In partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness

In partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness

With inflation running at a high rate, you may feel some extra pressure on your household budget right now. Knowing how to navigate this period is critical to financial wellbeing.

Our partners at GreenPath Financial provide free financial wellness and counseling services, and they’ve put together some helpful steps you can take to stabilize your budget and sustain yourself throughout this inflationary period and in the future.

Take a look:

Check-in on your financial situation. Has your household income changed? Have you adjusted your budget for rising groceries, transportation, or other expenses? Review your existing budget to check on your cash flow. Having healthy money habits can help you better plan for these circumstances. If you don’t have a budget and don’t know where to start, GreenPath’s expert counselors can help you set up a spending plan or roadmap of your monthly expenses.

  1. Continue to build your emergency fund. Your future self will thank you for having money to tap into when unexpected circumstances arise. An emergency fund helps reduce the chance of taking on debt to cover an unplanned cost. Resist the urge to pause your monthly savings, even if rising prices take more of your monthly budget. Instead, it’s best practice to automatically deposit money in your personal savings account every month. Remember, even a little bit adds up over time. We offer one of the best savings accounts so you can get the most out of your personal savings.
  2. Revisit your monthly spending. Reflect on your expenses and determine which ones are unnecessary. A good place to start is with recurring charges like subscriptions or streaming services. According to researchers, the average household has 4.5 streaming services and spends an average of $55 per month – that amounts to more than $600 per year. Next, define a new spending baseline for yourself and adjust your credit card usage to meet your new personal savings goal.
  3. Monitor your debt. Be mindful of rising interest rates when applying for a personal loan or credit card. We offer affordable and transparent personal loans to help you build credit and avoid high-cost predatory loans. Prioritize paying off high-interest credit card debt to improve your credit score and free up room in your budget.
  4. Always remember your goals. It pays to stay budget-aware, especially when prices are rising. Before making any purchase, ask yourself if it aligns with your personal savings plan. Make it a habit to check your budget weekly to make sure you’re staying on track. These practices will build a strong foundation for your financial future.

Inflation might seem scary, but it doesn’t have to be. As a community bank in NY, we offer our clients perks like cash back rewards and safe & easy money transfers, as well as access to free tax preparation and free financial counseling from our trusted partners to help you take control of your money and build a successful financial future.

If your business incurred additional expenses due to the pandemic, you could receive thousands in tax credits. The $250 million COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program offers financial support to New York State small businesses with extraordinary expenses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small businesses that spent money to comply with emergency orders and regulations or to increase public safety in response to COVID-19 are eligible for up to $25,000 in tax credits. Some examples of incurred costs include structural changes, building upgrades, or health-related supplies and materials.

The COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program provides economic relief to reduce the financial impact of the pandemic for eligible businesses. Small businesses can receive a 50% tax credit towards qualifying expenses (up to a maximum of $25,000 in tax credits) based on qualifying expenses of $50,000.

To qualify for this tax credit, businesses must:

  • Operate in New York State
  • Have 2021 gross receipts of $2.5M or less
  • Employ 100 persons or less
  • Have incurred at least $2,000 of qualifying expenses between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022.

As a small bank in NY, we know how the pandemic impacted us and our small business account clients. This is an excellent opportunity and we encourage you to check your eligibility as soon as possible. This program is capped at $250 million.

Learn more about the COVID-19 Capital Costs Tax Credit Program. To confirm your eligibility, fill out the required online screening tool. Then, for assistance with the application, contact our trusted partners at BOC Women’s Business Center via email: [email protected], or call 718-576-2237 (English) or 718-766-9263 (Spanish). Tell them Spring Bank sent you!

In partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness

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Many of us at Spring Bank are parents or guardians, and we understand that how we handle finances sends a powerful message. Demonstrating healthy money management teaches kids best practices in personal finance. We love when you bring your kids into our branches!

Check out these six tips to teach and model positive money behaviors with your children  and teenagers:

Share the Story of Money in Everyday Life

Everyday activities like shopping or family outings provide a chance to discuss using money wisely. Have them consider the cost of toys, groceries, trips to restaurants, or admission to special events. Emphasize that worth is not solely defined by money: there is value in free experiences. For example, helping a neighbor, visiting a playground, or spending time with a friend.

