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Images of people celebrating a new year, working on their finances, branch employee hugging customer.

The new year – and a new decade – is here! As singer/songwriter Brad Paisley once said, “Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”[1] So now might be the perfect time to take a look back at your financial picture in 2019 and to consider some effective ways to plan ahead for a happy, prosperous 2020.

Budgeting: Bring Your Financial Picture Into Better Focus
Did you work within your budget to help manage your monthly bills and expenses? 

Financial Tip:
A budget can be done with pencil and paper, in a journal, and with various computer software programs or apps. Some people find it a perfect starting place to bring their financial picture into better focus.

Consolidate Debt: Simplify Your Life With One Monthly Payment
How did you manage your credit card debt and other bills? 

Financial Tip:
Some people find that fewer credit cards are better. That way, you don’t have multiple cards with different interest rates and due dates. This also may help avoid additional late fees and extra charges. A debt consolidation loan can offer you a single payment each month with a fixed interest rate.

Emergency Fund: Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Were there any large unexpected bills or expenses you didn’t plan for in 2019?

Financial Tip:
Unfortunately, things like a roof repair, refrigerator breakdown, new tires, medical bills and more can happen at any time. That’s why it’s always good to have an “Emergency Fund” or other possible sources of money on hand to help cover these surprise expenses. It’s good to know it’s there if and when you need it.

Big Improvements: Investing in Sizable Updates
Were you thinking that next year just might be the right time to update that kitchen with a new remodel? Maybe your trusty ol’ car is at the end of the line, and it’s about time to replace it? 

Financial Tip:
Lots of people turn to local lenders who offer products and solutions to better serve their customers’ personal needs and individual situations. Having a nearby source of financial support can help you set up a realistic payment plan tailored just for you.

Bucket List: Planning for Life’s Big Moments
Are there family wedding plans or maybe a dream vacation on the horizon for 2020?

Financial Tip:
No matter what you’re planning for the new year, it’s good to know what options are available to help pay for your special plans and moments, big and small. It’s never too early to start talking to someone you can trust about creating a financial pathway to get you there.

Facing the Future Together: Take a Tip from Us
Each and every year since 1941, the Friendly Franklin Folks have been helping people just like you. Whether it’s debt consolidation support, extra cash for those unforeseen emergency bills, or making your dreams come true, 1st Franklin wants to be your trusted financial partner in 2020. With 300+ local branches, we’re just around your corner.

Give us a call today to learn more.

[1] Published in Goodreads, 2019  

January 14th, 2020

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Image of an older woman smiling and looking on phone

If you sometimes feel stressed out or anxious about your financial picture, you’re certainly not alone. The American Psychological Association has pointed out that nearly three-quarters (72%) of American adults are at least occasionally stressed out about money and finances [1]. Some are finding it more and more difficult to deal with everyday living expenses and obligations – especially when an unforeseen event enters the picture.

Stella, who just retired from her teaching job several years ago, just found out that her rental complex has new owners, and she’s either facing a sizable rent increase or the possibility of a major move. Stella is worried about how she’ll cope with these changes in the days ahead. 

How Do I Reduce My Financial Stress and Worries?

Take a Realistic Look at Your Financial Picture

Getting your thoughts out about how you’re feeling is a good start. Beginning a conversation with someone who cares might help clarify your needs and maybe point you in the right direction for additional support.

Perform a “Budgeting” Check Up … and Be Honest

Do you know where you stand regarding your bills and income? It’s important to have an accurate and up-to-date view of what amounts you need for regular bills and obligations. This important step gets you started on knowing your “monthly nut” needed on an ongoing basis. It also might reveal some problem areas such as high credit card charges and fees.  

Put the Power of Debt Consolidation to Work

In order to simplify monthly bill paying, consider a debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation provides the funds needed to pay off potentially high-interest credit cards and loans while giving you just one monthly bill — with a fixed, monthly payment amount. This not only streamlines monthly bill paying but helps with the budgeting process as well. Faster and easier — a great combination to help reduce financial stress!

Finally, It’s Always a Good Idea to Count Your Blessings

It pays to develop an attitude of gratitude. Why not take a daily inventory of the people, places and things that are present in your life and foster a spirit of thankfulness for all that is working. Sure, some improvements may be necessary all around, but try to remain focused on the good parts of your everyday life. Try to appreciate these the most.

Let Us Help!

The “Friendly Franklin Folks” are here when you need us. Most likely, we’re right around the corner in your own neighborhood. Our doors are open (during business hours of course), so feel free to stop by and talk with us about your financial picture. Whether it’s providing better budgeting, emergency funding or a debt consolidation loan, we’re always here to help!

