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1st step to buying a home: pre-approval

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Imagine walking in to your new house. You moved in a few weeks ago, you’ve unpacked most of your things, and it’s starting to feel like home. But then you wake up from this fantasy and realize you don’t know how to make this dream become a reality. We’re here to help.

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The process of purchasing your first home should be exciting and rewarding knowing you are taking control of your finances by investing into your own home. We want to give you a head start with understanding the process.

First things first. You’ll need to shop for a lender. Start with your own bank (a source you trust and believe in) and shop with other lenders as well. You’ll want to compare rates, cost associated with the loan and feel comfortable with the lender’s service levels before you apply.  A good lender will work closely with your specific situation. They will explain the loan and buying process and answer all your questions as a first-time home buyer.

The mortgage loan process has changed drastically over the years, so be prepared that the lender will want at least 30 days to get your loan approved and closed. Processing times will vary based on how complex your personal history is to document and verify. We suggest getting a pre-approval letter from your lender before shopping for your new home.

Why do you need a pre-approval letter?

  • A pre-approval letter will give your real estate agent a price range to know what homes to include in your search. It outlines the loan amount and terms you are approved for.
  • Pre-approval gives you a negotiating advantage. A seller might be more inclined to accept your offer if you have a pre-approval letter, even if you make an offer that’s lower than a buyer without a pre-approval. Sellers want the assurance of knowing their buyer can get financing since they are also planning on a home move.
  • A pre-approval letter is a stronger option than a pre-qualification letter because the approval is based on verified credit, income and asset data that an underwriter has reviewed and approved. The pre-qualification is based only on the data provided on the loan application that has not been verified or reviewed by an underwriter.

In order to expedite your loan process, here is a list of the documentation to bring to your lender when you have your first meeting for a loan application:

  • Last two years of W-2’s and tax returns with all schedules – This allows the lender to evaluate any other income or loss for qualifying purposes. All self-employed borrowers will need to provide a two year history of tax returns to determine income for qualifying purpose.
  • Most recent paystubs to cover 30 consecutive days – The lender will review and calculate income for wage earners.
  • Most recent asset statements to cover 30 days – This statement, also known as your bank statement, will need to show you have sufficient funds in your account to close on the loan. Any large deposits will need to be documented as to where the funds came from to meet loan requirements.
  • Additional information may apply based on the type of loan you are applying for – another important reason to select a lender who will walk you through the process and give you clear explanations.

The home-buying process can be long and complicated. Preparation involved in getting a pre-approval letter is fairly simple and it helps both you and the seller in the long-run.

Stay tuned for part two of this series: The second step to buying a home—choosing the right loan for you.

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Diane Hughes is Sr. Vice President/Director Mortgage Sales for UMB at 1010 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO.  She is responsible for the bank-wide mortgage services and has 29 years of experience as a Mortgage Banker. 



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Connecting: one of the keys to centered leadership

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UMB’s Dana Abraham spoke to the Saint Louis University Cook School of Business this week. Here is an excerpt from her talk.

Dana

The leadership model is advancing, and evolving into a better place than ever before.

What began as a specific push for progress among women in leadership roles spurred the study1 that formed “Centered Leadership” – a model that has served successful professionals around the globe. Common themes appeared in this study, and the data was later validated by a survey of 2,500 executives.

They called the resulting model centered leadership. It’s about having a well of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual strength that drives personal achievement, and in turn inspires others to follow.

One of the elements to this model is connecting.

Connecting: Identify who can help you grow, build stronger relationships and increase your sense of belonging.

People with strong networks and good mentors enjoy more promotions, higher pay and greater career satisfaction.

One thing that differentiates a leader from a manager is the leader’s ability to figure out where to go to get things done. In order to get things done, you need three types of essential networks.

1)     Work Resource – The people in this network assist you with projects and give you access to information and ideas.

2)     Personal Support: These are your personal counselors, your friends. They provide a safe place to vent.

3)     Career Support: These include your mentors, coaches and sponsors.

