Bergen County Spotlight On: Financial Literacy

It is never too early to equip children with information and guidance on how to save and manage money. As a leading community mutual bank, it is part of NVE’s mission to foster initiatives that help improve our fellow citizens’ quality of life and strengthen the neighborhoods where we live and work to ensure they remain healthy and strong. That is why we are so proud and excited to support New Jersey-based iPiggiBank’s efforts to provide children throughout Bergen County with money management education! The beauty of this type of education is that it can happen anywhere, and that’s exactly what iPiggiBank is proving through its Money Management 4 Kids program. We recently sat down with Founder and CEO Shara Nadler to get the scoop on what this amazing organization is all about.

NVE Bank: Please describe what iPiggiBank is and does.

Shara Nadler: iPiggiBank teaches younger students in Grade 1-6 how to manage their money through a curriculum and workshop called, Money Management 4 Kids. Only state certified teachers are hired and trained on iPiggiBank’s curriculum. Our teachers lead students in learning about smart money skills through hands-on activities that leverage art, writing, literacy and play.

Where do iPiggiBank’s programs take place?

iPiggiBank Money Management 4 Kids is available in public and private schools, after-school enrichment programs, clubs, camps and corporate settings.

Where do most of your students reside/go to school?

Our tailored program has reached over 1,000 students in urban, suburban and rural areas in public and private schools, as well as schools for students with special needs.

Do you have any favorite “success stories” that speak to the success of your programs?

Each iPiggiBank student is a success story because they have participated in learning critical money skills and are on the road to life-long healthy financial habits! After every workshop, students always ask, “Can you come back next week?” We love hearing that because it means that we have taken an important life skill and made it relatable and fun for kids.

In January, I was proud to receive an award from the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership for bringing to market and scaling this amazing financial literacy program for kids. So, I think the whole program is a pretty great success story!

Are there shared challenges iPiggiBank students tend to have?

One of the great things about our audience is how diverse it is. Each student has a unique fingerprint that they bring to the class. It generates great group discussions about personal values around money, which provides even more learning for our students.

How did you connect with NVE Bank?

I read about NVE’s involvement in the community and reached out to the marketing department to introduce our work. There was an immediate connection and shared passion in teaching financial literacy to kids. With NVE’s support, iPiggiBank is able to provide an after-school program at Bergen Family Center in Englewood. Our partnership is making a notable impact in the community.

Are there circumstances unique to Bergen County or New Jersey as it applies to financial literacy/money management?

There are 19 States that require personal finance education in high school. New Jersey is one of them and allows the District to decide how to include it in the high school curriculum.

iPiggiBank focuses on younger students to build a strong financial foundation. Our intent for our students is that, by high school, they are ready to jump into more sophisticated content and conversations about investing, insurance, real estate, retirement and ‘real life’ financial decisions.

What is the biggest challenge posed by insufficient financial literacy/money management?

Most adults would give themselves a ‘D’ or an ‘F’ in personal finance, yet they pass their finance knowledge along to their children. We are perpetuating a broken system by not formally teaching financial literacy in school. iPiggiBank is doing our part to fix the broken system by delivering a premier curriculum for students in elementary and middle school.

How can people learn more about, and get involved with iPiggiBank’s programs?

There’s great information on how to bring iPiggiBank Money Management 4 Kids to your community via the website: Anyone interested can also contact us directly at

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Yes, teaching kids financial literacy is a critical life skill. Sometimes families don’t know how or are uncomfortable (or even embarrassed) to talk about money. We’ve designed our materials to bridge classroom learning with home learning to encourage families to discuss this important topic together.

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NVE Bank spearheads and supports various financial education initiatives throughout the year including but not limited to iPiggiBank’s Money Management 4 Kids program, the American Bankers Association’s Teach Children to Save celebration, and the annual NVE Bank Scholarship Awards, through which the bank has awarded more than $150,000 to deserving students in Bergen County.

Learn more on our website, stop by one of our convenient neighborhood branches, or call 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to speak with a branch associate.


