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“Our culture is rooted in community and personal relationships. We value our clients and prioritize one-on-one connections to understand their goals and who they are. By doing so, we can serve them better.” – Josefa Ruiz, Spring Bank Branch Manager

While we’re proud of our designations as a B Corp and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we know that it’s the people who make up the Spring Bank team that truly make us a community bank. Their kind, personable, and caring energy connects individuals, small businesses, and nonprofits to our affordable services which help our neighborhoods grow. 

That’s why this month we’re happy to introduce you to one of our valued team members, Josefa Ruiz

Josefa has been with Spring Bank for six years as the Vice President and Branch Market Manager for our Harlem and Bronx locations. She’s done everything from consumer lending to personal banking to commercial banking. Her current role consists of training staff to be “universal bankers,” meaning that they can both serve as tellers and also know our full suite of financial products in order to support our clients, whether it’s a nonprofit seeking a loan or a local entrepreneur looking to open a new business bank account. Building a team with a diverse skill set means that no matter who our clients meet or what their needs are, they’re in good hands. 

While Josefa’s top priority is coaching and mentoring staff, she also contributes to the bank’s growth. Like many of our team members, Josefa has a real commitment to the bank’s success, which comes through her work. 

“Working at Spring Bank is something I’m truly proud of. I’ve put my efforts into investing in this community and I want to see it grow,” she says.

Josefa is always learning something new. As a small bank in NY, she’s been able to get involved in bank operations in a way that branch managers at larger institutions typically don’t. This allows her to support her teammates better and quickly make improvements, something she never experienced working for big banks in the past. 

“If there is ever a concern, I can communicate with the CEO, COO, President, or the Chief Lending Officer easily. They really value my opinion, and you just don’t see that at other institutions,” Josefa says.

Thanks to Josefa, our staff is guaranteed to give you a personalized experience, whether online or at a branch. She understands that accessibility is everything when it comes to serving our community, and proudly shares how our services are designed to make banking convenient and easy, and built to support you, your business, and your family for the long term. 

For example, we offer Zelle through our Spring Bank app so you can securely pay rent, split a bill, or gift money instantly. We also know that 40% of New Yorkers are foreign-born, so you can open a personal checking account or personal savings account with us as a non-resident with just an ITIN. Did you recently apply for personal loan and want a status update? You don’t have to call an 800 number to get in touch – simply call our direct line and get instantly connected to a real team member who will support you.

As Josefa says, “Our culture is rooted in community and personal relationships. We value our clients and prioritize one-on-one connections to understand their goals and who they are. By doing so, we can serve them better.”

Our mission has always been to serve the needs of individuals and small businesses in New York City. While we continue to make our impact felt as a community bank in Bronx, New York, we have plans to make our affordable and transparent services more accessible by expanding our branches into Brooklyn in the next few years. And Josefa will be part of it every step of the way.

“We value our clients. We ask questions and truly listen to the answers – we’re not just here to sell a product. It’s important to us to be there for them because it’s the relationships that make the Spring Bank culture and community what it is,” she adds. 

Thank you so much, Josefa! We are so grateful to have you on the Spring Bank team and look forward to continuing our mission to build a stronger, more resilient NYC together.

Interested in learning more about Spring Bank? Find out what makes The Bronx a place where everything is possible or get the back-to-school season started off on the right foot with 6 healthy money management tips to teach kids and young adults. 

Meet other members of our team: 

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We strive to be more than a bank. Our goal is to bring ethical and inclusive finance to the Bronx and the greater New York City area. As NYC Climate Week kicks off, we want to share our recent pledge to Bank.Green’s Fossil Free Banking Alliance, an organization that  recognizes banks that divest from — or, as in our case, have never invested in — fossil fuels.

With this new commitment, we certify that we will not fund the production or extraction of fossil fuels. Pledging with Bank.Green is just one of the ways we take action on our commitment to better banking with Bank for Good, the national movement of banks who recognize their responsibility to address the climate crisis.

We also continue to improve our measures internally. For example, we have been carbon neutral since 2018. As a B Corp, doubling down on our environmental impact is a core value of our ethos.

We’re making certain that we’re not only carbon neutral, but also ensuring that our actions internally and externally reflect the same goals in protecting the environment. 

