Ten Tips to Lower Heating and Energy Costs This Winter

As the temperature begins to drop and the days get shorter, the inevitable question is asked. “How bad will this winter be?”

Well if you believe the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the 2018-2019 winter in New Jersey will be warmer than usual and while it will be a wet one, we will have to deal with rain more than snow. Even though Old Man Winter won’t hit us too hard this year, energy bills during this season can still put a crimp in your budget. From heating costs to holiday decorations spiking your electrical usage, ‘tis the season of hidden expenses. Here are ten tips to control those bills to keep your budget in check.

1. Let the Sun Shine In – Mother Nature can help control heating costs. It’s as easy as opening the curtains on all south-facing windows in your house so the warm rays shine into your home. Conversely, shut them after sundown to keep the heat in.

2. Adjust Your Thermostat – You can drop your heating bill by 10% by turning your thermostat down 10-15 degrees for at least eight hours, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.1 Installing a programmable thermostat makes this easy and helps year-round. These “smart” utilities can automatically drop the temperature while you are sleeping and at work and raise it while you are on the way home, so it is warm when you walk in.

3. Don’t Heat the Entire House – If you have guest rooms, large storage spaces and other seldom-used places, close their vents and direct that heat to the areas you spend the most time in. Set the thermostat to 62 degrees in those rooms to save about $200 per year.1

4. Give Your Furnace Some TLC – Make sure your heating system operates efficiently. Natural gas-powered systems should be serviced every two or three years; oil-fired systems need an annual tune-up because they burn dirtier. Check your furnace filter each month and replace it when it gets sullied to let the hot air more easily flow through the vents. It also reduces strain on your furnace, which can lower maintenance costs and extend its life.

If you own a wood- or pellet-burning heater, clean the flue regularly. Also, scrub the inside of the stove with a wire brush to ensure home-heating efficiency.

5. Don’t Get Caught In a Draft – As much as 25% of your home’s heat loss can be due to drafty windows and doors, and other gaps in your house, such as utility cut throughs for pipes, chimney spaces, recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.2 To solve this problem, walk from room to room when the outside temperature is at least 30 degrees colder than in your home. If you feel cold air, you have found a spot that needs repair.

Add caulk or weather stripping to seal air leaks that don’t pass the test. You can also visit one of the many hardware and home improvement stores in North Jersey to purchase an indoor window kit to reduce drafts.

6. Build a Buffer – Heating (and cooling) costs can be slashed by 30% by making sure your home is properly insulated, according to the Department of Energy.3 This is particularly true for homes that were built more than 25 years ago – of which there are plenty in northern New Jersey. The cost of the install is softened by the fact that it is tax deductible.

Insulation installation should be done throughout the house – attic, basement, crawl spaces, and ceilings. Energy Star has recommendations for the type of insulation to use depending on where you live. In Bergen County, the R-value is between R49 to R60 for uninsulated attics and R38 to 49 if there are up to three inches of existing insulation.

7. See the (LED) Light – If you haven’t already switched your holiday lights from incandescent bulbs to LEDs, now is the time. LEDs use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times as long. Plus, they don’t emit as much heat and don’t break as easily as incandescents, making them a safer alternative.

8. Don’t Watch Money Go Up the Chimney – If your home has a fireplace, keep the damper closed when it’s not in use. When you are cozying up to a fire, open dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if you have them) or open the nearest window about an inch. Also, close doors leading into the room and lower the thermostat to around 55 degrees. All these steps will reduce heat loss.

9. Don’t Get Burned by Water Heating Costs – Nothing beats a hot shower on a cold winter morning but it’s not as nice as having a few extra dollars. Water heating costs are about 11% of your utility bill, according to Energy Saver, so make sure you water heater is set to 120 degrees.2 Also consider a tankless water heater, which heats water on-demand compared to a traditional water heater that maintains a full tank of warm water.

10. Humidifiers – Moist air retains heat better than dry air, so a humidifier is a wise investment because it will make you feel more comfortable when the thermostat is lower. Looking for an environmentally friendly alternative that is also aesthetically pleasing? Add some house plants to achieve the same effect.

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Learn more about NVE Bank by visiting our website, stopping by one of our convenient neighborhood branches, or calling 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to speak with a branch associate.