HOW to network –

  • First of all, don’t start with an actual networking event. Instead, work on meaningful encounters with others. For example, getting to know people by working with them on a committee or taking part in a shared interest.
  • Remember to give, not just take. Effective networks are earned. There is a need for reciprocity when people receive—they feel obligated to reciprocate. Focus on the value you add to others and what you bring to these relationships. Do you have expertise, a point of view from another generation, information, referrals?
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When I first joined UMB, I tried to connect with our largest and most profitable commercial banking clients. I needed to prove myself to these business partners. I laid out my service model, but didn’t have any referrals. It wasn’t until I first referred business to them that they saw the value I could bring. Today, commercial bankers are my leading sources of new business.

It’s also important to take a long-term approach. Build relationships before you need them so you can save time in the future.

What’s the difference between a mentor and a sponsor?

Mentorship is important to our personal development, but sponsorship will help us break through. A sponsor is willing to go beyond the role of mentor to stick out his/her own neck to create an opportunity for a protégée.

A mentor dispenses wisdom, while a sponsor gets involved. Sponsors believe in you, but mentors don’t always go that far.

I have been fortunate to have sponsors. My direct supervisor has put my name into the hat several times and has an interest in my personal development. I also have peers from other lines of business who I would view as sponsors—people who would recommend me for a project or development opportunity.

Networks are about reaching out, showing interest in another person, and offering help – a true key to professional growth. Authenticity matters, so develop an approach that fits your personality and style.

 

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1 – A study was launched by McKinsey and Company to determine what drives and sustains successful female leaders – this was done to help younger women navigate the paths to leadership to learn how organizations could get the best out of this group of talented associates. This work was lead and later published by Joanna Barsh, Suzie Cranston and Geoffery Lewis. They interviewed 85 successful women from across the globe and in diverse fields.


Dana Abraham is president of the Private Wealth Management Division and is responsible for the delivery of comprehensive financial services to high-net-worth clients. Her areas of focus include Wealth Planning, Private Banking, Personal Trust, Investment Management and Insurance. She joined UMB in 2005 and has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Abraham earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in both accounting and economics from the University of Louisiana. She is a graduate of Leadership Overland Park and Kansas City Tomorrow Leadership programs.



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From 19 to Retirement…a look at a life-long UMB career

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A letter from Rosie, reflecting on her time at UMB:

Rosie

It’s hard to imagine how much has happened during the last 45 years of my time at UMB. I started at the age of 19, on July 17, 1968.

We now have UMB Bank branches in eight states; 112 branches total. I’ve worked for City National Bank, United Missouri Bank, United Missouri Bancshares Inc., UMB Financial Corporation, and UMB Bank, n.a—all the same organization, but with name changes over the years. With each name change, UMB has had six different logos, my favorite being the Indian Scout. What an accomplishment for me to be able to work for such a stable company.

With my first job, we didn’t have computers—a fact that is difficult for my two grown children to comprehend. I started in the Stock Transfer Department working on a posting machine. We actually had to type certificates for the new stockholders on manual typewriters! (After a few years we graduated to electric typewriters.) It’s hard to believe where we came from looking at us now, with all the modern technology UMB Bank has today.

While working at UMB Bank, I was able to meet each of the Kempers who were president or CEO. The first was Mr. R. Crosby Kemper, Sr. who officially retired shortly after I was employed by the bank. Then I met Mr. R. Crosby Kemper, Jr., Sandy Kemper, R. Crosby Kemper III and Mariner Kemper. I would encounter them on the elevators, and each one was so friendly. They thanked me for being part of the UMB family. I especially remember Mr. Kemper, Jr. buying his breakfast in the cafeteria and going to each of the tables to say good morning to everyone. I remember the famous Kemper smiles. They all seemed to have that same smile that reached out to everyone they saw or met.

