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.

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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%).


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.


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.


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.





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11th Annual NVE Bank Scholarship Awards Celebrate Deserving Bergen County Students

Recently released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on college enrollment among recent graduates revealed that, of the 2.9 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between January and October 2017, about 1.9 million (66.7 percent) were enrolled in a college in October. The numbers for 2017-18 won’t be in for a few more months, but NVE Bank has the inside scoop on 10 commendable Bergen County high school graduates who will be counted among the newest generation of college enrollees. It is our honor to congratulate the 11th Annual NVE Bank Scholarship Awards class of 2018!

NVE Bank’s scholarship program has been offered by the Bank since 2008. On June 19, 2018, ten $1,000 scholarships were awarded to local high school seniors at a reception hosted at our Englewood headquarters. This year, seven graduating eighth-grade students from area middle schools were also selected to receive a $500 Savings Product Scholarship and joined the seniors in accepting their awards at the ceremony, where NVE President & CEO Robert Rey presented each student with his or her scholarship. Other celebrants in attendance included NVE executives, members of the bank’s board of directors, school officials, and student family members. Since the inception of the program, NVE Bank has awarded more than $165,000 to deserving scholars in Bergen County.

Our 2018 high school scholarship award recipients include:

Haemi Lee – Leonia High School

Olivia Sher – Cresskill High School

Alyssa Mehl – Pascack Valley High School

Serena McKeon – Northern Valley Regional High School

Soo Hyum – Academies at Englewood

Candis Balkaran – Dwight Morrow High School

Chelse Salnave – Bergenfield High School

Jessica Perrone – New Milford High School

Patrick Williams – Teaneck High School

Miguel Angel Rosales Morales – Tenafly High School

Scholarships-middleschoolNVE Bank 2018 High School Scholarship Award Recipients

Graduating seniors Patrick Williams of Teaneck High School senior and Alyssa Mehl of Pascack Valley High School were unable to attend the group ceremony. Pictured below is future NYU theatre student Patrick with Palisade Avenue Branch Manager John Louglas, followed by Alyssa with Hillsdale Branch Manager Frank Chadwick.

Scholarships-Patrick Williams

Scholarships-Alyssa Mehl.jpg

Our 2018 middle school scholarship award recipients include:

Robert Keating – Benjamin Franklin Middle School

Hannah Kim – Cresskill Middle School

Layla Williams – Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Nobonita Dimitra – Janis Dismus Middle School

Xavier Thompson – Leonia Middle School

Alyssa Fuld – David Owens Middle School

Marcelino Morales – Roy Brown Middle School


NVE Bank 2018 Middle School Scholarship Award Recipients

It is with programs like this that NVE demonstrates our unending commitment to making a difference in the towns we serve by putting people and communities first.

We tip our caps — or rather, throw them in the air — to this year’s scholarship recipients, and all 2018 graduates!

To learn more about how NVE Bank supports our communities, or to learn about our extensive range of personal and business products and services, visit our website. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) or visit us at one of our branches conveniently located throughout Bergen County.



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Five Ways to Enjoy Summer in Bergen County on a Budget

Whether your idea of fun is good food, a night out, the outdoors, loud music, or a day filled with excitement, Bergen County has it all! And, even better news: you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great time. Here are five ways to enjoy the 2018 summer while keeping to your budget and staying local.

Fun for Foodies

Enjoy a ful(filling) day at the Paramus Food Truck Festival on Sunday, June 24th. Take advantage of the Blue Laws and head to the Macy’s lot of the Garden State Plaza starting at 11:00 a.m. to make your way through more than 20 food trucks guaranteed to hit the spot, from barbecue and empanadas, to regional cuisines from Louisiana to Thailand, to sweet treats like churros and shaved ice, plus an array of beer and sangria selections. Take your time, though, as the festival remains open until 6:00 p.m. Attendees will be treated to live music, and kids can enjoy face painting and other kid-friendly activities! With free parking and only $5 adult admission (kids under 10 get in free), this is a budget-friendly event. If you do decide to make your way over there, keep in mind that the festival is accepting donations of non-perishable canned and boxed items for the Paramus Food Pantry at the entry. Please consider making a donation if you are able to!

