Tips on Kids & Money

If you don’t want to find yourself bailing your kids out of debt sometime around their sophomore year of college, it’s a good idea to teach them the skills they’ll need to be financially savvy now while they’re young.

To get started, check out these important tips:


Mobile Banking From First Nebraska Bank

Mobile banking offers many advantages that you may not be aware of, including easy–to–use apps, the latest security and 24/7 access to your accounts. It allows you to be connected and in control of your money at all times, as long as you have access to the internet.

Multiple Options for Access

There are three different options for accessing your accounts:

Texting is the simplest method. It allows you to check your balance, get a history of the last five transactions on your account or even get daily or low balance alerts.

Using your mobile web browser accesses your online account just as you would from your computer. You may have to turn your device on its side or resize the browser window to improve legibility.

The downloadable mobile app is the most efficient way to use mobile banking. It allows you to check your balances, view account history, transfer money between accounts, pay bills, deposit checks and find the nearest location or ATM. It’s intuitive and user friendly. Step–by–step instructions guide you, followed by onscreen confirmations of your actions, before any commands are processed.

The Latest Security

Even though you are accessing your account via your mobile device, you are still required to enter your password, so it’s still secure. We recommend that you maintain a passcode on your phone, which adds another level protection from someone gaining access to your account. And if you happen to lose your phone or have it stolen, you can log in to your online banking and disable your phone’s access to your account.

No Fees

Mobile banking is free. There’s no charge for having access to your account on your phone. Mobile deposit and paying your bills via your phone are free services that we have established for your convenience.


While mobile banking is simple and convenient, it’s hard to replace the value of a face–to–face interaction with someone who cares about your financial future. So stop by one of our ten locations today to discuss how First Nebraska Bank can help you grow!


Five Reasons to Refinance Now

Seven years after the economic collapse of 2008, mortgage rates are still at near−historical lows. But as the economy gains steam and the unemployment rate slowly returns to pre−recession levels, the chances of the federal funds rate creeping up – and mortgage rates along with it – increases. But there’ time to take advantage of a low rate and reduce your monthly mortgage and potentially save big over time.

Five Reasons You Should Refinance Now

  1. Interest Rates Are Low – It’s a great time to borrow money. The Federal Reserve, which regulates the nation’s financial institutions, has indicated that interest rates will likely remain low for the time being. But this won’t last forever.
  2. Home Values and Appraisals – Prior to 2013, homeowners who attempted to refinance experienced challenges due to home appraisals and home values coming in too low to be able to qualify for a refinance loan. Since 2008−2009, home values have increased substantially and many home owners who did not qualify for a mortgage refinance previously (due to appraisal/home values) will not have the same home value challenges in many instances.
  3. Mortgage Insurance Has Decreased − Earlier this year, the Federal Housing Administration announced it would reduce the mortgage insurance premium rate charged on FHA−backed loans from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent, which some estimates suggest will result in an average savings of $900 a year for new homebuyers and anyone refinancing a house. It was a decision designed to spur home buying, but it’s good for homeowners who want to refinance as well. Another reason to consider refinancing, especially if you have an FHA loan: You may be able to refinance from an FHA loan to a conventional mortgage and remove your mortgage insurance payments altogether, reducing your monthly payment even more – if you have enough equity in your home.
  4. Family Situation – There is no "rule of thumb" when it comes to the interest rate drop justifying a refinance, mostly due to the many factors that can create a reality where a refinance can benefit a family financially. For example, when a household switches from dual to single−income, it may be necessary to refinance to a longer term to lower the payment based on the change of income status. Not only do lower rates save money, but also some families need to refinance to a lower rate, as well as a new 30−year fixed term to maximize cash flow for their household, based on budgeting for a lower household income. In addition, many Americans find themselves in consumer debt due to circumstances beyond their control, and a refinance that did not make good financial sense two years ago may now be very appealing, based on their household budget and low mortgage rates.
  5. Updated Regulations – Lending guidelines have eased somewhat over the past couple of years, and the housing market has shown more signs of life than in previous years. In recent years, many newly implemented regulations have created challenges for some homeowners who might have attempted to refinance two years ago. Since that time, however, the lending institutions and mortgage industry have had sufficient time to implement and learn how to operate within the regulatory environment, which has created more accountability for lenders. Also, lending guidelines slowly continue to improve, making mortgage qualification and refinance easier to understand and more accessible compared to recent years.

Contact your nearest location to speak with one of our mortgage specialist to see how refinancing your mortgage could benefit you.


At First Nebraska Bank, the seed is our symbol not only because it harkens back to our agricultural roots, but also because it is the universal emblem of growth. And for more than 130 years, we’ve been focused on helping Nebraskans grow their families, farms and businesses by giving them the financial backing they need.

So tell us how you plan to grow with First Nebraska Bank, and you could win a $500 landscaping package! Simply click here to enter.

The winner will be announced May 22, so enter today!


Your Financial Institution & You

In life, the only constant is change. Some changes you see coming from a mile away; others take you by surprise. But whether it’s a change in your personal life or professional life, your financial institution can be an important resource for you as you move forward towards your life’s goals.