We take a stand against fossil fuels because it not only negatively impacts the environment at large, but they also directly contribute to climate change’s effects on the communities we serve. According to the EPA, “the effects of climate change disproportionately fall on underserved communities who are least able to prepare for, and recover from, heat waves, poor air quality, flooding, and other impacts.” In short, environmental inequity goes hand-in-hand with financial inequity. Taking the Bank.Green pledge and taking action is a part of our vision to build abundant futures for our clients and their families for the long-term. 

There is no set plan for sustainability that will work forever. We are constantly evolving in terms of our goals and initiatives to improve our impact.

We adapt to changes as we continue our sustainable journey. With our commitments to Bank.Green, Bank for Good, as well as other climate-friendly initiatives like our E-Bike Loan NYC and Green Personal Checking Account, we are closer than ever to transforming how banks do business for good. We hope to inspire other banks in NY – and across the country – to do the same. 

Ready to take climate action? Check out some ways you can go green with us:

  • Enroll in paperless statements for your personal checking account, personal savings account, or business checking account.
  • Encourage your employer to enroll in our Employee Opportunity Program, so that you and your colleagues can make your commute cleaner and greener when you apply for personal loan through our E-Bike Loan NYC.
  • Get your kids involved in nature-based activities, like boatbuilding, sailing, and environmental science with Rocking the Boat, our nonprofit partner.
  • Join our nonprofit partners at Bronx River Alliance for a variety of community outdoors activities, including paddling the river, gardening, and volunteering opportunities. 
  • Interested in learning if your bank is contributing to climate chaos? Find your bank’s report on Bank.Green

We know you have enough to do running your own business. With a Spring Bank business banking account you don’t need to use a third-party service to handle your transactions you can simplify your business transactions with Autobooks.

Having a business checking account with Spring Bank means organized bookkeeping and professional credibility, even for the newest businesses. Autobooks allows you to step it up a notch by sending invoices, accepting payments, and getting paid directly to and from your business checking account. Plus, accepting credit card payments has never been easier! 

With Autobooks, you can:

Send professional invoices: customize and send invoices right to your customers. Autobooks offers seamless payment options through email or text messages.

Receive payments directly: customers can fulfill invoices through debit cards, credit cards, or bank transfers. Payments are sent directly to your small business account.

Monitor payment activity: stay up to date on the status of your invoices. See who has viewed, paid, or is past due. You can also access other financial documents like Balance Sheets or General Ledgers so you always know where your business’s finances stand.

You didn’t get into business to spend all of your time on administrative tasks. Do more of what you love with Autobooks! Try it out by sending a test invoice today or book a demo with us so we can show you how quick and easy it is to use.

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We’ll always tout the benefits of having a healthy amount of money in a personal savings account. Still, since we all have to spend money every day, whether it’s on groceries, gas, or life’s other necessities, why not earn rewards for the money you have to spend?

Introducing Our ScoreCard Rewards Program

Make your money work harder for you with our ScoreCard Rewards Program. Earn points when you spend with your Spring Bank debit card and redeem them on the vast selection of rewards. From 4-star hotel stays to designer fashion and trendy appliances, there’s something for everyone. So register your Scorecard account today to view your accrued points and treat yourself to all the perks your debit card can help you receive!

How It Works:

  1. First, enroll your card to start accumulating points as you spend.
  2. Make purchases with your Spring Bank debit card from either your personal checking account or business checking account as you usually would – both are eligible to earn and redeem points.
  3. Earn 1 point for every $2 you spend with a signature or every $4 you spend using your PIN.
  4. Redeem your points for travel, merchandise (like electronics, appliances, and more), or experiences like concerts and special events.

Ways to Earn Points Faster

Customers who hold multiple debit cards from their Spring Bank personal checking accounts or business checking accounts are welcome to combine points into a single rewards account. For business bank accounts, the business can earn points from all associated cards, though the owner is the only one who can claim rewards – all cards remain under the account owner’s control.

Likewise, households can merge points. For example, if you and your spouse have Spring Bank debit cards connected to your personal checking accounts, you can combine points to earn rewards faster and redeem points for rewards!

We’re offering 2,500 points as a special sign-on bonus to reward those who enroll in the program and use your debit card within 60 days of enrollment. Plus, any customer who signs up also gets 500 bonus points on their birthday!

