In Partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness 

As the summer months approach, unplanned expenses, such as summer camp, beach days, and new sandals for your kids, may sneak up on you and take you off budget. Get ahead of summertime costs now by using a budgeting tool. Whether you prefer an app or the back of an envelope, here are a few tips as you consider both digital and analog tools:

Prioritize Accordingly

There are many financial resources designed to make money management stress-free, but regardless of what budgeting tool you choose, consider the following features:

  1. Goal Setting 

Creating and reaching financial goals for yourself is why most of us budget in the first place! Support this aspect of your financial story by choosing a tool that allows you to set goals, whether saving up for a milestone purchase or paying off credit card debt. Choose a tool so you can monitor your progress and edit your goals when circumstances change.

  1. Methodology

Based on your goals, you may use the traditional envelope system or focus on zero-based budgeting. Choose a system that offers flexibility, allowing you to experiment with different methods until you find the one that works best for you.

  1. Affordability

Before you commit to a paid subscription, research free or free trial periods of budgeting apps to determine whether the functionality is worth the cost. Many apps offer free features (like goal setting) with the option to upgrade later to unlock additional features.

  1. Security 

Given the sensitive nature of financial information, security is essential when choosing a budgeting tool. Ensure that the app employs enhanced security protections such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular updates and notifications to protect your financial data from unauthorized access. Learn more about our commitment to your financial security in this great YouTube series.

  1. Interface

User-friendly, intuitive design ensures you can navigate the app effortlessly, saving you time and frustration. Look for apps that allow you to quickly input transactions, set budgets, and track your spending without a steep learning curve. Some apps even offer interactive tutorials to guide you through the setup process.

 

Before investing time into learning or creating a new budgeting tool, check out a few free resources that can help you with summertime spending. All customers have access to the following:

  • Spring Bank Mobile App for instant access to your personal savings and checking accounts online
  • Free financial counseling with our partners at Ariva & GreenPath Financial Wellness
  • Free access to Autobooks for all customers with a small business bank account
  • One-to-one customer service. If you need help creating your financial goals or getting clearer on how to achieve them, our team is here to help you. Visit us in person, or give us a call at 718.879.5000

 

Kathryn C., An Assistive Technology Loan Client Feature in Partnership with National Disability Institute

Kathryn C., a resident of Jamestown, NY, and one of our Assistive Technology Loan Program clients, reached out to her online community for support when she was looking for help purchasing an accessible van for her wheelchair. After several knee surgeries, Kathyrn realized she needed to use a wheelchair more regularly.

“When my husband passed six years ago, I couldn’t go up and down the stairs anymore. I knew I needed to use a wheelchair, and to find an [accessible] van, too,” shares Kathyrn.

After discovering Mobility Works, one of the leading dealers of wheelchair vans, Kathryn picked out a 2015 Town & Country, five-passenger van. With a side ramp that deploys, she can come into the van and drive securely with her wheelchair stabilized by a custom lockdown system; the van also has a second lockdown system for passengers. Kathryn wasn’t certain, however, that she could afford it. Thankfully, a family member led her to our partner, National Disability Institute (NDI), and our Assistive Technology Loan Program.

Through the partnership with NDI and the Assistive Technology Loan Program, individuals can purchase assistive technology devices they need without incurring high-interest debt. Kathryn was approved for a loan of $37,000 to cover the cost of the modified van.  After being denied by her bank, she was surprised to be approved for a 10-year loan at a 4% interest rate.

“Spring Bank was wonderful. The Assistive Technology Loan Program is the only way I could have purchased the van. I was even able to purchase the extended warranty, and all of it was done online,” explains Kathryn. “I got my independence back. I really don’t know what I would have done without this opportunity.”

With an accessible van to support her day-to-day mobility, Kathryn is grateful to no longer rely on transportation buses, which often require long waiting times, and to relieve her daughter of caretaking, too.

“My daughter was my aide and working for me, and it was great to spend time with her. But now she can spend time with me as my daughter,” shares Kathryn. “It’s so great to take myself to therapy once a week and do my own shopping.”