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America Saves Week Presents: 7 Ways to Get Your Savings on Track

According to America Saves Week spokesperson Madeline Daniels, people with a plan to save are twice as likely to save successfully. But what works for one person may not work as well (or at all) for another. There are many ways to conserve your funds, from savings and money market accounts to direct deposit, cash back programs, spare change apps and more. Why not test out some different approaches and tools to figure out what will help you best reach your savings goals?

In the spirit of America Saves Week — an annual program designed to encourage and support Americans to save effectively — The Penny Hoarder’s Jacquelyn Pica shares seven ways you can get your savings on track, without downloading any apps!

We all want to save more money. The question is, how?

With so much new technology out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Plus, maybe you don’t feel comfortable sharing personal bank details with tons of different websites and apps.

Forget the latest tech — these seven methods will help you get your savings on track without signing up for any apps.

1.  Figure out what you owe

First things first, find out what — and who — you owe.

Use a spreadsheet such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to track all your debts and recurring bills. Personally, I use Excel to record my different credit cards, each payment due date and any balances on them.

I prefer using a plain-old spreadsheet over a budgeting app or website. It’s simple. It’s easy. And — best of all — you don’t have to provide your bank or card information to any third parties.

2.  Create a budget

Now that you know what you owe, it’s time to get the rest of your money in order.

Keep track of your budget without relying on software or sharing personal information. You can use a spreadsheet for this one, too, and it’s easy to find free templates online. Here are my favorites for Google Sheets and Excel.

With these monthly spreadsheet templates, you’ll be able to track your income and expenses, and set goals for yourself.

3.  Participate in the 52-week money savings challenge

The 52-week money savings challenge involves setting aside a certain amount of money per week. The first week, you save $1. The second week put away $2, etc. This continues until the last week of the year, when you’ll save $52.

Here’s a helpful chart so you can check off each week as you go. At the end of the year, you will have saved a little over $1,300! Without using technology to help guide you, it’s important to stick to some kind of savings plan or challenge so there’s a tangible goal.

4.  Save every $5 bill you get

This savings strategy is a less calculated approach than the 52-week savings challenge, but it still adds up.

For this method, save every single $5 bill you get. If you usually don’t purchase items with cash, now’s a good time to start! (Plus, did you know paying with cash can help you save money?)

I’ve read countless stories of people who have managed to save thousands using this strategy alone, without even realizing the money was gone.

5.  Save all your spare change

Likely the oldest savings tactic in the book, buy a giant jar and drop all your spare change into it. I do this religiously. So far I’ve saved a little over $100 — just in spare change.

It’s such an easy way to save money without thinking about it. If you combine this with the $5 savings method above — since you’ll already be spending cash — you’ll be hitting your savings goal in no time.

Tip: When you’re ready to cash in the coins, don’t go to one of those change machines at the grocery store. They charge a hefty percentage of whatever you cash in.

Instead, ask for empty coin rolls next time you’re at the bank and roll the coins yourself. It’s a bit time consuming, and you do have to count it all out in specific amounts, but you’ll get to keep all your money. Once they’re rolled up, take them to the bank and exchange your coins for cash.

6.  Define “why” you’re saving and constantly remind yourself of it

Keep yourself motivated to save by defining why you’re saving, and constantly remind yourself of it. Are you saving to take a trip to Europe next year? To pay off credit card debt? Put a down payment on a house?

Whatever your reason, write it down on a sticky note and put it around your house. Seeing a daily reminder of what your goal is will help keep your savings on track.

7.  Have a money date with yourself

I know — this doesn’t sound like the most exciting night in. But, it’s important to stay on top of your finances.

Have a “money date” with yourself weekly or monthly and figure out how you’re doing. Check your credit score, look at what you spent over the past month and see if your budget is on track. Based on this, you can figure out if you’re already doing everything right or if there’s room for improvement.

These savings methods are just as effective as any savings app, and you won’t have to share personal information or clutter up your phone. Here’s to saving more and achieving your financial goals in 2018!

For more information on tools to help you save or how to get started with putting a saving plan in motion, visit our website. You can also stop by your convenient Bergen County neighborhood branch, or call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).



