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Mortgage Lender Finds A Home In Scottsdale Area



January 14, 2016 – An independent community mortgage lender celebrating almost 150 years of home lending opens its doors in the Phoenix area today.

Mike Mazella, the mortgage veteran selected to run First State Mortgage operationsin Arizona, is excited for the opportunity to share First State Mortgage’s vast portfolio of loan products with residents and the real estate community.

“We are excited to help the community grow by providing low-to-moderate income families with home financing in an up-and-coming area of the state,” said Mazella. “With over 20 investors, we have the products to help virtually anyone with their financing.”

First State Mortgage offers a huge portfolio of loan products, including conventional, FHA, USDA, VA, jumbo and second home financing. First State Mortgage will operate in an office space near Kierland Commons in north Scottsdale on Scottsdale Road.

When asked about why he chose to partner with a lender who is new to the Arizona area, Mazella responded, “I am personally excited about the opportunity to put together a team of quality originators and support staff who will give the real estate community a level of service that Arizona hasn’t seen for some time.”

First State Mortgage’s leadership agrees with that sentiment.

“Our loan process is a source of great pride for our mortgage team,” said Daniel R. Simpson, Executive Vice President of First State Bank of St. Charles, First State Mortgage’s parent company. “We have been awarded and recognized for our outstanding commitment to quality. Expanding into Scottsdale allows Arizona residents more access to the quality of home financing that we are known for.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to grow our mortgage operation and offer the community a broader range of mortgage loan programs,” added Simpson. “We look forward to providing professional and responsive service to Arizona residents.”

First State Mortgage is a division of First State Bank of St. Charles, an award-winning independent community bank founded in St. Louis in 1867.

For more information, contact:
Trish Lovan, Marketing Officer
First State Bank of St. Charles
(636) 940-5518 Direct
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your New Year Resolution: Improve Your Credit Score

Your New Year Resolution: Improve Your Credit Score 
Forty-three percent of consumers know their credit score, a key metric that helps determine whether they can get credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and insurance coverage, according to a recent survey by the American Bankers Association.  Whether or not you know your score, you can take action now to understand and protect your credit.


 “The more you know about your own credit history, the better you can position yourself for lower rates when applying for a loan or insurance coverage,” said Nessa Feddis, the American Bankers Association’s senior vice president and deputy chief counsel for consumer protection and payments. 

Credit scores are reflective of a person’s creditworthiness and are based on their credit reports, which indicate whether a person pays their bills on time.  Lenders use a consumer’s credit score to decide whether to lend them money and at what rate. Credit scores are also used by organizations for screening insurance and other applications.  Consumers receive their credit score when they apply for a mortgage, if they are turned down for credit or if a bank used their credit score to determine their interest rate. 

“If you check your score and don’t like what you see, you can take action today to begin improving it,” said Feddis.  “While there is no overnight fix for a low credit score, paying your debts on time and demonstrating that you can manage credit responsibly can help you gradually rebuild your score.”

Below are tips from the American Bankers Association to help you improve and maintain your credit score:

Credit Do's:

·         DO order a copy of your credit report annually. The three major credit bureaus are required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report at your request each year. To get a free copy of your credit report, visit or call 1-877-322-8228. You can also obtain your credit score from any of these credit bureaus for a reasonable fee.

·         DO know the power of credit. Banks look at your credit history as an indication of your future financial behavior. By using credit wisely, you can build a good credit history making it easier to get loans with low interest rates, rent an apartment, purchase a car or home, and may even help you get a job.

·         DO read the fine print on the credit application. The application is a contract, so read it carefully before signing. Credit card companies are very competitive so interest rates, credit limits, grace periods, annual fees, terms and conditions may vary.

·         DO pay at least the minimum due and contact your creditor if you have trouble making payments. This will help you to avoid late fees and a rising APR. To pay off your balance more quickly, pay more than the minimum due. If you are unable to make the minimum monthly payments, let your creditor know so they can work with you to create a more manageable payment plan.

·         DO be wary of anyone who claims they can "fix" your credit report. No one can legally remove negative information from your credit history if it is accurate. The only thing that can fix a credit report is time and a positive payment history.

Credit Don'ts:

·         DON'T pay your bills late. Late payments can affect your credit rating and increase your balance. If you are unable to pay the minimum monthly payment, let your creditor know and it may be able to lower your payments.

·         DON'T spend more than you can afford. Credit is a loan and has to be repaid. It is your responsibility to manage your debts and to keep your commitment with lenders. Avoid reaching your credit limit or "maxing out" your cards.

·         DON'T ignore the warning signs of credit trouble. If you pay only the minimum balance, pay late, use cash-advances to fund daily living expenses or transfer a lot of balances you might be in the credit “danger zone.” Talk to a non-profit financial counseling organization like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling ( to regain control of your finances.

