Monthly Archives: October 2017

Hunting for College Scholarships

The spring semester is quickly approaching, and with the impending holiday break in a few months what better way to spend your time than searching for scholarships? While it may not be on the top of your to do list over your break to take the time to find and apply for scholarships, taking this initiative can pay off in the long run. Most college graduates leave with a diploma in one hand and $27,857, on average of student loan debt in the other. Help yourself reduce that amount with these scholarship hunting tips.

1. Scour the internet: The internet will be your best friend when looking for scholarships. One place to start searching for scholarships is looking for those that are tied to your major or interest. Check with your college, department and university websites for opportunities. Read emails professor send out, since they can contain scholarships that can randomly come across their desks. Try searching for fun scholarships for things like being over six feet tall, being left-handed, or other unique characteristics. You’d be surprised what you’d be able to find!

2. Shop Local: Most community organizations have a scholarship program. This is an easy opportunity to connect with members of your community to find out more. Check with your high school counselor who probably has a list of local organization that offer scholarships. Check with your local Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, churches, your parent’s employer and other businesses within the area for more opportunities. Don’t forget, Heartland Bank gives out four $500 scholarships each year! Contact your high school counselor for information.

3. Resources: Use your resources! Outside of using search engines and local scholarship opportunities, you can search for scholarships on databases dedicated to helping students find scholarships. Below are website resources you should enlist during your search:

a.       College Board’s Scholarship Search

b.       FastWeb


If you’re looking for more tips or solutions to help fund your higher education, our team of professionals are ready to assist you today. We’d love to help you set up a savings plan or loan option to help meet your needs. Contact us or stop by today!

How to Financially Prepare for Natural Disasters

When it comes to preparing your finances for certain occasions, natural disasters usually aren’t one of the events that come to mind. However, not creating an emergency fund for the unexpected could hurt you immensely since Mother Nature doesn’t care whether you’re prepared or not. That’s why Heartland Bank has put together a few tips on how you can ready yourself for a natural disaster.

Make Your Fund A Priority

While some disasters come with a warning, others do not. If you try to prepare too quickly and scramble to figure out what the best strategy for saving your emergency fund is, things will fall apart. Adding to your fund by taking a little out of each paycheck will help you to begin saving quickly. For example, an emergency fund of $500 would be able to pay for a small family’s hotel, transportation, or food if a disaster occurred.

Have Cash On Hand

When being forced to evacuate, ATMs may be overrun or go down, meaning there is no way for you to get cash. Power can go out, leaving debit and credit cards useless. By having cash on hand, you will be able to know that you can purchase necessities when an event occurs.


Be sure to have a fireproof and waterproof box with documents you will need to pick up the pieces after a disaster. You will need documents that have numbers and information to your bank, creditors, health insurance, and property insurance. By having your personal, legal, health, and financial documents together, moving through the disaster will be a much smoother process. Other documents to include would be passports, birth certificates, health records, social security cards, bank routing numbers, deeds, income tax information, and more.

Take Inventory

Be sure to take videos and photos of your belongings. Photograph the interior and exterior of your home along with your vehicle. By documenting all of your belongings and the state they were in, you can be sure that your insurance company won’t shortchange you.

We don’t ever hope a natural disaster will strike, but it’s better to be prepared if something does occur. By having some cash on hand when disaster strikes, you will have a foolproof plan to help aid in your recovery. Contact Heartland Bank to set up an emergency fund or to understand what more you can do in order to be prepared financially!

Tips for Cyber-Security When it comes to Your Mobile Device

Odds are you’re probably reading this blog post on your cell phone, which you found through an app on your smartphone and then used it to get directions to Heartland Bank. Seventy-seven percent of Americans now own a smartphone and use it on a daily basis. With so many people accessing, searching and downloading things on their cell phones, are we really using the same caution and protection we would use when it comes to our computers? Odds also are, you’re not. With a few tips, you can start better protecting your smartphone from things like data theft, malware and privacy invasion.

Needed Protection: You may be wondering what exactly needs to be protected when it comes to your smart phone. Luckily, they can be broken down into three categories.

1. Device Protection – In case your phone was ever stolen, this kind of protection would wipe all information and data from your phone, which is beneficial if you utilize mobile or online banking.

2. Data Protection – This protection was designed to keep work information from place of employment from being spread to your personal apps.

3. App-Management Security – Having login information, credit card information and other personal information within apps should be protected from falling into the wrong hands. App-management security does just that.

Trusted Apps: Not all apps are created equal. Since it’s becoming increasingly easier for third-parties to create apps this means there are more apps out there than there’s ever been. One way to help protect yourself is to only download apps from the trusted app store. You should also review existing apps’ privacy policies and settings for permissions.

Public Wi-Fi: One thing you should know is public Wi-Fi is generally not secure. Hackers can get in-between you and the Wi-Fi connection point and when you’re submitting information on your phone you’re actually sending it to the hacker. It’s recommended to protect yourself using a VPN, which encrypts your data, essentially scrambling the information.

Jailbreaking Phones: While it may seem like the cool thing to do to format your phone without the factory standards, you’re actually setting your phone for several security risks. One of those risks is Malware and loss of personal information.

We hope these tips can better protect you and your smartphone. There are several companies that can protect your mobile devices, including Norton Mobile Security and McAfee Mobile Security. If you have any questions or concerns about you protecting yourself, we encourage you to contact us. Our team would love to assist you.