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Four Financial Faux Pas to Avoid in Relationships

Talking about finances with your significant other isn’t always fun, and most people certainly wouldn’t categorize it as romantic, but it is a fundamental part of most relationships. That’s because money is a big deal! How big? Well, big enough that financial factors can be a main determinant in a person’s decisions to start or advance a relationship with someone. For example, according to a January 2018 WalletHub study conducted to learn how consumers are approaching Valentine’s Day, 36% of people say they wouldn’t date someone with bad credit, while 52% say that wouldn’t marry someone with bad credit. But bad credit is just one potential deal-breaker when it comes to relationships. Here are some others you’ll want to avoid.



In a January 2018 survey of 1,372 U.S. adults who are in relationships, 31 percent said keeping a credit card, checking or savings account hidden from a spouse or partner is worse than physical cheating. Sadly, one in five people in a live-in relationship admit to “financial infidelity,” which was defined in this study as keeping a private bank account or credit card without telling a partner. The survey found 31% of millennials, 24% of people ages 38 to 53, and 17% of baby boomers have at some point had an account they keep secret from a partner. The WalletHub study found that financial secrets are the worst type of problem in a relationship (36% of respondents) compared to irresponsible spending (28%), high debt level (15%), not saving for the future (11%), and ruining your credit score (7%).

Meanwhile, the American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2017 Annual Stress in America survey revealed money to be a significant source of stress for 63% of Americans, second only to the state of the U.S., American adults’ number one stressor. The bottom line? Money is stressful enough without adding lies into the equation.

Keeping Quiet

It’s common for one person in a relationship to want to make a purchase or financial decision the other disagrees with. One philosophy on this kind of “money talk” is that if you don’t discuss it, you can’t argue about it. There may be truth somewhere in that notion, but safe to say it’s probably not the healthiest or smartest approach. The truth of the matter is, in an era where it is common to receive financial statements and other information through snail mail, e-mail, text messages and mobile push notifications, any secret is bound to be discovered at some point.

In a recent article on the topic of financial infidelity, Sonya Britt-Lutter, associate professor of personal financial planning at Kansas State University, noted “the long-term consequences are going to be reduced relationship satisfaction and increased likelihood of divorce or breaking up.” She suggests couples with marriage in their future seek premarital financial counseling and share credit reports and bank account information with one another prior to the wedding, while partners with no plans to get married should consider discussing finances before moving in together.

Neglecting Your Credit

When you are single, you are the only person your credit affects. Once you enter into a situation where you are applying for any sort of joint financing with another person, the story changes. While one person’s credit will not directly damage or improve another’s, both credit scores are taken into consideration, which will impact the outcome.

Remember, though, your credit score is not permanent! Just like a relationship, improving it is an investment. Some of the steps you can take include:

  • Checking your credit report for mistakes. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax,Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.
  • Making payments on time. Automatic bill payments are a great tool for this!
  • Lowering your debt-to-credit ratio (DTI). Eliminating or reducing debt will help to lower your DTI (the total amount of monthly debt payment divided into monthly income), putting you in a better position when it comes time to apply for a loan.
  • Paying down debt faster. Easier said than done, yes, but reasonable modifications, like making more than the minimum payment, when possible, can make a significant difference over time.

Spending Irresponsibly

Four out of ten people say irresponsible spending is a bigger turnoff than bad breath, according to WalletHub. The same number of people claim they would end things with their significant other if he or she spent money irresponsibly. For the other 60%, there are ways to try to amend this bad habit. The sooner you can address an issue like this, the better. A good starting point is to get to the root of the problem and try to figure out why it’s happening. It’s possible a person was not taught how to properly handle finances, or maybe the irresponsible spending is a byproduct of a different issue altogether. If you’re not able to address this internally, consider seeking counsel from a trusted financial advisor.

So, what’s the best way for couples to avoid money problems? According to 40% of WalletHub survey respondents, the answer is separate accounts! The good news is that there are a plethora of account options that cater to different needs and desires, from standard checking and savings accounts to money market accounts, CDs, IRAs and more. Find what works for you!