In addition to the above situations, your financial institution can be an invaluable resource when unexpected changes happen, whether that may be the sudden loss of a spouse or the sudden onset of an expensive medical condition.

The bottom line is, your bank is much more than just a web page or mobile app you check every once in a while; it’s people who have the experience, expertise and empathy to help you and your family meet life’s challenges and thrive.


Understanding Your Credit Report

There are four main categories to each credit report: personal information, public record information, creditor information and credit inquiries.

Personal information is pretty self–explanatory, but you should take time to scrutinize the variations in the spelling of your name and whether it’s listed with or without your middle initial. The names listed come from information provided to financial institution or lenders you currently do or have done business with. The rest of the information that will be in this section includes:

Public Records will include legal issues related to your financial situation, including:

Creditor Information comprises the bulk of your report. All of your loans, credit cards, etc. will be shown in this section, along with any collections for accounts that were sold or unpaid. With each account, the following information will be provided:

In this section, the accounts will typically be split between positive and adverse action accounts. Positive accounts are those that have been paid in full and on time. The adverse action accounts are those that have a negative effect on your credit score. Late payments, outstanding balances or collections will likely all report under adverse actions accounts. If the report is accurate and the account is truly adverse, they’ll be removed from your report after seven years of being cleared up. One bureau, Transunion, will list the date when the account will be removed.

The terms Charge off or Payment after Charge off, means that the creditor has given up on you, charging the account as a loss. Most often, they have sent the account to a collection company. Even if you make a payment after the account has been charged off, this will not be removed from your credit report for seven years.

Credit Inquiries is the section that shows creditors or individuals that have pulled and reviewed your credit report, such as the bank where you opened an account or applied for car or mortgage loan. There are two types of inquiries:

Your credit score is made up of five categories: Payment history, amounts owed in relation to limit, length of credit history, types of credit and new credit. So be smart with your credit decisions; only apply for credit as needed. Know what you are signing up for. Understand the terms, rate and fees that apply before agreeing to take on more credit.

An annual review ensures that the report is accurate and up–to–date. With the rise in identity theft, there is always a chance that there are errors in your report – including accounts that do not belong to you. Staying on top of your credit will ensure that you get the best rates and terms on any financial transaction.

Take control of your financial future. Get a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies at


It’s That Time of Year Again... Tax Season!

Some folks are busy planning what they’re going to spend their tax refunds on while others are trying to find ways to increase their returns or reduce their income so they don’t have to pay in. If you’re looking to do the latter, an IRA could be just what you need.

Now you may be asking yourself, "What exactly is an IRA?" Well, an individual retirement account (IRA) provides tax advantages for retirement savings in the United States. It allows you to contribute pretax income into an account that can grow tax–deferred. There are specific contribution limits established annually. Individual taxpayers are allowed to contribute 100% of compensation up to a specified maximum dollar amount to their Traditional IRA. Contributions to the Traditional IRA may be tax–deductible depending on the taxpayer's income, tax–filing status and other factors.

Be sure to seek professional tax advice to learn how contributing to an IRA could potentially benefit you.

Now that you know what an IRA is, you’re probably asking, "How does it work?" When the individual begins to receive distributions from a Traditional IRA, the income is treated as ordinary income and may be subjected to income tax. For people over the age of 50, higher annual contribution limits may apply if the IRA has been recently created or under-funded in previous tax years. These are known as "catch-up contributions." Unless an exception applies, money can typically be withdrawn penalty free as taxable income from an IRA once the owner reaches age 59 1/2. Once the owner reaches age 70 1/2, annual distributions from the account are required.

If you currently have an IRA, there is still time to make a contribution to your IRA for 2014 or open a new account before the April 15th deadline. You could potentially save money on your tax return and help plan for your retirement!

First Nebraska Bank’s Individual Retirement Account (IRA) requires $100 minimum opening deposit. Interest is compounded and credited quarterly back to the IRA. You can choose between an 18–month and 60—month term. An early withdrawal penalty may apply. Another benefit of an IRA is that it is not subject to the ups and downs of the financial markets. This means that even if you're contributing to your retirement through a 401(k), you may be able to benefit from the safety and security of an IRA with First cBank. If you would like a bank representative to contact you with more information on IRA’s, please fill out the contact us form here.

Tax Advice Disclaimer
The information on this website should not be used in any actual transaction without the advice and guidance of a professional Tax Adviser who is familiar with all the relevant facts.

Although the information contained here is presented in good faith and believed to be correct, it is General in nature and is not intended as tax advice. Furthermore, the information contained herein may not be applicable to or suitable for the individuals’ specific circumstances or needs and may require consideration of other matters.

First Nebraska Bank assumes no obligation to inform any person of any changes in the tax law or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure
Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.



Protecting Your Mobile Device

Your mobile device provides convenient access to your email, bank and social media accounts. Unfortunately, it can potentially provide the same convenient access for criminals.

Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.

In addition:


Kick–Start Your Savings in 2015!

Now that we’ve all made New Year’s resolutions to stick to a budget and save more money... just how exactly are we going to make that happen? Well first of all, saving money always sounds harder than it is – even though it seems as if expenses always sneak up and wreck our plans to put money away. The key is to not get discouraged and understand that this isn’t an overnight process.