Something for Everyone

Local websites and blogs maintain updated calendars that serve as an excellent resource for finding activities of all types, price points, locations and times of day. A quick scan of the events calendar on MyBergen.com yielded such a broad range of options, from car shows to karaoke, it’s impossible to list them all! Into gardening (or want to be)? Accept your open invitation to join the Flat Rock Brook Gardeners to join them any Tuesday through October. No fee or registration required, just bring gloves and willing hands!

Looking for arts and crafts classes to occupy the kids? IKEA Paramus is hosting its first annual Family Celebrating Summer Event & Activities, free to Ikea Family Members. The series offers make-and-take craft workshops including bracelet making, spin art, plant pot decorating and more throughout the summer.

Libraries also provide frequent and varied activities for people of all ages and interests, from yoga to gaming tournaments, free movie viewings and much more. Check your local library’s calendar for options!

 The Great Outdoors

If you’re looking for a daytime getaway with countless attractions and amenities, there are several beautiful parks located throughout Bergen County. Darlington County Park in Mahwah and Saddle River County Park in Saddle Brook offer endless activities including swimming, tennis, fishing, walking/biking/running paths, basketball and more.

Bring the kids to Van Saun County Park in Paramus for a day of fun at the zoo, complete with a miniature train ride! For county residents, admission ranges from $1-$4, and $2-$8 for non- residents; all active military members and children under three receive free admission. On those extra warm days, be sure to suit up and lather on the sunscreen and head to the park’s free, pond-themed, spray ground, complete with gigantic lily pads, water creatures, and gentle misters!


Van Saun County Park’s Mystic Spray Splash Park. Photo Credit: Bergen County Zoo

Sounds About Town

According to the event website, the 4th Annual Bergen County Music Festival “continues to celebrate the diversity of Bergen County. Promoting family time, bringing people together on the great lawn to enjoy music, food, and life.” Sound good to you? Then head to the Overpeck County Park Amphitheater for this block party-inspired community event on August 18th. Hosted by Doctor Bob Lee of 107.5 WBLS-FM, the festival features musical performances by The Stylistics Revue, Lori Michaels, The Delfonics Revue, and many more. Free entry!

Fair Play

For a full day of fun, make your way to New Jersey’s annual State Fair Meadowlands in East Rutherford. Starting on June 21st and going through July 8th, a variety of ticket packages and options are available. The fair also offers seven different bargain nights; for example, June 26th is “Kids Go Free” night! Word to the pennywise: parking is free Mondays-Wednesdays. This is the largest fair in New Jersey and features over 150 rides, food vendors, and free entertainment including music, a petting zoo, and games! Check out the daily calendar for hours of operation, pricing and more for each day.

 NVE Bank is here to help you save with a wide range of products and services to help you reach your goals. Visit www.nvebank.com or visit one of our neighborhood branches, conveniently located throughout Bergen County, to speak with one of our Branch Associates. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265).

Get all the latest news, information and pictures from this year’s program and more by following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.






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Four Ways to Set Yourself Up for Home Hunting Success

Buying a home is a big deal. For most homebuyers, a real estate purchase is one of the largest financial transactions they will make. This is why it is crucial to take your time, prepare, do research, ask questions, and work with professionals who you trust and who know the real estate market in the area(s) you are exploring.

