Do Not Miss the Current Favorable Rate Environment


Volatility can bring opportunity in the current rate environment.  If you have a loan or you need a loan, please be sure to review the current rates.  The lending rates are incredibly attractive right now.  Even loans taken out as recent as 6 months ago still need a quick check – that is how fast rates have moved.

Refinancing a 30 year mortgage may leave you with two appealing options.  You could potentially lower your payments by refinancing your loan at least one full point less than your current loan.  Or, you could switch to a 15 year mortgage with a comparable payment as your original 30 year mortgage. 

Switching from a 30 year to a 15 year option could significantly decrease the interest paid over the term of the loan, and you will have your home paid off in half the time.  There are many different types of loans available, so it is essential to speak to a loan originator about your options. 

The First American Bank and Trust loan originators are located right here in our community.  Appraisals and underwriting decisions are also made locally.  As a community bank, we are nimble in a volatile rate environment.  Please feel free to call one of our loan originators listed below:

Jeff Bishop

Senior Vice President, Mortgage Division Director
706 354-5012
706 380-8850 cell
NMLS# 640461


Connie Alger

Mortgage Loan Originator
706-540-3914 cell
NMLS# 664089

Sara S. Story

VP/Mortgage Lender
706-540-5189 cell
NMLS# 509038


Tal Hutto

VP/Mortgage Lender
706-540-0417 cell
NMLS# 410800


Jim Antosiak

Mortgage Banker
706 212-2747
706 982-2767 cell
NMLS# 110402



A Relationship With a Heart


In the world of technology, we are seeing a deterioration of relationships.  We are witnessing an entire generation demonstrate difficulty making eye contact and communicating with one another.  The new age relationship is for the most part virtual. 

For many businesses, the personal business relationship has gone by the wayside too.  Long standing institutions are becoming myth with only a few of us still in existence.  The employees at First American Bank and Trust are purposely chosen for their commitment to our core convictions; Vision, Heart, Wisdom, Balance and Support.

The Heart is my favorite FAB core conviction:

There is a saying: to be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart. We think your bank should have a heart-a big one. It goes beyond numbers. It's about caring for the people we serve. Showing compassion. Doing the little things that make a big difference. Why shouldn't your bank make your life better? At First American Bank & Trust, we can. It takes heart.

In a world of transactions, my customers know I put my whole heart into taking care of their mortgage needs.  As I celebrate another anniversary at FAB, I reflect on my long lasting customer relationships who have been with me over 20 years.  We have been through the seasons of life together.  I am honored and humbled by their fierce dedication to doing business with me and referring their friends and family too.

A repeat customer went so far as to send me flowers and candy for just doing my “job.”  My customer knew my heart was in it, and that I would not stop until all avenues were exhausted to meet her needs.  My relationship with my customers is one of trust.  This particular customer was so blown away by her experience that she wrote a letter to our CEO expressing her gratitude and she moved her 20 year banking relationship to bank with us at First American Bank and Trust.  I feel the same way about my customers.  I will go all out for them just like they do for me.

I pause for a moment of gratitude as I reflect on my decision to bring my customers to the FAB family.  I’m grateful to be a part of a bank that is truly local.  Local underwriting is handled right here in town.  Our appraisers are locally based and fully understand the intricacies of our real estate market.  These local decisions make us accurate and nimble in a way that can only be achieved by living and working in the community we serve.

Don’t be a transaction.  Come visit First American Bank and Trust for your mortgage and your banking needs.  After all, home is where the heart is.

Connie Alger

Mortgage Originator

NMLS # 664089

706-540-3914 (cell)

706-354-5074 (direct)




Beginning of the Year Check-Ups!



We are halfway through January and I’m guessing that you have either gone to or have scheduled your annual checkups with your doctor, dentist and maybe even your CPA.  While you are reviewing your yearend statements that are rolling in for tax time, consider taking a quick look at your mortgage rate. 

Refinancing your mortgage can make sense if you have a one percent decrease in your mortgage rate.  A percentage point can be impactful to your cash flow and the interest paid over the term of your loan.  As of mid January 2020, 30 year rates are in a range below 4% and the 15 year rate is near the bottom of the 3% range.

Benefits to a refinance are not limited to a decrease in rates.  High interest debt such as credit cards can be paid off with a cash out from a mortgage refinance.  You can also improve the resale value of your home by using funds from a cash out for a home renovation. 

Regardless of your situation, if you have a mortgage, consider taking a holistic approach to maximizing the equity of your largest asset – your home!  With a quick phone call, the First American Bank loan officers can assess your personal situation and goals in relation to the current market giving you the most efficient path forward – even if that path is to stay where you are.

Jeff Bishop

Mortgage Division Director

NMLS ID #640461

706-354-5012 (direct)

706-380-8850 (cell)


An (Almost) No-Surprises Mortgage Process

We usually prefer to avoid last minute surprises at the closing table, but there’s one surprise our mortgage customers love!  Here’s a hint…it’s not discovering their closing costs or interest rate are higher than they were expecting.  At First American Bank, our mortgage customers get exactly what they expect.  What they might not expect is a beautiful custom painting of their new home by local artist Heidi Hensley.  Heidi is a rising star in the Athens art community and someday we will all be able to say “we knew her when.”

We know you have many options when you’re selecting a mortgage lender for your home loan.  While we are sure we can win you over with our excellent customer service, competitive rates, and low closing costs, we also feel this very personal and exclusive gift from First American can’t hurt!  If you want to get to the closing table on time without any last minute surprises, except your Heidi Hensley original, contact one of our experienced mortgage lenders at First American Bank!

Equal Housing Lender logo MEMBER FDIC

frank author