Frequently Asked Questions
Q.) What do I need in order to open a new checking account?
A.) You’ll need a current driver’s license or state ID, your Social Security Number (SSN), your physical and mailing addresses, current telephone number(s) and the required opening balance.
Q.) I have direct deposits and automatic payments currently set up with my checking account. How much of a hassle is it going to be to switch my checking account to Brainerd Savings and Loan?
A.) Switching is easier that you think. With our switch kit, we can help transfer your direct deposits and automatic withdrawals to your new Brainerd Savings account. Just bring in your current checking statement when you open your account.
Q.) Do I have to order my checks from you, or can I order them from another source?
A.) We prefer that you order your checks from us for safety reasons. The check printing companies we order from must agree to abide by our privacy policies and do not share customer information. When you order from an outside company, we cannot guarantee that your personal information will not be sold by that company.
Debit and ATM Cards
Q.) Are there any limitations to my debit card use that I should know about?
A.) There is a daily limit of $200 cash that may be withdrawn from any ATM using your debit card. There is also a limit of $500 per day in all other transactions using your card. This means $700 limit, including ATM withdrawals. If you need this limit increased for a certain purchase or time frame, we can accommodate you when you call during business hours or email anytime.
Q.) I use my debit card for almost all of my shopping. When I swipe my card at the terminal, it always asks for my PIN. Do I have to use my PIN?
A.) No, the merchant is required to offer both debit and credit transactions options. However, it is to your benefit to use it as a credit transaction. At most terminals you can do this by pressing cancel after you swipe your card. Select credit and sign for your transaction. The payment will be processed as a MasterCard transaction, which includes credit card benefits such as zero liability for unauthorized card use and/or streamlined dispute resolution.
It is also safer to use the credit option because you want to protect your PIN number from others who may be viewing your transaction.
Q.) Is it ok to use my debit card to make purchases on the Internet?
A.) It is ok but we do not promote such use because of the high volume of identity theft and fraudulent activity on the internet. We recommend that you use a credit card that does not immediately affect the cash balance in your checking account like a debit card would. PayPal is also available on many websites.
Q.) My debit card expires this month. When do I get my new one?
A.) Your current debit card is good until the end of the month it expires. You will receive a new card approximately one week prior to month end. Make sure you sign the back of your new debit card before using!
Q.) Which ATMs can I use without paying a fee?
A.) You will never pay a fee when you use our 24-hour drive-up ATMs which are located onsite at our Brainerd and Baxter office locations.
We have arrangements with three other ATMs. We will not charge you a fee for using these ATMs; however, the owner of the machine will likely charge you a fee to use the machine.
- the ATM at Smiley Road in Nisswa
- the ATM at Schaefer’s Foods in Nisswa
- the ATM at Mid MN Federal Credit Union in Crosby
Q.) Can I obtain an ATM card for my savings account?
A.) Yes, our Anytime savings, Money Market savings and Savings Plus accounts offer you ATM card access.
Q.) Is there anything I need to do to use my debit card while I travel outside the U.S. or make purchases from a foreign vendor?
A.) Yes, please contact us about any travel outside of the USA or purchases you plan to make from a foreign vendor.
Brainerd Savings and Loan has enhanced our fraud detection and monitoring systems for your cyber safety. Card transaction history and usage patterns can spot inconsistencies and help determine if your card may have been compromised. The sudden appearance of non-US transactions on your card is a red flag and your card could be blocked for your safety. For your cyber safety, all non-USA transactions using your BSL debit card are blocked unless you contact us to authorize such transactions.
Deposits and Transfers
Q.) What is the routing number that should be used for direct deposits?
A.) Brainerd Savings and Loan’s routing number is 291970253. This number is located at the bottom of each check.
Q.) How do I wire funds to my account?
A.) Please contact the office at 218.829.5183, during regular business hours, for specific information on wire transfers.
Q.) By what time do I need to deposit my money in order for it to be credited to my account the same day?
A.) Brainerd Savings and Loan transactions happen in “real time.” That means NO CUTOFF TIME!! Transactions are credited the same day, from 7:30 a.m. when the drive-thru opens, to 5:30 p.m. when they close each day. (Restrictions may apply)
Q.) How does Brainerd Savings and Loan protect me from identity theft?
