesota Office of the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission. Minnesota state law requires a $5 fee for each credit freeze. Consumers may contact the credit reporting agencies as follows:

    Experian Security Freeze
    (888) 397-3742
    www.experian.com

    Equifax Security Freeze
    (800) 685-1111
    freeze.equifax.com

    TransUnion Security Freeze
    (800) 680-7289
    www.transunion.com

  3. Monitor accounts closely and frequently. By viewing accounts online and checking throughout the month, customers will be able to identify possible problems sooner.

  4. Review credit reports every three or four months. Consumers are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus per year. They can request a single report from one of the bureaus every three or four months. By staggering these requests, consumers will be able to monitor credit throughout the year.
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