First, open a designated Savings or Money Market account in which to put funds aside. You need a separate account, because everyone knows that if you keep money in your checking account, you will spend it. You can set up a reoccurring transfer with your Online Banking or Mobile App or have it deposited separately with your employer’s payroll department.

Next, start small. Something is better than nothing. If you aren’t sure how much you can afford to put away every paycheck/month, start with $10 and see how it goes. You can always increase the amount at a later time. Another option is to do more – for example, $100/month; if you run short in your checking account, you can always transfer the money back. This may help you reevaluate your expenditures for the month and help you stay on budget.

There are also apps available that can help you save money. For example, Digit is an app that links to your account, evaluates your spending habits and automatically transfers available funds to your savings.

The bottom line is, we all experience unexpected expenses in life, which is part of the reason to save. So don’t stop putting aside money because you have a little hiccup. Stick with it, and you’ll see that your savings will grow faster than you thought possible.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for our #MoneyMonday tips, giving you easy everyday ideas on how to keep a little extra money in your pocket.



Monitoring Your Accounts to Protect Yourself from Fraud

Part of a successful budget is knowing how much you are spending and what you’re spending it on. Reviewing your accounts and monthly statements gives you an insight into this important aspect of your budget process. But it also has the added benefit of helping protect you from fraud by allowing you to notice any charges that look suspicious.

Other things you can do to prevent fraud include:

Here are some other scams to be aware of, courtesy of the FBI.


Budgeting Resolutions for the New Year!

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, creating a budget is one that will not only pay off, it’s also easier than you think to stick to. Believe it or not, budgeting is easy and everyone can do it; you just need to follow a few simple tips.

Follow these tips and you’ll watch your debt shrink and your savings grow! For more helpful guidelines, check out this article.



Online Shopping Safety

We are constantly bombarded with information about identity theft and ways to keep our personal information secure, but some are incredibly complicated. Some easy solutions to protect your personal information are to buy a shredder, sign up for eStatements, and monitor your accounts regularly. Updating your anti–virus software and verifying you’re using the newest version of your internet browser will help keep your information safe online. With all the security breaches in the media, it might make you feel like it’s time to give up the Internet altogether. As that’s not very realistic, instead of swearing off the World Wide Web, you just need to know how to protect your information when shopping online. Here are some quick safety tips for shopping online.


Holiday Shopping on a Budget

With the holidays right around the corner and Black Friday looming, it’s a great time to plan how to keep your holiday spending in check. Heading out shopping and simply picking up items without considering some sort of budget, you’ve set yourself up for trouble. If you're equipped with a plan, it will be simple to stay within your budget. Often, the best gifts aren’t the most expensive ones. When giving to a loved one, think of something sentimental to your relationship. The old adage does apply here; it’s the thought that counts! People enjoy receiving something that comes from the heart. After all, it’s the reason for the season!

Here are some tips for shopping wisely this holiday season.



Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and related injuries, so it never hurts to take a few extra precautions when your family and your home are involved. Here’s a link from the National Fire Protection Association that gives you some simple things you can do to keep your holiday safe:


Keeping Costs Down This Thanksgiving

If you’ve drawn the short straw and are preparing a Thanksgiving meal for your extended family, there are some things you can do to keep the costs from spiraling out of control, including simple things such as planning out the meal and buying items you need now rather than waiting for the week of Thanksgiving. You can also switch up your normal traditions and have a potluck or go volunteer at a community meal instead of staying home. The link below has additional tips that may come in handy:



Cloud Storage: the Future is Here

Recent news of celebrities’ private photos being stolen has exposed (no pun intended) some of the pitfalls in how smartphones and "The Cloud" often work together.

So what is "The Cloud," anyway? Well, despite its mysterious name, the cloud is nothing more than a data storage solution in which your information is stored offsite rather than on your device. The benefits are, your data doesn’t take up room on your device and, should your device fail or be stolen, your data isn’t lost along with it. However, it does mean that your private, personal information is entrusted to a third party, who has the responsibility of keeping it both available and secure.

The celebrity photo breach in question was a simple matter of the attackers either guessing, brute–forcing or getting the targets to give away the passwords on their Apple iCloud accounts. Because their iPhones were backing up to the iCloud service, this meant that all of the victims’ data, including pictures, was accessible.

Smartphones backing up to online cloud storage is not just an Apple feature. Android phones can do this as well – either to Google or to a carrier’s own cloud storage service. Often in the excitement of getting a new phone, we simply rush through the initial setup and accept when it offers to backup your data for you... after all, why would having backups be bad, right?

At the end of the day, cloud storage is here to stay. So here are some tips on protecting your privacy:

  1. Pay attention to prompts when setting up your phone. If it is going to backup, where is your data going and how is it protected and accessed? If all that is needed is your email address and a password to retrieve your data from anywhere in the world, you should think twice.
  2. If you do use a cloud storage service, use the strongest authentication process possible – not just a username and password. Choose a strong password (at least 15 characters) and utilize any additional options, such as one–time-password (OTP) features, like a texted pin code). It may be a pain to log into but keep in mind the value of the data you are storing.
  3. When setting up the security questions on your account, remember that a lot of these answers can be guessed or found out with some digging. If the security questions have answers that others could find out, consider using bogus answers only you would know.
  4. Remember that your phone collects and stores an enormous amount of information about you, your habits and your life. Both advertisers and attackers know this. Pay attention to what apps you install and what permissions they ask for and why.

