529s have become one of the most popular college savings options. Here are some basics. Looking to save for college? Take a number – the number 529 to be exact. College Savings Accounts, or 529s as they’re nicknamed (after the IRS tax code), have become all the rage in recent years. So what are they?… Read More

Credit unions have established a relationship with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to expedite loans to credit-worthy small businesses. The SBA’s finance programs enhance the ability of credit unions to provide long- and short-term loans to small businesses that might not qualify through other lending channels. Ascentra is an SBA approved lender. SBA loans can… Read More

Main Street Iowa celebrated 30 years of downtown and commercial district revitalizations at their Annual Awards Ceremony in Des Moines on Friday, April 29. Approximately 450 people from the state’s 51 districts attended a celebration dinner and award presentations.   The honors were presented by Governor Terry E. Branstad and Debi Durham, Director of the… Read More

Ten area students are one step closer to achieving their academic goals.  Each earned $1,000 to help pay for their college costs as part of the Ascentra Credit Union Scholarship Competition.  The scholarship awards five $1,000 scholarships to high school students planning to enter college.  The other five $1,000 scholarships are given to members age… Read More

How Iowa Credit Unions Benefit the State Over the past 28 years, I have dedicated my career to improving the financial lives of people living and working in the Quad-City area. Early in my career, I worked for local community banks that merged into larger, national banks. In 1999, I started working for the credit… Read More

It’s important to stay calm when the markets aren’t.   Market volatility, especially dramatic sell-offs, are unsettling to most of us. Here are a few reassuring facts to help you keep a positive perspective and some precautions that may reduce your risks.   Things to remember: Historically, stocks have gone down faster than they have… Read More

If you’re lucky enough to be getting a tax refund this year, careful planning could help you do a lot. Reduce debt Make a credit card payment, more than the usual monthly payment. Pay off part of a student loan. Pay bills Pay part of your property tax bill. Ante up for school supplies and… Read More

If you have a small business and are thinking of accepting credit card purchases or upgrading your equipment, then you are in need of the latest merchant services. Not all merchant service providers are the same. With new EMV chip card technology shifting liability to merchants who are not equipped to accept the new technology,… Read More