Point Out How Adults Earn Money

Discuss how you and other family members earn money. Guide younger individuals to understand that people have jobs or own businesses to earn income. Use their teachers, bus drivers, or family friends as an example. This is also a good opportunity to allow them to experience working themselves. Brainstorm how they can earn their own spending money by doing chores, dog walking, babysitting, or other tasks.

Build a Basic Budget

Working with kids to build a simple budget, allowing them to plan their spending, is time well spent. They can practice creating personal savings for a special item or upcoming event. Start simple with a written spending plan, including allowance, weekly saving amount, and spending record. Get them to develop a habit of monitoring their own youth savings account to ensure they are on track and not overspending. Create incentives for meeting specific goals to reinforce good practice.

Plan Out Purchases

Kids are notorious for having an “I see it, I want it” mentality. Work with them to build intentional buying habits by making a list before going to the store to reduce impulse decisions. Then when they ask if they can have something else, remind them that it’s not on the list. For older kids, introduce the idea of waiting to buy something they want. Delayed gratification is a complex concept even for most adults! For items on a “wish list,” talk about how much it costs and help them plan for the money required to purchase it.

Model Good Use of Credit

For example, let the kids know when you’re swiping your card at the gas station. Explain that you’re borrowing money to fill up the tank, and you’ll have to pay back the purchase. When the credit card bill for that purchase arrives, highlight the importance of honoring your agreements with the lender by making on-time payments and keeping balances low. For teenagers, introduce the topic of a credit score and credit report. Teenagers considering how low rates stll are) should be aware that a positive credit report will help them in the future if they decide to apply for personal loans.

Stress the Habit of Saving

Teach your children the importance of setting aside money from an early age. Use their earned income or a small portion of their birthday money to create savings for emergencies or a special future purchase. Emphasize the importance when including a savings amount in the budget. They may be reluctant due to delayed gratification, so be sure to communicate that having savings is not taking away from their hard-earned money.

The best thing you can do for your children’s future is to set a foundation for good financial health. We hope these tips equip them with financial literacy early on and help your kids develop healthy attitudes and behaviors with money. Help them open a personal savings account with us today!

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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!

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“Being a B Corp allows us to keep our core values front and center. When you run a business day-to-day, it’s tempting to take the easiest path to profitability. Having the B Corp principles and B Corp metrics ingrained into our DNA over the past six years helped us guard against this and allows us to be the company we set out to be when we first started Spring Bank.”

 – Demetris Giannoulias, CEO

We are elated to share with the community we so proudly serve that we’ve been awarded for Best For the World™ in Customers and Governance by B Lab for the sixth year in a row! This recognition is so much more than a badge of honor. It’s a reminder of our commitment to create a world where all people have equal access and the opportunity to build prosperous and abundant futures for their families and communities.

For most banks in NY, striving for social and financial equity is seldom the norm — but ethical banking and stakeholder primacy has always been in our DNA. Here’s how our ongoing initiatives earned us the Best For The World™ 2022 award:

Keeping It Local
As a community bank in Bronx, New York, we strive to create the best personal savings account, personal checking account, and loan products to help underserved clients build wealth and avoid getting trapped by predatory services. While conventional banks often neglect or take advantage of underbanked consumers, we commit to constantly innovating our services based on the needs of our community in order for the people of NYC to thrive. Our offerings are affordable and accessible, and we work to ensure your path to financial security by providing education and resources through our financial wellness partners.

Keeping It Human
We love our customers! We don’t say that lightly. We work hard to create a personal banking experience because our customers are our neighbors. Additionally, many staff members have been born in or live in the Bronx and Harlem. So, it’s personal for us too. We do our best to meet the financial needs of the community, working together toward financial inclusion, wellbeing and prosperity — because it’s our home, too!

Supporting Small Business
Small businesses bring life to local communities and serve as the backbone for the U.S. economy. Our clients work not only to create a livelihood for themselves, but also to keep jobs in our neighborhood and wealth within the community. Traditional banks make relationships with small business accounts transactional. Our approach is different: we seek to encourage entrepreneurship, offer resources, and be a partner to small businesses throughout the New York area.

Being a B Corp
B Lab’s programs and tools help B Corps like us and non-B Corps plan for a resilient future conscious of our social and environmental footprint. The organization continually evolves their tools and strategies to measure impacts in the areas of governance, workers, community, environment, and customers.