Lastly, just a word of advice. Taking private pictures of yourself using a phone where most apps – even games like Angry Birds – state they can have direct access to your media files may not be the best idea.


The Joys (and Financial Benefits) of Organizing Your Home

You’re cooking dinner for guests tonight. Your recipe requires you to peel carrots. You’re pretty sure you have a peeler... you just can’t remember where you put it. So you run out and buy another one. This happens to people all the time. And it’s not just vegetable peelers. It can be food items, tools, computer and audio cables... just about anything. Not only does this ad–hoc approach to acquiring things clutter up your home, it’s also expensive!

So whether you’ve just moved or you’ve been in your house for years, now is the time to organize your belongings to make finding a battery when the flashlight’s dead or a fingernail clipper when there’s a hangnail much easier.

And what do you do with all the extra stuff you find along the way? Sell it at a garage sale or donate it to Goodwill or the Salvation Army and take the tax deduction!

Here’s what to do.

Tackle One Room at a Time. Don’t take on every cupboard and box at once. If you still have boxes from a recent (or not–so–recent) move, place them in rooms according to which room they came from in your old house. And to fit it into your busy schedule, make a plan to tackle one room per weekend.

Whatever you do, don’t take the "out of sight, out of mind" approach and clog your garage and attic with unmarked boxes. You’ll regret it in five years when you have to move again. Either unpack and distribute the contents in appropriate rooms or donate the goods to charity. Save your storage space for seasonal décor and family mementos in labeled boxes.

Think Visibility, Accessibility, Flexibility – they’re the three tenets of organization. You’re more likely to use what you can see and easily access. Be open to reconfiguring and reorganizing storage spaces based on your family’s evolving needs.

Invest in a Few Smart Storage Solutions, such as:

Space-Saving Organization Tips by Room:

Here are a couple other sites with organizational tips that might come in handy.



Keeping College Kids Safe & Secure Online

When they’re not in class, college students spend most of their free time online–whether engaging in social media, researching papers or playing games. So college is a time when online security and safety are of paramount importance. Dangers range from annoyances such as viruses to serious identity and data theft scams that can quickly upend a college student’s semester.

For the latest tips and tricks on maintaining a safe online environment when your child is away at college, check out this informative piece from


Get the Apps You Need for College!

From banking to studying to finding where you parked your car at the homecoming game, we’ve got the apps you need to keep your life in order while you’re on and off campus this fall.

10 Apps for College



Summer Road Safety

As the summer starts to wind down, farming activity revs up. Wheat harvest begins the first wave of farm machinery and equipment to hit the pavement–and it only gets busier from there on. Here are a few tips to help keep everyone safe while traveling on the roads.

Farmers and Drivers:

Before passing farm machinery:

Remember, the best practice is to slow down, pay attention, and stay off of your cell phone while driving. Please be patient and courteous to each other when sharing the roadway.

You can refresh your safe driving practices by reviewing Nebraska’s Driver’s Manual –


10 Tips for Fighting Fraud

The best way to fight consumer fraud is to prevent it, and the best weapon to protect yourself against fraud is information. If you can identify a scam, recognize when a deal is "too good to be true," and know when to say "no," scam artists won’t stand a chance.

And remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Here are 10 tools you can use to fight fraud.

  1. Ignore all mail, phone and e–mail solicitations for foreign lottery promotions and investment opportunities. Consult with someone you know and trust to collaborate on your philanthropic and investment decisions.
  2. Always be cautious about submitting advance fees for any business or sweepstakes offer–no matter where the offer originates.
  3. Don’t trust e–mails or text messages that appear to be from your financial institution or a government agency that request your bank account or Social Security number. Legitimate institutions will never e–mail or text you to request details about your account or financial status.
  4. Shred financial documents and paperwork with personal information before you discard them.
  5. Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet to persons or businesses that are unknown to you.
  6. Never click on links sent in unsolicited e–mails. Use firewalls, anti–spyware, and anti–virus software to protect your computer.
  7. Inspect your credit report. Visit to order your FREE annual credit report.
  8. Review your financial statements and credit card statements regularly. Look for charges you did not make and report them to your bank or Credit Card Company immediately.
  9. Watch out for home repair scams and travel club fraud. Seek competitive bids and pricing, and be wary of any offer that seems too good to be true.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask a banker, trusted advisor, family member or friend if you have any doubts about an offer or business. Regardless of your age, sex, education level, financial status or location, you are a potential victim.

If you think you are a victim of fraud, don’t hesitate to call your financial institution or contact the Nebraska Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-727-6432 or visit their website at



Vacation Travel Tips

Summer is a great time to travel. The kids are out of school for the summer, and you naturally want to take advantage of the nice weather and longer days. Vacation is a time for relaxation and having fun--but packing all the essentials is only half the battle. Preparing your home for your trip is necessary as well.

Depending on how long you are going to be gone, have your mail stopped temporarily or have a trusted neighbor or friend stop by regularly to collect your mail. He or she can also stop by and check on your house at the same time.

