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True Interest Rate

Interest rates are always in flux; in fact, they change every 60 seconds. So, there is no real way to predict their path from one month to the next. Trying to catch the perfect rate should never deter you from owning your dream home. In fact, agents will often say, “Marry the house, date the rate.” This basically means don’t let interest rates deter you because you can always refinance. We have an inventory problem.

There is always a possibility that we could see another dip, and there could be a refi opportunity in that. If you find that perfect house, don’t wait to get it. Even if the rate isn’t what you’d hoped, there are always opportunities to modify or refinance. It’s a lot easier than people expect.

Don't Wait

In this market, the perfect home is harder to come by. If you find it, there’s no reason to ...


If You’ve Been Hacked

It may seem to happen frequently; you see a nightly news story, or worse yet, you receive an email that a major retailer says we’ve had a little “tiny” problem, and consumer card information has been hacked. When that happens, it is quite possible that you feel vulnerable. So, how can you protect yourself in advance? Read along for tips from First Reliance.

Be On Guard

At a minimum, you should log in to online banking and set up daily balance alerts. Better yet, make a point to look at your account online every day. And we mean, look closely.

Know How Hackers Work

When credit card information is stolen, hackers sell it to other hackers online. The smart ones buy card information from their area, which means you may not see charges from some exotic place. These hackers could be using your card information at a store down the ...


Left to right: Reuben Hewitt, Karen Carron, Johnny Nexsen, Gena White, Cindy Ellis, Randy Griswell, Taft Osborne, Lindley Hamilton, Catherine Smith, Kody Stevens, Shanell Cook, Gabrielle Caselnova, and Matthew Lafevor
Left to right: Reuben Hewitt, Karen Carron, Johnny Nexsen, Gena White, Cindy Ellis, Randy Griswell, Taft Osborne, Lindley Hamilton, Catherine Smith, Kody Stevens, Shanell Cook, Gabrielle Caselnova, and Matthew Lafevor

First Reliance Bank is pleased to announce the awardees of the 2021 CEO Award of Excellence. The following employees were recognized and honored during the Associates Meeting in Columbia, SC, on October 10, 2022.

Please join us in celebrating their commitment to excellence.

Denise Lee – Universal Banker
Matthew Lafevor – Sr System Engineer
Danielle Smith – Sr. Wholesale Specialist
Karen Carron – Mortgage Shipper
Catherine Smith – Doc Prep Team Lead
Randy Griswell – Deposit Operations Specialist
Johnny Nexsen – Residential Lending Specialist
Shanell Cook – Treasury Services Specialist
Christopher Taft Osborne – Branch Manager
Lindley Hamilton – Branch Manager and Treasury Services
Kody Stevens – Portfolio Analyst
Gabrielle Caselnova – Marketing Coordinator
Reuben Hewitt – Relationship Banker
Cindy Ellis – Customer Care Specialist
Gena White – Sr. Collections Specialist

If you answered "yes," to any of the following questions, you could be involved in a FRAUD or about to be SCAMMED!

  1. Is the CHECK from an item you sold on the Internet, such as a car, boat, jewelry, etc.?
  2. Is the amount of the CHECK more than the item's selling price?
  3. Did you receive the CHECK via an overnight delivery service?
  4. Is the CHECK connected to communicating with someone by mail?
  5. Is the CHECK drawn on a business or individual account that is different from the person buying your item or product?
  6. Have you been informed that you were the winner of a LOTTERY, such as Canadian, Australian, El Gordo, or El Mundo, that you did not enter?
  7. Have you been instructed to either "WIRE," "SEND," or "SHIP" MONEY as soon as possible to a large U.S. city or another country, such as Canada, England, or Nigeria?
  8. Have you ...


First Reliance Bank Recognized as a Top 100 Workplace by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

 

First Reliance Bank has been recognized in the Top 100 Workplaces by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a national, nonprofit public charity dedicated to finding forever families for children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States and Canada.  

The Foundation works closely with child welfare advocates and policymakers, provides free resources about foster care adoption, and raises awareness through social media campaigns, public service announcements, and events.  

Rick Saunders, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Reliance, said, “Adoption is personal to me as my wife and daughters were adopted. We are most grateful for the love that has been brought to our family. As a company, supporting our associates who seek to adopt children will remain highly important to our institution.” 