Kathryn feels ready to move back to her hometown to be closer to her family.

“My parents are aging, and I really miss the water. I grew up on the water,” she says. “Now I can go anytime I want.”

Learn more about the details of the Assistive Technology Loan Program and our partnership with National Disability Institute. If you or a loved one are in need of assistive technology products or devices that can improve your independence and quality of life, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Los Primos Meat Market, A Small Business Client Feature

Since 1987, Los Primos Meat Market has worked behind the scenes of the restaurant industry, providing hundreds of Dominican, Mexican, Colombian, Ecuadorian, and other Latino restaurants in New York City with farm-sourced meat, poultry, and dry goods products. As one of the oldest meat distributors in Brooklyn, they have built direct relationships with butchers and farmers across the country and a high-touch delivery process for their restaurateurs.

Juan Raul Espinal, co-owner and operator of Los Primos Meat Market, never intended to make the family business his full-time career. But after stepping away for a few years to pursue his undergraduate degree and consulting work, he knew corporate life wasn’t for him. He came back to the business his father started and, twenty-four years later, has a vision for the company’s growth over the next two decades. He manages day-to-day managerial tasks, logistics, and operations, including overseeing 30 employees and the distribution of nine trucks across four New York City boroughs.

“When I am at work, I am still kind of at home. Running a business has a lot of positives, like not having to answer to corporate America. I also appreciate the ability to expand and grow our customer base and profits at our own pace,” says Juan.

With over 70 long-term customers, Los Primos Meat Market is still recovering from the supply chain impacts associated with the pandemic. For example, the team had to find creative solutions for the numerous out-of-stock ingredients, offering their customers alternative items.

“The costs for everyday grocery items like dried spices and take-out containers are still high because the supply was very low. Pricing has gone down a little, but not much; they are still high compared to before 2020,” explains Juan. “Thankfully, though, business is finally starting to pick up again.”

We are proud to have weathered the storm together, supporting Los Primos Meat Market since 2010. They first approached us for a small business loan, using the working capital to triple the capacity of their warehouse freezers and refrigerators. After experiencing our personalized approach to banking as one of the only community banks in Bronx, NY, they moved their business checking account and opened a new business bank account with us, too.

During the pandemic, we also helped them manage and receive the EIDL and PPP loans. “Spring Bank is very accommodating. They are much easier to work with than a corporate financial institution. For example, they stay on top of every daily transaction. If anything in our accounts looks off, they give us a call to warn us. It’s this type of service from a community bank that we would not likely experience from a big bank,” says Juan. “We highly value this as a small business with a value of personalized service, too.”

The longevity and growth of small businesses in the Bronx and across New York City are core to our mission. We do not take it lightly that family-owned businesses like Los Primos Meat Market trust us with their accounts, and we do our best to ensure they have what they need to thrive in the competitive New York City business landscape.

Visit Los Primos Meat Market and learn more about how your restaurant can source the highest quality ingredients. As you consider your choices among banks in NY, we hope you will consider our small business accounts and commercial lending opportunities. Please contact us here to learn more about how we can help your business create more capacity and scale for years to come.

Primary Information: A Spring Bank Nonprofit Feature

A Brooklyn-based organization and one of our nonprofit clients, Primary Information, works to “advance the often-intertwined relationship between artists’ books and arts’ activism,” by publishing artists’ books and writings at affordable rates to the public and creating a platform for historically marginalized artistic communities. Building on the tradition of the artist book medium dating back to the 1960s, Primary Information is committed to democratizing the distribution of artists’ books.

“Executive Editor and Artistic Director James Hoff started the press with Miriam Katzeff back in 2006 with the idea of bringing long out-of-print, inaccessible publications back into circulation at affordable prices by creating facsimile editions, working to reproduce the original publications as closely as possible to their original form— including matching the original paper stocks as closely as possible,” says Matthew Walker, Executive Director of Primary Information.

They also work with contemporary artists to commission new publications, facilitating intergenerational dialogue with historical publications that remain of critical relevance to contemporary conversations and welcoming the next era of readers.