While it shouldn’t be the only research you do, looking at market conditions through the scope of the experiences of your peers and neighbors is something to take into consideration. The National Association of Realtors® conducts an annual survey of recent home buyers and sellers to gain insight into detailed information about their experiences, the results of which provide consumers with an understanding of recent trends and changes. Here are some of the key takeaways from the 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers New Jersey Report prospective buyers in New Jersey may find useful:

  • In New Jersey, the median home price was $282,000; buyers typically purchased their homes for 97% percent of the asking price.
  • Seventy-five percent of recent buyers in New Jersey found their real estate agent to be a very useful information source; 86% found websites very useful in the home search process.
  • Buyers typically searched for 12 weeks and looked at 10 homes.
  • Those who did not search the Internet typically searched for 10 weeks and looked at five homes.
  • Ninety-two percent of buyers purchased through a real estate agent; 41% used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative.
  • Fifteen percent of buyers said saving for a down payment was the most difficult step; of those buyers, 73% percent reported that student loan debt made saving for a down payment difficult, 50% had credit card debt, and 45% had car loans.

Ready to start your search? Here are four ways you can pave the way for a smooth process.

Make a List, Check it Twice

A good jumping-off point is creating a list of the things you need in a home, meaning that their absence could be a deal-breaker. From there, work your way to the things you want. Things that are permanent, like location, are strong contenders for the “needs” column. “Wants” are more likely things that you can add or change on your own. The list may evolve throughout the search process, and that’s OK! Establishing that point of difference will prove itself useful. Try to be as thoughtful and realistic as possible, but know that there are no right answers! At the end of the day, you’re the one who will be living in this home.

Open House, Open Mind

Even if you’re not quite ready to start making offers, visiting open houses in neighborhoods you are interested in calling home one day is a great research tool. It offers you a sneak peek into the homes you’re looking at, as well as the neighborhoods and people surrounding it, and helps you set realistic expectations of what you can get for your budget.

As you’re touring a home, try not to let yourself get overly concerned with aesthetic details. For example, if you’ve ever watched “Love It or List It,” “House Hunters” or other HGTV fan favorites, you are no stranger to the “paint color” comment. Don’t like a single paint color in the entire house? No problem! The great thing about paint is it’s probably the easiest thing to change about a house.

Open House

Be a Nosy Neighbor

There are some things you simply can’t know about a neighborhood unless you live there…so why not ask the neighbors before you buy? Some people might feel a little uncomfortable striking up a conversation with a stranger, but now is no time to be shy! If you see any neighbors outside during an open house, simply explain you’re interested in a house for sale in their neighborhood and ask if they wouldn’t mind answering a few questions. Stuck on what to ask? Realtor.com suggests the following:

  1. How would you describe the area, and what it’s like living here?
  2. If you could change anything at all about the neighborhood, what would it be?
  3. Do particular schools have a reputation for being strong or weak in a certain area?
  4. How do people like to socialize in the neighborhood?
  5. Is there anything that I should be aware of with this property?

The answers to these questions could be the very thing that makes your decision for you.

Show Them What You’re Worth

Ready to be taken seriously as a buyer? Taking the extra step to get pre-approved for a mortgage is an excellent way to show sellers you mean business. A pre-approval letter validates how much home and mortgage a buyer can afford with a lender. Securing a pre-approval can make a buyer more attractive to a seller not only because it legitimizes your value, but because it shows you’re able to move quickly on the property. For your own edification, as a buyer, a pre-approval amount also provides you with a realistic idea of the budget you’re able to move forward with. It’s common to shop around to find the best deal possible, so feel free to seek out offers from various lenders.

You want to work with a mortgage specialist who knows your market. If you are looking for a home in or around Bergen County, that’s who you’ll find at NVE Bank. With headquarters in Englewood and branches throughout Northern New Jersey, the mortgage professionals at NVE are also your neighbors. That means that, unlike bigger banks, our customers have access to experts who provide service quickly and with a local point of view. As a community bank, we can also offer customers competitive mortgage rates to make their home-buying dreams become a reality. To the delight of the 15% of buyers who said saving for a down payment was the most difficult step, our First Time Home Buyer Mortgage program can help qualified buyers purchase a home with a down payment as low as 5%*! We also offer a suite of convenient and helpful online mortgage tools, such as our Home Loan Calculator, to further guide you through the process of choosing and obtaining the loan that meets your needs.