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Sources:

  1. https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2013/11/06/10-ways-to-save-on-energy-costs-this-winter
  2. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/fall-and-winter-energy-saving-tips
  3. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/10-ways-to-shrink-your-energy-bills
Posted in Budgeting, saving money | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cyber Security Steps to Stay Ahead of Online Thieves

Technology has become an essential part of our lives. Whether it is for work or fun, we are spending more time on our smartphones, tablets, and computers. In fact, since 2000, the time the average American spends online each week has risen from 9.4 hours to 23.6. So, as we recognize National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), it’s important to stay up-to-date on ways to protect our data from cyber criminals, as well as understand the steps taken by NVE Bank to make online banking on our website safe and secure.

We are all susceptible to cyber crime, including those of us in Bergen County. According to the New Jersey Office of Attorney General (NJOAG), 676 data breaches affecting more than 116,000 people were reported to the State Police in 2016. Here are some tips to prevent you from becoming part of this statistic.

Keep Your Machine Clean – To protect your valuable data, make sure your mobile devices, tablets, PCs and laptops have the most current security software, web browser, operating system and apps. Speaking of apps, you should delete any that you don’t use regularly. These are the best lines of defense against cyber criminals and their nefarious ways.

Conduct Periodic Security Checkups – Even if you have installed the latest security software, you should get in the habit of checking your devices for viruses and spyware. There are plenty of free tools available to do this, including a virus and spyware scan from Best Buy and Webroot.

Strengthen Your Passwords – Make it hard for cyber criminals to break into your online accounts by using long passwords and passcodes or activate touch ID features to lock your devices. These measures are particularly important to protect your contacts, photos, videos, and health and financial data, if your devices are lost or stolen.

A good rule of thumb is to make your password a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Try to use common phrases so they are easy to remember. To check how difficult your logins will be to decode, visit Last Pass, a secure site that tells you if your password is strong enough to keep you safe online.

Another recommendation is to separate passwords for every website – or at least split your work and personal accounts. To keep it all organized, maintain a list in a safe, secure place away from your computer. You can also use a password manager or similar service to store them.

Don’t Get Burned By A Hotspot – Some stores and malls, including Bergen Town Center and the Garden State Plaza, offer free Wi-Fi as a convenience to shoppers. Just remember that public wireless networks and hotspots such as these are not secure, which means outsiders can potentially see what you are doing while you are connected. To protect yourself, avoid logging in to key accounts like email and financial services on these networks.

Keep Your Device on Lockdown – Usernames and passwords are not enough for key accounts like email, banking and social media. Consider two-factor authentication (2FA), which is an additional layer of protection. It significantly decreases the risk of a hacker accessing your online accounts by combining your password with another element, such as a security key, biometrics, or one-time codes that are sent to you via text or email after entering your username and password.

Interested in learning more? The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) has helpful tips to keep you safe as your surf the web on its website – https://staysafeonline.org/ – including a cyber security infographic that can serve as a useful reminder throughout the year.

NVE Takes Security Steps

NVE Bank is doing its part to help keep you safe online, as well. As part of that commitment, we adopted the .bank URL when we redesigned our site. The domain was developed by security and banking experts to achieve a higher level of mandated security than any other commercially available domain. By using this URL structure, NVE Bank provides customers with:

Greater Verification – All .bank websites are verified by one of the country’s leading cybersecurity and technology companies. These sites must also be periodically reverified to ensure the domain is owned by a legitimate financial institution. This higher level of verification is supported by security technologies such as Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) to ensure you will not be redirected to a fake and malicious website.

Advanced Security Requirements – All .bank domains must meet stringent security requirements that mitigate phishing, spoofing, cybersquatting, man-in-the-middle attacks, and other malicious activities conducted by cyber criminals. These requirements are periodically updated to meet changing security needs and address new online threats. Additionally, the new NVE Bank website has Encryption/Transport Layer Security (TLS) that creates an encrypted connection to ensure safe and secure transmission of information and transactions.

Learn more about NVE Bank by visiting our safe and secure website, stopping by one of our convenient neighborhood branches, or calling 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to speak with a branch associate.

