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CINDY_COWARDCoward brings more than 20 years of experience in human resources.

First Reliance Bank announces the addition of Cindy Coward as Vice President of Human Resources. Coward joins First Reliance with more than 20 years of experience in human resources. Her background includes leadership roles with major corporations where she was recognized for a number of successful employee engagement initiatives and for developing and implementing highly effective human resources programs. “From the start, community-minded professionals have been the backbone of the bank,” said David Barksdale, North Carolina president, First Reliance Bank. “We view the HR function as something more than people and policies. It’s a multi-faceted area that is critical to shaping the future growth of the bank. Cindy’s background, skills and record of success in that space, fits our culture and I know that she will make a difference for our associates and our customers.”      ...

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More than 70 percent of college graduates began their career owing more than $37,000 in student loans in 2017. Considering the additional living expenses they’ll soon face, new college graduates would be wise to focus on their financial future right now. We have highlighted six smart financial decisions college graduates should consider to position themselves for financial success as they embark on their next phase of life.

The habits new graduates develop right now will have a big effect on their financial future. Living expenses add up quickly once you’re out on your own, and many young adults who didn’t plan ahead are delaying major milestones like getting married or buying a home because of their financial situation. The good news is that you can have a bright financial future if you think strategically about money right out of the gate.

Follow these 6 tips for ...

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The summer months mean many kids in America are working for some extra cash in their pocket. Whether he or she is doing odd jobs around the house or working at the local pool, it’s the perfect time to teach your child financial lessons that will last a lifetime.

It’s never too early to begin teaching children the basics of finance. We encourage parents to expose their children to experiences like visiting the bank, budgeting and paying bills.

Here’s some examples of teachable moments to help you get started:


  • At the bank. When you go to the bank, bring your children with you and show them how transactions work. Get the manager to explain how the bank operates, how money generates interest and how an ATM works.



  • On payday. Discuss how your pay is budgeted to pay for housing, food and clothing, and how a portion is ...

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So you are looking for your dream home. Did you know your credit score will affect your ability to qualify for the best home loan rates and home loan products? Specifically, a lower credit score might lead to:


  1. A higher interest rate

  2. Higher closing costs

  3. Higher private mortgage insurance (PMI)


That's why it's important for you to understand what a credit score is and how your financial activities directly influence your credit score.

The History of Credit Scoring

The credit scoring system used today was designed in the 1950s to help lenders determine how well consumers can repay a loan in a timely manner. Over the decades, laws have been enacted to establish and maintain transparent credit scoring and reporting practices.

For example, the Fair Credit Reporting Act in 1971 established guidelines for fair practices regarding the use of credit scoring. In addition, the Fair and Accurate Credit ...

Tracey HillFirst Reliance Bank announces the addition of Tracey Hill as director of treasury services. In this role, Hill will be responsible for developing and managing the bank’s commercial deposit relationships across the bank’s footprint.

A certified treasury professional (CTP), Hill’s background includes close to 30 years of experience in treasury management, operations and sales with banks located in Charlotte, N.C. In addition, his experience includes the formation of a treasury services platform for a community bank, which provided him the unique perspective from the ground up on how to design and implement cash management solutions for small businesses.

“Experienced treasury service bankers like Tracey are a trusted resource for our business customers,” said David Barksdale, North Carolina president, First Reliance Bank. “He is extremely knowledgeable about the available banking products and skilled at identifying the most effective options for managing cash. Tracey’s ‘do what it ...

First Reliance First Time Homebuyer

Before you can make the transition from renting your home to owning your home, you will need to have a substantial down payment, typically 5 to 20 percent of the home’s value. First Reliance Bank suggests the following tips to help save for it:



​Develop a budget & timeline.


Start by determining how much you’ll need for a down payment. Create a budget and calculate how much you can realistically save each month – that will help you gauge when you’ll be ready to transition from renter to homeowner.

Establish a separate savings account.


Set up a separate savings account exclusively for your down payment and make your monthly contributions automatic. By keeping this money separate, you’ll be less likely to tap into it when you’re tight on cash.



Shop around to reduce major monthly expenses.


It’s a good idea to check rates for your ...

First Reliance Bank Savings PlansThe key to a good budget is including as much information as you can, so that you can adequately prepare and plan. It's important to keep accurate records of your spending so you'll spot places where you can save money and know how much you can reasonably spend.

What is your current income? The first step in creating a budget is to total all of your income, or money coming. We recommend you do this on a monthly basis. Include only your take home pay (this is your salary minus taxes and deductions). Your income may also include tips, child support, investment income, etc.

What are your monthly expenses?  Next, you'll need to track your expenses, or money going out. Some of your bills will vary from month-to-month, so use a monthly average. For example, if your cell phone is $45 one month and $55 the next ...

Rick and Curtis Loftis SC State TreasurerFirst Reliance Bank CEO, Rick Saunders, was recently recognized by SC State Treasurer, Curtis Loftis,  Saunders served twelve years on the State Board of Financial Institutions.

(Pictured L to R:  SC State Treasurer, Curtis Loftis and First Reliance Bank CEO, Rick Saunders)

How to Raise Financially Fit Children Brochure

“I want that!”As a parent, you have probably heard your children make that statement more than a few times while shopping or watching television commercials.

Children understand the power of spending money long before they grasp the concepts of earning, saving, and investing. So, in order to build a solid financial foundation, it’s important for them to understand the difference between needs and wants.

Needs are things you must have in order to survive. Food, water, clothing, and shelter are all needs. A want is something you would like to have, but it is not necessary for your survival. Books, CDs, and toys are all wants. Wants make life more enjoyable, but they are not necessary for survival. Children also need to understand the concept of scarcity, which means they have unlimited wants and limited resources to meet those wants. Scarcity requires people to make choices. Learning “we ...

As Americans kick off the spring season by cleaning, sorting and tidying up around the house, First Reliance Bank is encouraging consumers to add financial organizaSpring Clean your Financestion to their spring cleaning to-do list. To help, First Reliance Bank has highlighted six tips for organizing your financial house.

“People are motivated to get things done when the weather warms up and the flowers bloom, which makes it an ideal time to look closely at your savings and spending habits,” said Pamela Rhoads, VP Customer Experience. “Putting in the work now will help you live your best life in the months ahead.” First Reliance Bank recommends these six tips to help consumers organize their finances:

  • Review your budget. A lot can change in a year. If you’ve been promoted, had a child, or become a new homeowner ...

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