“Part of our mission is to foster diverse conversation between these historical publications and newer generations of artists working at the vanguard of contemporary practice,” explains Matthew.

The artist list at Primary Information is extensive and includes Pippa Garner, author of the 1982 Better Living Catalog, who has had a recent Renaissance in her career and whose book is already in its third printing since being published in facsimile form in June 2023. The organization’s most recent title, On and Off-Screen Imaginaries by contemporary artist Tiffany Sia, is a collection of six essays written in the wake of the 2019-2020 Hong Kong Protests. Check out their complete catalog here.

The Primary Information team continually reflects on how they can create a more inclusive experience for readers, starting with affordable prices. For example, the price range for a publication is $10 to $40. And $40 gets you a lot for your money: a 600-page, full-color book. Their subscription program, priced at just $125 for the year, is a deal, shipping every book they produce to subscribers for a calendar year.

“We price our books at cost with the aim of breaking even on the production costs of the books, so we have to supplement our sales revenue with grants and donations. We have a generous community who supports our mission to make artists’ books affordable and accessible,” says Matthew.

Primary Information has been a nonprofit customer since 2018, and we are proud to be part of their community.  As a community bank in Bronx, NY, they knew we prioritized the needs of the city’s hardworking small business owners and nonprofits.

“Spring Bank is very supportive of small businesses, and they give lines of credit to organizations that might not otherwise be able to get one, including nonprofit organizations like us,” says Matthew. “Our line of credit was invaluable to helping us navigate cash flow, especially when our budget was smaller.”

It was also our pleasure to support Primary Information through the pandemic with PPP lending and to offer them one-to-one support when they need it. Despite the distance between their offices and our branches in the Bronx, they have never found an issue with accessing the services they need.

“It is so rare to have a personal relationship with your banker these days,” says Matthew. “We use the app and online mobile banking platform daily and have never had an issue doing business in different boroughs than the branch.”

We hope you will take the time to learn more about Primary Information. You can also read more about how we can help your nonprofit manage cash flow through a line of credit or nonprofit checking account. Our nonprofit checking account benefits include no maintenance fees, remote deposit capture, mobile deposit, and personalized service. And if you’re a small business owner, we have what you need via our business checking account or another one of our small business accounts.

Kings Co. Imperial — c/o Leisurely
Kings Co. Imperial — c/o Leisurely

A Small Business Client Feature

If that image above didn’t already make your mouth water, we want to warn you that by the end of our feature of Kings Co. Imperial, you will most likely be hungry.

Kings Co. Imperial marries a farm-to-table philosophy with a Brooklyn-style spin on traditional Chinese food. Their unique philosophy? Offer home-style traditional Chinese food with a creative cocktail program and an eclectic vibe. As Jacob Dean wrote in a 2018 article for the Michelin Guide, “Josh Grinker and his business partner Tracy Jane Young made a name for themselves by serving up a menu that didn’t pull its punches.”

We agree. Kings Co. Imperial’s menu punches include dim sum: sesame shrimp toast, Chinese hanging pork ribs, and bok choy potstickers; dishes like Dan Dan Mian (preserved mustard stem, Sichuan pepper, chili oil, minced pork, peanuts), Ocean Wealth Shrimp (baby shrimp, smoked tofu, snow pea, egg, ginger) and many classics, too. They serve dishes from multiple regions of China, including Canton and Sichuan, and don’t forget their beverages.

“Our fruit, herb, and edible flower garden supports our robust and enticing cocktail program, and we do our best to use fresh herbs and juices as often as we can,” says Tracy.

With three locations—Lower East Side, Downtown Brooklyn (for take-out and deliveries), and Williamsburg, they became a hit quickly. We are proud to be part of their small business growth story.

Kings Co. Imperial chefs and owners Tracy Jane Young and Josh Grinker, met in culinary school 20 years ago and trained under the same master Sichuan chef. Later, they traveled to China together, learning and honing their skills. They discover a shared love and passion for the craft and highly technical, diverse cuisine—the most technically difficult cuisine to master in the world.

“China has more recipes than any other country in the world because there is so much originality,” explains Josh. “It’s like the mother source of South Asian cuisine, all other Asian cuisines stemming from China.”