Click here to find your local branch.

[1] American Psychological Association, Stress in America: Paying With Our Health. Published February 4, 2015.

November 28th, 2019

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Image featuring 1st Franklin Financial customers and team working together

Every life has a story. During this year’s Customer Appreciation Days, we’re pausing to reflect on just a few of the customers who have made us a part of their own journey in getting life done.

Hannah wanted to start building up credit for herself, and 1st Franklin was here to help. She was eventually able to qualify for a loan for a lovely new home for her and her three kids. So when Hannah kindly says we “feel like family,” we really take that to heart and are privileged to help her do life.

Then there’s Murchus, who needed some cash for day-to-day expenses for his house and boat. Not only is he a valued customer, but he also happily shares his delicious cooking with us when visiting his local branch 😊.

At 1st Franklin Financial, we succeed when we help our customers succeed. It’s a two-way street, all the way.

So during this special time, we’re sending a gracious debt of gratitude to all of our amazing customers. And if you’re not one yet, we’d love to say hello and discover how we can help you on your financial journey!

Visit your local branch, or give us a call today.

Thanks again!

November 13th, 2019

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Nelvin Coleman Cover

If you’re looking for that something special, search no further than Nelvin’s Creations — now right on Main Street in Franklin, Louisiana. If you do stop by, don’t forget to say hello to the smiling face and creative energy behind this charming and unique shop. Meet Nelvin Coleman.

As a valued customer since 2005, when she needed some extra cash for her life and business, she turned to 1st Franklin Financial right nearby. “They are good people to deal with. It’s just nice service … for the community,” says Nelvin. 

Thanks very much, Nelvin. And welcome to Main Street!

Why not let the Friendly Franklin Folks help you do life? Just call or stop by your local branch today.

Find Your Local Branch

September 16th, 2019

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Woman working at her kitchen table on her phone and computer.

Imagine your financial debt picture with:

Fixed Rate Icon 1 fixed payment

One Monthly Payment Icon 1 payment a month

One Lender Icon 1 single lender

With a Debt Consolidation Loan, the idea of combining your outstanding bills into one fixed monthly payment is easier than you may think. This could be credit card bills, car loans, medical bills, utility bills, and more.

A Debt Consolidation Loan can lower your credit card balances, help payoff overdue medical bills and eliminate extra fees for late payments from multiple vendors.

Consider Julie

As a single working mom with lots of credit cards to pay each month, Julie noticed each had different interest rates and due dates. Some of her cards even had variable interest rates that sometimes changed over time. With her busy schedule and active kids, Julie occasionally missed a due date and ended up paying more fees while also negatively impacting her credit. Julie often wondered if there might be a way to simplify her monthly bill paying — and maybe help avoid those higher rates and extra fees.

A Debt Consolidation Loan cuts down on the paperwork since you no longer receive multiple bills from different creditors each month. This process might even increase the credit amount available to you at a later date.

A Debt Consolidation Loan can be an effective way to:

  • Eliminate accumulating interest charges
  • Avoid late fees and penalties
  • Budget more effectively
  • Simplify and improve your financial picture
  • Give you peace of mind 🙂

The Bottom Line

Sometimes it just might pay to “put all your eggs in one basket” when it comes to managing your debt. Why not let 1st Franklin Financial be the one to help. Apply now or give your local branch a call!

Apply Now

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September 4th, 2019

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What Documents Do I Need to Get a Loan with 1st Franklin Financial.

At 1st Franklin Financial, we love helping customers get funds fast. As a part of the application process, you’ll need to provide us with a few documents to secure your loan. We pride ourselves on making this process quick and easy for our customers, so we put together the following checklist to help you get prepared.*

Identification Blog Icon Valid Identification

First, we’ll need to confirm your identity.  To do that, we’ll need two proofs of ID from the list below.

  •       Driver’s License
  •       State ID
  •       Social Security Card
  •       Passport
  •       Birth Certificate

Utility Bill Blog Icon Proof of Address

In order to complete the loan application process, we will also need to confirm your address. To prove your address, please provide one of the documents below when you come into a branch.

  •       Utility Bill
  •       Voter Registration Card
  •       Mortgage Statement
  •       Lease Agreement

Paycheck Blog Icon Verifiable Income

Finally, we will need to verify your income. Please provide one of the documents below so we can finalize the loan amount you will qualify for.

  •       Paystub
  •       Bank Statement or Bank Records
  •       Tax Return or W-2
  •       Government Documentation
  •       Written Income Verification from Employer

For most customers, that’s it! But, in some situations, we’ll need additional documentation. Here are a few scenarios that may require additional paperwork:

  • Shared Liabilities: If someone pays all or part of a liability in your name, we’ll need documentation to support that.
  • Low Credit Score: If your credit score doesn’t meet our minimum requirements, we’ll require additional collateral.