 


 

How to Create a Good Password

You probably have dozens of accounts and want to keep them safe, but how many passwords do you have? Are you just using the same password for every website you visit? If you are, then you’re asking for trouble. If one password gets stolen, they’re all stolen.

Password Manager Software

An excellent solution is to use a password manager program. While those can cost money, and you still need at least one password to secure it, they are good management tools. So how else can you lock down your accounts? Here are four free ways to lock down your accounts with better passwords.

Don’t Use Names

Don’t use names or words found in any dictionary, for that matter. If you’re using your dog’s name and your address, trust us, someone would eventually be able to figure that out.

Substitute Numbers for Letters

It’s easy to substitute numbers or symbols in ...


Chris Laughridge, Market President, Greenville
Chris Laughridge, Market President, Greenville

First Reliance Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Chris Laughridge to Market President, Greenville. He will be responsible for leading the Greenville team and building the bank’s footprint in the upstate of South Carolina. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 2002, earning a B.S. in Business Management with a concentration in Finance, and the South Carolina Bankers School in 2007.

“We are pleased to announce Chris Laughridge as Market President for the Greenville market.  This strategic decision is based on Chris’s proven ability to deliver high customer satisfaction as a trusted banking advisor. He knows how to lead teams and what it takes to build a strong community bank.  His extensive industry experience will expand our commercial and local business and customer opportunities”, stated Justin Strickland, President, First Reliance Bank.

Laughridge has over 19 years of industry experience in the banking industry, where he has developed ...


How to Improve Your Credit Score

Yes, life happens! If your credit score has seen better days, it can hurt you when borrowing money. Maybe you get turned down or must pay high-interest rates.

How credit reporting bureaus calculate credit score is a little complex. In this short video, we share some things you should know if you are trying to improve your score.

  1. It’s not good to have no credit cards or cancel all of your cards.
  2. Conversely, don’t open credit accounts you don’t need.
  3. If you have credit cards, keep the balance at less than 50% of the available balance (30% is even better).
  4. Closing an account doesn’t make it go away, as it can still appear on your credit report.
  5. If you’re behind on any accounts, get current, and pay on time as long as it is possible.
  6. If you have an account that goes to collections, that will stay with you. In ...


David Boulware, Mortgage Loan Officer at First Reliance Ban
David Boulware, Mortgage Loan Officer at First Reliance Ban

David Boulware, Mortgage Loan Officer at First Reliance Bank, has been named the “Best of the Pee Dee’s 2022 Best Mortgage Lender" Winner.  

Boulware began his finance career in 1998 before moving into mortgage-related finance in 2000. He operated his own brokerage and was a mortgage lender with two of the nation's largest commercial banking institutions before beginning his career with First Reliance Bank in 2014.  

“David is an experienced lender focused on new construction, government lending, and purchase loan transactions,” shared Chuck Stuart, President of First Reliance Mortgage. “David provides exceptional customer service, and his knowledge of the Pee Dee and Carolina markets is invaluable to our clients. He’s one of the best.” 

“David Boulware excels in leading our mortgage lending efforts as a top producer in the Greater Florence area,” said Rick Saunders, Founder/CEO of First Reliance Bank. “He rightfully earned the recognition of “Best of ...


South Carolina Bankers School students from First Reliance Bank (left to right ) Thomas Floyd, David Mullins and Weston Peters, and graduate Nathan Ruth with Robert Dozier, First Reliance Bank Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
South Carolina Bankers School students from First Reliance Bank (left to right ) Thomas Floyd, David Mullins and Weston Peters, and graduate Nathan Ruth with Robert Dozier, First Reliance Bank Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Four associates from First Reliance Bank recently completed courses at the South Carolina Bankers School on the campus of Lander University in Greenwood, SC. Nathan Ruth, Sunset Branch Manager, West Columbia, SC, completed the progressive three-year BankExec program and was awarded his diploma during graduation exercises.

The South Carolina Banking Association (SCBA) annually sponsors the South Carolina Bankers School. The SCBA is a professional trade association organized to effectively represent the common interest and welfare of the banking industry in South Carolina and to promote the professional development of its members and their employees.

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