Rosie and Mariner1

Mr. R. Crosby, Jr. was a big fan of the University of Missouri Tigers. I remember the day I went to the 928 Grand tellers and saw a huge, beautiful tiger in the lobby. Yes, a real tiger. Sometimes I wonder if I really saw that tiger or if it was just a dream, but some of my fellow co-workers also remember the “Tiger in the Lobby” day.

Umbert_Czar the Tiger_1973

In my time here, I witnessed the construction of the 1010 Grand UMB building in 1986 and the Technology and Operations Center in 1999. I saw old buildings being demolished, the resulting big hole in the ground, and then the new completed bank buildings that take up one square block. I loved being there for that history and now getting to tell my grandchildren about it.  Sometimes it pays to be old. You see so many things happen during your life.

As my 45 years are coming to a close, I look back upon a career that has really flown by. There have been ups and downs just like in life, and you become one big family.

I realize that soon I will not be seeing and greeting my work family. Over the years I have made a lot of friends, some gone, some still here and I get a little emotional because I will be leaving part of my family behind.

Once I retire, I will be volunteering for my church and Alexandra’s House, which provides perinatal hospice support, watching my grandchildren while they are out of school and trying to keep busy.

I am saying goodbye now and leaving you with these paraphrased words: “Live. Laugh a lot. It’s good for the soul. And last of all, love your job, because one day you too will be walking down the hallways for the last time.”

With fondest memories,
Rosie Corral

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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Corral is an operations associate for UMB. She works in the settlement department, receiving and settling buys from brokers. She joined UMB in 1968 and has 45 years of experience in the financial services industry. She is retiring April 30 after a long career at UMB.



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Happy Birthday to Us!

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On this day in history…way back in 2013, our CEO, Mariner Kemper, kicked off the blog with this first post.

So that makes today our blog’s 1st birthday! We wish all our readers could enjoy a piece of this yummy chocolate torte created by Kam at André’s Confiserie Suisse, one of our long-time customers. Instead, we promise to eat an extra slice for you, our reader.

Thanks for joining us on this journey.

BlogBirthday

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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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More than an annual report—and a look at what’s ahead

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CEO Mariner Kemper shares thoughts from the 2013 Annual Report and some of the challenges facing UMB in 2014.

UMB is not your typical financial organization. We are unique. With our business model, we’re more than just a bank—we’re a financial services company that owns a good-sized regional bank, an institutional asset management company, a fund services business, and a payments solutions business. That diversification, with nearly 60 percent of revenue coming from non-bank services, is key to UMB’s success. This did not come about by accident—it’s a core strategy backed by years of investment and organic growth.

There are a lot of organizations that would love to be where we are. Many banks in our size category are trying to figure out how we’ve done it—they would like to emulate it. What they will figure out is that you can’t create this overnight. Replicating UMB’s business model is not easy. It took this company 100 years to be excellent at it.

Quality has always been our focus. To find out more about our focus on quality, take a look at our 2013 Annual Report.

Challenges for 2014

1)      Economic cyclesAs much as we all desire calm waters, the norm has always been to experience economic cycles. When will the economy take a turn again? No one knows, but history teaches us that these factors do move up and down—so we can be confident that change is in our collective future.

When the economy was at the top, people were saying “It’s different this time.” When things were getting overheated, you’d constantly hear “But, it’s different this time.” It’s never different.

  • The good news: UMB has proven over the last century that we can thrive in all economic conditions. We have a solid balance sheet and take pride in our extraordinary credit quality and are well positioned to benefit when interest rates begin to move up.
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2)      Bank regulation – The philosophy of expanding regulatory intervention is affecting all areas of our economy—primarily financial services. In the last four years, we have increased our own audit and compliance departments by 62 percent (and rising). Instead of helping, we believe that piling on more regulation passes on the higher costs of doing business to the consumer. To see the failure, you do not have to look further than Washington’s posturing about “too big to fail” banks. Far from solving that big-bank problem, since 2008, we have seen less than a dozen of the largest banks grow to control fully two-thirds of total U.S. banking assets.

  • The good news: Regardless of government regulations, we remind our people to stay prudent and trust the practices we have had in place for more than 100 years. We’re not followers.