·         DON'T share your credit card number. Never give out credit card or personal information if you have not initiated the transaction. Be aware of identity theft and phishing scams that ask for credit card numbers. If you suspect that your identity has been compromised, call your bank and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338) or

For more tips and resources on this and other personal finance topics, visit


5 Benefits of CDs


Regular checking and savings accounts can be important parts of your personal financial strategy, but opening a certificate of deposit, or CD, can be an especially useful way to reach your savings goals. 

Here’s a look at five smart features of CDs and how to decide if you should open one.

1. Higher guaranteed rates. With CDs, you agree to deposit money for a set period of time, without making withdrawals. In return, you earn guaranteed interest rates on your money. Because you agree to give up access to your money for a short while, the rates are usually higher than those the money would earn in a basic savings account at the same institution.

Generally, the longer the CD term, the
better the rates you receive. Terms can range from three months to five years. 

2. Curbs on raiding savings. CDs usually have early withdrawal fees. These fees can help you resist the urge to drain your account, a benefit over other types of savings accounts that have looser withdrawal rules. Because of this, CDs tend to work best for people who are willing to give up access to their money for a time in exchange for better rates.

If you believe that market interest rates will rise soon, and you want to have money available to invest at those higher rates, financial institutions like First State Bank let you open several CDs with staggered maturity terms. This technique, known as CD laddering, gives you access to some of your money at regular intervals — each time a CD matures. You could then use that money to invest in another CD at a potentially higher future rate.

3. Federally insured funds. In addition to providing higher earnings, your savings are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor. So, unlike investments — which aren’t federally covered — your money has protection in CDs. 

It’s a good idea to open a CD with money that you don’t need today, but might need within five years. That way, you can earn rates that may be better than what traditional savings accounts pay, but you don’t have to worry about the risk of losing your funds, since they would be insured.

4. No monthly fee. Some savings accounts demand monthly service charges. But with CDs, you usually make one deposit to open the account, and you don’t have to worry about monthly fees as long as you leave the money alone until the CD matures.

5. Modest opening balances required. You don’t need tens of thousands of dollars to take advantage of most CDs. You can contact your financial institution and open an account with as little as $1,000, or $250 for certain retirement account CDs.

With guaranteed returns and competitive interest rates, CDs have many benefits. Make one initial deposit and as long as you don’t withdraw anything until the account matures, you can sit back and watch your money grow.

Margarette Burnette, NerdWallet

© Copyright 2015 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

National Manufacturing Day 2015 Supported by St. Charles County Workforce Development Board


Last week marked National Manufacturing Day, and St. Charles County celebrated with an open house and career exploration activities for students and adults at the Midwest Machine Tool Training Center in O’Fallon, Mo., as well as a resolution of support from the St. Charles County Workforce Development Board.

“Advanced manufacturing is alive and well in St. Charles County,” said Luanne Cundiff, chair of the St. Charles County Workforce Development Board and president of First State Bank of St. Charles. “It currently accounts for about 11 percent of all jobs in our community, and local employers continue to look for more people who are interested in these high-demand, well-paying careers.”

Full Article

6 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score


Consumers looking for a new place to live should be mindful of the critical impact credit scores can have on their housing options.

“An important step to finding a home, whether you’re renting or buying, is ensuring that you have a good credit history,” said Frank Keating, ABA president and CEO. “A strong credit score can open doors to better homes and lower mortgage rates.”

To make sure you’re building a healthy credit history, consider the following tips:
  • Request a copy of your credit report – and make sure it is correct. Your credit report illustrates your credit performance, and it needs to be accurate so that you can apply for other loans – such as a mortgage. Everyone is entitled to receive a free copy of his or her credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies, but you must go through the Federal Trade Commission’s website at, or call 1-877-322-8228. Note that you may have to pay for the numerical credit score itself.
  • Set up automatic bill pay. Payment history makes up 32 percent of your VantageScore credit score and 35 percent of your FICO credit score. The more you pay your bills on time, the better your score. Avoid missed payments by setting as many of your bills to automatic pay as possible.
  • Keep balances low on credit cards and ‘revolving credit.’ Racking up big balances can hurt your scores, regardless of whether you pay your bills in full each month. You often can increase your scores by limiting your charges to 30 percent or less of a card's limit.
  • Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. Keep this in mind the next time a retailer offers you 10 percent off if you open an account. However, if you need a new line of credit, don’t jump at the first appealing offer; compare rates and fees offered through mail solicitation, on the Internet or at your local bank.
  • Don’t close old, paid off accounts. According to FICO, closing accounts can never help your score and can in fact damage it.
  • Talk to credit counselors if you’re in trouble. Using legitimate, non-profit credit counseling can help you manage your debt and won’t hurt your credit score. For more information on debt management, contact the National Foundation for Consumer Credit ( 

First State Bank Announces New Executives

First State Bank of St. Charles is proud to announce the promotion of the following executives:

Dave Harris – Executive Vice President
Dave Harris has 35 years of banking experience, and has been with First State Bank for 11 years. Harris leads the commercial lending, retail banking and marketing departments of the bank. Under Harris' leadership, the bank's commercial lending group has continued to grow and earn many accolades for local business lending. He serves on the Board and Executive Committee for Regional Growth Capital (RGC) in St. Louis. Harris graduated from The Stonier Graduate School of Banking in Newark, Delaware.

