Financial Literacy is the 1st Step to Achieving Financial Well-Being

The importance of financial education in our communities reaches farther than just our branch lobby doors.  It impacts everyone, at every stage of life.  From the adult saving for retirement, to the teen who would like to attend college.  To the newly married couple who someday would like to buy their first house.  Having a solid understanding about these matters can help the people in our communities make better financial decisions today, to build financial success for their future.

Recently, Newtown Savings Bank employees had the opportunity to share their knowledge and present specific financial literacy courses to students at the Newtown High School.  Coordinated by Laura Tashjian, our Manager of Employment and Training, four separate presentations were delivered focusing specifically on financial challenges our youth will soon face.

On Tuesday, September 27th, Tom Lutz, VP, Mortgage Sales Representative presented “A Roof Over Your Head” to 24 students in an AP Economics class.  The students learned about the benefits and pitfalls of renting versus buying your own home, what a mortgage is and what a mortgage payment contains, and how they can be cautious and safeguard against predatory lending.

That same day, Rebecca Brown, AT, Branch Manager of our Sand Hill branch presented “Bank On It” to a group of 10 students.  They discussed reasons to use a bank, provided an overview of basic banking terminology and even introduced them to a few different types of deposit accounts.

On Monday, September 29th, the lecture hall quickly filled up as Dolores DelVecchio, VP, Systems Coordinator presented “Borrowing Basics” to approximately 85 students.  Students learned about what good credit is, how to establish it, manage it wisely, and how to be aware of the dangers of overextending yourself by using credit inappropriately.  Dolores then presented “Paying for College and Cars” to yet another group of 26 students.  Here they learned about installment loans, ways to finance a car, and various types of college loan programs.

I have to say that I’m just so proud of our staff at NSB. They consistently exceed my expectations when it comes to their selfless giving to the communities that we serve. The personal reward for this kind of service can’t be beat.  That’s why they, and I, love working at a community bank.

John

Check out our Facebook page for photos

Labor Day Thank You

As the Summer draws to a close, one of the things that makes Newtown so special is the Labor Day Parade, where it seems like the whole town comes out to celebrate with their neighbors and friends.  This year marks 53 years for this annual celebration, and the all-volunteer Parade committee has been working hard to make sure that it goes off without a hitch.  I want to take a moment to thank all of the Newtown Savings Bank employees that are taking the time to help out with this great event.

Hope to see you there!

John

Easy Mortgage Tips for Borrowers

The Spring housing market is really taking off, and I’d like to take this opportunity to pass along some helpful tips for mortgage borrowers from my guest blogger – Theresa Torino, one of our loan officers based in the Southbury branch:

Getting a Mortgage Can Be Easy
Understanding the process of obtaining a mortgage is a key factor in ensuring your experience is pleasurable and goes smoothly, and I’d like to share a few tips to help prepare you for the next, or the first time that you apply for a mortgage loan.

Credit – Understand your credit. It’s always a good idea to know what is being reported on your credit report. You can obtain a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. This site will give you the opportunity to view your credit from the three major credit bureaus, Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian.  The report will not give you a score, but it will make you aware if there is anything suspicious on your credit.  Remember a better credit score may help you get a more favorable loan interest rate.

Keep an Eye on Rates – If you have not refinanced in the last few years, you may want to look into the possibility now while rates are still attractive. Or, if you are looking to buy a home, this Spring may be a good time to start shopping.  Newtown Savings Bank offers an automated rate watch service that will email you rates at the frequency you specify, or you can always call any of our loan officers and they would be happy to quote you the rates. We can also provide you with information about some of the alternative lower rate mortgage programs that are available such as FHA or CHFA, and help you determine if it makes sense for your specific transaction.

Be Prepared – Your loan officer can provide you with an advanced checklist list of documents needed for you mortgage application, which will reduce the processing time on your loan.  Some common documentation requests include full tax returns for the past two years, bank statements, recent pay stubs, and investment account statements.  Of course every situation is different, and there are times when more documentation may be needed to clarify or verify particular information.

Being prepared with the required documentation, understanding the variability in rates, and the maintaining good credit are all important when obtaining a mortgage. The more prepared you are the easier the process will be for both the consumer and the borrower.  As always, if you have questions regarding mortgage financing don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800.461.0672!

Theresa Torino
Mortgage Loan Officer

NMLS Registry Number-452774
Email: ttorino@nsbonline.com

Health is Wealth

At Newtown Savings Bank, many of our employees are making a commitment to improve their health and well-being. To the extent that we can, our Bank is doing our best to support them. We have a Health and Wellness Committee made up of dedicated employees who are always looking for creative ways to promote wellness and have fun.

I support this effort 100% and feel a little guilty that I’m not doing my part to improve my own personal well-being. Long hours, late dinners, poor nourishment choices, and not enough exercise are a recipe for disaster at my age.  You work a whole lifetime, then when you start thinking of the golden years and time to enjoy the fruits of your labor you’re not healthy enough to do the things you really want to do.  For me, that would be golfing and traveling. Also, I still love a good hike in the woods!

Formed in August of 2013, our Health and Wellness team’s goal is to encourage employees to have a healthy, well balanced lifestyle by providing them with activities and services.  Their first major initiative was organizing a fitness challenge with over 100 participants.  Since then, they have provided many opportunities for our employees to improve their health from biometric screenings to boot camp style exercise classes. The most recent healthy promotion was supporting the American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day earlier this month. Over two thirds of our employees participated, and they raised $675!

So, wish us luck as we take a step forward in trying to improve our lives, and I’ll keep you updated on our progress.

John


The picture above is our Dolan Plaza branch staff – you can see all the “Wear Red” photos on our Facebook page.

 

 

 

New Year, New Faces

Happy Holidays!  We are finishing up a great year at Newtown Savings Bank and some of our talented staff are moving up to new positions.  There are a few changes in our branch leadership that I’m proud to communicate to you.

Sue LoRusso has transferred from our Sand Hill office to the Woodbury office, replacing Karen Tracy (who as previously announced has become our Vice President, Retail Banking Development Officer).  Sue joined the Bank in 2007 and worked in the Southford office prior to moving to Sand Hill in 2012. Sue is excited to be moving back closer to her business network in the northeast corner of our market. She has done an excellent job representing Retail Banking on the Sand Hill renovation and will be helping to lead the renovation of the Woodbury office tentatively planned for 2014.

Rebecca Brown has joined the Bank as the new manager of the Sand Hill office. Rebecca is a Newtown native and Danbury resident who previously worked at another bank as a Customer Service Manager. Rebecca worked in several branches as well as on a variety of Retail Banking projects including training.  She is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University and is licensed as a mortgage originator as well as a life insurance representative.

Katie Smith has accepted a position as manager of the Dolan Plaza branch.  Katie started her banking career in the Newtown office in 2002 as a teller, and her career path included positions of Head Teller, CSR, and Assistant Branch Manager.  Before moving back to the Main office as the Assistant Branch Manager, Katie served as interim manager of the Sand Hill office. This experience, along with her knowledge of the Bank and its products and her upbeat and energetic leadership style made her the candidate for this opening, and we are pleased that she has accepted our offer.

My Granddog Pictured Here

Oscar

And on a final note, along with my Granddog Oscar (for those of you viewing this text-only, there’s a holiday picture of Oscar), I wish you a very Happy New Year.

John