Ready to upgrade your tech, book that bucket list trip, or dance to your favorite band at that sold-out concert? Register your card and start earning points today!

“I live at the bottom of a hill. With my old, non-electric bicycle, I used to push it up that hill, then again and again because my neighborhood has a lot of hills. I was practically pushing it all the way to work! But now I can enjoy the ride because of my new E-Bike and the E-Bike Loan NYC I received from Spring Bank.” – Pamela Martinez

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Pamela Martinez is a teacher’s assistant here in The Bronx and the Hunts Point Alliance for Children, and she was one of the first New Yorkers to receive an E-Bike and E-Bike Loan NYC through our partnership with the Equitable Commute Project (ECP). The ECP was developed at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic as a partnership between NYU Stern, the Hope Program, Electric Avenue, Transportation Alternatives, and us as the financing partner. Our mission is to create a healthier, more affordable, and greener commute for the one million+ NYC frontline workers.

Through our new E-Bike Loan NYC, employees can receive a loan of up to $2500 to use for a new E-Bike, which will also help them build their credit and savings – all with no minimum credit score requirement.

“I’d wanted an E-Bike for a long time! And my employer knew that I rode my old bike to work every day. But for me, not being from this country, I didn’t have credit yet. However, I learned I could get the E-Bike Loan NYC through the Employee Opportunity Program from Spring Bank, and I could pay it back little by little. So I applied, and my loan was approved right away! Now I love riding my new E-Bike, especially because I have to carry so much back and forth every day,” Pamela says.

If you bank with us, you know that we’re so much more than just a bank – even though we are one of the best banks in NY! We’re a community. And that’s why we were so excited to work with Pamela. She takes care of the people around her: developing daily science experiments and dance parties for the kids, collecting winter coats for donation on Giving Tuesday, and even ensuring that struggling families in the neighborhood get connected to the services they need.

“I love my job,” says Pamela with a smile. “I love helping people. I love that we’re doing good for kids, families, and the community. Hunts Point has a lot to give. You have to dig and find the resources – and that’s what we do for these families.”

Ensuring that our customers and community are taken care of is always at the top of our minds. Therefore, we designed the application process for the E-Bike Loan NYC to be as smooth and straightforward as possible. Learn more about it here.

“Everyone at Spring Bank was so helpful!” Pamela says. “Because I went through my company, they had a lot of the information I needed. Everything else I could do by myself online – it was very easy.”

Commuting by E-Bike is a good choice for more than just your wallet. It’s often more reliable than public transportation. And as Pamela notes, it’s also good for the environment, which means a healthier, greener future for her children and students.

“I ride my E-Bike everywhere now: to the beach, visit my family in Brooklyn, and even go to Costco with it! Everybody knows me as ‘The Bike Lady’ in the supermarket,” she laughs.

We love to see it! 🙌🏽 🚴🏽

Ready to get an E-Bike of your own? Learn more about our E-Bike Loan NYC. If you’re an NYC employer, check out how you can support the financial health of your employees with our Employee Opportunity Program, which includes the E-Bike Loan NYC. Find out more about the Equitable Commute Project. Finally, check out our personal savings and personal checking accounts. We’re honored to serve the people of New York as one of the best banks in The Bronx, New York!

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“There’s someone who can relate to you here. Especially in this age of mega-corporations and automated processes, I think having a human experience with a financial institution is rare.” – John Lakis, Loan Officer here at Spring Bank

We don’t take it lightly that you trust us with your money. We love getting to know our customers and their families.

So if you bank with us, you already know that you’re far from just another number here — and if you don’t bank with us (yet!), you’ll soon find that out. And just like we love getting to know you, we want to give you an opportunity to get to know us. So this week, we’re pleased to introduce  John Lakis, our Loan Officer.

John started with us here at Spring Bank in 2015 as a Credit Analyst and has now been a Loan Officer, working primarily on the commercial side, processing real estate, SBA, and during the Covid-19 crisis, 100s of PPP  loans.

“It was part of our job at the beginning of the pandemic to call our clients and see how they were doing, making sure they could stay afloat, and seeing what we could do to help ease the burden,” John says of his frontline pandemic experience. “I don’t think there would be that level of personal care and interaction with any larger institution,” he continues.