Learn more by speaking with an NVE Lending Specialist! Call 201-816-2800, ext. 1230, email us for more information at lending@nvebank.com, or apply for a mortgage online at nvebank.com.

* Eligibility and restriction requirements apply.






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NVE Bank Brings Lessons in Good Saving Habits to New Jersey Students

When is the right time to help your child learn about money and saving? It’s a question many parents ask themselves, and one that has no definitive answer. Educating children about good money management doesn’t happen during one isolated conversation, but over time through answering questions, making comments in passing, and leading by example (kids are always watching, even when you might not realize it). But being the sole person responsible for imparting this wisdom can be a heavy weight to bear! That’s why NVE Bank supports the American Bankers Association (ABA) Foundation’s Teach Children to Save (TCTS) initiative.

The free national initiative organizes banker volunteers to help young people develop saving habits early on. Teach Children to Save Day is an annual awareness day during which bankers all over the country educate youth throughout their communities about the value of saving money. Participating bankers, including many from NVE Bank, visit schools, youth centers, after-school programs and other locations to share our knowledge. Our hope is that these lessons will inspire children to start young and save more! Educational activities focus on lessons in saving, earning interest, and determining needs versus wants. Since this program began in 1997, over 125,000 bankers have taught savings to more than 5 million students!

Teach Children to Save Day was celebrated April 20 this year, but volunteers from NVE’s 11 branches educated Bergen County students about good savings habits throughout the entire month, which is also Financial Literacy Month. NVE Bank branch managers and other staff visited various area schools including The Right Start Learning Center in Teaneck, Englewood on the Palisades Charter School, The Hillside School in Closter, and Smith Elementary School in Tenafly. Here are photos from just a few of our visits.


Teaneck Palisade Ave. Branch Manager John Louglas and Senior Bank Teller Desiree Chapman with The Right Start Learning Center school director Dolrine Phillips, her assistant, Cynthia Williams, and two of their bright, eager students!


All hands on deck as New Milford Branch Manager Kay Parikos delivers a lesson in savings to students at Smith Elementary School in Tenafly.


NVE’s Englewood Highwood Branch Manager Paul Klein and Engle Street Branch Manager Vivian Mendez visited Englewood on the Palisades Charter School to teach lessons in saving to 2nd and 3rd grade students.


Closter Branch Manager Susan Polles and Teller Amira Helwani deliver a lesson in savings to students at the Hillside School in Closter on Teach Children to Save Day.

Visiting with students in the communities we serve is something the entire NVE team looks forward to each year, but financial education is a priority for us all year long, so it doesn’t stop there. As a community bank, NVE invests in various financial literacy programs through funding and other resources to ensure we are doing our part in creating a strong foundation for our younger generations. One example is Money Management 4 Kids, an innovative financial literacy program created by iPiggiBank. The goal of the program, designed for students in grades one through six, is to teach them how to manage their money through learning about responsibility, team work and life-long financial skills. Learn more about the program in our interview with the organizations founder and CEO.

Here are some of our favorite personal finance tips for children, from the American Bankers Association:

  • Talk openly about money with your kids. Communicate your values and experiences with money. Encourage them to ask you questions and be prepared to answer them — even the tough ones.
  • Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value in saving and budgeting, and the consequences of not doing so.
  • Set up a chore chart and give your children an allowance for completing their tasks. Require them to save at least a small portion each week. The three jars method — one for spending, one for saving and one for charitable contributions — is a good way to impart a sense of responsibility.
  • Be an example of a responsible money manager by paying bills on time, being a conscious spender and an active saver. Children tend to emulate their parents’ personal finance habits.
  • 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.

It’s never too early to help your child learn about saving and managing money! Take a look at NVE’s savings products for details on our savings account options so you can set your child up to start saving now.

Get all the latest news, information and pictures from this year’s program and more by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

NVE Bank hosts and participates in various community service, fundraising and awareness events throughout the year. To learn more 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.