Setting up an electrical timer to turn on lights or TVs, mimicking your regular schedule, is also a good way to ward off potential intruders by fooling them into thinking someone is at home. If you are leaving for an extended period of time, consider having your utilities turned off to avoid possible flooding, fire or gas leaks.

Inform a family member or friend of your itinerary in case you need to contact someone or be contacted during an emergency. In addition, avoid announcing your travel plans on social media. Alerting people of your absence is an invitation for trouble.

Create a list of all the items you will need to make packing easy. It is a great way to ensure you don't forget anything. Go through your wallet or purse and make sure you are taking only items you’ll need. Losing your wallet is stressful enough when only one or two credit cards are missing rather than all your cards.

Carry money and identification in your front pockets or close to your body to avoid appearing as an easy target for thieves. When flying to your destination, carry on anything you may need such as medication and an extra change of clothes in case your luggage is delayed. It's a good idea to carry on anything of real value, in case your luggage is lost permanently or stolen.

Research your destination thoroughly. Know where you are going, and have a plan on how you are getting there, so that if you get separated from the group you aren't lost in an unfamiliar place. Having a basic idea of the layout of the area will come in handy and make navigating less stressful.

Make a plan of your activities. Whether you're spending the day at the beach and need plenty of sunscreen or hiking through nature and need appropriate footwear and clothing, you'll be sure to have the right equipment if you plan ahead.

For additional vacation tips check out this useful link


Tips for Saving Money in College

College is expensive, and every penny you can save counts. Everything from textbooks and supplies to transportation, food and entertainment will cost you money. Scholarships and financial aid help lessen the burden, but there are a variety of other ways to help you keep money in your pocket.

First and foremost, apply for scholarships; after all, it's free money. Check with your high school guidance counselor if you're beginning your first year of college or the financial aid office of the college you are attending. Filling out the applications may take some time and seem like a pain but at the end of the semester when you aren't living on ramen noodles, you'll be glad you put forth the effort.

Make a budget. Know where your money is going. Keep your receipts, whether you pay cash or credit. Track your expenditures for a month so that you are aware of how you are spending your money. It's easy to cut back on unnecessary spending when you know what your habits are. It will also help you save money for those big-ticket items that you really want.

Always buy used textbooks. Once you have your class schedule, find what textbooks you need. You can save a lot of money buying used, and you can also shop online to see if you can find it cheaper than in the bookstore. Asking friends if they have taken a course in the past and still have the textbook is an option too. If you have to buy new, check and see if the previous version had any major changes. If not the previous used version could save you a bundle and you can manage if there were just a few small changes. Sell your textbooks once you're done with the class. The bookstore will usually buy them back--or try selling them online or to your friends. You probably won't need that World Religions 101 textbook ever again.

Lastly, find a part-time job. Joining the real world may not sound like fun now, but having extra income will give you some additional freedom financially. Look for jobs on campus. It will save you money not having to drive to a job, and usually they are pretty easy and may allow you time to study and get some of your homework out of the way.

For additional tips on saving money in college, check out this helpful link




Need a quick, secure way to pay someone without writing them a check or giving them cash? Popmoney is your solution. This personal payment service is offered as part of First Nebraska Bank’s Online Banking Click–N–Pay bill payment product.

Popmoney is a pay service that eliminates the hassles of checks and cash. With Popmoney, sending and receiving money is as easy as emailing or texting. You don’t need to know anyone’s personal banking information–just their contact information.

Here are a few ways Popmoney can be helpful:

Using Popmoney is as simple as paying a bill online. First, enter the person’s name and email address or cell phone number, as well as the amount you would like to send them. Then, select the day you would like the payment to be sent. You are able to include a personal message so the recipient knows who is sending them money and for what reason. There is a flat $0.50 fee for sending payments, regardless of amount. If the recipient does not accept your payment within 10 days, the money is put back in your account. As soon as the recipient receives their notification and follows the instructions to verify their information, the funds are deposited to their account as early as the next business day.

Receiving payments is easy too! The recipient will receive a message letting them know they were sent money via the information entered to send the payment, i.e. text or email. Since First Nebraska Bank offers Popmoney through our FNB Click–N–Pay, all you would have to do is simply log in to your online banking, go to Popmoney and accept your pending payment. No additional passwords or accounts need to be set up and your financial information remains secure. If the recipient doesn’t bank with First Nebraska, they may need to check with their financial institution to see if Popmoney is offered or they can easily set up an account at or download the app to accept their payments. If you want to know more about Popmoney and how it can benefit you, stop by your nearest location and ask us how!


Prepare Your Home for Summer

We’ve been counting down the days until summer arrives... but now that the snow is gone, have you taken the time to make sure your home is ready for summer?

Here are some great tips to help prepare your home so you can enjoy the warm weather:

For additional ideas to prepare your home for summer, check out this helpful article

April TIPS



You’ve probably heard a lot about the "Heartbleed" vulnerability that is affecting the security of many servers and online sites. We’re happy to report that our website, online banking and all other web services, are completely unaffected by "Heartbleed."

This security vulnerability is tied to specific code in software called OpenSSL. The compromised code was never in use on any First Nebraska Bank or vendor server used by First Nebraska Bank.