After traveling throughout Southeast Asia and China and working for some of the best restaurants in New York City, including 11 Madison Park, River Cafe, and Nobu, Josh knew he wanted to open his own Chinese restaurant. He approached Tracy, who was traveling the world as a chef on a superyacht, and at first, she thought he was crazy. She wasn’t sure why anyone would come, but also knew she had to find out, and in 2015 they opened their first location in Williamsburg. Eight years later, they still love it.

“We don’t pretend to be experts and we’re not classically trained Chinese chefs. We feel lucky to be able to continue learning and cooking a cuisine that we love,” says Josh.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Josh reminisces about eating Chinese food with his family.

“When we could afford to celebrate a special occasion, we went to Chinatown, eight or six of us around a table,” says Josh. “It’s a special culinary experience for me and the cuisine that makes me most excited to cook.”

Dedication and commitment continue to pay off for Kings Co. Imperial. In 2016, they made the Micheline Guide, and they never closed their doors during the pandemic. They continue to grow and expand. Through our commercial real estate loan program, Kings Co. Imperial bought their Williamsburg location, and they plan to purchase their next property, too.

“This is truly beyond our wildest dreams — to own our own building. Five years ago, we were looking down the line at the end of our rental extension. And now, we own our flagship. We are so grateful to Spring Bank for helping us get the loan process done so quickly,” says Tracy.

“Spring Bank went out on a limb for us.  Our financials are strong, but we didn’t have a lot of cash, so they allowed us to put only 25% down, which is less than most commercial real estate deals,” says Josh.

The next plan is to buy the building next door, which they already rent, and own contiguous buildings with almost 3500 square feet. The plan is to expand private dining options, host more events like their dumpling classes, and continue to support their local followings.

“Rising tides lift all boats; the community can support the businesses, and the businesses can support the community,” says Tracy.

We couldn’t agree more.

Visit Kings Co. and check out their menu.
Learn about the Kings Co. Imperial garden and read their Michelin Feature.

Learn more about our commercial real estate program and how we can help your business grow through a business checking account or business bank account.

Learn an easy way to alleviate stress in the workplace. 

Money is the number one stress for all Americans, higher than work stresses, family responsibilities, and health concerns.*

New York City— continues to make the top five of most expensive cities in the United States. With rising inflation, income does not always equate to financial security. It feels like money is tight for all of us, and many of us know all too well, that circumstances can change quickly, impacting financial goals. 

That’s why we designed our Employee Opportunity Program. Let your employees know you care in a tangible way, and help them access funds to manage unforeseen expenses—and not get caught in cycles of debt and stress. Through our Employee Opportunity Program, you can help your employees learn to build credit and personal savings, receive free financial counseling, and access our Employee Opportunity Loan

We often describe the Employee Opportunity Program as a financial health benefit, part of your larger employee benefits package. When you join the program, we partner with you, too. 

Learn more about how you or your employer can build a financially healthier workforce through the many benefits of our Employee Opportunity Program in this video above & linked here, too:

https://spring.community/employeeoppprogram

 *73 percent of Americans rank their finances as the number one stress in life, according to new Capital One CreditWise survey.

Jason Garcia, Credit Analyst, a Spring Bank Staff Feature

We’re a Bronx-based community bank in NY dedicated to helping our community and the greater New York City area thrive with affordable banking products. We couldn’t do this without the compassionate and talented people that make up our team. This month, we spotlight Credit Analyst, Jason Garcia, and his contributions to the commercial lending team.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jason graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in finance. A long-time athlete, he launched his career as a middle school basketball coach, and highly valued the opportunity to witness his team grow and improve their game. The discipline and teamwork he taught them were transferable skills he brought to our lending team at Spring Bank when he joined us in October of 2021.

“I’ve always wanted to pursue banking as a long-term career, and the teamwork and leadership training I learned as a coach equipped me in commercial real estate lending,” Jason shares.

