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To learn more about our mobile app, online banking, and more, watch our video tutorials.

Congratulations Bridget Brosh! New Branch Manager

Bridget Brosh crop

Bridget Brosh has been promoted to Branch Manager of the SouthStar Bank Moulton branch. As Branch Manager, Bridget will see increased responsibility that includes budgeting, forecasting, and planning to meet the needs of her customers while also maintaining her complex role as IRA Coordinator. Bridget holds four and a half years of experience in the banking industry, all of which were spent with SouthStar Bank. During this time, she has consistently thrived and has grown from her initial role as a Personal Banker to IRA Coordinator and now to Branch Manager.

Bridget is looking forward to expanding her knowledge in banking operations as a Branch Manager. She plans to hone her ability to find creative solutions to unique challenges and is eager to continue building relationships with her customers and the community.

Outside of work, Bridget is active in the community and as a member of the Moulton PTO and the Moulton Booster Club. When she finds time to herself, she enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening, and making memories with family and friends.

Understanding Small Business Loans

Small Business Loans

Small business loans support business owners when they are establishing, growing, or managing their enterprises. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) estimates that there are 32.5 million small enterprises nationwide, making up a sizable portion of the American economy. Even while each one is different; they all have one thing in common: they all require business funding.

Funding for small enterprises that are underfunded

Many funding options are available for historically underprivileged firms, including those run by women, veterans, Black, Asian, Latino, and Native American business owners.

Financing for women’s businesses

Women who own their own enterprises are eligible to apply for grants or debt financing. The growth of women-owned firms has outpaced that of all American businesses in recent years. However, when women are given business loans, the average yearly loan amount is around 33% smaller than it is for males.

Financing for minorities’ businesses

Business grants and loans are options for capital for business entrepreneurs of color. Those who live in historically underrepresented communities confront more funding-related entrepreneurial challenges than their peers. Funds are allocated by institutions and lenders all around the United States to help minority-owned enterprises.

Financing for veterans’ businesses

Small business owners with a history of military service also have access to a variety of services and funding choices. Many veterans find it difficult to apply their military experience to civilian professions after leaving the service, so some opt to launch their own businesses instead. Veterans’ business loans are one of the secrets to success.

Obtaining a small business loan

Depending on the kind of business loan you’re looking for, the application process for small business loans varies. Equipment financing normally requires less paperwork than a business line of credit, while short-term loans typically have less paperwork than long-term loans. To increase your chances of approval, it’s still a good idea to have the following documents on hand in case they are required:

Checklist for applications for small business loans

Once you’ve decided that your business is capable of handling a loan, you should start gathering the appropriate paperwork for your loan application. Although the specific paperwork varies depending on the finance partner, it almost certainly consists of the following:

  • Personal and company tax returns spanning two to three years
  • most recent profit and loss report
  • historical bank statements
  • contemporary balance sheet
  • legal documents pertaining to ownership
  • details about outstanding debt
  • business permit (if applicable)
  • business strategy

REMOVE THESE USUAL SMALL BUSINESS LOAN MISCONCEPTIONS

Applicants that are rejected frequently commit the error of submitting financial documentation and company plans that are insufficient or poorly thought out. When requesting a small businessloan, it’s critical to gather as much prepared information as you can.

SHUT OFF YOUR LOAN

After approval, the closing procedure is going over the paperwork that will decide the conditions of the loan you’ve chosen. Your interest rate and payback plan will be set down in a legally enforceable agreement called a business loan contract. Make sure you comprehend what the lender is asking of you and how these conditions will affect the financial viability of your company. All of the terms of the contract, including what happens if you make late payments or default, are accepted once you have signed.

What do small business lenders look for?

Lenders for small businesses are interested in learning how stable your business and credit history are. In order to assess your risk as a borrower, they will consider a number of different debt, asset, credit, and operational criteria.

TIME IN BUSINESS

A business that has been operating for a while is typically more stable than a startup. This is crucial for lenders since a company with steady sales over the previous two years is a more appealing borrower than one with erratic revenue over the previous six months.

CREDIT SCORE

A startup is typically less stable than a company that has been operating for a few years. This is important for lenders since a company that has a track record of consistent revenue over the past two years is a more appealing borrower than one with erratic income over the previous six months.

CASH FLOW

A cash-flow projection outlines when money is brought in, when it is spent and how much is left over. Lenders prefer it when borrowers.