While the "Heartbleed" vulnerability is a serious issue, it can be patched securely. If you are concerned with any of your personal services or online accounts, check with your software vendors, online providers and hosts to ensure they have mitigated any risk.

If you have online accounts with websites such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, you may need to change your password to be safe. You can find a list of sites affected by Heartbleed here

You can also check to see if a site has fixed its vulnerability here


Let’s face it; a dream wedding can quickly become a nightmare as costs spiral out of control. Last year, the average wedding cost $30,000. You’ve got to hire a photographer, a baker, a florist, a band, a caterer, a bartender... And then there’s the gown and the venue. The list goes on and on.

So what can you do to keep costs down while still giving yourself or your little girl a dream wedding? Plenty, as it turns out. In fact, like many things in life, preparing a well thought–out budget beforehand (and sticking to it) can be the key to keeping the whole event manageable.

For other ways to have a dream wedding on a budget, check out this helpful article at!



Preparing for Spring Weather

Here in the Midwest, spring brings the possibility of dangerous weather. Now is a good time to visit your Emergency Response Plan.

Your plan should include:

Other Recommendations: is a great resource for guidance on developing an Emergency Response Plan for your home.


Buying a New Home

Buying a home is one of life’s biggest investments and commitments. Owning a home is rewarding–but taking on the responsibility can be overwhelming. Don’t worry; we’re here to help!

Download your FREE home-buying information sheet here!



Saving Tax-Free with an IRA

There are many ways to save for the future. You can contribute to your company’s 401(k) plan. You can put extra money into a savings account. You can even stuff extra cash into a coffee can. But one of the simplest and safest ways to save for retirement is by contributing to an Individual Retirement Account or IRA.

With an IRA, you pay no taxes on the amount you contribute in a particular year. And you pay no taxes on the interest the IRA accrues that year (so long as it stays in the IRA). In fact, the only time you pay taxes on your IRA is when you finally withdraw your money from it after you hit retirement age. And since many people believe that they will be in a lower tax bracket when they retire, this can mean that you pay less tax than if you had paid it as you contributed.

If you think you might benefit from an IRA, speak to a First Nebraska Bank financial planner for more information. Learn more here

Tax Advice Disclaimer

The information on this website should not be used in any actual transaction without the advice and guidance of a professional Tax Adviser who is familiar with all the relevant facts.

Although the information contained here is presented in good faith and believed to be correct, it is General in nature and is not intended as tax advice. Furthermore, the information contained herein may not be applicable to or suitable for the individuals’ specific circumstances or needs and may require consideration of other matters.

First Nebraska Bank assumes no obligation to inform any person of any changes in the tax law or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.


Avoiding Tax Season Scams

The Internal Revenue Service has issued several recent consumer warnings on the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scammers trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets. When identity theft takes place over the Internet with the perpetrator masquerading as a legitimate entity, it is called phishing.

Phishing (as in "fishing for information" and "hooking" victims) is a scam in which Internet fraudsters send e–mail messages designed to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing personal and financial information. This information can then be used to steal the victims’ identity. Once the scammer has done this, he or she is free to apply for credit cards and loans in the victims’ names, ruining their credit along the way.

Phishing scams succeed because they look like legitimate e–mails to the untrained eye.

Current tax-related phishing scams include phony e–mails that claim to come from the IRS, enticing victims by telling them that they are due a tax refund.

So, this time of year, be extra–vigilant– and be extra-aware of any suspicious emails that claim to be from the IRS or any other tax governing entity promising you a refund.



Sticking to Your Financial Diet

Just as it is when it comes getting your body in shape, there are a variety of tips and tricks you can use to help keep your finances healthier in 2014.

Whether it’s incorporating new web and app–based technologies or tracking your daily spending... or simply just being better organized across the board, with a few simple steps (and the breaking of some bad habits), you can really improve your financial outlook–maybe even dramatically.

Check out this article for some great ideas on how to shape up your finances!


In the News

Would-be cyber-criminals often use real–world events to perpetrate their attacks. Public interests can help them determine what people are more likely to click on, making their attacks more successful. Here are a few ways current events can be used against you:

Phishing Emails: can contain content that takes advantage of what people are currently talking about. Whether it’s pop culture or politics, email content that people find interesting is more likely to succeed when used for phishing purposes. Phishing scams can also be timed to coincide with specific events. For example, right now there are phishing emails circulating regarding Benefits and Open Enrollment.

Googling: Attackers can use Google or other search engine results to their advantage. Whenever there is a major news story, hackers attempt to poison the search results to make their malicious page show up near the top of the list. So whenever there is big news going on, be careful of simply Googling the term and clicking the top links without checking where they go.

Phone Scams: Believe it or not, these still exist–mainly because they are effective. Phone scams can often make use of things people are talking about–or are confused about–such as the new healthcare law or taxes.

So be smart and be vigilant. And remember, it takes two people to pull off a successful scam: the scammer AND the victim.