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Sources: 

https://www.technologyreview.com/the-download/610045/the-average-american-spends-24-hours-a-week-online/

https://www.cyber.nj.gov/press-releases/nj-releases-annual-statistics-on-cyber-breaches-for-the-first-time

https://www.register.bank/securityrequirements/

Posted in cyber security, identity theft, mobile identity theft, mobile security | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bergen County Spotlight On: Retail

If there’s one thing Bergen County isn’t short on, it’s shopping locales! With five major malls and shopping centers, and more downtown Main Streets than you can count, visitors travel from miles away to take advantage of the abundant options offered in this northeastern stretch of the Garden State.

We recently sat down with Englewood Chamber of Commerce (ECC) President Carol Rauscher to learn more about the state of retail in Bergen County, and the services this organization provides to help retailers thrive.

Please tell our readers a little bit about the Englewood Chamber of Commerce.

ECC, which has over 250 members, promotes the business community throughout Englewood. We have a business directory that informs shoppers of businesses with updated specials and promotions, as well as an interactive map used by current shoppers and newcomers who plan to visit.

ECC has a comprehensive community calendar of events and fundraisers in Englewood. Visit www.englewoodnjchamber.com to see what’s coming up.

What are some of the benefits unique to Bergen County that Englewood retailers enjoy?

One advantage is that Bergen County has no sales tax on clothes. Because Englewood is a regional center, many visitors come from New York City, Westchester and Rockland counties for shopping, dining, entertainment and events. Retailers benefit by having so many people walking our streets, all of whom can shop in their establishments.

Are there any common misconceptions you’ve found business owners have about starting or running a business in this area?

We encourage businesses owners to research Englewood and understand the environment and our needs. Owners also must know how our successful businesses operate and what is working in our community. We remind people that they need two years of reserve funds to start a business. Also, a hair salon or similar business needs an established customer base to successfully open.

What kinds of trends are you seeing with local retailers as of late?

The biggest challenge is online sales and the many discount stores, like TJ Maxx.

Are there any recently opened businesses that are getting a lot of buzz and/or any on the horizon local residents should be on the lookout for? 

Business of all kinds are doing well in Englewood. For food, fresh jaunts include Candy Rush, Lucky Roll Ice Cream, and Pokey Crew. New home décor stores include Art Evi, and if people are shopping for clothing and jewelry we have Hush, Florentia, Marie Studio, and La Douma. Spas in Englewood include Hand & Stone, and Serenity. There are also unique retailers, such as Eve & Nico. Of course, there is the local Shop-Rite.

Those on the horizon include Good Neighbor Juice Bar, Rita’s Italian Ice, George’s Seafood, Aumm Restaurant and newly renovated Cassie’s restaurant.

Are there any upcoming fall events for local business owners and/or consumers?

ECC has the most comprehensive event and fundraising calendar in the area. We have a Farmer’s Market every Friday until the end of October. Other upcoming events include the Men’s Health & Football Night at Englewood Health on September 20, and the Women’s Club Fall Harvest Fundraiser at the Carriage House on October 14. Visit www.englewoodnjchamber.com for a full listing.

Does the ECC get feedback from residents that helps inform decisions made about local retail?

ECC receives feedback, suggestions, and comments from residents. Most come through social media.

Who can join ECC and what kind if benefits can members enjoy.

Any non-profit or individual business can join ECC. Our website offers invaluable tools to support and expand their advertising program. An expert in marketing is available to members who need assistance in developing their directory page or social media. This opportunity to advertise is at no additional cost. The Chamber also sponsors numerous community events that drive traffic to Englewood.

What’s something surprising people might not know about the ECC?

ECC has mega networking events with other chambers (Cliffside Park, Palisades Park, Teaneck, Edgewater, Gold Coast Regional) and groups like Bergen Biz to meet people from other towns and businesses. We also advertise grand openings and ribbon cuttings of new businesses, and special promotions and events.

NVE Bank has been an active member of the ECC for many years.  How has our participation and support of events sponsored by the ECC helped the organization carry out its mission?