A.) Your information is kept completely confidential and is never shared with anyone without your authorization. Only the people authorized to sign on an account are able to obtain information on that account. Our direct deposit service is another way in which we help protect you against identity theft. For more information, click here.
Q.) What if I get a call about my account?
A.) To protect your account, Fiserv montiors your ATM and debit card transactions with sophisticated technology that can discern irregularities in your card use. When certain thresholds are met, they will call you to make sure that your card has not been lost or stolen. Never give your card number out – if they know you, they will not need it because they already have it.
Q.) How does BSL keep up with all of the reported scams?
A.) BSL constantly receives warnings and updates from a variety of trustworthy sources such as this recently received report.
American Bankers Association (ABA) has warned consumers not to become victims of the sudden nationwide increase in phishing scams. Perpetrators are using automated dialers, text messages or e-mails to inform consumers their accounts have been closed due to fraud. Consumers are then prompted to enter their card information, including the expiration date and three-digit CV code on the card’s back to reactivate their accounts. Those who fall for the scam risk having their information used to fraudulently purchase goods and services or to obtain credit, the association said.
ABA provided several tips for consumers. They include, never providing personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax or e-mail; not responding to e-mails that threaten dire consequences if personal information is not validated immediately; and contacting the company to confirm an e-mail’s validity using a telephone number or web address known to be legitimate but not from the e-mail itself.
Q.) How do I know when it’s a good time to buy a home?
A.) Owning your own home is the American dream. It’s also the largest investment most of us will ever make so it’s important to have the right information to make a smart purchase.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Enough money to make monthly mortgage payments. This seems obvious but how much is enough? It is essential to create your own detailed budget to get a clear picture of your financial position today and predict the same for the future, since you are making a long term commitment. If a mortgage payment will burst your budget, you can’t get rid of your landlord yet.
Enough income to pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. The mortgage isn’t the only cost you’ll have each month. You also have to pay taxes and insurance.
The ability to maintain the property. Keeping a home in good repair is crucial or its value decreases and you’ll lose money. Do the work yourself or pay someone to do it. Either way, you can’t ignore the peeling paint and the window that won’t close.
A decent credit record. If you have lots of late payments, have declared bankruptcy or left old debts unpaid, it’s harder to get a mortgage. And if you do get one, your bad credit report will make you pay a much higher interest rate.
Here’s what you won’t need:
A massive down payment. Some loans require a substantial down payment enabling you to lower your monthly payment and avoid costly private mortgage insurance. But you can buy a house for very little down or no money down. The loan specialists at Brainerd Savings and Loan are experts in finding the loan that’s best for you. Ask about zero down payment loans such as VA and Rural Development, and low down payment programs like FHA. Talk with us to learn which programs are currently available.
Experience. In most major cities, real estate companies hold homebuyer education classes for first-timers. Go, even if you have no immediate plans to buy. The information you get can lead you to other sources for help.
Visit our Homebuyer Tools page for more information on home buying.
Kids and Money
Q.) We have had to reduce the amount of allowance that our kids receive due to several economic setbacks in our family. Any ideas for helping kids understand this?
A.) Situations such as this can provide an ideal time for parents to “talk money” with their children. You can be an example of a good money manager. Here are some things to consider:
Take your kids with you to the bank when making your bank transactions.
Talk openly about money with your kids.
Discuss the difference between needs and wants, the value in saving and budgeting, and the consequences of not doing so.
Pay your bills on time; be a conscious spender and an active saver.
Provide older children with information about the dangers credit cards and excessive debt.
Most importantly, be honest about the family financial situation – making promises about buying bigger homes, larger TVs and faster cars “when the economy improves” is setting everyone up for disappointment and mistrust. Help your children learn to save by opening a Kid’s Club account at our Brainerd or Baxter location. It makes a great gift for a new baby too!
Q.) What is the Refer-a-Friend program all about?
A.) It is our ongoing customer rewards program. You earn $10 worth of Brainerd Area Chamber bucks to spend at area retailers. EACH time someone you refer opens an account or takes out a loan at Brainerd Savings and Loan. Just make sure and tell them to mention your name!