As a Credit Analyst, Jason works on underwriting loans as part of our small business lending services. He also improves the annual review process for regulatory requirements by institutions like the FDIC. Jason has learned many aspects of working on the lending team — from portfolio management to auditing and underwriting. He loves educating clients and wearing various hats.

“Being a part of a community bank requires performing in multiple roles so that the lending process runs smoothly, and our clients are well informed and confident in their loan,” says Jason.

For example, Jason guided Kings Co Imperial Chinese restaurant in Williamsburg in securing their first commercial real estate purchase. This is a significant win; a restaurant that owns property in New York City is an asset if the business encounters risk.

“The lending team at Spring Bank is highly committed to the long-term success of our clients. We customize each experience, and integrity and teamwork are always present.”

Jason is also pursuing an MBA at Baruch College. He’s adjusted to balancing his time between work, school, and leisure activities and looks forward to a spring 2024 graduation. He aspires to move into a managerial role and support the launch of our upcoming Brooklyn location.

The value of building a relationship with a small bank is that you will receive personal, one-on-one support. We will work to get a loan that meets your needs while being transparent about the information and the loan process. Our unique services are tailored to fit your financial goals and situation.

We’re grateful to have people like Jason on our team who bring compassion and ambition to our community. Our small business account clients receive an exceptional experience and build meaningful relationships thanks to our small business and commercial lending teams. Contact us if you want to expand your small business or open a small business account.

For many of us, November and December kick off a season of celebrating, family, feasting, and yes…spending. The holidays are a chance to make memories, but this can also be a time of financial stress—especially if you wait until the last minute to make plans. The last thing you want to do is drain your personal savings, causing more stress than joy later. 

Here are a few savings strategies to help you plan ahead, avoid credit card debt or the need to apply for personal loan, and enjoy a healthy, happy holiday season.   

Travel 

Comparison Shop: Last minute flight or hotel plans? Compare discount sites against airline and hotel sites, which may offer promotional discounts if you book directly. You can also compare the cost of one-way tickets, which can be cheaper than round-trip fare.  

Flexible Dates & Times: Flying a day earlier or later can significantly reduce the cost of your tickets. Likewise, pay attention to departure times. Early morning or red-eye takeoffs versus afternoon flights can trim as much as $100-$200 per ticket.  

Alternate Airports: When searching for holiday flights, be sure to include other airports within your filter parameters. Sometimes, flying into or out of a smaller airport (even on one leg of the trip) can reduce your total checkout cost.  

Bundle Deals: Do you need a rental car or hotel in addition to your flight? Many travel sites offer discounted rates if you book everything together — this one-stop-shop approach also saves you planning time.  

Reward Points: If you have accumulated frequent flier miles or credit card reward points, now is the time to cash in on them. They can trim your travel expenses or even cover the cost of a flight. 

Gifting

DIY Gifts: Thoughtful gifts don’t require a big budget or expert crafting – a video tribute, photo book, or curated snack basket for the sweet tooth, coffee lover, or home baker in your life are just a few ideas.  

Swap: Many of us have something in our home that we don’t use – an appliance collecting dust or something you were gifted twice. Host a party where your friends or family bring a quality item they’d be happy to swap.  

The Gift of Time: The holidays are an especially busy time, and caregiving is often a steep hourly expense. Instead of buying gifts, offer cost-free babysitting or pet sitting to someone who could benefit from a date night or weekend away from home.  

Opt for an Outing: Gifts aren’t the only way to connect during the holidays. Suggest a group experience you can enjoy together. Whether it’s a holiday performance, snow tubing, or a festive exhibit, experiences are often what make a season memorable.  

Feasting

Potluck Dinners: Host a potluck dinner where each guest brings a dish to share. This not only reduces the cost and pressure of cooking for a large group but also makes the meal more diverse. You might even walk away with a favorite new recipe! 

Keep it Simple The holidays are a hard time for so many households living paycheck-to-paycheck or living without a paycheck at all. You don’t need a big budget to make a meaningful impact. In lieu of a lavish meal, donate to your local food bank in your area and encourage others to join you.  