As Best for the World™ in Governance, we were evaluated by our “overall mission, engagement around social/environmental impact, ethics, and transparency in formally considering stakeholders in decision-making.” Our impact makes us one of the top 5% out of 5,000 certified B Corps worldwide to receive the award!

As a B Corp since 2016, we measure our progress in meeting the impact goals held by B Lab —but we especially hold ourselves accountable to our customers. In doing so, we work to embody what it means to use business as a force for good and contribute to the collective goal and vision of the B Corp movement: to transform the global economic system to benefit all people, communities, and the planet.

We accept the Best For The World award with sincere gratitude — and offer congratulations to our fellow awardees! If you’re looking to be supported by a bank that serves the best interest of you and your community, contact us about opening a personal savings or new business bank account

A Spring Bank Staff Feature

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At Spring Bank, we are proud to have a team of compassionate and enterprising professionals who serve the community and provide financial services that make us the best bank in NY. Each month we highlight team members in our Staff Feature so you can get to know them better. Please meet Rosalyn Figueroa!

Raised in the Bronx, Rosalyn has been an instrumental member of our team for over seven years. She has mastered many positions in the bank – from teller to greeter to personal banker. Now, Rosalyn works in our compliance department as a Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Analyst to ensure that activity within the bank accords with federal regulations. For Rosalyn, this is a full-circle moment from her undergraduate degree in criminal justice.

“I didn’t get to where I am by only doing my job. I was always peeking over someone’s shoulder to learn how to do something else from the day I started at Spring Bank,” Rosalyn explains of her persistence. “I am always asking questions.”

Rosalyn transitioned into our compliance department because she was ready to grow, looking for an opportunity to push herself. Her current role as a BSA Analyst provides new challenges. Her role is to protect the bank from fraudulent activities and crime. Some of her work includes analyzing customer behavior and investigating suspicious activity.

“Before, I used to think banking was about making a deposit and a withdrawal, but it’s so much more. I know how crucial it is to protect the bank’s assets and ensure our customers’ money is secure,” says Rosalyn.

Rosalyn’s interest in banking sparked while she was working as a cashier at a supermarket. She thought she would be interested in banking since she enjoyed managing the transactional process at the register. However, the community culture at Spring Bank instilled a new perspective in her that unlocked her potential. She appreciates being part of a small team at Spring Bank where everyone contributes, and their contribution is respected.

“Community is core to our mission. We not only advocate and support our clients, but our staff is supportive, too. They’re not my co-workers anymore. They’re my family,” says Rosalyn. “We’re a small bank [compared to our competitors]. And I always say what sets Spring Bank apart from every other bank is that we get personal.”

And she’s right! You’ll get a personal experience with us right when you walk through the door. To this day, Rosalyn still promotes our services, knowing we are one of few banks that offer products like our small business loans and E-Bike Loan NYC.

With curiosity, determination, and willingness, Rosalyn has grown with us. Learning about her leadership capabilities has given her newfound confidence to take up space and opportunities that come her way. Rosalyn is currently working toward her Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certification. She is also considering a Masters’s degree in financial crime. Thank you, Rosalyn, for your commitment, positivity, and care for our mission and customers! We are grateful you are part of the team!

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Financial literacy is understanding how to effectively manage household finances, handle debt, create a budget, and build savings. Being in the know about your personal finances is a critical step in achieving financial security and freedom. In addition, working toward financial literacy strengthens your relationship with money and sets you up for a lifetime of financial health and wellness.

We partner with GreenPath, a trusted national nonprofit, to offer free financial counseling and support to folks seeking financial guidance, especially in managing personal finances, budgeting, personal savings, and debt.

