American Federal Employees Earn ‘Sales Star’ Recognition

Eighteen American Federal Bankers and employees have earned ‘Sales Star’ recognition from American Federal Bank for outstanding sales and sales referral performance in 2022.

A “Sales Star” is the highest honor of recognition an employee can earn at American Federal. American Federal’s 2022 Sales Stars are:

  • Adam Braunberger, Business Banker, Fargo
  • Dan Erdman, Private Banker, Crookston
  • Chrissa Frisk, Credit Analyst, Crookston
  • Chris Grettum, Personal Banker, Downtown Fargo
  • Jason Jaeger, Business Banker, Fargo Downtown
  • Charlie Jorgensen, Personal Banker, Moorhead
  • Michael Kjelshus, Ag/Business Banker, Grand Forks
  • Paige Kjesbo, Market President, Wahpeton
  • Andrew Lerud, Business Banker, Fargo
  • Joanne Loeslie, Associate, Grand Forks
  • Justin Marquis, Ag/Business Banker, Fosston
  • Dustin Morris, Market President, Fergus Falls
  • Dan Paulson, Market President, Fosston
  • Ryan Paulson, Ag/Business Banker, Fosston
  • Alison Perez, Personal Banker, Grand Forks
  • Patty Roers, AFI Operations Manager, Fargo
  • John Schumacher, Market President, Grand Forks
  • Amanda Wolf, Lead Associate, Fargo

In recognition of their achievement, American Federal “Sales Star” employees and their families were invited to attend a weekend Sales Star Retreat, training seminar and awards banquet in their honor at the Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria, MN January 27-29, 2023.

Employees Compete in Six Divisions

Throughout the calendar year, every employee at American Federal competes in one of six Divisions in the Sales Star Recognition Program. The winners for the respective divisions for 2022 were:

Ag/Business Banker – Adam Braunberger, Fargo
Private Banker – Alison Perez, Grand Forks
Personal Banker – Dan Erdman, Crookston
Sales Manager – Dan Paulson, Fosston
Business Unit Referral – Joanne Loeslie, Grand Forks
Home Office Referral – Patty Roers, Fargo

Congratulations to the Division winners and all Sales Stars!

Tips to Establish Good Saving Habits

Person putting coin in piggy bank

Saving money is an essential element of financial health, but is something that many people seem to have trouble with. Although it does take some discipline, below are some tips on how to get in the habit of saving.

Pay yourself first.

If you wait to see what income is left over after paying expenses, you are less likely to save. Determine in advance how much money you plan to deposit each month. If you receive a raise, increase the amount of money deposited into your savings account.

Take advantage of bank technology.

Consider automatic payroll deductions or automatic transfers from checking to savings. Arrange to have a specific amount transferred to your savings account every pay period.

Pay your bills on time.

While 97 percent of Americans pay their bills on time, some consumers pay late fees. Alleviate the hassle by scheduling a time to pay bills, and put them in the mail with enough time to get to the creditor or use electronic payments and specify a date to pay.

Determine needs versus wants.

Do you need to eat out every day for lunch? Do you need that gourmet cup of coffee in the morning? By bringing your lunch to work a couple days a week, you can save hundreds of dollars a year.

Consult your American Federal Banker.

Ask which bank products and services would best suit your needs. Your banker is the best source of information about accounts and interest rates available.

Contact your local office or your American Federal Banker for more information on establishing and building your savings account.

Using Credit Cards Wisely

Girl holding credit card

Credit cards have become an everyday tool that many people use to manage their personal finances and make purchases. They also enable individuals and families to obtain goods and services, deal with emergencies, and build a credit history for larger purchases such as a car or home. Today, over 70 percent of all families have at least one credit card. While they can be a useful financial tool, it’s important to use them wisely.

Below are answers to some common questions about credit cards, as well as a list of credit card tips you should keep in mind.

What is an Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?

For credit cards, the Annual Percentage Rate or APR is basically the interest rate. The APR is applied to your balance to calculate the interest you owe. The dollar amount of interest you owe is shown as a finance charge on your billing statement for any month you are charged interest.

What is the grace period on purchases?

Most credit cards give you the chance to avoid interest on purchases (in effect, an interest-free loan) if you pay your credit card bill in full by the due date. This is called the grace period on purchases. The grace period is the period between the date of the purchase and the due date. To get it, you usually must pay your bill in full every month. When the grace period does not apply to purchases, you will pay interest on the purchases from the date of the transaction. Most credit cards do not give you a grace period on cash advances and balance transfers. 

What happens to the grace period if you paid in full one month and the following month you do not pay in full?

If you do not pay in full one month, you will lose the grace period. Typically, you will owe interest from the first day of the billing period in which you did not pay in full. This means that if you paid in full in January, but only paid part of the bill in February, you will pay interest from the first day of February based on the full average daily balance for the February billing period when your bill arrives in March.

What if I only pay the minimum amount due?

If you consistently pay only the minimum on your credit card, it will take you a long time to pay off the balance. You may end up paying a lot of interest. The amount of interest will depend on your APR and the amount of your balance. Pay as much as you can, as soon as you can, and always pay by the due date.

 What if I do not pay on time?

 If you do not pay at least the minimum amount due, credit cards will charge a late fee. Paying late may also cause your APRs to increase.

How do I know what my credit limit is?

Your credit limit will be stated when you first get your card. Over time, based on your needs, usage, and qualifications, the limit may change. Your current credit limit appears on your billing statement each month.

What happens if I go over my credit limit?

If you go over your credit limit, you may have to pay a fee. In addition, your APRs may increase. Be aware that you may go over your credit limit even if the transaction is authorized. So keep track of your transactions and how close you are to your limit.

A few final tips…

  • Pay as much as you can, as soon as you can, and always pay by the due date. If you do not pay your balance in full, pay the remainder off as soon as you can; do not wait for the due date.
  • Keep track of your balance by checking it online or by phone.
  • To avoid paying your bill late, schedule automatic payments online, mail payments at least one week before the due date or pay by phone.

If you have credit card questions or are interested in signing up for a card, please contact your American Federal Banker or apply online