Of course, lots of banks tout their community-mindedness in glossy ad campaigns. But how do you really know if your bank is acting and investing in a way that reflects your values? You don’t have to take our word for it.

We’re a B Corporation, which means we have a triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. So as New York City continues to recover and stride forward to an even greater future post-Covid, we look forward to helping our community build new businesses and reimagine existing ones. (Not sure where to start? Take a look at our small business accounts!)

“I don’t think a megabank would guide someone through every step of the commercial loan process, from financing, city permitting and regulations, knowing what reports to read, or even teaching people how to look at them. Our bank is better positioned to offer those kinds of services. From startup to closing, our team here guides them through the entire process.

I know we’ve had an impact here in The Bronx. Numerous people have opened businesses in this neighborhood with the help of Spring Bank – and that’s an amazing thing to be part of!” John says.

We couldn’t agree more! We care deeply about the future of our neighbors and our neighborhood, and we’re here to nurture your growth as an individual and as a business owner to build a prosperous future for you, your business, and your family.

And, as John shares, that ethos influences our internal culture, too:

“We’re all helping each other grow. That’s happened personally for me: I’ve seen my growth expand to new heights. And I’ve seen how I can help others grow, and I look forward to more team development together! After all, the main purpose of this bank is to help communities in need. So I’m totally on board with that!”

For us, it’s all about having a human experience: staying flexible and innovative in the face of a constantly changing environment so we can help the people of our community truly thrive.

And nobody knows how to do that better than an immigrant. 🙌🏽

“People have shaped me, and others have been shaped by me, too. I come from a family of immigrants, and I would be letting them down if I were to come here to New York City and not work hard. So I committed to that when I joined Spring Bank, and it’s a great place to do that,” John says.

Thank you so much for sharing your incredible story and perspective, John! We are so grateful to have you as a core contributor to the Spring Bank team.

Are you interested in opening a new business bank account? Check out our business checking account here. New to the city and looking for banks in The Bronx, New York? Visit one of our branches today and find out what makes us one of the best banks in NY.

In partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness

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For many years, research has shown that women in the U.S. are approved for less than men when applying for credit products. Women are also more likely to have their applications denied. These facts may impact how and when women use credit compared to men. As a result, women often put applying for credit off – even when they want or need to build credit to maintain a healthy financial life.

These challenges become more complicated when combined with the fact that women are typically paid less than men, yet have household budgets similarly impacted by rising costs of living, inflation, and other market factors. Best practices with credit can help in many situations, such as when or how to apply for a personal loan.

Here are a few tips to jumpstart your relationship with credit — and we think they are helpful for everyone, regardless of gender identity!

Build a Healthy Credit History

A healthy financial foundation starts with having a credit history established in your name. If you don’t qualify for a credit card on your own and someone in your family already has one, you can start as an authorized user on their credit card.

If that isn’t an option for you, or you prefer to keep finances separate, another option is to get a Credit Builder Loan, like ours, in your name. Our Credit Builder Loan is a great way to build a healthy credit score. The loan proceeds are placed in a savings account to secure the loan. Then, each month we report your payments to the credit bureaus — this is what develops your credit score. After your final payment, you may continue to build your savings.

Review Your Credit Report

Regularly checking your credit report is another healthy financial habit. You can go to AnnualCreditReport.com to get a free credit report. This credit report shows all the information used to determine your credit score. Checking your credit report also allows you to be confident that the information in your credit report is accurate and up to date.

A good credit report can give you access to opportunities that might not be available otherwise. For example, people with higher scores receive offers with lower interest rates — that means more money staying in your pocket. It’s also easier to apply for a personal loan, open a new business bank account, or get a business loan when your credit score is in good shape.

Improve Payment History

If you already have a credit history and know your score, pay attention to your payment history. Payment history is the most significant single factor used to calculate your credit score.

Late payments (even by a couple of days!), past-due accounts, and accounts in collections all harm your credit. Regular, on-time payment of the minimum amount owed or greater, will improve your credit score. An on-time payment history in the range of 18 months or longer will begin to show results in improving credit scores.

