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Common Cent$: Blackhawk Bank Blog

Welcome to Common Cent$, a blog designed to help you personally, professionally and financially.  Explore topics that will engage and inform you on topics that deal with current issues and personal development.
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Who Pays Closing Costs? (October 23, 2020)

The home buying and selling process can be confusing for many people. A lot goes into making sure both buyer and seller are happy

Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October 14, 2020)

October is a time to remember that your security and protection of personal information should remain top priority. 

Be Aware of These Social Security Scams (October 7, 2020)

Social Security numbers (SSNs) are critical in today’s world, as many important life events are tied to them. Applying for a job, buying a house, opening a bank account; all of these big decisions require identifying information, such as an SSN.

Benefits of Applying for a Mortgage Through Blackhawk Bank (September 28, 2020)

When you apply for a mortgage through Blackhawk Bank, we strive to make the entire home buying process easy, simple and stress free.

Navigating Financial Setbacks (September 16, 2020)

Experiencing a financial setback is a common occurrence, and we want to help you and your family to get back on track to financial stability. Here are some tips to help you navigate financial setbacks.


Why Using a Local Mortgage Lender Matters (September 9, 2020) 

When it comes time to buy a home, there are many decisions that need to be made: what neighborhood to live in, determining a budget, which realtor you should use. The list seems endless. One of the most important decisions you will make, though, will be which mortgage lender you choose.

Should Spouses Have Joint Checking Accounts? (September 3, 2020)

One of the least talked about yet most impactful decisions a married or soon-to-be-married couple can make is whether to open a joint checking account. Depending on your family’s traditions, it may be common for a married couple to open a joint bank account as soon as the marriage license is signed, if not sooner. 

Watch Out For COVID-19 Loan Relief Scams (September 2, 2020)

The COVID-19 Pandemic has led to many challenges for businesses over the last few months, including financial stress related to the pandemic. In an effort to help relieve some of the stress, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has offered relief programs to qualifying businesses to help weather financial setbacks.

How Local Business Owners Can Avoid Burnout (August 25, 2020)

If you are a small business owner who is experiencing feelings of burnout, remember that it is important to address them. Here are a few ways you can re-energize yourself so that you can be the best owner possible, as well as feel refreshed in your personal life.

Helping Parents Save for Their Child's College Education (August 21, 2020)

In today’s world, attending college and graduating with a specialized degree offers many advantages to young students. Not only does a college education set people a part in the job market, but it also opens up different opportunities in various fields.

Does it Make Sense to Buy or Rent? (August 18, 2020)

 Many people throughout the United States rent a living space as an alternative to purchasing a home. For many families, college students, and young professionals, paying rent to a landlord fits their lifestyle.

Is TikTok a Threat? (August 5, 2020)

TikTok is a free social media app that has recently grown in popularity. While mostly used among the younger generation, TikTok has become wildly popular during the last few months as more users have joined during quarantine.

Is There a National Coin Shortage? (July 31, 2020)

One challenge that has arose is a deficiency of coinage – pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters – that people and businesses alike use every day. Many people are panicked, as this shortage is mainly affecting the ability to give customers change.

Connecting With Friends on National Friendship Day (July 31, 2020)

Did you know that Sunday, August 2nd is National Friendship Day? This day is earmarked as a way to celebrate friendships and rekindle old bonds.

What Homeowners Should Know About Property Taxes (July 30, 2020)

One aspect of home ownership that often gets glossed over, but can be just as important, is property taxes. When purchasing a home, many people enter the housing market with a set budget in mind, but often forget to calculate how much they are willing to spend on property taxes.

Financial Tips for New College Graduates (July 20, 2020)

Graduating from college is an exciting achievement, however, many new graduates can be met with unexpected financial troubles. Navigating life after college can be difficult, which can lead to tough decisions related to finances.

Safety Tips When Selling Your Home (July, 14, 2020)

When it comes to selling your home, there are many things to consider: what buyers want to see, updates you want to make to your home and putting it on the market for the right price, just to name a few. However, one thing that homeowners don’t always think about is safety.

Watch Our for These Credit Repair Scams (July 9, 2020)

Managing your credit score can be a frustrating and time consuming process, especially if you don’t have good credit. If you’re planning on making a large purchase that requires a credit check, it can be draining to figure out how to boost your credit score quickly.

Cash App Scams Are On The Rise (July 1, 2020)

Cash App is a popular choice amongst consumers, as its interface is easy to use and navigate; it allows users to quickly send someone money, receive money, or invest in stocks. Cash App, though, has recently come under fire as reports of fraudulent behavior are making headlines.


What to Consider Before Buying a Home (June, 22, 2020)

Buying a home can be an exciting time, however, this excitement can launch you into the home buying journey prematurely if you rush the process.

What is AfterPay? (June 18, 2020)

As online shopping grows in popularity, companies are searching for ways to keep shoppers engaged and to entice them to spend more money. 