If you are ready to apply for a loan, get started now with our easy online loan application! Once completed, our “Friendly Franklin Folks” will be in touch to guide you through the rest of the process and find a convenient time for you to visit a local branch to complete your application.

Get Started Now

*Approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit criteria (including annual income, debt ratios, and credit report and history) and the availability of collateral. Annual percentage rates vary depending on your credit profile and state restrictions. For example, a customer with a good credit history and minimum gross income requirements may qualify for a loan with an APR of 21.99%. Maximum APR’s vary by state. 1st Franklin Financial Corporation, NMLS #141654, Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee #5656. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act (“MLA”) may not pledge a vehicle as collateral.

August 12th, 2019

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Plan a staycation

We can all use a break from reality from time to time, and a vacation is one of the best ways to escape. But, let’s face it, vacationing can be expensive. The good news is you don’t even need to leave town – you can plan a staycation! Sometimes a break from our usual routine is all we need for a little refresh which makes a staycation a great option. We don’t often take the time to explore our own towns and a staycation gives the chance to do just that.

1. Visit Local Attractions

Find museums, amusement parks, camping sites, miniature golf – the possibilities are endless! Ask around to discover the best attractions that are close to home. You’ll probably discover a few attractions you never even knew about.

2. Attend Local Events

Most towns have events happening throughout the summer – and some are even free! Search on Facebook or check your local newspaper. You may find carnivals, festivals, block parties, fireworks and more! Check your local event venues for any shows coming to town. Saving money on flights and a hotel by staying at home gives you extra cash to use on tickets for an entertainment act.

3. Try a New Restaurant

Have a few favorite restaurants you frequent? It’s time to try something new! Visit the local breakfast spot, grab lunch at a food truck or check out the new BBQ everyone is raving about. Eating out always feels like a treat, so planning a few meals out can make your staycation feel more like a vacation! Bonus: no cleanup. 😉

4. Get Outside

Getting outside and into nature is good for the soul! Pack up the car with drinks and snacks and try out some local hiking trails. Bring your swimsuits along and take a dip in the local swimming hole, lake or river. Relax in the grass, play games and just enjoy spending time together. Put the cell phones and tablets away, unwind and feel rejuvenated!

5. Make Your Own Backyard Paradise

Pick up an inflatable pool, sprinkler and yard games to create your very own backyard paradise! Leave the chores and to-do list behind and enjoy quality family time. Show off your grilling skills for dinner with hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and more summer staples. Top off your day with s’mores around the fire. Then, set up a tent and sleep under the stars. You’ll create lasting memories without leaving the house!

These are our top 5 tips for planning a staycation. If you’re still craving a vacation somewhere warm and sandy, let us help. 1st Franklin Financial’s Personal Loans go up to $15,000, and can help make your dream vacation a reality. Create family memories without breaking the budget!

June 27th, 2019

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Little boy putting coins into piggy bank

There’s no shortage of lessons a parent can teach a child. From sharing, riding a bike, cooking, and driving, parents are constantly teaching their children through instruction and example. One lesson that often slips through the cracks is how to be smart with money. In fact, a recent study by the National Endowment for Financial Education found that only 24% of millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy. With school-supported personal finance programs few and far between, it is often a parent’s responsibility to teach their kids about spending and saving.

No matter how savvy you consider yourself, there are plenty of ways to teach your children invaluable financial literacy skills at any stage. As you’ll see below, it is truly never too late (or too soon) to start learning.

Ages 4-6

Small children may be too young to understand the value of money, but the perfect age to begin counting with coins. Start to teach your toddler the difference between pennies, nickels, and dimes – just make sure they don’t swallow them!

  • Play store: It’s time to redefine the “Mom and Pop” shop. Give your child a few dollars to go shopping for items throughout your house. As your toddler gets older, you can start teaching them to assign prices and values to different things.

Ages 7-10

  • Start saving: Many banks don’t allow children under a certain age open an account, but now is when that piggy bank really comes in handy. Better yet, have your child save their money in a glass jar, so they can literally see how their money stacks up.
  • Open a lemonade stand: This classic childhood activity is the perfect opportunity to teach your future entrepreneur the value of hard work. Have your child use their allowance to shop for the ingredients, mix the lemonade, make the signs, and launch their lemonade empire.

