No Origination Fee Announced for Most Mortgages

First International Bank and Trust is proud to announce that we are eliminating the origination fee on most mortgage loans. In addition to our competitive rates, local decision making, and in-house servicing, we are happy to add yet another benefit of financing your dream home with us. Our mortgage experts make it their mission to act as your advisor to help you find a loan that aligns with your personal goals. Call, click, or come in today to enjoy the benefit of having no origination fee on your mortgage loan.

To find a mortgage expert in your market, click here.


Available to qualified borrowers seeking conventional and government-insured financing only. Promotion does not apply to  portfolio or in-house products. Max loan amount $453,100. Subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Rate and terms are subject to change without notice. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.
 
New Credit Monitoring & Alert Service Now Available!

New Credit Monitoring & Alert Service Now Available!

We are thrilled to share that a new exclusive benefit for First International Bank & Trust customers is now available – called Credit Sense, found inside Online Banking.

Credit Sense will allow you to:

  • Instantly see your credit score* inside Online & Mobile Banking. Scores are updated on demand using a “soft pull” on your credit report which does not affect your score.

  • Set up email notifications and alerts of key changes to your credit report or suspicious activity to help prevent identity fraud.

  • Calculate savings from consolidating, refinancing or assuming new debt.

  • Learn about the factors that most impact and can improve your credit score as well have access to hundreds of articles on credit, debit, spending and saving.


Get started today! When logged in to Online or Mobile Banking, simply click on the "Check Your Score for FREE" blue box to enroll.


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Don’t put this off – take steps today to protect yourself and have peace of mind in this first line of defense against fraud.


*May be different than the credit score used in making credit decisions.
2018 Live First Community Grant Winners Announced

2018 Live First Community Grant Winners Announced

FARGO, ND: May 23, 2018 – First International Bank & Trust is proud to announce the winners of their Fourth Annual Live First Community Giving Campaign. There were 73 community organizations that applied for the grants that attracted over 25,000 votes on Social Media.

The following community groups have been selected as recipients for the 2018 Live First Community Grants!

$5,000 Award – Hope Blooms, Fargo, ND 

You matter. These two tiny words hold a special meaning in our heart because they are the inspiration behind the inception of Hope Blooms. They exemplify belonging and inclusion and illustrate a person's fundamental value as a human being. Hope Blooms directly invests in the local community by spreading joy through flower bouquet donations to our community’s most vulnerable individuals who need the most in our community. 
 

$1,000 Award – Start Bismarck, Bismarck, ND

Start Bismarck exists to create & connect a community of startups. They embrace risk-taking, promote entrepreneurial activity, and organize grassroots community-building events in Bismarck, North Dakota. We're answering the question: "How can we change the face of our startup community by sharing 1 million cups of coffee?" The entrepreneur shares his/her story, and then engages in meaningful conversation with the audience. This weekly event gives business owners permission to think bigger and better.
 

$1,000 Award – United Chinese Americans Fargo-Moorhead, Fargo, ND & Moorhead, MN

United Chinese Americans Fargo-Moorhead (UCAFM) purpose is to promote fellowship and friendship among Chinese Americans; increase public awareness and understanding of the Chinese arts and culture; and help Chinese Americans integrate into the Fargo-Moorhead Community.
 

$1000 Award – Addie’s Royal Cupcake Stand, Moorhead, MN

Each summer Addie hosts a lemonade and cupcake stand to help make dreams come true for kids on the wait list from the Sunshine Foundation! The Sunshine Foundation Grants dreams come true to kids who have disabilities, illness or who have been abused. Addie has helped raise nearly $20,000 and made 5 dreams come true!

 
 

“I am amazed by the overwhelming engagement from our community. With nearly double the number of participating organizations this year, we are excited to share that four additional recipients will also be awarded a grant.”

- Peter Stenehjem, President

 

$500 Award – Central Lakes College Student Senate, Staples, MN

The Central Lakes College Student Senate has a long history of holding community events for local area children and their parents. Throughout the academic year, the CLC student volunteers plan and coordinate such events as the Fall Festival, CLC Haunted House, Kids Christmas Party, and the Community Egg Hunt. These events seek to provide area kids with a free, fun, and safe experience while also teaching our college student community the importance of engagement with their local communities.  
 

$500 Award – Kalix, Minot, ND

Kalix is licensed by the North Dakota Department of Human Services to provide a variety of residential and vocational programs to adults with developmental disabilities. It is our goal to provide people with an opportunity to maintain their quality of life when experiencing Dimentia for as long as possible by taking a journey that doesn't require them to remember why they are there or where they have come from. The Kalix Outdoor Space & Sensory Garden will provide multi-sensory stimulation from the environment including: engaging with nature, relaxation, exercise, and an opportunity to socialize by connecting with others in a shared experience.  
 

$500 Award – Rough Rider Center, Watford City, ND

It has recently been approved by the Parks and Recreation board to put a playground in downstairs by the pool area of the Rough Rider Center. This playground will benefit many in our community with how many activities we have at the Rough Rider Center along with many mothers with young children and grandparents who need and want a place to enjoy taking their kids, especially in the winter.
 