Monitor Your Credit Card Utilization

Simply put, credit utilization is a percentage. To determine that percentage, take the amount you owe and divide that number by the amount you are allowed to borrow – a.k.a. your credit limit. Credit utilization only refers to what you owe in terms of your personal credit limit, and you do not have to take your income into account when calculating it.

Here’s an example: If your card balance is $600 and you have a spending limit of $2,500, your credit utilization is $600 divided by $2,500, which comes to 24%. As a rule of thumb, your credit utilization should be less than 30% for a healthy credit score.

Build a Foundation for Financial Wellness

Healthy credit history and scores are important for women and everyone — especially during challenging financial situations. Learn more about our Credit Builder Loan.

As one of the best banks in N.Y., we partner with GreenPath Financial Wellness so that our community can speak with certified financial counselors about how to use credit as a critical building block in their overall financial health and wellness. Call GreenPath at 866-692-2659 to book a free, confidential financial counseling session today!

“In this city, if you want it, you’ve got to go for it!” – Furkhunda Rizvi, Managing Director at MaxWell Health

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As a community bank in Bronx, NY, we know that life in New York City is fast-paced and exciting! But it can also be stressful and take its toll on our minds and bodies. That’s why we’re so excited to share the story of MaxWell Medical, one of our small business clients.

MaxWell Medical is a state-of-the-art physiotherapy practice founded by the three Rizvi sisters with the vision that Relief is Within Reach. Furkhunda Rizvi, Managing Director, shares:

“What we do brings such positive energy into our culture because we make people feel better. We’re in the business of healing.”

For the three Rizvi sisters, the idea was manifested through the thoughtful collaboration and skill of their partners, Chris Lee, Cesar Salce & Olayinka Akisanya. Together they sought out talent to build their dream into reality.

“Everyone has lofty ideas when starting a business,” Furkhunda says. “But we truly believe that the face we give to our patients is the same face we give each other. So we started by imagining a place where all co-workers are respected, with the result that everyone cares and feels the same sense of ownership in the company.”

It’s easy to see how building a positive, impactful work environment has paid dividends. MaxWell Medical has retained staff members since their first year of operations and even maintained their practice through the many obstacles that the Covid-19 pandemic presented.

“The pandemic has been a challenging chapter in our company’s history,” Furkhunda says. “We had to question the business we’d built and reshape the entire model.”

Luckily, MaxWell Medical received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan they needed to continue business operations and develop an entirely new telehealth system to continue serving their patients.

“We couldn’t believe the level of customer service and the attention we received from the team at Spring Bank. The PPP experience was a lifeline: we had someone walking us through every step and securing the money when promised. It made such a difference at a time when there seemed to be so much red tape, confusion, and doublespeak,” shares Furkhunda.

Even as their business continued to transform and change into something new, the partners at MaxWell Medical stayed hopeful, committed to their values, and leaned into their team.

“Our business is reshaping. And I believe that we are going to come back even stronger having been able to overcome this last chapter,” Furkhunda continues.

So, as part of the return to normalcy, MaxWell Medical has re-opened all locations. They understand the havoc the pandemic has caused from working remotely at our dining room tables to our makeshift work from home desk spaces. They are currently offering ergonomic assessments, evaluations for patients and new corporate workshop programs – so that the people of New York City can come back even stronger.

It’s precisely that community-oriented mindset that we greatly appreciate at MaxWell Medical.

“As an immigrant that came into this country, I feel like I’m really part of something here. I don’t think we could have done this anywhere else. In this city, if you want it, you have to go for it! We have a truly multicultural team that is a tapestry of New York. Between our patients, our staff, and our community, it’s the story of America – and it’s beautiful to be a part of it.”

We couldn’t agree more! Thank you to MaxWell Medical for allowing us to share your story and being part of the Spring Bank community.

As one of the best banks in NY, we’re honored to serve the people of New York City. Learn more about our small business accounts & services, or open your new business bank account today. Visit one of our branches, or call us at 718-879-5000 to learn how we can help you build a prosperous future for you and your family.

The Newest Offering of Our Employee Opportunity Program

“The process is fintech-enabled, so participating is simple both for the employer and the borrower.” – Melanie Stern, our Director of Consumer Lending

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Offer Your Employees Reliable & Affordable Transportation

We are proud to support small businesses and their employees as one of the best community banks in NY! That’s why we’re so excited to introduce our newest benefit for your employees: The E-Bike Loan NYC.