Free Financial Counseling

If holiday spending has you feeling stressed, reach out! Our nonprofit partner, GreenPath Financial Wellness, can help you pay down debt, create a sustainable budget, and connect to free financial courses designed to build a healthy financial foundation year-round. They will help you navigate how to maintain and grow the balance in your personal savings accounts while taking care of daily expenses. 

Learn more about our partnership with nonprofit GreenPath Financial Wellness and how you can access free financial counseling. 

This article is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a trusted national non-profit.

Our team with local Bronx nonprofit Rocking the Boat

As we approach the end of 2023, we look back, grateful to be a trusted financial partner to dozens of community-based organizations across the South Bronx and New York City, who are dedicated to transforming education, empowering women artists and entrepreneurs, environmental and climate justice, among many other causes. This year, on Giving Tuesday, we feature a selection of the nonprofit organizations we’ve been proud to partner with below. We invite you to consider supporting one or many of them with your volunteer time, donation, or advocacy.

Ariva

As a bank in Bronx, New York, we know financial mastery and stability are vital for community growth. That’s why we proudly support Ariva, an organization that provides free financial counseling and tax preparation services to low-income individuals. Our partnership highlights mission-aligned collaboration’s power to build economic resilience and financial empowerment within the Bronx community.

Learn More: ariva.org
Read: “When Missions Align: Shining the Spotlight on Our Partner Ariva”

BronxWorks

With a focus on helping individuals and families improve their economic and social well-being, Bronxworks has been a cornerstone of community empowerment since 1972. Their dedication to providing essential services, educational programs, and resources aligns perfectly with our values. We were honored to be by their side as they uplifted the community through the troubling times of the pandemic, and we continue to support their social services.

Learn More: bronxworks.org

Read:BronxWorks: Adapting to Change and Changing Bronxites Lives”

Bronx River Alliance

We’ve had the privilege to collaborate with this organization on its mission to protect, improve, and restore the Bronx River ecosystem, which directly impacts the local environment and community. The Bronx River Alliance serves as an agent of the river and engages the community in building a connection with the environment and one another. We recognize the significance of this work and proudly support the Bronx River Alliance’s initiatives.

Learn More: bronxriver.org

Read: “Change Flowing Through Our Community: The Bronx River Alliance”

Family Life Academy Charter Schools (FLACS)

Fostering education in our community is a priority for us, and we applaud FLACS’ dedication to providing high-quality education and preparing students for success. FLACS holds a commitment to supporting primarily immigrant students and English language learners. By supporting FLACS, we contribute to the educational advancement of Bronx youth, elevating our community’s future.

Learn More: flacsnyc.com

Read: “A Community-Grown Charter School in The Bronx, FLACS”

Floating Hospital

With a history in New York City for over a century and a half, The Floating Hospital provides a healthcare safety net to nearly 27,000 children and their adults annually. Nearly 100% of the unhoused families we serve — 40% of whom are children — report living below the Federal Poverty Line. The Floating Hospital never turns anyone away; it is one of their core commitments. In a city where access to quality healthcare is often a privilege, they are a beacon of inclusivity.

Learn More: thefloatinghospital.org

Health & Housing Consortium

A Bronx-founded collaborative network of health care, housing, homeless and social service organizations, and government partners with the shared goal of improving health equity and housing stability by fostering cross-sector relationships, informing policy, and building the capacity of frontline workers to support people with unmet health and housing needs.

Learn More: healthandhousingconsortium.org

Hester Street 

Hester Street is an urban planning, design, and development nonprofit that ensures neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live there. They offer planning, design, and community development technical assistance to community-based organizations, government, and other agencies. Their goal is equitable, sustainable, and resilient neighborhoods and cities.

Learn More: hesterstreet.org 

Kota Alliance

Founded in 2015, the Kota Alliance serves as an incubator and hub for gender equality. Individuals, partner nonprofits, and entrepreneurs empower women and girls both locally and globally through collaboration and advocacy. As an umbrella organization, they elevate collaboration across borders for women-centered nonprofits, social enterprises, and entrepreneurs. 