$500 Award – Heart of America Care Center, Rugby, ND

Heart of America Care Center, a 55 bed Skilled Nursing Facility, has been serving North Central North Dakota since 1963, ensuring that families are able to remain close through all stages of life. There is a nation-wide initiative to reduce high risk medication use in the elderly population. An Aroma Therapy program will improve the quality of life for our Residents by decreasing their risk for falls, improving appetite, improving sleep patterns, and decreasing negative side effects such as stroke or even death.


Due to the overwhelming response to the Live First Community Grant program, First International Bank & Trust plans to continue the annual tradition in the future.

Interesting Times for Interest Rates

Interesting Times for Interest Rates

The following was published in Prairie Business Magazine's February 2018 issue, written by Dennis Walsh, Chief Credit Officer at First International Bank & Trust.


Four rate increases by the Federal Reserve in the last year have caught the attention of individuals and businesses as Prime Rate has jumped from 3.50% to 4.50%.  Ironically Prime Rate was at a historically low level of 3.25% for over seven years following the 2008 downturn.  For those of us that remember rates over 20% in the early 80’s and consistently over 12% for most of a decade, these rates seem very low.  By contrast many in business and especially financial services have never experienced double digit borrowing rates.  Rate increases have stimulated discussion about future rate trends and potential impacts to businesses and individuals.

The Federal Reserve has indicated a possibility to continue rate increases in 2018 with speculation that rates may increase another .5 to 1.0%.  However, their decisions will be impacted by economic trends and especially by inflation and GDP growth.  Also, the global economy will impact domestic rates as much of the world still has lower interest rates than America.  Continued domestic growth coupled with strong global growth, especially in major economies, could signal a longer term increasing rate trend.

A long term trend of higher rates has unique impacts for each sector of our economy.  For example, a 2% increase in residential mortgage rates would slow housing demand and would place downward pressure on property values.  As rates increase, buyers qualify for smaller mortgages because a greater amount of their income is allocated to interest.  The family that qualified for a $350,000 mortgage may only afford a $320,000 level which impacts values.

Businesses considering purchase of long term assets also are impacted by higher rates.  The impact is strongest for assets that provide a lower level of return on investment such as real estate.  Additionally the carrying cost of inventory and underperforming assets become larger concerns as rates increase.  Higher interest rates require all businesses to reassess borrowing costs in management decisions.  Also businesses that have grown with debt and are carrying significant long term debt feel the immediate impact of higher interest costs to their bottom line.

Agriculture producers are significantly impacted by higher interest rates because of the large capital requirements for ownership of land and expensive equipment.  Agricultural real estate has historically low return on investment so the low interest rates of the past 15 years have helped to stimulate agricultural real estate values.  Higher long term rates coupled with current commodity values and declining agricultural income could put significant pressure on agricultural real estate values.

We learned in the 1980’s that interest rates have a secondary impact on the value of the dollar versus foreign currencies.  If we see significant strengthening of dollar values we can expect pressure on industries with dependency on exports such as manufacturing and especially agriculture.  If dollar values increase by 10% versus foreign currency, we can expect a similar decrease in significant regional commodities such as wheat and edible beans where the majority of production is exported.

Commodities such as soybeans that are less dependent on export demand may not experience the same downward pressure, but if currency values in countries such as Brazil decline, we may see increased soybean imports pressuring local values.

Some businesses which are not dependent on large fixed assets may feel little direct impact from higher interest rates.  However if the rates slow economic growth or negatively impact business clients all businesses will experience indirect impacts.  The high rates of the early 1980’s were used as a tool to stop rampant inflation but they also slowed economic growth to a crawl.

For business and individuals we can speculate on interest rate trends, but none of us know what will happen.  Just as we need to make adjustments for outside forces such as weather, competition and impact of economic trends, we need to manage the impact of interest rates.  During times of historically high interest rates, many businesses in our region grew and remained profitable.  Strongly managed businesses will continue to enjoy success in spite of interest rate impacts.
 

Checkmarc - A Simple Check Recovery Service that Saves Time and Money for Business Owners.

First International Bank & Trust offers a free service to our small business customers that takes the work out of check collection. Checkmarc is a free service we offer that works to recover dishonored checks and electronic payments. It eliminates the time spent on check recovery so you can concentrate on business, not collections.

Checkmarc handles the collection and notifies you when the item has been recovered. You will receive 100% of the face value on all recovered items. There are no services fees, no equipment fees, no set-up fees and no contracts to sign. There is a dedicated customer service team available for all inquiries, and a free, secure website with 24-hour status on all in-process items. 

The Checkmarc process is simple.
  1. Enroll with a Personal Banker at your local First International Bank & Trust branch. 
  2. Receive a welcome packet from Checkmarc via email which includes additional program information, your Checkmarc ID number, and a username and password for the check-tracking website. 
  3. Checkmarc will notify you vial email when an insufficient funds check is received.
  4. Recovered funds are initiated via ACH (Automatic Clearing House) on Friday for the previous week’s recoveries. The deposits are made the following Monday. Checkmarc will notify you when funds have been recovered. 
Your business is a key contributor to the success our communities through job creation, innovation and the many way you give back to the community. When businesses are growing, everyone benefits. We strive to offer competitive business solutions to help your business grow and prosper.


First International Bank & Trust has always had a passion to support small business owners, and Checkmarc is another way we can help make your business more profitable. 


For more information please contact a Personal Banker at your local First International Bank & Trust branch.