The commuting challenges that workers in NYC have faced these past two years have demonstrated that affordable, sustainable transportation alternatives – such as electric bikes – are critical for commuters and communities. So we joined forces with the Equitable Commute Project and designed a loan product as an easy way for you to take care of and support your teams.

Save Your Employees Time, Money & Stress

As the newest addition to our Employee Opportunity Program, you can now connect your employees to the E-Bike Loan NYC, providing them with a reliable and affordable transportation option. Help your employees get to where they want to go as they commute day-to-day and support their financial journeys, too!

Up to $2500 with no minimum credit score requirement, the E-Bike Loan NYC also helps your employees build their credit and savings. The E-Bike Loan NYC is accessed and processed on our simple to use online platform.

We are partnering with several well-regarded NYC bike shops and one online seller who all have proven track records, sell reliable bikes, and offer employees discounts on bikes, equipment, and even servicing.

And when you sign-up for the E-Bike Loan NYC, your organization automatically becomes part of our nationally recognized Employee Opportunity Program. As our partner, your employees can access our Employee Opportunity Loan for up to $3,500 and get free financial counseling from GreenPath Financial Wellness. Employees start here, then choose to apply for a personal loan and connect to a counselor.

We’re also making it easier than ever for employees to build personal savings by offering the option to automatically deposit an amount of their choosing directly into their Spring Bank savings account each pay period.

Plus, there are no minimum credit score requirements for any loan products in our Employee Opportunity Program. 🙌

Your employees can check out e-bikes and get rolling today with our E-Bike Loan NYC!

Learn more about the E-Bike Loan NYC. Spring Bank is the financing partner for the Equitable Commute Project (ECP), a group of community partners working toward bringing transportation justice to New York City by creating micro-mobility options for NYC workers. Read more about the ECP.

In partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness

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No matter your age or stage in life, it pays to know the facts about personal finances. You can set yourself up for success and build a healthy financial future when you understand the basics.

Here are three facts to know about personal savings and finances to get on the right track:

Fact #1 – Good Financial Habits Pay Off

Make it a habit to set aside money each month to meet short- and long-term goals. The significant savings goal is purchasing a home and eventually retirement for many of us. But people also save to build up an emergency fund or other personal savings, buy a new vehicle, pay for education, and more.

Making regular deposits, no matter how small, will add up over time—opening the best savings account online can help with that.

Besides setting aside money and ensuring your funds earn a competitive interest rate, the second most important habit is to control spending. By budgeting wisely, you not only set aside more money for potential savings, but you also develop spending habits that serve you in the long term.

Fact #2 – There’s a Smart Way to Manage Debt 

It’s helpful to understand the facts of managing debt wisely. For example, making only the minimum payment each month on a credit card extends how long it takes to wipe out your debt and adds to the amount of interest you pay. Minimum monthly payments can be a short-term approach to dealing with financial challenges — because you’re keeping up on bills — however, making more than the minimum payment each month helps avoid digging yourself into a financial hole.

Suppose you’ve hit the maximum balance on credit cards, or run into issues keeping up with other debt. In that case, it’s time to look at where your money is going and make a plan to change any habits that are not beneficial to your financial health, so you can start putting it towards your personal checking and personal savings accounts instead.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to build a prosperous and abundant future for their family and community. Apply for a personal loan with Spring Bank so that an unforeseen emergency like a car repair or health expense doesn’t become a major disruption.

Fact #3 – You Don’t Have to Go it Alone

There are times in life when you might need to get a handle on high credit card balances, understand options when facing financial challenges, or figure out how to get a healthier credit score.

Working one-on-one with a certified counselor is an excellent first step. Not only will the counselor help you understand your financial health, but they’ll also help you to develop a customized plan for your unique situation.

The path is easier when you work with a trusted resource. An action plan that provides proven strategies can propel people toward financial health with confidence, whether you’re looking to open a new business checking account or small business account.

As one of the best banks in NY, we partner with trusted national non-profit GreenPath Financial Wellness to help you better understand your financial picture and what steps to take to improve financial wellness. As a Spring Bank customer, you have access to free, confidential financial counseling sessions today! Learn more here: https://www.spring.bank/greenpath/