The Next 100

Last year, we looked back on the 100-year history of UMB. We’ve found that although many things have changed, our founding principals have remained the same. This has allowed us to weather the storms and provide solid long-term returns to our investors. The below statistics clearly show how UMB compares to the industry.

UMBFvsIndustry

As we head into our next 100 years, our foundation remains the same as we strive to do what’s right, not what’s popular at the moment.

We hope you’ll join us on this journey of continuing our quality story.


Mr. Kemper is the chairman and chief executive officer of UMB Financial Corporation and UMB Bank, n.a. He joined UMB in 1997. Mr. Kemper is active in both civic and philanthropic endeavors. One of the causes he is most passionate about is the arts. He currently serves as a trustee and executive committee member for the Denver Art Museum and is a past board member for The Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City.



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Meet the Leadership Series: Begonya Klumb, UMBFC Executive VP and Chief Strategy Officer

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Q&A with Begonya Klumb

Begonya Klumb is one of the most influential women in Kansas City, and that’s not just our opinion at UMB. This is KC magazine recently named her as one of their honorees. Read more to find out how she feels about this honor, growing up in Spain and her passion for business.
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How does it feel to be named one of Kansas City’s Most Influential Women?

I’m flattered, of course, and it raises the bar for me because I want to live up to expectations.

What’s your favorite accomplishment in your 11 years at UMB?

When I was head of Mergers and Acquisitions, we completed 20 acquisitions in 3 ½ years. It’s what I was in charge of doing, and I believe it made a difference in the company. That’s a very satisfying feeling of accomplishment.

What inspired you growing up and what led you to where you are today?

I was raised in a comfortable and very happy home in Spain, where my parents live. I am blessed to come from a very close-knit and supportive family.

My maternal grandmother was an important influence on me. She built the family business, a shoe manufacturing and export company. She was extremely business-minded, and had a strong personality. Until her last days, people in town called her “la Jefa,” “the Boss!”  I admired her deeply and she is why I studied economics and business.

How did you end up in the United States?

After college, I got an Erasmus scholarship to do graduate work in Germany and England. It was an exciting time around the European Union, with the lead-up to the single currency. I learned about practical macro-economics and European business, but also about myself – living and studying in different countries and different languages. I also developed a deeper appreciation of my own strengths and weaknesses.

I met my husband while he was a student at the London School of Economics. We got married and lived in Europe for a few years before coming to the United States in 2001.  I went to Yale for an MBA, and then we decided to make our home in Kansas City, where he was born.

What is your day-to-day like at UMB and how has it evolved?

I am responsible for strategic planning.  I enjoy sitting down with UMB leaders to think through strategy. It’s good to know these leaders well, learn their challenges, and answer the question, “where will we take the business?”

Of course, acquisitions are a big part of strategy. I built the Mergers and Acquisitions department back in 2008. That’s one of the things we’re very focused on today and a key component to what I do.

Where do you choose to give back?

Through UMB, I got involved with MOCSA many years ago. I was also the Board Chair of the Mattie Rhodes Center – which is involved in the community through social services, mental health counseling, and the arts. My husband and I were actively involved in a capital campaign for our children’s school, trying to grow the school to accommodate more students from the community.

Community involvement is very rewarding, and has been a tremendous learning experience, requiring me to grow as a leader.

Describe your perfect Saturday.

My perfect weekend is with my family. Our children are six and eight, so I realize time with them is precious and fleeting.

We are at that point in our lives where we run the circuit of school activities and soccer games and piano lessons. Weekends are busy, with family, which is perfect.
Klumb family

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Klumb serves as executive vice president, chief strategy officer. She joined UMB in 2003. She received a Master of Business Administration from Yale University and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Universitat d'Alacant. Ms. Klumb is actively involved in the community, having served on a number of boards including the Mattie Rhodes Center and Academie Lafayette.