Check out these top 5 resources to get you started on the path to financial freedom:

  1. Financial Terms Glossary: It helps to know what all that lingo means! Understanding terms like interest rates, compound interest, balloon payments, secured vs. unsecured debt, and other concepts enables you to understand your personal finances and better communicate your financial needs.
  2. Financial Calculators: A healthy financial future begins with an under­standing of your current situation. Online financial calculators help you run the numbers and answer questions related to financing your home, applying for personal loans or the impact of interest on any outstanding credit card debt. They can even help develop budgets to reduce your personal checking account spending.
  3.  Financial Wellness Resources: Financial literacy is about having good information at your fingertips. Check out GreenPath’s library of financial worksheets and guides and our 3 top tips on personal finances and how to make money resolutions that stick.
  4. On-Demand Webinars: Webinars make learning easy from the comfort of your home. From budgeting, managing student loans, building your personal savings account, building credit, and more, free access to financial webinars, you can learn in your spare time.
  5. Credit Report Review: Studies show 1 in 3 Americans never check their credit report despite knowing credit history is key to financial security. Regularly monitoring your credit can alert you to errors, protect you from fraud, and provide vital information to strengthen your credit score. GreenPath’s certified credit counselors can walk you through a free review of your credit report—you’ll learn how to read your report and how credit scoring works.

Financial literacy is the key to success in managing your money. 🔑Want to learn more? Check out our top tips for building a prosperous financial future, or learn how to make small changes to reach your financial goals this year. Then, please drop into one of our NYC branches to open your personal checking account, and personal savings account 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!

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!

“Being a B Corp allows us to keep our core values front & center. When you run a business day-to-day, it’s tempting to take the easiest path to profitability. Having the B Corp principles and B Corp metrics ingrained into our DNA over the past six years helped us guard against this and allows us to be the company we set out to be when we first started Spring Bank.”

 – Demetris Giannoulias, CEO

If you already have a personal checking account or personal savings account with us here at Spring Bank, you already know that we're one of the best banks in NY! But did you know that we're also a Certified B Corporation (a.k.a B Corp)? March is B Corp Month, so we're excited to share more information about what makes being a B Corp so special! As a B Corp, we balance purpose and profit, considering the impact of all our decisions on our staff, customers, suppliers, community, and even the environment. We make sure that we meet the high standards expected of B Corps, prioritizing performance, accountability, and transparency. As the first B Corp bank in New York, we know that not everyone has the same access to the financial system. Alongside our community partners, we prioritize the work of financial inclusion. The World Bank defines financial inclusion as "individuals and businesses who have access to valuable and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit, and insurance – delivered responsibly and sustainably." Financial inclusion is critical for reducing poverty and boosting prosperity. We pride ourselves in our work to create financial access for our community as individuals and businesses make important decisions in their financial lives. As part of the global B Corp community of mission-driven companies, we're driving a movement of people using business as a force for good. We're proud to have earned the designation of "Best for the World" B-Corp – putting us among the top 10% in our rating categories Whether you are opening a personal checking account, applying for a personal loan, or interested in a small business account, you can be confident in choosing us as you're aligning yourself with a bank that looks out for the interests of you and your community! Check out our stories about our work with fellow B Corps Eileen Fisher Inc and UnCommon Goods. Celebrate B Corp Month with us and put your values into action by opening a personal checking account or personal savings account with us today.

If you already have a personal checking account or personal savings account with us here at Spring Bank, you already know that we’re one of the best banks in NY! But did you know that we’re also a Certified B Corporation (a.k.a B Corp)? March is B Corp Month, so we’re excited to share more information about what makes being a B Corp so special!

As a B Corp, we balance purpose and profit, considering the impact of all our decisions on our staff, customers, suppliers, community, and even the environment. We make sure that we meet the high standards expected of B Corps, prioritizing performance, accountability, and transparency.

As the first B Corp bank in New York, we know that not everyone has the same access to the financial system. Alongside our community partners, we prioritize the work of financial inclusion. The World Bank defines financial inclusion as “individuals and businesses who have access to valuable and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit, and insurance – delivered responsibly and sustainably.”

Financial inclusion is critical for reducing poverty and boosting prosperity. We pride ourselves in our work to create financial access for our community as individuals and businesses make important decisions in their financial lives.

As part of the global B Corp community of mission-driven companies, we’re driving a movement of people using business as a force for good. We’re proud to have earned the designation of “Best for the World” B-Corp – putting us among the top 10% in our rating categories

Whether you are opening a personal checking account, applying for a personal loan, or interested in a small business account, you can be confident in choosing us as you’re aligning yourself with a bank that looks out for the interests of you and your community!  Check out our stories about our work with fellow B Corps Eileen Fisher Inc and UnCommon Goods. Celebrate B Corp Month with us and put your values into action by opening a personal checking account or personal savings account with us today.