Do you have a lesson to share about managing money in a relationship? We’d love to hear it! Leave a comment here or share them with us on Facebook or Twitter.

To learn more about NVE’s products and services, visit our website. You can also speak with one of our Branch Associates by visiting your convenient neighborhood branch, or call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).


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NVE Bank: 2017 Year in Review

2017 was a special year here at NVE Bank, as we celebrated 130 years as a leading community mutual bank serving the people of northern New Jersey. Our mission to make a difference is in our DNA and we are so proud to continue the legacy of helping to build strong and healthy communities. While it would take far too long to recap every program, event or initiative that went toward accomplishing that mission in 2017, here are a few highlights.


If you are an NVE Bank customer, you’d have been hard pressed to overlook our 130th anniversary celebration. For a week in July, our branch locations were decked out for the occasion, as customers, neighbors and others throughout the communities we serve were invited to partake in our anniversary festivities. Activities included special offers, refreshments, T-shirts, fidget spinners and other giveaways, and a chance to win some serious prizes! Five lucky winners each received $500 StubHub® Gift Certificates to use for concerts, games or theatre experiences of their choosing. Everyone’s enthusiasm was contagious!



One of the keys to 130 years of success is creating a strong team. In other words, the company you keep is what keeps your company going! At NVE, we are proud to have curated a group of professionals who not only excel within their professional roles, but who also go above and beyond through customer service, volunteer work and other initiatives. We are always excited to expand the NVE family, and this year we welcomed First Senior Vice President, Retail Banking John Spencer; Leonia Branch Manager Lena Sung; Vice President, Retail Sales and Service Manager Jeffrey M. Dulle; and Assistant Secretary/Branch Manager of our Hillsdale location, Frank Chadwick.


American Heart Association Walk

NVE Bank served as a sponsor of the 2017 Bergen Passaic Heart Walk held on October 2nd at the Express-Scripts Campus in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. We are proud to be a sponsor of this annual event which helps to raise awareness and funds to fight cardiovascular disease and stroke. NVE was also delighted to make a $5,000 donation to the AHA, supporting efforts to reduce death and disability from these diseases.


 Walk for Awareness

The Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Walk for Awareness was cancelled due to the inclement weather, but that didn’t stop us from supporting this amazing cause. Thanks to the dedication of NVE Bank employees, friends and family who signed up to walk, and our wonderful customers who helped us raise money for this worthy cause by purchasing pink ribbons at our branches, NVE successfully raised more than $4,000 for the Foundation’s fight to combat breast cancer!



 iPiggiBank Financial Literacy Program

NVE proudly sponsored two sessions of iPiggiBank’s 2017 Financial Literacy Class, Money Management 4 Kids. This innovative, eight-week financial literacy program, created by iPiggiBank, was delivered to first-graders at Bergen Family Center in Engelwood from January-March and, again, to second-graders attending the Bergen Family Center’s aftercare program at the Grieco School in Englewood from October through November.


10th Annual Scholarship Program

As part of a decade-long program offered by the bank, NVE awarded ten local high school seniors with $1,000 scholarships and seven graduating 8th grade students with $500 Savings Product Scholarship. Since the inception of the program, NVE Bank has awarded more than $150,000 to deserving students in Bergen County.


Teach Children To Save

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again (and again): it’s never too early to reinforce the value of saving money! That’s why NVE Bank proudly carries out the mission of the American Bankers Association’s annual Teach Children to Save (TCTS) initiative, now in its 20th year. NVE Bank Branch Managers embarked on a month-long financial literacy teaching initiative delivering a series of lessons on good saving habits to classrooms throughout Bergen County, reaching more than 500 students! Thanks to all the wonderful schools, teachers, and students for welcoming us with open arms and letting us teach the value of saving and other lessons in financial literacy.



 National Rebuilding Day

During the last week in April each year, NVE Bank supports Rebuilding Together North Jersey’s National Rebuilding Day program, a part of National Rebuilding Month, by sponsoring a local project. The work done by volunteers from NVE, along with thousands of others nationwide, during this time provides needed and sometimes critical and life-saving repairs for vulnerable families in our communities. This year, our team helped make safety improvements to the home of one of our senior citizen neighbors in Westwood, New Jersey. NVE was also delighted to make a $7,500 donation to the organization!