November Tips


10 Tips For Holiday Shopping On a Budget

  1. Debit Instead of Credit: Use debit instead of credit cards. A debit card automatically forces you to spend only what you have, and allows you to avoid paying interest. Leave the credit cards at home. Let's say that you go ahead and charge the $817 (that is the amount which the average American is planning on spending this holiday), and pay the minimum payment of $10 a month with an average annual percentage rate of 18 percent. It would take you 133 months to be rid of your debt. In that time, you will pay $840.83 in interest.
  2. Know Your Budget:Know your budget, and make it non-negotiable: $10 means $10, not $12. Be sure to keep a running log of what you spend.
  3. Don't Get Department Store Credit Cards:When you open up a new credit card, many retailers offer you a 10 or 15 percent savings on your first purchase. But that savings will quickly vanish if you don't pay off your credit card balance in full. Some retailers, like Marshall Fields, for instance, will hit their customers with annual percentage rates upward of 20 percent.

    Do the Math: If you pay $100 for a blouse and take the 10 percent discount, you would pay $90. However, if you were unable to pay the balance by the due date, you would pay $18.90 in interest, assuming a 21 percent APR, which would completely wipe out your $10 savings. You are now paying $108.90 for the blouse that was originally priced at $100!
  4. Make a List:Make a detailed list of who you want to buy for, how much you want to spend, and which gifts you expect to buy. This keeps you focused.
  5. Pre-Shop:Do some research before you hit the stores. Call around and go online to find better deals. You should also try to consolidate to a few stores to cut down on transportation costs.
  6. Stock Up On Stock:Instead of gifts, buy stock directly from a company, which allows you to avoid the fees and hassles of a broker or online service. For children, it could be the start of a wonderful tradition that instills a legacy of saving. Plus, it is a great, educational stocking stuffer, if your child knows the company.

    For example, you can buy stock directly from Mattel, Inc (which was selling at $20.28 earlier this week) for your nephew instead of the hot toy that he's sure to forget. Or buy your father-in-law a share of stock directly from Home Depot (selling at $25.45 a share earlier this week) instead of a new power drill. Consider it a present for the future.
  7. Pick a Card:Instead of giving an old-fashioned paper gift certificate, try a prepaid gift card, which works like a debit card. The money is loaded onto the card so that the person can get exactly what they want, but there a few things to watch out for. Sometimes the card company will charge the purchaser a fee. For instance, for a $25 gift card, some companies add an extra fee on top. If it's $5.95 for a $25 card, that means you have paid an interest rate of 23.8 percent.
  8. Browse the Net:Instead of browsing the racks, try going online to shop. Many retailers offer discounts that are only available online, and they sweeten deal by offering free shipping and no-hassle returns.
  9. Free Gift Wrap:: If the store you are shopping in has a free gift-wrapping service, take advantage of it. You can save so much money by not buying fancy gift-wrap that you can put your savings toward other gifts.
  10. Beware the Gift Receipt:Many stores offer gift receipts, which do not have a price on them, as a way for the gift recipient to bring the gift back, supposedly without knowing how much you spent. Don't go for it. Be bold and ask for an actual receipt with the real cost of the item on it, to make sure if someone's returning your gift, they get the full value, not just store credit or the price the day of return, which might be reduced. They're going to find out what gift cost anyway, so there's no need to hide behind gift receipt.


Shopping during the holiday season can present unique danger. Taking a few prevention measures can help keep your holiday season joyous.

The holiday season is a time when busy people can become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. The following tips from the police department can help you be more careful, prepared and aware during the holiday season.

October Tips


Is Your Money Safe From Cyber Thieves?

From banking to shopping to connecting with others, we live more of our lives online than at any other point in history. With that trend showing no signs of slowing, it's important to know what you can do to protect your money from those who want to steal it. Simple things like not sharing your PINs and passwords with anyone else can help. In honor of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, First Nebraska Bank offers these tips to help you protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft:

Don't share your secrets.

Don't provide your Social Security number or account information to anyone who contacts you online or over the phone. Protect your PINs and passwords and do not share them with anyone. Use a combination of letters and numbers for your passwords and change them periodically. Do not reveal sensitive or personal information on social networking sites.

Shred sensitive papers.

Shred receipts, banks statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.

Keep an eye out for missing mail.

Fraudsters look for monthly bank or credit card statements or other mail containing your financial information. Consider enrolling in online banking to reduce the likelihood of paper statements being stolen. Also, don't mail bills from your own mailbox with the flag up.

Monitor your credit report.

Order a free copy of your credit report every four months from one of the three credit reporting agencies at

Protect your computer.

Make sure the virus protection software on your computer is active and up to date. When conducting business online, make sure your browser's padlock or key icon is active. Also look for an "s" after the "http" to be sure the website is secure.

Protect your mobile device.

Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your mobile device, be sure to wipe it using specialized software or using the manufacturer's recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.

Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.


10 Ways to Protect Your Smartphone From Hackers

Your mobile device provides convenient access to your email, bank and social media accounts. Unfortunately, it can potentially provide the same convenient access for criminals. First Nebraska Bank recommends following these tips to keep your information - and your money - safe.

