Brian and Chrissa Frisk Join American Federal Bank

American Federal Bank in Crookston is pleased to welcome new employees Ag and Business Banker Brian D. Frisk and Ag and Business Banking Analyst Chrissa R. Frisk.

The Frisks have extensive careers in ag lending.

Brian has been a Loan Officer and Vice President at AgCountry since 1996. Before AgCountry, he sold grain bins and drying equipment for the Custom Marketing Company in Fargo.

Brian is a native of Crookston and a graduate of Crookston High School. He earned a Marketing Degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Brian is a member of the Lions Club in Crookston and has served in several leadership capacities with the service organization.

Chrissa started in the Accounting Department at AgCounty in 2009 and most recently was a Loan Officer and Assistant Vice President. She also has several years of banking experience at the former Crookston National Bank, now Northern Sky Bank.

Chrissa earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Psychology from Chadron State College, Chadron, Nebraska, and an Associate’s Degree in Sociology from Western Wyoming Community College, Rock Springs, Wyoming. She is a native of Newcastle, Wyoming and graduated from Newcastle High School.

Brian Frisk
Chrissa Frisk

Financial Goals for the New Year

The new year is a perfect time for a fresh look at your financial goals!

Here are some tips to help get you started:

  • Review your Current Situation.  Before you get started revising or setting new goals for the new year, it is important that you take some time to assess where you are now. Look through your debt, savings and investments to prioritize where you should put your focus to make the biggest impact.
  • Establish an Emergency Fund (aka Rainy-Day Fund).  One of the most important financial goals is establishing an emergency fund to ensure you can cover unexpected financial obstacles down the road. Whether it is a broken water heater or a job loss – you should strive to have enough in your savings to cover at least three months of expenses.
  • Pay Off Debt.  Debt can get in the way of achieving financial goals, so a good resolution may be to pay off debt this new year. This will help you pay less in interest and put that money towards other savings and financial goals.
  • Set a Budget (and Stick with It).  Setting a budget is crucial to following through on financial goals. Start by adding up all your income, subtracting necessary expenses and determining how much you want to save each month. Your budget should be achievable and maintainable to be successful.
  • Plan for Retirement.  Take time to look at your retirement plan. Identify all your potential sources of income and expenses, including medical costs, you can expect when you retire and calculate how much you will need to maintain your current lifestyle.  Take advantage of any retirement plan match your employer offers.  Try to increase your contribution each year.
  • Commit to “No-Spend” Days.  Commit to one or two days a month where no money leaves your bank account. Get savvy and find fun ways to spend absolutely nothing.  Cook your meals, go old school with board games for entertainment, or read a good book. Find a new hobby that costs you almost absolutely nothing.
  • Meet with a Financial Professional.  A wise goal for the upcoming year is to work with a knowledgeable and experienced financial professional who can advise you on your financial goals. An American Federal Banker can help you create an action plan for your goals and help you make informed financial decisions.

Holiday Tips from the Federal Trade Commission

Keep your holiday shopping merry and bright with an early gift from the Federal Trade Commission: tips to help you watch your wallet, shop wisely and protect your personal information.

  • Make a list and a budget.  Impulse purchases are less tempting when you have a game plan. Consider how much you are willing to put on your credit card, and how long it might take to pay it off.  If money is tight, paying for a gift over time through layaway might help.
  • Do your research. Read reviews and recommendations about the product, seller, and warranties from sources you trust.  If you are shopping online, check for reports that items were never delivered or not as advertised.
  • Look for the best deals. Check out reputable websites that compare prices for items online and at your local stores. Remember, there may be shipping costs for online orders.  Look for coupon codes by searching the store’s name with terms like “coupons,” “discounts,” or “free shipping.” To save extra money, keep an eye out for rebates.
  • Keep track of purchases. Make sure the scanned price is right, and save all your receipts. If you shop online, keep copies of your order or confirmation number, the refund and return policies, and shipping costs. Have packages delivered to a secure location or pick them up at a local store.
  • Give gifts, not personal information. Protect yourself online by shopping only on secure websites with an “https” address. Stick to shopping apps that tell you what they do with your data and how they keep it secure.  Avoid holiday offers that ask you to give financial information – no matter how tempting. They might be trying to steal your identity.

Watch for Cyber Crime

Cybercriminals are holiday shopping, too, looking for people to scam out of their money. Here are some tips to help you outsmart those bah-humbug scammers and donate safely.

  • Online shopping? Pay by credit card. Credit cards give you extra protection for most online purchases. And many cards offer benefits, like protection for returns and purchases. If unauthorized charges pop up on your statement, you will be able to dispute the charges. Credit card protections can vary, so check with your issuer to understand all of your card’s protections. American Federal offers competitive credit cards with rewards options.
  • Buy gift cards for gifts, not for payments. Gift cards are a great holiday gift; however, they also are a scammer’s favorite way to steal your money. Anyone who contacts you and demands that you pay them with a gift card, for any reason, is always a scammer. Report gift card scams directly with the card issuer and then report it to the FTC at gov/complaint. Learn even more at ftc.gov/giftcards.  If you buy gift cards, treat them like cash and keep them in safe place.
  • Research charities before you donate. With the generous spirit of the holidays, and with year-end fundraising, ’tis the season for donations. Make sure your donation goes where you want it to, not into the hands of a scammer. Before you spread holiday cheer by donating to a charity or a crowdfunding cause, look into it first to make sure it is legitimate.  If someone calls, asking you to give to a charity, do not let them rush you into making a donation. Instead, research the charity to make sure your donation counts.  Visit ftc.gov/charity to learn more.

Wishing you happy and safe holidays from American Federal Bank.

American Federal Is a Top Ag Lender

Fargo Moorhead and West Fargo Bankers in a Wheat Field

American Federal is again ranked a “Top 100 Ag Lender” by the American Banker Association (ABA).

Each quarter, the ABA ranks financial institutions across America based on ag loan volume and concentration.

American Federal has been listed as a leading farm lender in the United States by the ABA for several years in the current and the last decades.

When American Federal opened its doors for business in 1891 as a neighborhood financial association in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, it was at the heart of agriculture productivity in the Red River Valley.

During the past 129 years, that deep connection with the land and the region’s farmers and ranchers has only grown. A testimonial to that growth and our trusted relationships with our clients comes in the form of American Federal being recognized as a Top Ag Lender in the United States.

Throughout the decades, in good times and throughout challenging times, we have worked with farm owners and producers to help them be successful and achieve their goals. During the first and second rounds of the Paycheck Protection Program this year, American Federal submitted applications for 665 small businesses and farmers, totaling $45 million in loan assistance for our clients, and received funding from the Small Business Administration for 100 percent of the applicants.