Thanksgiving Food Drive and Turkey Distribution

NVE maintains a very close relationship with the St. Cecilia’s Office of Concern Food Pantry. We host several food drives during the course of a year for local families in need on behalf of the organization, whose volunteer staff supply weekly groceries to more than 800 families in Englewood and surrounding communities. Thanks to the generosity of our staff, customers, and many others in the community, we are able to consistently make substantial donations that go a long way. One example of this is NVE’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, through which we were able to collect many bags of food for the pantry’s recipients. NVE staff members also volunteered at the Pantry in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, helping to distribute 600 turkeys to needy families.

Thanks to all who made this year an enjoyable and successful one!

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Set Yourself Up for Financial Success in 2018

“No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February.” ―Suze Orman. While a lucky few may have transcended this proverbial warning, by and large, it’s a pretty good rule of thumb. According to the Stress in America survey published by the American Psychological Association (APA) in November 2017, 62% of Americans report being stressed about money. Since making financial resolutions can sometimes be intimidating, why not make 2018 the year you commit to reducing your stress? Here are a few items to check off your list on the path to a happier, more peaceful year (and beyond).SuzeOrman-8.28

Don’t wait to pay your bills.

It’s never a good feeling when you go to pay a bill only to find that your account balance is insufficient, or close to it. (This, by the way, is why you should make sure your bank offers account alerts that notify you when your balance hits a specific target.) Taking care of financial commitments before any extracurricular spending is not only the responsible thing to do, it’s also a good budgeting habit. You’ll have a better sense of where you stand, and avoiding late payments will also prevent late fees and blemishes to your credit score. In fact, paying down debt is one way to improve your credit score. Two tools your bank should offer that will assist you in this process are Direct Deposit — for instant access to your paycheck or social security funds — and Automatic Bill Pay, so you can set it and forget it.

Give yourself some credit.

Bad credit is bad; good credit is good. But how does it impact you? Well, in a number of ways. Having poor credit is connected to higher interest on car loans, mortgages, credit cards and other loans. No credit is also bad. For example, according to the 2017 Auto Insurance & Credit Score Report, on average, people with no credit pay 65% more for car insurance than people with excellent credit. Drivers with no credit pay at least twice as much in New Jersey. Your credit standing can also impact your insurance premiums, a landlord’s decision to rent an apartment to you, and other major occurrences. Essentially, having poor or no credit equates to more money out of your pocket. The good news is that you can always improve your credit score! The most common way to accomplish this is to maintain an open credit card account that is in good standing. Ask your credit card issuer(s) how they define “good standing,” but it typically means making at least the minimum payment by the due date each month. In some cases, it may include keeping your account active and/or staying below your credit limit.

 Insulate your emergency fund. 

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), more than half of Americans don’t put money away for a crisis. The last thing you want to worry about when you find yourself in a difficult situation, such as an unexpected job loss, car repair, or medical emergency, is putting yourself at financial risk to handle it. The ideal amount in an emergency fund varies, depending on who you ask, but common goals are 12-18 months’ net income, or three-six months worth of living expenses. Building this up takes time! Keep the money easily accessible and growing in an interest-bearing account, such as NVE Bank’s NOW Checking, Super NOW Checking, or savings accounts.

Set — and stick to — a realistic budget.

Merriam-Webster defines the word “budget” as “1: A statement of estimated income and expenses for a period of time; 2: a plan for using money.” Just like health, taking a preventive approach (instead of waiting until there is a problem) will set you up for better results. Keep it simple; start out by defining short-term (up to two years), mid-term (two-five years), and long-term (5+ years) goals. Prioritizing in this way may present you with a somewhat less overwhelming snapshot of your financial future. This simple outline serves as a great example of a guide to setting up a budget that works for you. Remember, knowing where you stand and having a plan is a good thing, so think positive!

