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Cadence Bank Announces Settlement of Claims Made by U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

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HOUSTON–()–Cadence Bancorporation (NYSE: CADE) (the “Company”), the parent company of Cadence Bank, N.A. (the “Bank”), announced today the Bank entered into separate settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) to resolve historical allegations that it violated fair lending laws in Houston, Texas.

Cadence believes that at all times it acted in compliance with our nation’s fair lending laws. Following a Houston-based bank acquisition in mid-2012, we recognized that the mortgage lending program was not where we wanted it to be,” said Paul B. Murphy, Jr., chairman & CEO of Cadence Bancorporation. “We subsequently developed and successfully implemented a coordinated set of efforts to sustainably increase our lending in majority-minority census tracts and minority neighborhoods in Houston. For the last several years, the percentage of our Houston residential mortgage lending in minority neighborhoods has reached 50% or above, exceeding our peers. We are pleased with our results today.”

After self-identifying the Houston mortgage lending proportionality issues and on its own initiative, the Bank established the Fair and Responsible Banking Working Group to study and create an action plan to increase mortgage lending in Houston majority-minority census tracts (“MMCTs”) and Hispanic neighborhoods. The Bank’s multi-faceted approach included the development of a more competitive mortgage loan product for low- and moderate-income borrowers (the “Affordable Home Loan Program”), the opening of a new full-service retail branch in a Houston MMCT, expanded hiring of Spanish-speaking mortgage loan officers, and increased advertising and marketing to support these efforts.

The Bank also entered into a five-year, $2.5 billion Community Benefits Plan (the “Plan”) in 2019 to continue to ensure that minority communities, especially low- and moderate-income communities, are well served. Created with input from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), the Plan includes provisions for mortgage lending, small business lending, and community development lending and investments across the bank’s six-state footprint comprised of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. In addition, Cadence formed a CRA Advisory Board to support the community outreach and reinvestment initiatives the Bank outlined in its 2019-2023 Community Benefits Plan.

We will continue to evaluate opportunities to provide the most effective solutions to help our customers achieve their goals and to strengthen our communities,” said Murphy. “At Cadence, diversity, equity and inclusion are values that are deeply ingrained in our culture and intentionally fused into our strategic priorities. We are fully committed to supporting historically marginalized communities in ways that bring meaningful and sustainable progress and help the communities we serve thrive.”

The Company continues to expect to complete the pending merger with BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS) in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to receipt of required regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Note: Under the OCC’s Consent Order, the Bank will pay a civil money penalty in the amount of $3 million to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Under the DOJ’s Consent Order, the Bank will invest $4.17 million in a loan subsidy fund to increase credit opportunities to residents of majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhoods and will devote $1.38 million toward advertising, community outreach, and credit repair and education. The Bank will also open one full-service branch to serve the banking and credit needs of residents in a majority-Black and Hispanic neighborhood in Houston. In addition, the Bank will employ a director of community lending and development who will oversee these efforts and work in close consultation with the Bank’s leadership.

The DOJ Consent Order must be approved by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and once entered by the court will resolve all claims by the DOJ against the Bank.

About Cadence Bancorporation

Cadence Bancorporation (NYSE: CADE), headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a regional financial holding company with $18.7 billion in assets as of June 30, 2021. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Cadence Bank, N.A., operates 99 branch locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, and provides corporations, middle-market companies, small businesses and consumers with a full range of innovative banking and financial solutions. Cadence Bank’s services and products include commercial and business banking, treasury management, specialized lending, asset-based lending, commercial real estate, SBA lending, foreign exchange, wealth management, investment and trust services, financial planning, retirement plan management, personal and business insurance, consumer banking, consumer loans, mortgages, home equity lines and loans, and credit cards. The bank’s clients have access to leading-edge online and mobile solutions, interactive teller machines, and more than 55,000 ATMs. The Cadence Bank team of more than 1,800 associates is committed to exceeding customer expectations and helping their clients succeed financially. Cadence Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS#525022.

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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