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Spring Cleaning for Your Finances

It may not feel like Mother Nature has gotten the memo some days, but spring has, in fact, sprung! It’s customary at this time of year to give your home a good cleaning to clear out the cobwebs and get rid of unneeded or unwanted items. This can lead to uncovering all kinds of things, from financial and household documents, to clothes that either don’t fit or have gone out of style, and much more. Here are some ways you can cleanse and save money!

Let It Go

Between cleaning out closets, cabinets, junk drawers, attics and garages, you’re bound to uncover quite a few objects you could stand to part with. For anything in usable condition, consider hosting a yard sale, or try your hand at selling online through websites like eBayOfferUp, and LetGo. Clothing, shoes and accessories, in particular, can be sold through sites such as Poshmark and thredUP. And did you know even gift cards you don’t plan to use can be exchanged for others or cash? Gift Card Granny is one example of a site that provides this service. No matter what you decide to do, protecting yourself and your identity should be your top priority with any online activity. Use good judgment and take necessary precautions! A great resource offered by hundreds of police departments is SafeTrade Stations, where residents can conduct in-person transactions safely. The SafeTrade Stations website provides this list of local stations by jurisdiction, city and state. There are many in New Jersey — in Bergen County, you can find stations listed in Allendale, Bloomingdale, Closter, Hillsdale, and Lyndhurst. You can always call your local police station to find out if they have a safe meeting place!

Embrace Change

According to a Coinstar study, 90 percent of Americans surveyed had spare change lying around in couch cushions, purses, cup holders, and junk drawers. The majority of respondents estimated having $41 in spare change on-hand; however, Coinstar’s nationwide kiosk data indicated that, on average, people cash in $68 when they convert their coins to no fee eGift Cards — that’s $27 more than respondents thought they had! Change adds up — make it count!

Give Back

According to Give Back Box®, an estimated 11 million tons of clothing, footwear, towels, bedding, drapery, and other textiles end up in U.S. landfills every year. If you have cardboard boxes or online shipping boxes from any purchases you received, as almost all of us do, reuse it for a good cause! Simply pack it up with unwanted or unneeded household items such as gently used clothing, jewelry, shoes etc. Then, go to GiveBackBox.com to print a prepaid shipping label and attach it to the box. Finally, drop it off at a UPS or USPS location near you; the boxes are routed directly to the nearest participating local charity organization. This is a great way to clear out space while doing some good that will make a real difference for someone!

Tax Tip: Remember, if you donate any items to a charitable organization, get a receipt, then claim the donation on your tax return if you itemize.

Capitalize on Seasonal Offerings

Many people look forward to holiday promotions and end-of-season sales for great deals on clothes, shoes, electronics, cars and more. Spring’s arrival marks a good time to take stock of any major financial decisions on your agenda, such as real estate projects and purchases. Check out and compare the latest rates from lenders (like us) to see if now is the time to make your move!

Weather-wise, spring is also an ideal time for home improvements. External doors and windows are constantly opening and closing, as rooms need to be ventilated and tools and materials need to be transported back and forth. The weather spring commonly brings with it reduces the likelihood that you’ll need to play the part of “thermostat monitor,” as you would in the hot summer or cold winter months, saving you from stress and spending. That’s what we’d call a win-win!

In the beginning of spring, taxes are top of mind for most. Did you know that any money you contribute to an IRA CD account can potentially be tax deductible? It’s true. That’s why NVE is running a special promotion on opening an IRA CD during this year’s tax season. Just another reason to be happy spring is here!

If any of these tips earn you some extra pocket money, don’t just save it for a rainy day…let us help you make it make it grow! One of the best ways to do that is to deposit it into an interest-bearing account, such as savingsmoney market, or certificate of deposit (CD). Visit the NVE website, one of our convenient neighborhood branches in Bergen County, or call 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to learn more.






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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: www.ed.ipiggibank.com. Anyone interested can also contact us directly at info@ipiggibank.com.

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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