Providing helpful business tips and exclusive information about Hills Bank services.

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Volume 7, Issue 1: January - February 2012

Our Pledge To You

In 2012, the Hills Bank's Commercial Department will seek out solutions for your needs through innovative banking products and services. We will serve you promptly, efficiently and accurately. Our goal is to help you to succeed in 2012.

IWe will provide you with educational opportunities to assist in making the best business decisions possible. If you have a question about financing, credit card processing, cash management services, insurance or retirement planning*, simply place a call to your nearest Hills Bank location and speak to any of our commercial banking experts. If we don’t know the answer we will assist you in finding an expert. That is our commitment to you.

For over 100 years we have served the communities in which we live, work and play. Our expertise in local community banking makes Hills Bank your best choice for a financial institution in 2012.

*Insurance and investment products are not a deposit, not FDIC insured, not insured by any federal government agency, carry no bank guarantee, and may go down in value.

Hills Bank Recognized as a SBA Top Volume Lender in Iowa

Hills Bank Recognized as a SBA Top Volume Lender in Iowa

BACK: Brandon Vogelsberg, Hills Bank Credit Officer; Dennis Larkin, SBA Branch Manager; Jace Bailey, Hills Bank Commercial Banking Officer. FRONT: Barbara Merz, SBA Business Development Specialist; Jeremy Provin, Hills Bank Commercial Banking Officer.

Hills Bank has been recognized as a top lender in the state of Iowa by the U.S. Small Business Administration for the 2011 fiscal year. We have approved 30 SBA guaranteed loans worth over $3.8 million dollars to small businesses in Iowa.

"Small businesses are the foundation of our nation's economy, and helping small businesses get the financing they need to succeed is of vital importance," said Joe Folsom, director of the SBA's Des Moines District Office. "We're pleased to work with lenders such as Hills Bank in helping Iowa's small business community to grow and prosper."

Overall in Iowa, the SBA guaranteed 674 loans for $293.6 million for the 2011 fiscal year which ended on September 30, 2011.

For more information on SBA or other business loans, contact a Commercial Banking Officer at 319-679-5500 for the Iowa City area, 319-654-8100 for the Cedar Rapids area, or toll free at

Safeguard Iowa – Business Continuity during Disasters

Would your business remain open if an emergency or disaster struck? Would your employees know how to react? Please join us for a complimentary Lunch and Learn focused on keeping you in business during emergency situations.

Jami Haberl of the Safeguard Iowa Partnership and Jay Allpress, Information Security Officer at Hills Bank, will discuss why and how to create an effective business continuity plan plus share many free resources.

Thursday, March 22, 2012
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Hills Bank and Trust Company
Corner of Hwy 965 and Forevergreen Rd, North Liberty

Email Carrie Ebel at or call 319-358-2272 to RSVP by March 20th. This free seminar is provided by Hills Bank and the Safeguard Iowa Partnership.

33rd Annual Cedar Rapids
Home Show

Visitors to the show will be inspired by the latest products and services to build and improve their home and yard. The Cedar Rapids Home Show has thousands of ideas to help make your house a home!

Hawkeye Downs Expo Center
4400 6th Street SW, Cedar Rapids

  • Friday, February 24: 5 – 9 pm
  • Saturday, February 25: 10 am – 8 pm
  • Sunday, February 26: Noon – 5 pm

Iowa City Area Home
and Builder Show 2012

See thousands of home, remodeling, landscaping, and decorating ideas come to life at the 2012 Iowa City Home and Builder Show. Plus, you can meet face-to-face with local contractors and material suppliers that will help you enhance your home’s comfort, functionality, appeal, and value.

Coralville Marriott Convention Center
300 E 9th St, Coralville

  • Friday, March 30: 5 – 9 pm
  • Saturday, March 31: 10 am – 6 pm
  • Sunday, April 1: 10 am – 4 pm

Ask the Expert

Q. I would like to apply for a business loan but my credit score is not the best. How can I try to improve it?

A. Your credit score is the key to getting loans approved and determining the interest rate you pay. Here are four simple ways to improve your rating on the credit scoring system that most banks and mortgage lenders use.

Pay on Time
Your payment history makes up about 35% of your total credit score. So, if you’re never late with your loan and credit card payments, you may be well on your way toward a stronger credit score.

Reduce Your Current Debt
The amount you owe to all your lenders makes up about 30% of your score. The less outstanding credit you have, especially on credit cards, the better your score. A history of good debt management scores higher than having no debt at all.

Stick with Your Lenders
The length of your credit history accounts for about 15% of your score. So, it pays to maintain your credit relationships. Canceling unused credit cards to reduce your overall credit may work against you. That’s because your score considers both the average age of all your accounts and the age of your oldest account.

Limit Applications
The rest of your credit score, 20%, rates your debt mix, the number of accounts you have, and whether you have recently applied for a loan or credit card. Limiting the number of applications you fill out should help your score.

Send and Receive Payments Electronically with ACH Origination (Direct Deposit).  An excellent tool for direct deposits and payrolls, recurring payments, and transfers between institutions. See how ACH can save you time and money. Learn more!

10 Second Tip

Live Local
It's easy to overlook what's happening in our own communities. The Corridor has many free or low-cost entertainment opportunities to experience local life. Visit for ideas, or even download our Live Local Calendar. You can save money on travel and spend quality time with family and friends while supporting our community.

Hills Happenings

Holiday Schedule

The bank will be closed on the following holiday:

  • Presidents Day
    Monday, February 20th

Even though we will be closed, you can still do your banking at over 70 Hills Bank ATMs in the Corridor, Hills Bank Online, mobile banking, or through Push Button Banker.

See all the Hills Bank holidays.

Hills Bank Forevergreen Road, Highway 965 Opening February 21, 2012

Hills Bank's new location located at Forevergreen Road and Highway 965 is opening February 21, 2012, and will house the Trust and Wealth Management Department, currently located in Coralville's Grand Rail development, Coralville. This will be the second Hills Bank location in North Liberty.

In addition to trust and wealth management services, customers will have the convenience of full-service banking. Plans for the 18,000 square foot facility include personal banking staff as well as drive-up banking, a drive-up ATM, safe deposit boxes, and a night depository.

Hills Bank and Trust Company. Member FDIC. Non-deposit investment products are not FDIC insured, carry no bank guarantee, and may go down in value. Safe deposit boxes are not FDIC insured.

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© Copyright 2012
Hills Bank and Trust Company.
Member FDIC.