NVE has been a great partner to the ECC for many years.   Not only are they active participants in our community events, they help advertise these events through their social media pages, website and branch literature. They have also been strong champions of our member organizations and annually serve as sponsors for events held by Englewood Hospital, Flat Rock Brook Nature Preserve, and bergenPac, just to name a few. NVE’s support of the ECC and the City of Englewood has really been instrumental to the health of the ECC.

How can people learn more about and get involved with Englewood Chamber of Commerce programs? 

People can go to www.englewoodnjchamber.com or www.shop-englewood.com.

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Learn more about NVE Bank by visiting our website, stopping by one of our convenient neighborhood branches, or calling 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to speak with a branch associate.

Posted in Bergen County, Business Bankings, NJ | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How Coupon Clipping Can Cut School Expenses

coupon-clipping-tipsWith children heading back to school, many of us have found our shopping list has grown to include healthy school lunches and snacks, and the trendiest new outfits for our children. Adding those items may push your household budget to the max – and in some cases go over what you wanted to spend…until now.

Coupon clipping is the answer to smart savings on everyday needs and your back-to-school necessities. With some quick study, you’ll be combining manufacturer coupons with store sales to maximize savings in no time. Once you start seeing those dollars go back in your pocket, the term “crazy coupon lady” won’t seem like such a bad thing.

How to Begin Couponing

Couponing is like any other skill – practice makes perfect. Here are two steps to start the savings process:

1.   Set Aside Time

Hunting for coupons is not difficult, but it can be tedious. Optimize your time by looking in the places that are most likely to pay off, including but not limited to:

  • Newspapers: Your local paper, such as The Record, Star-Ledger, and community newspapers, will often have coupon inserts and circulars that offer pages of savings.
  • Websites: Coupons, Retail Me Not, and Passion for Savings  are popular and comprehensives sites for all items. You should also visit manufacturer’s websites for specific deals on the items you frequently purchase.
  • Apps: To save on groceries every time you walk down the super market aisles, make sure you have iBotta, Checkout51, and Grocery iQ on your phone. Also download apps from major grocery chains, such as ShopRite, Acme, and Whole Foods, for store savings.
  • In-Store: Speaking of specific retailers, join loyalty programs and scan shelves for member savings and to receive coupons at checkout for future purchases.

We recommend creating a cheat sheet with all the products and brands you regularly purchase. By doing so, you will cut down on search time, minimize unused coupons, and maximize your rewards.

2.  Be Organized

Keeping a filing system in place is key to successful couponing. When it’s finally your turn in the checkout line, frantically flipping through all your little pieces of paper can be a bit overwhelming and will probably cause you to miss one or two savings opportunities.

Shoeboxes, storage containers, binders, or a coupon wallet are all inexpensive options to keep your stash updated and organized. How you choose to sort coupons is up to you, but commonly used methods are by grocery category, aisles, expiration dates, brands, stores, or products.

Follow these pro tips:

  • Keep your “filing system” next to you as you clip coupons. You’ll organize them immediately, ensuring that they’ll be there when you need them in-store.
  • Before you enter the store, pull out the coupons you plan on using to streamline your checkout process.
  • Refresh regularly; an expired coupon helps no one and it clogs up your file system.

If you rely on a retailer’s app, review it before you enter the store. Make sure you check the digital coupons that are relevant for your visit, so you save time and money at checkout.

Still unsure of how to start your coupon journey? Don’t worry, check out this quick start guide created by The Krazy Coupon Lady, of course!

What You Can Save On

From groceries to clothing to household items – coupons have no limitations. They can lead to savings so large that top-shelf products may ultimately cost less than store brands. Putting together the perfect lunch for your kids can be easier and cheaper than ever with the brands you know and trust. A quick search on coupons.com can provide deals for Yoplait yogurt, General Mills fruit snacks, Big G cereals and many more. And, your kids can carry their discounted lunches in style with 20% off backpacks and lunch bags at most manufacturers’ websites.

How Much You Can Save

How much you save depends on the time you’re willing to dedicate to the fine art of couponing. By using websites such as couponmom.com or hip2save.com, you can plan your shopping carefully and match your coupons to a store’s sale to secure the best deal.

Money Crashers shares their story of spending only $1,238.63 on $7,580.30 worth of name brand groceries, toiletries, and cleaning products. That’s $6,341.67 worth of savings (84%) without sacrificing quality on any purchase! Imagine what you can buy with those savings, especially at back-to-school time.