Ages 11-14

  • Open a bank account: Make your next trip to the bank a special occasion and set up your child’s first personal account. Be sure to ask your banker if they offer children’s accounts with no fees or minimums. As the money accrues, you can start to explain how interest works as an incentive to save. 
  • Talk about credit: One of the trickiest money concepts to master is also one of the most important. Though 18 is generally the youngest you can be to apply for a credit card, the sooner your child understands the risks and rewards of credit, the better equipped they’ll be to use it responsibly to avoid debt later in life. Explain how you use credit to your child and educate them on how interest works – the longer you take to pay off your credit card, the more money you owe.

No matter what age your child is, teaching them about finance is an invaluable way to help set them up for future success. Start now to help them build the foundation for strong financial literacy and independence. Simply talking about money with your kids can help empower them to start asking questions and developing skills that will last a lifetime.


June 11th, 2019

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What is “Good Debt” vs. “Bad Debt” and what makes them different? Millions of Americans each day use debt, which can be defined as money borrowed from one party to another, to pay for a wide range of products and services. Whether you have a car loan, a home mortgage, or a credit card – you have participated in taking on debt in exchange for immediate cash flow. We’ll take you through the various types of debt, and together explore a platform for decision making when it comes to debt.


Good Debt or Bad Debt?


If you are like millions of Americans, the list of different types of debt is reminiscent of a personal experience – or an ongoing issue that you are currently battling.  Don’t worry – you are not alone. While most debt feels like a burden or obligation, some types of debt provide a chance to either build credit or provide purchasing power that you wouldn’t have otherwise. So, let’s take a look at what might be considered “Good Debt” or “Bad Debt” so you can prioritize your financial decisions and possible payment plans for your current debt.


Good Debt


To keep it simple, let’s define “Good Debt” as any type of debt that helps build your income or overall net worth. You’re probably thinking, wait – are you telling me there is debt that can allow me to improve my income and my net worth? The answer is, YES – but it has both its pros and cons. Let’s take a quick look at what many would consider to be “Good Debt” and why this would be the case.


Home Mortgage – Many would consider a mortgage to be at the top of the list for “Good Debt.” Not only does this debt provide you the purchasing power to get into a home, it is often an asset that appreciates over time. Said another way, by securing debt for a home you have the opportunity to see the value of your home rise over time and become a positive growth asset.


Student Loan – While this type of debt is debatable among Americans, it continues to be considered an opportunity to experience higher-education and grow your earning power.  Have you ever heard of the term “The more you learn, the more you earn?”  This is typically the case for those who secure a degree. There are many options for higher education, whether you choose a trade school, community college, or a state university. If you keep an eye on where you go to school, the overall cost, and where you plan to secure post-graduation work – a student loan can be a great decision.


Small Business Loan – This type of loan can have significant upside, but an equal amount of risk. As noted prior, many businesses have trouble surviving in their first couple of years – so the risk and reward need to be weighed appropriately. If a small business owner has the ability to secure a loan, which is hard to come by, and successfully run a profitable business – the original debt secured to run the business can mostly be considered good debt.


Bad Debt


The bottom line is this – if you secure debt that can potentially lower your income and net worth, it can be considered “Bad Debt.” Many items we purchase in our life immediately depreciate after purchase, like clothes and other consumables, and the vehicles we drive each and every day. While many of these types of debts are necessary to acquire, the best bet is to limit your exposure to these expenses and maximize your potential with appreciating assets.  Easier said than done, right?


Car Loan – While a vehicle is essential, it is even more important to secure a reliable manufacturer and a healthy vehicle report. The smart play is to be vigilant in your approach to purchasing a vehicle so you don’t overextend yourself with your preferred mode of transportation.


Credit Cards – Credit Card companies have made it unbelievably easy for Americans to charge an expense with ease and speed. Since most consumers know exactly what their limit is, the spending control as a behavior is tough to manage. Carrying a balance month-to-month accumulates with high-interest rates and compounds with late fees if a minimum payment is not made. It is very easy to over-utilize the all-important credit utilization rate, and in turn damage your credit score – which is one of the main health indicators for lenders.


Late Utility and Cell Phone Bills – This expense should be an obvious “Bad Debt” flag, but many people still put off payments on these bills month after month. At the end of the day, a timely payment to a utility bill or cell phone company can improve your credit score and your borrowing ability. If you sacrifice your timely payments to these companies, you can find yourself quickly in a bind with collection agencies and lower credit worthiness in the eyes of many lenders. Stick to an on-time payment and find other areas in your financial life to negotiate when the rubber meets the road.