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Happy Income Tax Day from the Mad Men

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April 15 is finally here! To “celebrate” we want to take a look at what taxes the Mad Men (and women) at SC&P would have paid back in the 1960s…and if they were real people.

Enjoy this retro infographic from our friends at H&R Block.

“TheThe Taxes of Mad Men‡ via H&R Block

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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Phishing Alert and “Heartbleed” security issue

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Did “Heartbleed” affect UMB?

“Heartbleed” is a bug that has affected many popular websites and “could have quietly exposed your sensitive account information (such as passwords and credit card numbers) over the past two years,” according to Mashable.com.‡

None of UMB’s computer systems were impacted by the Heartbleed bug.

As soon as these hackers were exposed, UMB took immediate action. We were able to find that none of our banks were vulnerable to this issue. We also added specific, proactive monitoring. Although UMB was not affected by the issue, our customers do need to be cautious since the bug could still harm you through other websites where you saved your card numbers or used the same password you use for online banking.

What action do customers need to take?

  • Change your passwords – If you utilize the same password for your online banking services that you utilize on other sites, we strongly recommend that you change the password for your online banking services immediately, in case your username or password were compromised on another site.
  • As always – use different passwords for all online services which contain personal or financial information.
  • To find out if other password-protected sites you use were compromised, we recommend contacting those website providers directly. They may advise to wait to change your passwords until they have installed the latest fixes to this Heartbleed bug, but the only way to know for sure is to receive information from those specific sites.
  • If you run a website and need advice on how to protect it, we recommend visiting Heartbleed.com.‡

Phishing Alert

phishing scam

Some of our customers may have received text messages yesterday or today that we identified as a phishing attempt. The message states that there has been a security breach and gives a number to call. If you call the number, it will ask you for your credit card number or account information. Do not respond to this request for information.

What you need to know:

  • UMB will NEVER contact you via text, email or phone for the purpose of requesting any kind of personal or bank information.
  • Phishing scams are common. These attacks use e-mail or malicious websites to solicit personal, often financial, information. Attackers may send e-mail seemingly from a reputable credit card company or financial institution that requests account information, often suggesting that there is a problem. When users respond with the requested information, attackers can use it to gain access to the accounts.
  • Check out some more Security FAQs from our security experts.

What you need to do:

  • Never respond to suspicious messages or click on suspicious links.
  • Check with your financial institutions before sharing any type of private or financial information.
  • Remember to use online and mobile banking. Why?
    • Secure (protected by multiple layers of security)
    • Saves time – quick access from any computer anywhere
    • Hinders identity theft – if you check your accounts frequently, potential fraud is discovered early.
  • Already a mobile banking user? Here are some tips:
    • Save UMB’s short code (50106) in your address book as a Contact, so that when you receive a Text/SMS message from us, you will know immediately that UMB has sent you a communication.
    • Make sure you know who has sent you any message – if in doubt, delete it.
    • Never click on any links if you are not sure of the sender.
    • Never send any confidential information to anyone – the bank will never ask you to “go here and fill in this information” or “please send us this information.”
    • The bank will also never ask you to respond with your password unless you are signing into one of our applications.
    • Never respond to a request for your password and alert us immediately should you receive a message requesting your password or any other confidential information at 888-782-4325. You may contact us Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. or on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Moving the needle for healthcare in America

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healthcare in America

With all of the regulation changes Americans and American businesses are witnessing in health care today, the importance of understanding health savings accounts (HSAs) has never been greater. An HSA is a tax-exempt trust or custodial account which enables consumers to set aside money for current and future qualified medical expenses not covered by a medical plan. A potentially valuable account in today’s world of rising healthcare costs. And at UMB Healthcare Services, we’re introducing a tool to enhance that value for employers and employees.

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According to a recent AHIP report, nearly 15.5 million Americans are enrolled in HSAs, and that number will only continue to rise. But how many of those Americans and their employers are taking full advantage of the possibilities these accounts offer? We can only know through proper reporting.