There is no reason to feel shy or embarrassed for clipping coupons. They exist to be used. Trying to save more money doesn’t make you cheap, it makes you smart. With time, organization, and patience you’ll master the art of couponing.

Learn more about how you can save on your back-to-school shopping in NVE’s blog post, Keep Back-to-School Spending Under Control.

NVE Bank provides products and services to help you save money, reach financial goals and more. Visit www.nve.bank or visit one of our neighborhood branches to speak with one of our Branch Associates. You can also call us at 866-NVE BANK (683-2265) or connect with us online.

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Sources:

https://www.moneycrashers.com/coupons-from-casual-to-extreme/

https://www.thebalanceeveryday.com/how-to-coupon-effectively-1387731

https://www.thebalanceeveryday.com/learn-how-to-do-coupon-match-ups-939611

https://thekrazycouponlady.com/quick-start-guide-to-couponing/

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Keep Back-to-School Spending Under Control

back-to-school-shopping

According to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics, total spending for K-12 schools and college combined is projected to reach $82.8 billion. To break that down into a more relatable number, families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average $684.79 each; families with college-bound students (including students purchasing for themselves) plan to spend an average $942.17 each. The survey found that many parents and college students are waiting for the best deals to complete their shopping; however, there are ways to save regardless of when sales hit stores.

Start at Home
Take inventory of what’s in usable condition from last year. Crayons and pencils can be sharpened. And how about that notebook with only a few pages filled up? Rip them out and reuse them!

Stick to the List
Most schools provide supply lists for families to abide by. Sticking to that list ensures you’ll get what you need. Wards 5 & 10 in Closter takes it conveniences to the max for its customers by filling boxes with supplies from local school supply lists, providing them with exactly what they need at no extra charge. Talk about customer service!

Share the Load
Warehouse clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club or BJs can help families save on all kinds of items by buying in bulk, but the average two-child family may not necessarily need school supplies in such large quantities. One way to leverage bulk savings without ending up with excess is to split the costs with other parents who have kids in your child’s grade. This “sharing” approach also works for items you purchased last year but didn’t use or may not need again this year, such as clothing and often-pricey sporting equipment.

Price Beat
Stores like Staples and Best Buy guarantee a Price Beat, so be sure to research promo codes and coupons before making purchases — especially big-ticket items — and always negotiate. Speaking of office supply stores, while it makes sense to think school supplies might be most expensive there at this time of year, you might be surprised by the deals they offer. For example, a quick search on Staples’ website presented discounts on school supplies as deep as 84%!

Spend [Wisely] What You Save
According to consumer expert Andrea Woroch, shoppers can save 20-30 percent between generic and name-brand options. Take a standard college-ruled notebook, for example. Ms. Woroch found a store-brand option on sale for $5, compared to $6 for the Five Star brand. One dollar in savings doesn’t seem like a lot on its own, but when you apply that kind of savings across your entire shopping list, it adds up! Shop smart by reinvesting those savings into items that are worth spending more on, such as backpacks. Buying a well-made backpack will decrease the likelihood of it falling apart from daily use or washing, and some may also provide your child with better physical support.

Tap into a Teaching Moment
The American Bankers Association offers a great tip for helping children learn good money management skills: “open up a savings account at your local bank for your children and take them with you to make deposits so children can learn how to be hands-on in their money management.” Back-to-school provides the perfect platform to put this lesson in motion.

Due to the ubiquitous nature of social media, students are exposed to more information than ever before, which has led to them having more opinions and preferences about the items they want. For better or worse, this presents an opportunity for parents and caregivers to educate their kids about planning and budgeting. The survey found teenagers will spend $35.60 of their own money on average for back-to-school while pre-teens will spend $25.06. It’s never too early to open a savings account for your child! NVE offers a range of interest-bearing accounts to suit different needs and savings goals, with a minimum balance requirement as low as five dollars.

NVE Bank is here to help our customers throughout Bergen County and surrounding New Jersey communities with a wide range of products and services to help save money, reach financial goals and more. Visit www.nve.bank. or visit one of our neighborhood branches to speak with one of our Branch Associates. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) or connect with us online.

