Blogs

It’s December and the holiday push is on. Stores have set up displays, catalogs are stuffing mailboxes, and it’s time to start thinking about that dreaded holiday list. Retailers hope we will spend more than ever, that falling gasoline prices and rising consumer confidence will induce us to fill those department-store cash registers. Big box stores gamble that consumers will cave in to the assault of music, lights, decorations, ideas for holiday gatherings and, of course, glitzy offerings to...
Updated : 15 sec ago | more
I connect people who need help with the people who supply it. As the receptionist, I’m usually the first contact a caller will have with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. I try to gather as much information I can as to what they are looking for assistance with, and I connect them to the program I feel would best match their needs. A lot of callers don’t really know whether we can help them. They may have been introduced to us by word of mouth, by a social agency, or by searching the web....
Updated : 4 days 22 hours ago | more
I recently worked with a borrower who had fallen victim to a payday lender trap. A payday loan is a relatively small amount of money lent at a high rate of interest. Borrowers agree to repay their loans, and interest, when they receive their next paycheck. But if you can’t pay the money back by the next pay day, the lender will “roll over” your loan. Rolling over means that they take the original loan amount, extend the term, and add fees, making the amount you owe significantly higher than...
Updated : 6 days 5 hours ago | more
My last blog presented three of the six most-common topics I discuss with first-time homebuyers: working with Realtors, seller credits and home inspections/appraisals. Here are the second three: Title insurance Title insurance and home insurance are two different things. Home insurance covers you in the event your home or its contents are damaged. Title insurance ensures that your home has a clear and marketable title on the day you purchase it. A clean title is crucial. Without it, a former...
Updated : 1 week 1 day ago | more
The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund is very concerned about employee wellness and encouraging healthy choices. Gunner Siverly served Rustic Crust pizza from a portable oven. Each year we organize wellness activities that include interactions with benefit vendors, on-site flu clinics, group exercise sessions, and, most recently, the opportunity to learn more about and to sample local food products. On a beautiful fall afternoon, members of our staff Wellness Committee and three food producers...
Updated : 1 month 5 days ago | more
I’m impressed with the good ideas that were generated during the brainstorm at NH Food Strategy and Network’s recent Regional Listening Session in Littleton, N.H. One that caught on in our table was helping corner store owners find profitable ways to introduce healthy, locally sourced food. It’s a great idea because convenience store offerings account for a lot of the nutritional choices for many people, in both urban and rural settings. The key to creating this shift is making it profitable...
Updated : 1 month 1 week ago | more
A just-released report from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a good reality check on the benefits and challenges that manufactured-home owners experience. The report covers one of the biggest hurdles for people buying a manufactured home−the lack of purchase financing. Manufactured homes (sometimes called mobile homes) account for 6% of all occupied housing, yet receive only 2.5% of all home purchase loans. In 2012, when we studied manufactured-home finance options in...
Updated : 1 month 2 weeks ago | more
“I pledge to honor all the people.” What a great promise. On October 2, I had the privilege of attending the swearing-in ceremony for Andrea K. Johnstone as United States Magistrate Judge for the district of New Hampshire. In her remarks, Andrea committed herself to “honor all the people” as a federal judge. This echoed the very-moving praise from those who spoke previously about Andrea’s fairness, kindness, toughness and ability to hear the whole story from all sides. Andrea gave the New...
Updated : 1 month 2 weeks ago | more
The women and men who choose to provide early childhood education are some of the most-caring and -dedicated professionals you will encounter. I’ve had the opportunity and privilege over the past year to work with directors and board members from nine early childhood programs in Coos County. They were brought together by the Business of Child Care Initiative, a pilot program designed to provide assessment tools, support and training that helps child care providers sharpen their business skills...
Updated : 2 weeks 4 days ago | more
I came back from vacation this summer to discover the sad news that Chuck Leahy had died. It was all the more unnerving and poignant because I had left myself a to-do list and “Call Chuck Leahy” was the first task. Chuck served on the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund’s board for seven years (1997-2004). He was a great help not just in those ways you depend on a lawyer to be attentive, but in the wonderful texture of his understated presence. His knowledge of New Hampshire was deep, so he kept...
Updated : 1 month 3 weeks ago | more