Business Owners: Beware of Google My Business Scammers (June 12, 2020)

Many business owners, at one point or another, come face to face with Google. Whether you are trying to optimize keywords on your website or grow engagement, it is near impossible to have smooth marketing tactics without Google.

Can I Still Buy a Home in 2020? (June 5, 2020)

Buying a home can be an intimidating process under normal conditions, let alone during a global pandemic. Between shelter-at-home orders and social distancing protocols, the mortgage and real estate industries have had to adapt to a new normal.

Money Saving Challenges (June 3, 2020)

Whether it’s for a new car, retirement, or a vacation, saving money is a good habit that can help you reach your financial goals.

No Vacation Plans? Get Outside! (May 22, 2020)

Fun experiences away from the house can be found right in your town or city; family bonding-time and making memories can still be a part of your summer.

An SBA 504 Loan May Be Exactly What You Need (May 20, 2020)

Are you looking to expand your business, purchase real estate, or refinance your existing business loan? If you are, the SBA 504 loan program may be a great option for you to consider – and there’s a reason why now may be the best time. 

What Can Community Banks Offer My Business That Others Can't? (May 18, 2020)

When first introduced, one of the most frequently asked questions we receive from business owners is: “What can you offer me that another (my other) bank can’t?”

Buying a House Now vs. Later: Should You Wait? (May 12, 2020)

Are you thinking about buying a house? Our latest blog discusses what to consider if you are thinking about purchasing a home in the near future.

Importance of Password Security (May 7, 2020)

Passwords have become a part of our everyday lives; our phones, online accounts, and computers are protected by passwords to keep information safe.

Still Waiting on Your Stimulus Check? (April 29,2020)

Even though millions of Americans have received their payment, there are still many who have yet to see their stimulus check.

10 Home Improvement Ideas Under $100 (April 29, 2020)

Think you can’t accomplish a significant home improvement with a measly $100? Think again! 

How to Use Digital Wallets (April 24, 2020)

Social distancing is top of mind and many people are looking for ways to limit contact with the outside world, while still securely purchasing essential items.

Are Solar Panels Right for You? (April 24, 2020)

Finding alternative energy sources is a priority for many Americans, especially with growing concerns over global warming.

Earth Day 2020 Activities While Social Distancing (April 20, 2020)

Even though you may not be able to celebrate Earth Day as originally planned, we wanted to share some fun activities for you and your family to consider, so you can still help protect the environment while also being safe. 

Improving Financial Literacy Skills (April 16, 2020)

Did you know April is Financial Literacy Month? 

U.S. Treasury Check Scam (April 7, 2020)

The new relief law is set to combat the economic crash related to COVID-19, and Americans expect to see stimulus checks in their mail boxes or bank accounts in the coming weeks.

Keeping Your Information Safe on Social Media (April 7, 2020)

With many folks staying at home to help flatten the curve through social distancing, people have naturally turned to social media as a source of entertainment.

How to Use Apple Pay (April 6, 2020)

Over the years, technology has grown and evolved to make nearly every aspect of daily life easier, faster, and more convenient. One of the greatest technological developments is online banking, which gives people access to their money anytime, anywhere.

What is Cryptocurrency and How Does it Benefit Me? (April 6, 2020)

While initially many were many skeptical about digital assets competing with traditional, cryptocurrencies have become increasingly common. The trend started with a few big names in the cryptocurrency world, but new currencies are being introduced each and every year. 

Keeping Your Stimulus Check In-check (April 2, 2020)

Under the new relief law, a good number of Americans are anticipating the arrival of a stimulus check in the weeks to come. As is the case when coming into any amount of unexpected cash, such a situation can create a debt of personal responsibility. Yes, you owe it to yourself not to spend the funds spontaneously.  

IRAs and 401(K)s: What's the Difference? (April 1, 2020)

Thinking about your retirement plan? We are too! Whether retirement is a long way off or closer than you anticipated, it is never too early (or late) to have a solid plan in place; people of all ages can start now to prepare and save.                                                                                 

How Your Credit Score Affects Your Ability to Purchase a Home (March 23, 2020)

The home-buying process can be one of the most exciting times of your life. Even so, there is a lot you have to do in order to prepare.

Federal Reserve and Mortgage Rates (March 18, 2020)

The Fed Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate to zero on Sunday, the second such emergency rate cut this year in response to the coronavirus.

Cybersecurity Tips You Need to Know About for 2020 (March 12, 2020)

Regardless of whether you own a small business, work for a large corporation, or simply keep digital records at home, your computer has become a crucial place for storing data you need each and every day. 

What to Know About Coronavirus Cybersecurity Scams (March 3, 2020)

Even though the coronavirus (officially known as COVID-19) is proving itself to be a notable threat, it is precisely these types of incidents which can also evolve into a cybersecurity threat.


Fraud Alerts & Credit Freezes (February 28, 2020)

Looking for ways to protect your identity? One way to do that is making sure you are taking extra precautions securing your credit score. Every year, thousands of people fall victim to identity theft, which is why you should take steps to ensure that your credit stays safe.