Learn More: kota-alliance.org

Read: The Kota Alliance: Changing Lives Through Empowerment

Rocking the Boat

In flowing down the stream of change, we’ve had the honor of elevating another coastal-based nonprofit. Rocking the Boat empowers young people from the Bronx through hands-on education on boat building and environmental stewardship. We recognize the importance of investing in our youth, who are paving the way for the future. Rocking the Boat’s free public programs, like community rows and youth development, are transformational.

Learn More: rockingtheboat.org

Read: “The Bronx is A Place Where Everything Is Possible: In Conversation with Rocking the Boat.”

South Bronx United

South Bronx United provides academic support, college prep, mentoring, workforce development, immigration legal services, and more while using soccer as a vehicle for social change. 

Learn More: southbronxunited.org

The Inspired Community Project

A nonprofit research organization, The Inspired Community Project provides no-cost early intervention services to neurodivergent children, advocacy coaching for their families, and specialized career training and certification support for Bronx community members in the name of best practice research!

Learn More: theinspiredcommunityproject.org

YMCA Bronx

Another organization we stand beside is the YMCA. Their wide-ranging programs and services, aimed at improving health, building community, and fostering youth development, greatly benefit the Bronx community. The YMCA Bronx is the hub for individual wellness and community cultivation.

Learn More: ymcanyc.org/locations/northeast-bronx-ymca 

A Mission-Driven Lender to Nonprofits

As we celebrate Giving Tuesday, we reaffirm our dedication to empowering Bronx communities through these partnerships with local nonprofits. By providing access to capital and resources, we aim to drive positive change and contribute to the overall financial well-being and health of the Bronx community.

We offer nonprofit organizations affordable checking and savings account options and nonprofit lending, too. Learn more about our nonprofit banking opportunities and how we can support your organization. Read more about what it means for our team and community to be one of the only mission-driven banks in NY.

 

After a historical hiatus throughout the pandemic, borrowers now face federal student loan repayment. Evaluating your full financial picture and making a repayment plan can go a long way toward reducing stress and uncertainty. Unsure where to start? Here are a few tips from our nonprofit partner, GreenPath Financial Wellness. 

Verify servicer(s). 

As an outcome of contract transfers and terminations mid-pandemic, your servicer(s) may have changed since 2020. You may need to confirm who will receive future payments and ensure they have your updated contact information. 

If you have private loans, review any correspondence you’ve received from your original loan servicer, reach out to your school’s financial aid office for help tracking that information, or visit AnnualCreditReport.com for a free weekly report that lists loans in your name.  

If you have federal loans, visiting the Federal Student Aid website is the simplest, most efficient way to access your federal loan information and verify current servicers. You’ll first need to log in with your FSA ID (create one here if you don’t have one already.) Once logged in, you can view your original principal amount, current balance, and interest rate as well.

Evaluate repayment. 

A lot can change in three years. Is your student loan payment still affordable? Check out the Department of Education’s Loan Simulator to help decide what repayment strategy fits your priorities—for example, do you value a lower monthly payment or a faster payoff? Look into an income-driven repayment plan that considers your current earnings and can lower your monthly payment. 

Set aside savings.

Once you know your monthly loan payment, transfer that amount to a separate savings account, starting immediately. By accounting for this reduction in your budget sooner rather than later, you’ll lessen the initial impact of repayment (since you’ll now have money set aside), and you’ll be back in the habit of making this a monthly routine. With one of the best savings accounts online, we offer competitive interest rates to help you save while you repay. 

Consider consolidation.

Depending on whether you have federal loans, private loans, or a combination, loan consolidation could potentially reduce your payment burden. For federal loans, you can apply for a Direct Consolidation Loan, which allows you to combine education loans with zero application costs, and most people complete the process in 30 minutes or less. 

Seek support.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of repayment, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own! AS a community bank in Bronx, NY, we partner with GreenPath Financial Wellness, which offers free student loan counseling. GreenPath counselors help you look at your total financial picture to develop a personalized repayment plan, including how to simultaneously contribute to your personal savings account as you get out of debt. 

Learn more about our partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness and how you can access free financial counseling.  

This article is shared by our partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness, a trusted national non-profit.