Daniel Simpson – Executive Vice President / President of First State Bank Mortgage
Daniel Simpson has worked for First State Bank Mortgage for over 5 years and has 25 years of experience in the mortgage industry. During Simpson's tenure with First State Bank, the mortgage operation has grown to one of the largest mortgage lenders in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas, and has won several awards for excellence. Simpson is a Board Member of the St. Louis Mortgage Bankers Association and the Missouri Mortgage Bankers Association.

Trish Lovan – Vice President, Marketing
Trish Lovan has 11 years of marketing experience, and has been with First State Bank for nine years. Lovan is responsible for the development and implementation of the bank's strategic marketing plan and communications. Under her leadership, the bank has launched several new product lines and customer tools. Lovan currently serves on the Board of the St. Charles County YMCA.

Kristin Thessen – Vice President, Human Resources
Kristin Thessen has nine years of Human Resources experience within the banking industry, and has been with First State Bank since 2010. During her time with First State Bank, Thessen has developed and implemented standards and procedures for recruiting, employee benefits, payroll, and a bank-wide employee Intranet. Thessen is a Certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and currently serves on the Board of the St. Charles County YMCA.

Deborah Luth – Accounting Officer
Deborah Luth has worked for First State Bank in various capacities for over 17 years, serving as the bank's Senior Accounting Specialist since 2005. Utilizing her vast knowledge of various banking functions, she has been instrumental in streamlining and improving customer transactions and processes. Luth is currently pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Maryville University.

"Through these employees' vision and commitment to excellence, our bank has grown and continues to serve as one of the longest-running community banks west of the Mississippi," says bank president Luanne Cundiff. "Their guidance and leadership have been an instrumental part of our success and growth."

First State Bank of St. Charles, a full-service, independent community bank, has served Missouri residents for 148 years. First State Bank has repeatedly been voted the #1 bank, lender and financial advisor in St. Charles County by residents, and was named a "Best Bank" in 2015 by the St. Louis Small Business Monthly. For more information, visit

For more information, CONTACT:
Trish Lovan | Marketing Officer | First State Bank
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 636-940-5518 |


First State Bank Announces New Director

First State Bank of St. Charles is proud to announce its newest director, Raymond H. Bayer, Jr. Mr. Bayer has over 30 years of experience in the education finance business and is the CEO of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA).

MOHELA's office is located in Chesterfield and is considered one of the top student loan servicing organizations in the country.

"Raymond Bayer's vast loan and regulatory knowledge will be a great addition to our Board," said Luanne Cundiff, president of First State Bank. "We are very excited to have him as part of our team."

Mr. Bayer earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and both an MBA and Masters in Finance from Webster University. Mr. Bayer resides in St. Louis with his wife Christie and has two children in college. Mr. Bayer also holds a Real Estate Broker's license and is the owner of Bayer Real Estate, LLC.

First State Bank, a full-service, independent community bank, has served Missouri residents for 148 years, making it one of the oldest independent community banks west of the Mississippi.

First State Bank has been repeatedly voted the #1 local bank, lender and financial advisor in St.Charles County by residents. For more information, visit

For more information, CONTACT:
Trish Lovan | Marketing Officer | First State Bank
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | 636-940-5518 |

The BackStoppers Receives Donation from First State Bank Mortgage

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – April 22, 2015 – Local mortgage lender First State Bank Mortgage has made a $5,100 donation to The BackStoppers. The donation amount represents the proceeds of a special promotion First State Bank Mortgage held in the month of February to raise support and funds for The BackStoppers. A check was presented to Chief Ron Battelle, executive director of The BackStoppers, on April 14 by bank president Luanne Cundiff and senior vice president Daniel Simpson.

Pictured above (L-R): Chief Ron Battelle, Executive Director, The BackStoppers; Luanne Cundiff, President, First State Bank; Daniel Simpson, SVP, Director of Mortgage, First State Bank Mortgage; Trish Lovan, Marketing Officer, First State Bank.

The BackStoppers provides immediate and ongoing support to the families of first responders who have given their lives in the line of duty. Within hours of the death of a police officer, firefighter, publicly-funded paramedic or EMT, the family receives immediate financial support and the assurance of further help.

First State Bank Mortgage, a division of First State Bank of St. Charles, was voted the #1 Lender in St. Charles County for the sixth consecutive year in 2014, and is an Equal Housing Lender.

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