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Sources:

http://bit.ly/2vXwi5J

https://7ny.tv/2L0kTqv

Posted in Bergen County, NJ, saving money | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NVE Bank Rolls Out New Website

If you’ve been to NVE’s website lately, you might have noticed a new look, but this new update is so much more than that! In addition to a new layout, enhanced functionality and new user-friendly tools, our URL now ends with “.bank”. This verified banking domain, created by security and banking experts, has a higher level of mandated security than any other commercially available domain. Our customers’ security has always been, and will always be our priority, and in an era of increasing cybersecurity threats, these enhanced security features create a safer space than ever before. Read on to learn more about the latest and greatest features our revamped website now offers our customers and other visitors.

Extra-Secure

NVE’s new web address no longer ends with “.com.” Instead, it ends with “.bank.” So, why should that make you feel safer? This domain, created by banking and security experts, was created to combat today’s most common cybercrimes and causes of breaches, and has a higher level of mandated security than any other commercially available domain. In fact, .bank domains have six critical security requirements beyond a standard .com domain. And that’s not all. Not only are all .bank domains required to meet robust security technologies and practices, but only verified members of the banking industry can register a .bank domain. In addition to strict registration requirements, the .bank domain helps prevent users from being redirected to fake bank websites and requires strong encryption.

When you see the .bank domain at the end of an email address or website URL, this serves as confirmation that the email communication is authentic and that the website is owned by a bank and is a safe place to manage your finances. In an era of increasing cybersecurity threats, NVE’s customers can feel confident that we treat their security as our priority. You can learn more about this from ICBA here.

Responsive

If you do any or all of your banking from a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet, one of the enhancements you’ll notice and appreciate is the website’s responsive design. Regardless of what type of electronic you are using — whether you’re on a mobile device or a desktop computer — when you are on the NVE Bank website, all content now automatically adjusts to fit your screen. This makes it easier for you to navigate the site and get to the information you’re looking for faster.

Personalized

We’ve also added enhanced customer communication features. Customers now have access to forms to securely communicate directly with the NVE Bank team. A click on “Update My Information” allows customers to quickly and easily update personal information such as mailing address, email address and phone numbers. Need to replace a debit card, or us of upcoming international travel plans? Simply click on the “Debit Card” button right on the home page. You can also click the “Connect With Us” icon to send a secure message within the website for any inquiries whatsoever.

Informative

Many updates and upgrades made to the website were done so based on features we know are most useful to our customers. For example, the home page features shortcuts to the latest deposit and lending rates, as well as our user-friendly mortgage application. One of the tools that received a major transformation is our “Calculators” feature, which now includes many more options. With it, you can answer questions pertaining to home and personal financing, investment, and retirement, such as, “How can I save a million dollars?” or “How much will my Roth IRA be worth at retirement?” You can view all the calculators here.

It’s now easier than ever to learn about who we are, what we do, and how we can help you with you banking needs. See for yourself by visiting www.nve.bank. To learn about NVE Bank’s products and services, visit our website, stop by one of our convenient neighborhood branches in Bergen County, or call 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to speak with a branch associate.

 Sources:

http://bit.ly/2NHdcHt

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What to Look For in a Commercial Lender

Starting a new business requires courage. Maintaining a successful business requires dedication. Running any business requires money. Whether you are a startup entrepreneur or a veteran CEO, as a business owner, one of the most critical decisions you can make is who you choose as your commercial lender. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as different companies have different and evolving needs; however, there are qualities and services that preferred lenders share, such as trust, expertise, professionalism, and personalized service.

NVE-3496 Commercial Lending Banner 743x270 FNL V2

Defining what type of institution you want to work with is one of the first steps many take on the path to securing the right lender. Funding sources include but are not limited to large banks, small banks, online lenders, credit unions, and CDFIs (community development financial institutions). According to the Federal Reserve’s Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Employer Firms (Small Business Credit Survey), community banks are one of small business lenders’ top choices, for various reasons:

Small banks offer small businesses big support. Banks are the most common source small employer firms apply to for credit, with 47% seeking loans from small banks. Not surprising, as community banks have historically had the highest approval rate for small business loans.

