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Volume 9 ••• Winter 2011

Amalgamated Bank Reviews the Basics about Consumer Borrowing


Knowing the basics of borrowing money from a bank is an important step for hardworking men and women who are looking to finance major purchases like a home or a new car, college tuition, or to refinance existing higher cost debt.

“Recently, Amalgamated Bank launched a communications program to make sure customers are aware that the Bank has money to lend at highly affordable rates,” said Maria Piccard, Amalgamated Vice President for Consumer Lending.

Amalgamated provides a full range of personal and installment loans as well as lines of credit, and the Bank also just announced a home equity line of credit with a six-month introductory rate of 2.75 percent.

“Typically, individuals and families use the funds to pay for large purchases over time or to handle such emergency expenses as a costly car repair or necessary home improvement,” said Ms. Piccard. “Consolidation of higher interest debt is also a smart money management strategy, especially with interest rates at historically low levels.”

The loan process begins when a customer walks in to a local branch and sits down with an Amalgamated banker who first reviews the customer’s financial needs. The banker listens to the customer’s plans; then suggests lending options, reviews the loan application, and advises on how the Bank can provide affordable borrowing solutions.

Amalgamated’s goal is to ensure that prospective applicants are well grounded in the responsible use of credit. Ms. Piccard stated that using the “Four Cs of Credit,” as a guideline gives the Bank a better view of a person’s credit worthiness.

Capacity – an individual’s or family’s ability to make loan payments based on such factors as time at a job, salary, and the household’s monthly expenses

Capital – amount of money the borrower has in a checking or savings account, home equity or personal investments, which can sometimes be used to secure a loan

Character – a person’s past credit history, including whether bills are paid on time, the number of credit accounts currently open, and the relationship the person has with Amalgamated Bank

Conditions – the economic climate and the willingness of a bank to lend funds to people who have good credit.

For more information about basic borrowing, and to apply for a loan or line of credit that offers a great introductory rate, visit your local Amalgamated branch or visit the Bank’s website at