COLLATERAL

If you are unable to make payments, creditors may legally seize collateral, such as office space, machinery, and accounts receivable. Some business owners opt to use their personal assets, such as their homes, as security for a loan for their company.

DEBT-TO-EQUITY RATIO

The debt-to-equity ratio of your business is the ratio of debt to shareholders’ equity. Based on the debt you are already paying; this measure helps a lender determine how likely you are to be able to pay off new debt.

WORKING CAPITAL

Your company’s working capital is the cash you have on hand to support regular business activities. By deducting current assets that can be converted into cash from the business’s debt obligations due within a year, you can determine your working capital.

Online and Mobile Banking Tips

Mobile Banking Tips

In a few easy steps, begin internet banking

As long as you have an account with SouthStar Bank then you are eligible for online banking. Using a computer or smartphone with Internet access, getting started is simple.

1. Before enrolling in Online Banking, you will need your account number, the type of account, social security number, zip code on file with us, and email address on file with us.

2. Click here to get started. Alternatively, you can type southstarbank.com into your web browser, then click the E-Banking tab and select Login from the dropdown menu. Next, click the picture above where it says, “Online Banking Login” and click the Enroll now link (below the Login button). *Please note that you must enroll in online banking through the web browser before you can login through the mobile app.

What can be done online or with the mobile banking app?

The majority of transactions can be completed online or via SouthStar Bank’s mobile app. Benefits of using online banking include:

  • Access to SouthStar Bank’s CardManager app is available for you once you are enrolled in online banking. To get the CardManager app, search for the SouthStar Bank Card Manager in your phone’s app store and then click the install button to install the app. CardManager helps you protect your debit cards by sending transaction alerts and giving you the ability to define when, where and how your cards are used. Simply download the CardManager app to your smartphone, then customize your alert preferences and usage settings to monitor and manage your cards. Other perks include being able to remotely manage your and monitor your child’s spending and locating ATMs worldwide.
  • Monthly eStatements are available within online banking via the web browser. By using eStatements you reduce paper consumption, decrease your likelihood of identity theft, online access to your monthly statements, and more.
  • Instant balance checks. The time of waiting for your paper statement to reveal issues like unauthorized activity is long gone. 
  • Have an issue with your account? Use the chat, online, or mobile banking services to report errors to your bank account.

The status of pending deposits and charges, or those that have not yet been reflected in your account, is frequently displayed. Please be advised that the amounts you see for pending debit card transactions can differ from the total that actually posts to your account. Before presuming that pending deposits are available for payments or withdrawals, carefully review the funds availability policy of your bank or credit union.

The SouthStar Bank mobile app also allows you to deposit checks into your account via the mobile deposit feature. The mobile app streamlines the check deposit process and just needs a few steps:

1.     If you haven’t done so before, download the SouthStar Bank mobile app

a.      Open your phone’s app store and search for “SouthStar Bank Mobile” – you will see the SouthStar Bank logo next to the app. Next, install the app. Once the app is installed you can open it and login with your online banking credentials.

2.     Follow the guidelines in the mobile app to deposit the check.

a.      At the bottom of the mobile app, click the Deposit tab.

b.     Next, click where it says “Deposit a check”.

c.      Select which account you want the check deposited into. (Use the dropdown arrow and then click on the correct account.)

d.     Type in the amount of the check by clicking where it says “Check amount”.

e.      Click the “TAKE PHOTOS” button.

f.      Before taking your photos, make sure there is ample light and the check is placed on a solid, dark-colored surface. Also flatten the check all the way if it is not already flat.

g.     Align the check with the box, hold steady, and then tap the capture button.

h.     If the picture was captured clearly, tap the “USE” button. Otherwise, tap the “RETAKE” button and try again.

i.       Repeat the above process with a picture of the back of the check. (Make sure the payee name is on the endorsement, you have signed the check, and it states “for mobile deposit at SouthStar only”.

j.       Lastly, click the “MAKE DEPOSIT” button.

k.     To check the status of your mobile deposit, click the Deposit tab at the bottom of the app, and then click where it says, “View mobile deposit history”. There are three tabs you can click on to see if your mobile deposit has been accepted, or if it is still pending review, or if it has failed. Please note that mobile deposits are posted to your account during business hours, and once the deposit has been accepted, there is a lag time before it posts to your account.

3. Once the check has been deposited, keep it in your possession for a few days to make sure it has posted to your account, meaning it is no longer outstanding and any holds your institution may have imposed have been lifted.

