Local Banks Lending Money

Is there light at the end of the tunnel? If lending is an indicator, then we may be seeing brighter days ahead with banks lending money.

We are all familiar with the recent news stories of the downturn in the American economy, especially the shake up of the US housing market. Home foreclosures have been at record highs, and home values and mortgage rates are at record lows. Everyone has been waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and it looks like that light may finally be here! There are local banks lending money.

One local bank, M&F Bank headquartered in Kosciusko, Mississippi, is seeing a significant rise in lending activity. According to bank president Jeff Lacey their mortgage department has never been busier. Lacey says, “There are likely several factors helping the market. We are seeing very positive trends.” Certainly two of note are the incredibly low rates and the fact that it is a buyers market.

It is a partnership between buyers and lenders that enables us to revitalize the housing market. And, today, it looks like both are participating to create long awaited positive trends in the housing market and in commercial segments as well.


Economic Recovery Requires Financial Backing

When it comes to economic recovery and growth, a key factor is the willingness of financial institutions to lend money both to businesses and families. Families need money for essentials like cars and homes; businesses require capital for everything from start-up to expansion and growth. We are fortunate in Mississippi to have a local bank that is eager to support economic growth.


A History of Making Local Lending Easy

For over 100 years, M&F Bank has been equated with local service. In fact, at M&F Bank some services that other banks have to approve through corporate channels are handled directly at the branch level. That means faster service. M&F is also an SBA Preferred Lender, which means they are able to process SBA loans in a matter of days, where institutions that are not SBA preferred lenders may take weeks.

When thinking of getting a loan, many “people and businesses simply don’t know what the process is like,” says Lacey. The process can be very intimidating in some settings, but M&F strives to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.

To simplify the process, M&F Bank offers 30-minute consultations for businesses and home buyers, free local seminars, and helps potential home buyers get pre-qualified. The 30 minute consultation allows borrowers to quickly get an idea of what they may qualify to borrow. Getting pre-qualified helps home buyers know exactly what they are qualified to purchase, allows them to “lock-in” low rates, simplifies and speeds up the buying process and can even give them added leverage with sellers.


Take it to the Bank!

Before meeting with your bank, it’s a good idea to know what the bank will need to know about you. It can make your initial meeting very productive.
When seeking Home Mortgages, Car Loans, Home Equity Lines of Credit, or Personal Loans, plan to bring with you at least two forms of ID, two years of credit history, two years of tax returns, current pay stubs, your mortgage/rent information, and your current bills. The more information you can provide, the closer you will be to a qualified borrowing decision.

Business Loans are approached by the bank in much the same way as individual loans. Businesses should be prepared for their initial meeting with an outline of how the loan is to be used, 3 years of tax returns and financial statements, organizational bylaws and guarantors, and other basic information on how the business is structured and functions.


Factors Banks Consider when Lending

  • Credit Scores
  • Capacity to re-pay the loan
  • Collateral
  • Capital

Banks are in the Lending Business

There is a general perception by the American public that banks are not currently in the mindset to offer loans. The truth is, some banks are exactly the opposite. Jeff Lacey says, “Lending is central to our business model — both to businesses and individuals. It’s what we do.” M&F is looking to lend in all areas including Home Mortgages, Home Equity Lines of Credit, Personal Loans, Business Loans, and Auto Loans.

Our nation and our communities need banks lending money like M&F that are eager to assist in our economic recovery by extending loans in both business and individuals. M&F Bank is a bank where you can safely explore your options and establish a long-term relationship.

M&F Bank has branches in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama. Established in 1890, they were formerly known as Merchants and Farmers Bank. They are now called M&F Bank and they are emphasizing the message that they have “Cash to Loan.” For more information, visit www.mfbank.com.

Bryan Carter is the founding member of thinkWRITE Guild and a contributing writer to County Connections.