As always, our Branch Associates are available to offer guidance to help you reach your financial goals, both immediate and long-term. To learn more about NVE’s products and services, visit our website. You can also speak with one of our Branch Associates by visiting your convenient neighborhood branch, or call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).


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Spending and Saving Throughout the Holiday Season

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual Holiday Spending Survey, three main categories make up the bulk of spending: $608.06 for gifts; $218.08 for items such as food, decorations, flowers and greeting cards; and $140.99 for other non-gift items consumers buy for themselves and their families. Here are some resources and suggestions that may help you navigate common economic pitfalls this season and thrive in the New Year!


Shopping (In Store)

No matter where you are doing your shopping, whenever possible, make and bring a list! It’s not foolproof, but doing a little legwork ahead of time, like price comparing, will give you a better chance of navigating the aisles without getting too distracted or giving into impulse purchases. This might end up saving you time and money — a win-win! If you do give into temptation and realize later it was a bad idea, that’s what receipts are for.

Shopping (Online)

Consider using price comparison apps and websites like Google Shopping, which tops this list of the 15 most popular comparison shopping websites. Also, carve out some time to take a look at coupon websites like RetailMeNot and Coupons, as well as Groupon, LivingSocial which are designed help you find local coupons and deals. Always shop local when you can! It’s one of the best ways to help support your community. Lucky for Northern New Jersey residents, between major shopping centers like the Garden State Plaza and Willowbrook Mall, and myriad retail plazas and standalone shops across Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, and Passaic counties and neighboring areas, there’s no shortage of local holiday shopping options! Remember to always take steps to protect yourself when shopping online.


If you’re hosting a holiday meal, keep an eye on local circulars and particularly the Sunday papers, which generally have inserts full of coupons. Grocery stores often include coupons in their own inserts prior to the start of each week. If you frequent a particular supermarket, find out if there are seasonal spending incentives where you can earn a free ham, turkey or other common food staples around this time.

If it’s feasible for your guests, consider a potluck meal, or BYOB to keep costs down a bit. This is also a nice way to incorporate variety, and satisfies those who want to contribute something. Click here for more tips to help save on holiday meals.

Fun and festive doesn’t necessarily require big spending. Game nights are a great way for everyone to enjoy themselves and each other. Heads Up, Speak Out, and Pie Face are just a few examples of popular family-friendly games that won’t break (or even dent) the bank. Weather-permitting, a game of touch football is a nice way to work off some calories between dinner and dessert, and if there’s snow, grab a sled and hit the hills! Local tip: Bergen Mama put together this list of the best sledding hills in Bergen County!

The Aftermath

It’s almost inevitable that you or someone in your family will need to return a gift for one reason or another. In this case, there are a few options:


Many retailers offer at least a two-week extension (into mid-January) for holiday returns, if not longer, but some may require a receipt or only offer site or store credit. Here are the holiday return policies at some popular stores.


If the point of giving a gift is for the recipient to enjoy it, does it matter where the gift comes from? According to the 2015 American Express Spending and Saving Tracker, 76% of those surveyed found re-gifting socially acceptable and 57% claimed they would likely re-gift that season. Done properly and thoughtfully, re-gifting doesn’t have to be taboo; after all, haven’t we all received things that were great, just not great for us?


If you’re comfortable with online technology, consider selling unwanted or unneeded items on eBay, OfferUp, and LetGo; shoes or clothing can be sold through sites like Poshmark or thredUP; even unwanted gift cards can be exchanged for others or cash through sites like Gift Card Granny. Once again, protecting yourself and your identity should always be your top priority when buying or selling online. Take the necessary precautions, like these, and use good judgment!

Season of Giving

John Wesley said, “Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” It’s good advice! Giving doesn’t have to begin and end with money. If you are in a position to be able to spare any non-perishable food, those in need of assistance are never too far. You can help fellow neighbors in need by dropping it off to a local food pantry, like our friends at the Office of Concern Food Pantry at St Cecilia’s Church. The Pantry provides food assistance to more than 800 families in Englewood and surrounding Bergen County communities.