4. After the check has been cashed, shred, cut, or otherwise eliminate it.

  • If you need to transfer money between accounts or even financial organizations, your online banking or mobile app definitely offers options to do so. Make sure you are using the correct account and routing numbers and that you are aware of all the conditions and restrictions before making any transfers.
  • SouthStar Bank also offers the option to transfer money to another person through Zelle.

Online banking and utilizing a mobile device are secure as long as you follow best practices for securing the data on your device. SouthStar Bank can provide you further services, such as disabling your debit card, if you suspect fraud. To find out more about any additional protections your bank or credit union may provide, contact your local SouthStar Bank representative.

How to Get a Small Business Loan

Small Business Loan

Partner with SouthStar Bank and connect your small business requirements with results.

How to Get a Small Business Loan

Looking to start or expand your small business? Finding the right business loan doesn’t have to be a challenging process if you do your research. After determining your business’ needs, contact SouthStar Bank. We’re a local SBA lender, and can help you find the loan that best meets your needs.,

Here are six easy steps to getting a business loan.

Choose Your Loan Type

Let’s start with how you plan to use the funds from the loan.

SBA term loans are lump payments that are repaid over time. Depending on the need, these may be funded up front, or a short draw period may be utilized. Repayment is based on a fully amortizing loan.  These terms are based on the use of the proceeds. A traditional SBA loan offers a maximum borrowing limit of $5.5 million. 

You’d want to use a traditional loan to fund large purchases or to fulfill the needs of a growing business by funding company growth.

If your needs are shorter in term or possibly seasonal, you may consider a business line of credit, which can provide funds for recurring expenses. This is a flexible form of financing, allowing you to access capital as needed to pay for costs like payroll or unforeseen repairs. 

Many business owners use these types of loans as a helpful safety net, as businesses can be unpredictable.

Determine Your Eligibility.

Are you a For-Profit business?

Do you know and understand your credit score?

While your credit score is not the only factor in the loan process, it is important to know and understand what is affecting your credit score.

How long has your business been in operations?

SBA loans are available to new businesses and to expanding businesses. 

As your hometown lender, SouthStar Bank can help you evaluate your eligibility and the steps you might need to take to obtain the best business loan for your needs.

Understand Your Finances

Examine the financials of your company, particularly the cash flow, and determine how much you can afford to put toward loan repayments each month.

Your total income should be at least 1.25 times your total expenses, which includes your new payback amount.

Understand your balance sheet.  Where are you with your accounts receivable and accounts payable? Has your cost of goods gone up or down, and what?  What is your leading product or service? Knowing more than just the bottom line can really play a vital role in the type loan product best for your business.

Choose Between a Secured or Unsecured Loan

Loans for businesses can be secured or unsecured. A secured loan requires company collateral, such as real estate or machinery, that the lender can seize if you don’t pay back the loan. Risky as it is, putting up collateral might improve your borrowing capacity and lower your interest rate.

Even unsecured loans often require a personal guarantee. This means in the event that your company is unable to repay the debt, you will be responsible for doing so personally, even if your corporate structure might normally prevent such things. In addition, if you default, a lender may be able to seize your home or vehicle.

Understand the Terms

Start by comparing the loan conditions and annual percentage rates, or APR, of two or three options that are similar to each other. The best method to comprehend the whole cost of a business loan is to use the annual percentage rate (APR), which includes all loan expenses in addition to the interest rate.

Ready to Submit Your Application?

We’re excited to help Texas business owners succeed! If you’re ready to secure a business loan, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our loan officers. We’ll be happy to discuss your options and to help you through the application process.

Everything You Need to Know About Land Loans

Land Loans

Thinking about building a custom home? If you can’t find the house of your dreams, building your home can be ideal. 

All you have to do is finance the process.

Fortunately, you don’t have to have a pile of money in the bank to do just that. Instead, you can take out a land loan.

Land Loan: What is it?

A land loan, also known as a lot loan, is used to fund the acquisition of a piece of land. If you’re interested in purchasing land on which to build a house or other structure, you can get a land loan. The type of loan you choose will depend on where you want to acquire land and how you’ll use it.

Land or lot loans are also a preferable option for potential home builders who have a concept but who might not want to start building and financing a house immediately. If you are worried that your construction has to be delayed or if you’re still finalizing your home plans, then a land loan is probably the best option for you.

How Do Land Loans Work?

You’ll typically need a down payment of at least 25% to take out a land loan.

You’ll need a credit score of 720 or higher to take out a land loan. You may also need to provide your lender with information about how you intend to use the land. This often means conducting due diligence in regard to the property’s existing zoning, land-use limitations, surveyed boundaries, and existing utility access.