While the HSA industry has remained focused on the administration of these accounts – enrollment, opening accounts and contributions – UMB Healthcare Services has put data reporting front and center by introducing HSAWorksTM. In the nearly 10 years since the introduction of HSAs, traditional reporting, when available, has given visibility to average account balances and confirmation if individuals were investing or not. Lack of clarity and further analysis of these numbers has made it cumbersome for employers to create benchmarks for success in their own benefit plans.

With HSAWorks, the industry’s most advanced reporting and first-ever analytics tool, brokers, third-party administrators, health plans and employers are supplied with actionable analytics to achieve desired plan results. Rather than basic metrics, this industry-leading HSA reporting tool empowers employers to drive positive change with their plan and improve employee health and well-being by understanding the data. Now, employers and employees can benefit from all of the possibilities an HSA provides, including and most importantly, influencing health.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Dennis Triplett is chief executive officer of UMB Healthcare Services. He is responsible for the strategic direction in healthcare banking and manages the sales and marketing activities, plus product development and relationship management. Dennis has more than 29 years of experience in the banking industry. He currently serves as board chairman for the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation, chairman of America’s Health Insurance Plans’ HSA Leadership Council and a charter member of the American Bankers Association’s HSA Council.



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How to secure a commercial loan: a lender’s inside scoop

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From bakers and brew masters to dentists and doctors, all business owners have one thing in common – they all need money. That fact is true regardless of the stage: starting, expanding or continuing their operations. Securing financing for a business can be one of the most overwhelming tasks an entrepreneur will ever face.

Lenders ask the same questions and look at certain criteria when evaluating loan requests no matter the amount of money a business owner needs.

small business owner

 

What’s the Plan?

Lenders want to know how much money will be personally invested in the business, how much money the creditor is being asked to fund and how the money will be used. For a startup company, you will need to present more than the basics. You’ll need to show a business plan, giving the opportunity to answer the aforementioned questions as well as the following:

  • Who will own and operate the business?
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  • What experience and/or qualifications do you have to operate the business?
  • What will the business sell/provide?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What is your marketing plan?

For a company that has already been in business two or more years, lenders will require current balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and interim balance sheets. It’s a good idea to bring personal tax returns and financial statements, as well.

Money Makes the Business World Go Round

Once the lender has reviewed your business plan and expertise, they will move on to the money. For a startup, the first question a lender will ask is how much money is needed to start the business and make it profitable. Think about working capital such as inventory, real estate, equipment and furniture.

The next question is how much money will you personally contribute to the business? Actual cash investment by the business owner is necessary. An existing business will need to present its current balance sheet to demonstrate how much has already been invested and how the money was spent. All of this information will be reviewed to determine how much actual cash investment remains after paying out expenses and providing a living for the business owner.

These questions will be evaluated by the lender to determine if the business will operate soundly, that the debt burden does not place unreasonable demands on the profits of the business to repay the debt, and that you have enough capital at risk to keep you committed to the success of the business.

The Payment Terms

The biggest challenge business owners face when seeking a loan is showing the lender how and when they will pay the money back.  This is the chance to prove to the lender that your earnings will be enough to repay the loan.

To accomplish this goal, existing business owners should bring historical operating statements to showcase prior sales, expenses and profits. If you’re new to this, provide projections of sales, expenses and profits for the next two to three years, and an annual budget of cash expected from sales. Industry and market research data can serve to back up your projections.

Borrowing money is all about convincing the lender that you have the capital needed to succeed, the ability to repay the loan, the character and skill to implement the plan and the collateral to serve as backup. When entrepreneurs clearly understand the process and questions a lender will ask, they are adequately prepared to go out and secure a loan that will help their business succeed.

For more tips to prep you before your meeting with a lender, check out this earlier blog post: The 5 C’s of Credit.


Michael Rosales is senior vice president and small business banking manager at UMB Financial Corporation. Mr. Rosales joined UMB in 2005 as part of the founding crew of the Small Business Banking Department. He manages a group of associates who process requests for small business loans. Mr. Rosales can be reached at Michael.Rosales@umb.com.



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