At the end of the day, the holidays are a time to enjoy with the people you care about. Don’t let financial stress get in the way of that! This year, give yourself the gift of time. Plan ahead and set yourself up for a successful and enjoyable holiday next year by opening a Universal Club Account now. It features a structured savings plan designed to help you save for special occasions like the holidays. As always, our Branch Associates are available to offer guidance to help you reach your financial goals, both short- and long-term.

Have your own tip that helps you out around this time of year? We’d love to hear it! Leave a comment here or share them with us on Facebook or Twitter.

To learn more about NVE’s products and services, visit our website. You can also speak with one of our Branch Associates by visiting your convenient neighborhood branch, or call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).



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Should I Renovate or Buy a New Home?

It’s a question many a homeowner has asked him or herself at one point or another: should I remodel or relocate? When you come to that fork in the road, knowing the right questions to address — not only with your trusted financial and real estate experts, but with yourself — is a big part of helping you make the decision that’s right for you. Here are a few to get you started.Remodel-buy-home

Can you make it work?

If you would like to stay in your home, are there things you can do to make it livable, by your standards? If you’ve ever watched HGTV’s Love It or list It, you know that the answer is yes —theoretically. Renovations can be costly, but there is financial assistance available, such as a home equity loan (HELOC) or line of credit.* For a detailed overview of home equity loans vs. HELOCs, read this. In short, a home equity loan — also referred to as a second mortgage — allows a borrower a lump sum of money up front, which he or she must pay back over a fixed term at a locked interest rate. A HELOC is more like a credit card; it provides the borrower with access to a sum of money that he or she can draw from, as needed, for a predetermined time frame.

Is now the right time?

Timing, as they say, is everything. Before you decide whether to move, do your homework (no pun intended). For example, when the time comes, talk to a real estate professional to find out if the town you live is considered a buyer’s or seller’s market. Likewise, identify where you’d like to relocate to (assuming it’s in a different market) and verify the same. Many variables dictate market conditions, but it really comes down to supply and demand. Generally speaking, the real estate market fluctuates throughout the year; there are usually more homes for sale from June through August than any other time of year, making it more of a buyer’s market. The state of the local economy also plays a role; in other words, a town or city with more job availability and growing industries will often be deemed a seller’s market. Alternatively, areas with less robust, or struggling economies would fall into the category of a buyer’s market.

More room or more rooms?

One common reason homeowners are motivated to move is the need for more space. But more space doesn’t always require more rooms. It’s possible that your current home has the potential to be modified to a layout with more usable space, or even an additional room. If not, it may be time to sell.

What are your deal breakers?

Knowing what you don’t want is as important as knowing what you do want. As a homeowner, you’ve probably already figured this out, even if subconsciously. When considering where you want to live, identify your non-negotiables up front. Bad neighbors, low-rated school districts, or a long commute might be on that list. If you can check off too many of these items now, you might want to start looking around. However, you may find more of these red flags in other homes on the market, making your current home not look so bad after all.

Is refinancing an option?

Refinancing at a lower rate may free up funds that will allow you to make game-changing improvements to your home. If the reason you’re considering moving is because you’re having trouble affording you current home, refinancing under more desirable terms could also put you in a more comfortable financial position, allowing you to stay put.

Whether you are buying a new home or refinancing, all mortgages are not created equally and selecting the option that’s right for you is as important as anything else on your checklist. Just as you’ll want to work with a real estate agent who knows the neighborhoods in which you are buying and selling, so should you choose a lender with a finger on the pulse of the local economy. Community banks like NVE are staffed by local, accessible personnel, paving the way to a smooth and hassle-free process from start to finish. Because we know — from 130 years of experience — that there is no one-size-fits-all product, NVE offers a full range of flexible mortgage options at competitive rates. From 7-year, to 15-year, to 25-year mortgages and many more, we’ll help you find what makes the most sense for you. Get the details here!

Visit the NVE website to learn more about our latest promotions, loan options and rates. You can also stop in at any of our convenient neighborhood branches in Bergen County, or call 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to connect with your local branch manager.

*Subject to meeting lender’s qualifications


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