  1. Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen.
  2. Log out completely when you finish a mobile banking session.
  3. Protect your phone from viruses and malicious software, or malware, just like you do for your computer by installing mobile security software.
  4. Use caution when downloading apps. Apps can contain malicious software, worms, and viruses. Beware of apps that ask for unnecessary "permissions."
  5. Download the updates for your phone and mobile apps regularly.
  6. Avoid storing sensitive information like passwords or a social security number on your mobile device.
  7. Tell your financial institution immediately if you change your phone number or lose your mobile device.
  8. Be aware of shoulder surfers. The most basic form of information theft is observation. Be aware of your surroundings especially when you're punching in sensitive information.
  9. Wipe your mobile device before you donate, sell or trade it using specialized software or using the manufacturer's recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen.
  10. Report any suspected fraud to your bank immediately.

September Tips


Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

The first step to acquiring a mortgage is ensuring that you have a good credit history, which helps secure a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments. During the housing boom, a score of 680 was enough to get a good interest rate, but today many lenders want a 740, or even a 760, to qualify for the best rates. To improve your credit score, the American Bankers Association advises that consumers:

Pay bills on time.

Payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score, according to The longer you pay your bills on time the better your score. Avoid missed payments by putting as many of your bills on automatic pay as possible. Many banks offer automatic debits from accounts and online bill pay.

Don't close old, paid off accounts.

According to FICO, closing accounts can never help your score and can in fact damage it. Only apply for the credit you need. Keep this in mind the next time a retailer offers you 10 percent off if you open an account.

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. But avoid debt settlement; it will hurt your score since you're paying less than you owe. For more information on debt management, contact the National Foundation for Consumer Credit (

Evaluate your credit report annually.

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 credit reporting agency, but you must go through the Federal Trade Commission's website at, or call 1-877-322-8228.

Don't skim. Read the fine print.

A loan or credit card application is a contract, so read it thoroughly before signing. Be aware of introductory rates that expire, as well as the length of monthly billing cycles.

Set a budget and stick to it.

Developing a financial plan will help you keep your finances in order. Don't spend more than you can afford, and don't "max out" your cards. Never forget that credit isn't free money.

Comparison shop.

Don't jump at the first appealing offer. Compare rates and fees offered through mail solicitation, on the Internet, or at your local bank.


Our Best Tips for Online Safety

Computers have become such an important part of our lives - for accessing information, keeping in touch with friends and family, shopping, working, and other activities - that it's easy to overlook the risks of using them. We rely on computers so much that many of us neglect the importance of PC security to keep our passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information safe from identity thieves. To help keep your computer and information safe, we've compiled a list of seven computer security tips to follow that can reduce your chances of being an identity theft victim by enhancing your PC's security:

Never open unsolicited e-mail.

Always delete unsolicited e-mail, and never, ever, click on a link in an e-mail from someone you don't know. Doing so could infect your computer with a virus.

Use strong passwords that are impossible for a thief to guess.

Use a different password for each login, and make sure that each password is a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. People who use the same passwords for everything make it easy for thieves to steal their identities.

Install antivirus software and keep it updated.

There are many trusted antivirus programs online that people can download free or for a donation. Download at least three, run them at least once a week, and keep them updated. (McAfee®, Norton™ and AVG are just a few examples.)

Protect your computer with a firewall.

A computer firewall creates a virtual wall between your computer and thieves who want to access your personal information. Hardware and software firewalls help keep your computer safe when you're online.

Don't share your personal information online.

Social networks are fun and great for connecting with friends but thieves use them to trick people into providing their personal information. You wouldn't share your private information with a stranger on the street, so don't share it with a stranger online either, no matter how long you've "known" them.

Keep your operating system updated.

When your computer operating system tells you an update is available, install it as soon as possible and get in the habit of keeping it updated at all times.

Be wary of fake antivirus notifications and other scareware.

Antivirus viruses (a.k.a. "scareware") trick users into thinking that they have a computer virus in order to frighten them into providing their credit card information to download an "antivirus program" that will remove it. If you have scareware installed on your machine, disconnect your computer from the Internet, call a computer tech to remove it, and remember to never provide any personal information in the pop-ups that appear on your screen.



August Tips


Buying into a Budget

The idea of living on a budget can seem tedious, restrictive and daunting. In reality, living by one is incredibly freeing. A simple, effective budget requires only three things: information, income and expenses.

Start with Your Income

What you use to create a budget is less important than the information you include. Use Excel, Word or a pen and paper to write down, in as much detail as possible all sources of income you have coming in to your home each month (salary, tips, child support, investment income, etc.). Subtract what you pay in taxes and underline or bold the final amount.

End with Your Expenses

Write down all your monthly expenses, starting with bills like rent/mortgage, utilities, credit cards, groceries, gas, etc. That amount should equal 40% or less of your pre-tax income. Then, record what you'd like to spend money on (saving, retirement, entertainment, shoes, vacation, etc.). Bold the final number and compare it with your income total. Your expenses should be less than your income. If they're not, cut until they are.


Shred Everything!

When it comes to shredding, the safest approach is to think of your home or business as a liquidation company - everything must go! Every day hackers and ne'er-do-wells find data in dumpsters that they can use to steal business and personal information. Shredding everything removes that possibility.

Shred Safe, Shred Often

There are a few things you can do in your office or at home to dramatically reduce the amount of information that makes it to the trash:

Choose a shred company that processes more than just paper and make it easy for your employees or your family to keep your personal, financial information safe through shredding.