This information will help lenders assess the potential risk of the loan.

Lenders adjust interest rates in response to these factors, but regardless, you should expect higher interest rates than you’d see from a traditional mortgage. This is because a land loan is riskier for the lender than a mortgage.

However, if a borrower has superior credit and a lower debt-to-income ratio, they may be eligible for lower rates.

Once the borrower has been approved by a lender and accepted the loan’s terms, they will be responsible for making a down payment and repaying the loan at the decided interest rate.

In addition, land loans typically have shorter repayment terms than traditional home loans. Terms typically range from 12 months to 3 years.

Another option for borrowers, is to convert the land loan into a conventional mortgage after the building of your new home is finished. This will allow them the chance to get a fresh principal balance and a cheaper interest rate through refinancing.

Converting Loans

A land loan lets you secure a piece of land until you’re ready to build. You’ll only have to pay for the costs of holding the land itself.

When you’re ready to start building, you’ll want to convert the land loan to a construction loan. This loan is a 12 to 18 month loan. Your land loan will roll into your construction loan, and the down payment you used on your land loan will be applied to your construction loan.

Your lender then distributes the funds in a series of draws as you complete each phase of your construction process. The money gets paid directly to your builder after a completed inspection.

Once the house is built, you can convert the construction loan into a traditional home mortgage loan. You might also opt for a construction to permanent loan which completes this option automatically.

Get Help With Your Lot Loan

SouthStar Bank has helped thousands of Texans build the home of their dreams on the land of their choosing.


Contact us if you’re ready to start the process!

What to Know About the Portfolio Loan Option?

Portfolio Loan Option

Struggling to get approved for a traditional mortgage loan? Then a portfolio loan might be the the option to help you pave your path to home ownership.

Understanding the basics of a portfolio loan can help you become a homeowner or extend your real estate investment holdings.

A Portfolio Loan: What Is It?

A portfolio loan is a kind of mortgage that a lender would originate and keep in their “portfolio” instead of selling it to a secondary market like a traditional mortgage loan. Due to this process, the lender is able to set more flexible terms for the mortgage, which are frequently to the borrower’s advantage. This allows prospective homeowners who are having trouble being approved for a traditional mortgage accomplish their dreams of homeownership.

In the majority of conventional mortgage loan scenarios, banks and credit unions use a set of governmental guidelines to underwrite and create loans. These rules place minimum down payment requirements, maximum loan amounts, particular debt-to-income ratios, and other constraints on potential borrowers. However, the criteria for awarding portfolio loans can differ significantly, which allows the lender to find the loan solution that is most ideal for their client.

Portfolio Loans Pros

No matter which financial lender originates and underwrites a portfolio loan, the product will always offer certain advantages like:

  • Delivers a workaround for various rules related to DTI, credit history, and credit score.
  • They are less difficult to qualify for than other loan types
  • Could possibly offer quicker or wider access to financing

The Function of Portfolio Loans

Portfolio loans typically have higher loan interest rates and origination fees in exchange for having fewer strict loan approval standards. They might also have restrictions on flexibility and prepayment fees. Lenders frequently seek a higher interest rate on a portfolio loan product since they are free to use any criteria they choose when deciding whether to underwrite the loan.

If you’re having difficulties acquiring a standard loan because of a poor credit score, a troubled credit history, or the fact that you’re self-employed, a portfolio loan might be the best option for you. It might also be a possibility if your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is high, you need a loan for a home in less-than-ideal shape, or the purchase price exceeds the loan’s maximum amount.

Homebuyers who use a portfolio loan should anticipate a quicker approval process, less stringent upfront conditions, and better customer support from their portfolio lender, who will handle the loan’s direct servicing. Additionally, they should expect higher origination and interest rates, as well as less flexibility with their repayment timeline.

You might want to discuss if a portfolio loan makes sense for you before submitting an application with a mortgage broker, an accounting professional, or a financial expert.

The Bottom Line

Portfolio loans might be a useful instrument for real estate financing because they aren’t meant for resale and don’t have to meet as strict eligibility rules as traditional mortgages. In some cases, borrowers may find them to be more alluring than conventional loan options. However, compared to conventional mortgages, portfolio loans frequently have higher interest rates and fees. 

Keely Notes: I have edited this article. Please go back and review the flow of the blog as well as the information. I felt like it was very repetitive, and that we kept saying the same thing just reworded.

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