Applicants face fewest challenges with small banks. Applicants had fewer challenges with small banks than other institutions in nearly every category surveyed including high interest rates, lack of transparency, and unfavorable repayment terms. 55% of applicants surveyed reported experiencing no challenges with small bank lenders, compared to big banks (41%) and online lenders (37%).

Trust

When exploring financing options to grow your business, trust is paramount. Take it upon yourself to do significant research, such as reading reviews and ratings from other customers to gauge the average borrowers’ opinion of working with a lender. This is a helpful, relatively easy exercise that gives you a sort of sneak preview of working with a lender through the lens of someone who may have been in a position similar to yours, helping make this process more relatable.

Trust Tip: Don’t be afraid to interview candidates and ask any questions you would like answers to. Establishing transparency early on is a great way to gain reassurance that your lender is aware of your priorities, allowing you to focus on building your business rather than tunnel-visioning on finances.

Expertise

You know your business better than anyone else, and you should be confident that your commercial lender can say the same for themselves. As a small-business owner, wouldn’t you feel more confident putting your livelihood in the hands of a team with a substantial proven track record with other small businesses? Of course you would, it’s common sense. Even better if you can identify a funding source with expertise in your particular industry.

According to the Small Business Credit Survey, the industries that received the most funding from small banks were services and real estate (74%), non-manufacturing goods production and associated services (70%), and leisure and hospitality (66%). The industries that received the most funding from online lenders were healthcare and education (89%), business support and consumer services (83%), and retail (77%). No industry was reported as receiving a majority of funding from large banks.

Professionalism

Expertise goes hand-in-hand with professionalism. Expect your lending partner to complete applications quickly, request everything they need up front, and maintain an open line of communication. They should also keep you abreast of progress, not only to ensure that you feel educated and comfortable, but so you, in turn, can do your part to help ensure all processes are carried out smoothly and efficiently. Once you’ve been introduced to the loan that tailors to your needs, your lending agent should produce a plan and provide a clear understanding of the closing process, eliminating any confusion or uncertainties.

Personalized Service
Any outside vendor worth partnering with will make every effort to build a strategic partnership with you, acting as an extension of your team rather than a separate entity. Taking a customer-focused approach to banking means making time for one-on-one interactions, understanding a customer’s specific needs, and providing them with the best solutions. These personal exchanges are the foundation of what will hopefully become a long-term partnership rather than just another investment.

Do Your Business with a Local Business

There are myriad reasons small businesses consistently seek out loans from community banks. Here’s one: because the staff know its community inside-out, they are tuned in to local needs. Personal experience and knowledge about the place your business exists is a huge advantage. Community banks want to help grow their community so helping you and your business thrive is their priority.

NVE Bank offers a variety of options for commercial loans with manageable terms and a loan process that is quick and easy:

Commercial Real Estate Loans. NVE provides commercial real estate loans for purchasing and refinancing a variety of commercial property types and uses. Fixed and Adjustable Rate Loans of up to $10 million are available for retail centers, office facilities, mixed use facilities, industrial facilities, and multi-family housing loans.

Multi-Family Housing Loans. NVE has a number of options available for purchasing and refinancing multi-family housing. We offer loans up to 75% loan to value, and will amortize that amount to a maximum term of 30 years on garden apartments, mid-rise buildings, and high-rise buildings.

Business Lines of Credit. NVE offers customers who are qualified businesses or professionals a short-term, pre-approved amount of credit. This provides the flexibility to draw as business needs arise. Certain terms and conditions may apply.

Business Term Loans. For those looking to expand their business, NVE offers Term Loans for a variety of uses including obtaining a term loan to purchase inventory and equipment, as well as to improve or expand facilities. Certain terms and conditions may apply.

NVE Express Credit. Ideal for small businesses, NVE’s Express Credit features an easy application process and accelerated approval times on a loan or line of credit up to $30,000. Restrictions apply. Inquire at our local branch for requirements.

For more information on any of our commercial lending products, or to receive a loan application, please contact an NVE Commercial Loan Officer at 201-816-2800, 1-866-NVE-BANK (1-866-683-2265) or e-mail Sam Tolley at stolley@nvebank.com.

Sources:

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http://bit.ly/2LtbxEv

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