Difference Between HELOC and Home Improvement Loans (February 19, 2020)

Personal loans are just one way that homeowners fund renovations and improvement upgrades to their home. When owners have enough equity in a property, they might opt for a home improvement loan or a home equity line of credit.

What is the Future of Finance (February 5, 2020)

In the distant past, people paid for goods and services by bartering. Currency soon entered the market and transformed from cocoa beans into cash. Then, in 1950, the first universal credit card became available to the public.

How Does a Bank Work (January 30, 2020)

Generally, banks make investments or loans using the money collected or borrowed from customers. For the privilege of using those dollars, the bank then pays an annual percentage yield (rate of return), or interest, to the deposit account holders.

Blackhawk Bank New Application Process for Mortgages (January 9, 2020)

Community banks are small businesses’ most important source of capital.


Have you seen ads promising easy money if you shrink-wrap your car — with ads for brands like Monster Energy, Red Bull, or Pepsi?

Tips for Happy Holiday Shopping (December 2, 2019)

Keep your holiday shopping merry and bright with tips to help you watch your wallet, shop wisely, and protect your personal information.

Digital Wallets for Both Fitbit and Garmin (November 26, 2019)

Digital Wallets are hardly what one would refer to as new technology. 

Spotlight on Community Bank Lending (November 1, 2019)

Community banks are small businesses’ most important source of capital.

Watchdog Checking to the McHenry, Richmond, and Island Lake Markets (October 15, 2019)

While other banks promise to protect your financial information to the best of their ability, Blackhawk backs our policy up with Watchdog Checking.

What is a VA Loan? (October 1, 2019)

While there are many types of mortgage loans available, a VA Loan is designed specifically for U.S. Veterans.

Child Identity Theft (September 19, 2019)

A child's Social Security number can be used by identity thieves to apply for government benefits, open bank and credit card accounts, apply for a loan or utility service, or rent a place to live.

Identity Theft: An Overview on Staying Safe (September 3, 2019)

What if someone else is borrowing money in your name, not paying it back and leaving you virtually helpless when you need to secure a loan? You’ve just become a victim of Identity Theft.


The Schaumburg Business Association recently partnered with Rick Zonts and Adam Hogan, Blackhawk Bank Business Bankers, to give some economic insight.

What Are Mortgage Points? (August 8, 2019)

Homebuyers should understand how mortgage points will affect their interest rate, their monthly payment, and the overall cost of the loan. 

Decorate Your Dorm Room on a Budget (July 24, 2019)

Here's how to decorate your dorm room without busting your budget.

7 Tips to Save Money on Your Family Vacation This Summer (June 19, 2019) 

Summer is vacation time! You CAN take the kids on a fabulous summer getaway without going broke.

Money-Saving Tips to Help Keep Your Finances on Track (June 7, 2019)

Saving money doesn't have to be stressful. 

Your Credit Score: How to Improve It - What Does Your Credit Score Mean? (May 9, 2019)

Credit scores are an important aspect of financial health.

Spend or Save Graduation Money? How New Grads Can Decide (May 1, 2019)

Cash graduation gifts can get you started off on the right foot financially.  When it comes to graduation gifts, cash is king.

Share Your Information Online With Care (April 24, 2019)

It is very easy to find any information you need in today’s connected world.

Voice Bill Pay Through Alexa (April 7, 2019)

Did you know that Alexa can pay your bills?

Commercial Loan Services in Janesville, WI (March 25, 2019)

All businesses need capital to thrive. Taking advantage of Blackhawk Bank’s commercial loan services in Janesville, Wisconsin, can benefit your company in countless ways.

The Benefits of a Business Credit Card (March 14, 2019)

Money may not be the solution to every problem in life, but it certainly helps businesses immensely. 

Make Smart Money Decisions When Planning Your Wedding (March 5, 2019)

Wedding season is upon us and although planning is supposed to be exciting, the process can quickly become stressful as budgets grow tight.

The limits of limitations: Take stock of the rules you set for yourself (March 1, 2019)

Society enforces its power through the limitations individuals set for themselves.

Personal Installment Loans (February 13, 2019)

Are you in need of some extra cash to pay off bills, renovate your home, consolidate debt, or buy a new automobile? 

What's the Difference Between Debit and Credit Cards? (February 1, 2019)

“Will that be credit or debit?” You’ve heard it asked a hundred times, but have you ever stopped to consider the difference between debit and credit cards? 


CFOs: Recession Possible in 2019 (January 15, 2019)

Nearly half of U.S. CFOs think the nation’s economy will enter a recession by the end of 2019, finds the fourth-quarter Duke/CFO Outlook Survey.


Netflix Phishing Scam: Don't Take the Bait (December 27, 2018)

Phishing is when someone uses fake emails or texts to get you to share valuable personal information – like account numbers, Social Security numbers, or your login IDs and passwords.

How to Set Career and Financial Goals (December 21, 2018)

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