If managed correctly, both “Good Debt” and “Bad Debt” can be utilized to provide you the lifestyle that suits YOU. According to the Consumer Financial Bureau, if you keep your debt-to-income ratio under 43%, you put yourself in a good position to show lenders that you have the ability to pay off a loan. As a good practice, keep paying your bills and debt obligations in a timely manner, and allow yourself the ability to improve your credit score over time. When considering future financial decisions, take a moment to evaluate if your new debt will provide you with greater income and net worth. Even the best “Good Debt” choices can work against your financial situation, so take care in your decision-making process, and keep these borrowing basics in mind.



Good Debt vs. Bad Debt


August 31st, 2018

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Through the course of life, there are times you may need additional money beyond your expected monthly take-home pay.  The reality is – life costs money. Even the best planners can find themselves in a position where they need extra funds. Whether you’re trying to cover an unexpected expense, planning to consolidate debt, or preparing for a major purchase – a personal loan might be a good solution for you. Before you apply for a personal loan, here are eight questions to consider:

1. What is a Personal Loan?

A personal loan is money borrowed for personal reasons. Personal loans are often used to consolidate debt, fund home improvement projects, cover medical expenses, or simply pay for a major purchase or vacation. Personal loans are often borrowed from a consumer finance organization, and provided in a lump sum payment. This personal loan is typically repaid at a fixed interest rate over a set period of time.

2. Are there different types of Personal Loans?

Yes. Personal loans can be either “secured or unsecured” and vary depending on your ability to meet specific credit criteria. Secured debt is a loan that is guaranteed by collateral, and collateral is an asset that the lender an take if the borrower defaults. Collateral can include personal vehicles, jewelry, or other personal property. Unsecured debt is a loan guaranteed without an asset serving as collateral. To break it down even further, it depends on your annual income, credit score, existing debt, and the availability of credit (among other factors).

3. How are my Finances?

Before making a financial decision, many people check in with their current financial health. If you know your full financial story, it allows you and a potential lender to put together the right plan for your finances – and figure out the amount of money you may need for a loan. Take a close look at your overall annual income and expenses. You’ll also want to know your overall debt, because this will also be considered when applying for a loan.

4. What is my Credit Score?

A credit score is used by lenders (and other financial institutions) to determine whether or not to offer you a loan. A higher number is a better number and is calculated on a range of 300 – 850.  Before securing a loan, there are many resources available that provide a free annual credit report. There are three major reporting groups that often offer free credit reporting: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. Not only can you receive your score, but you will then have a better understanding of what factors are impacting your score.

5. What is an Interest Rate?

An interest rate is the amount charged, as a percentage of the loan principal, by the lender to the borrower for use of the asset. This is basically a rental charge (interest rate) to the borrower for the use the of the money (personal loan).  If you take out a personal loan, you will most likely pay both the principal and interest back to the lender, in addition to any other fees that might be associated with the loan. A lender will often charge a lower interest rate for lower-risk borrowers, and a higher interest rate for higher-risk borrowers – which can be determined by your annual income, credit score, existing debt, and the availability of credit (among other factors).

6. Will a Personal Loan Help My Credit Score?

It depends on the lender, and whether or not they are reporting to a major credit reporting bureau. (Please note, customers who choose 1st Franklin Financial Corporation will have their information reported to a major credit reporting bureau.) If the lender is reporting to a credit bureau, and you pay off your loan according to the provided terms, you will definitely have a chance to boost your score with on-time payments throughout the life of the loan. It’s important to note that this can have the reverse effect to your score if you don’t pay on-time, which is usually within 30 days of your monthly due date. If you happen to be swapping credit card debt for a personal loan, this can reduce your credit utilization, (which measures the amount of your credit limit that’s being used) which in turn could boost your overall credit score as well.

7. How much should I borrow?

The minimum and maximum borrowing limits are set by each lender and the amount of your personal loan limit depends on your creditworthiness. (This goes back to our questions above for “How are my Finances” and “What is My Credit Score?”) When you work with a lender it’s important to secure an amount you feel absolutely confident you can repay – so you limit the risk of overextending yourself.

8. How long will it take to pay off my loan?

Before taking out a personal loan, you’ll want to know the term of your loan. The term is defined as the amount of time or how long your loan will last with successful, regular payments. Loans are either “short-term or long-term,” from as little as one year, or as long as 30 years. The repayment of the principal and interest are due at the end of this time-frame. The “loan term” is important because it plays a part in determining your monthly payment and interest costs associated with your loan.


These are the 8 questions that should assist you in beginning your personal loan journey. As a reminder, be sure to get a full look at your current financial situation so you can make the best possible decision for your financial future. In the end, a personal loan has the incredible potential to build your overall credit worthiness and most importantly – secure the funds you need when you need them most.





August 27th, 2018

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