Careers In Banking
The banking industry offers a wide variety of rewarding career opportunities, whether someone is looking to enter the workforce for the first time or to advance.....
Careers in Banking!
The banking industry offers a wide variety of rewarding career opportunities, whether someone is looking to enter the workforce for the first time or to advance their current career. Customers may identify with tellers or loan officers as the face of the bank, but as we will see, there are so many more employment options available in banking!
What is it like to work for a bank?
Most banks have a professional setting, after all, customers are entrusting us with their finances. However, you may be surprised to learn that banks aren’t as stuffy as one might think. From casual days and community events to electronic services and fun marketing (tik tok anyone?) banks today are keeping up with trends.
What education and skills do I need to work at a bank?
The minimum education level for most banking jobs is a high school diploma or equivalent. Other specific education or degree requirements should be noted in a job listing. Although specific skills needed may vary by position, trustworthiness, honesty, integrity, professionalism, and an excellent work ethic are core values for any banking career.
What types of jobs are available?
Wow! So many! Customer facing positions include tellers, personal bankers, branch managers, loan officers, financial advisors and even insurance agents. Lending, both mortgage and commercial, offers an array of opportunities such as loan processor, loan servicer, and underwriter/credit analyst. There are many supporting departments, all offering diverse opportunities. Marketing may appeal to creative minds while accounting, internal audit and compliance are more analytical. Operations, Human Resources, and Information Technology provide other unique professions.
What are some perks of working at a bank?
I am glad you asked! Banks are a great place to work! In general, banks provide employees with good working conditions, reliable hours, a host of different positions, competitive salaries, and a comprehensive benefit package including things like paid time off, group insurance and 401k retirement plans. Career development and advancements opportunities are available for individuals who have proven to be motivated, responsible, dedicated, and productive in their current role.
Where can I learn more?
Here are some great links to explore more:
17 Career Paths in Banking (Plus Tips for Choosing) | Indeed.com
Careers in Banking | American Bankers Association (aba.com)
Bank Teller Skills: Definition and Examples - Glassdoor Career Guides
Top 10 Skills Needed for a Job in Banking (careeraddict.com)
Visit First Federal Savings Bank’s career site to explore our current employment opportunities and apply online.
5 Things You Should Know Before Your Home Purchase
The market is hot, and you’re ready to buy. The first step is getting prequalified for your loan.....
5 Things You Should Know Before Your Home Purchase
Get prequalified with a local lender.
The market is hot, and you’re ready to buy. The first step is getting prequalified for your loan. But which lender should you use? The promise of quick approval through internet-based providers is tempting, so why use a local lender? Buying a home will likely be the biggest purchase you will ever make in your life. Finally moving into your new home will be a joyous occasion.
A letter you receive instantly online may be meaningless. Local lenders are well known and respected by the realtors and can give your purchase offers more credibility. Local lenders are knowledgeable, industry experts who will find the best product to fit your needs. Local lenders should discuss your income, assets, and credit score in detail, and provide you with a legitimate home prequalification.
Mind your credit use.
Once you are serious about a home purchase, pay all your debts on time and don’t open any new accounts. Also, don’t close any active revolving accounts and strive to pay down your credit balances to 30% of your credit limit or less. Credit inquiries, new accounts, and late payments will impact your credit score and could change your prequalification status.
Get all your assets in order.
Whether your down payment is $1,000 or $100,000, know where it is coming from and get your account statements in order. Transferring assets or accumulating money after application will trigger more required documentation.
Avoid a job change if possible.
Demonstrating consistent employment is essential when applying and getting approved for a mortgage loan. If you want to explore new employment, try to wait until you have completed your home purchase. If it can’t wait, let your loan officer know, so that they can obtain new employment verification prior to the loan closing.
Prequalification is based on estimates.
Once you have a home in mind, discuss specifics with your loan officer. Things like real estate taxes and homeowners association dues can vary and may impact your qualification.
Please click here to start your prequalification.
The Feeling is Mutual
Thrift, Savings and Loan, Mutual Savings Bank – these terms have been used over the years to identify the type of charter held by First Federal Savings Bank.....
The Feeling is Mutual
Thrift, Savings and Loan, Mutual Savings Bank – these terms have been used over the years to identify the type of charter held by First Federal Savings Bank. But what does that mean?
What is a Mutual Savings Bank?
Mutuals were created in the early 1800s specifically to provide a safe place for depositors to save and to invest in mortgages and other loans in their communities. The early mutuals were philanthropic, designed to uplift their communities without focus on profits or shareholders.
That original essence of mutuality remains today, and our Savings Bank charter requires that the majority of our assets be held in residential home loans, small business loans, and other community related investments.
Why should that matter to our customers?
First Federal Savings Bank, and other Mutual Savings Banks, can be compared to a locally owned restaurant, versus a large national chain. Our employees, leaders, and executives live in the communities where we operate. Our policies, practices, and decisions are made within a core group of leaders who are local and accessible to our customers.
Our goals are focused on traditional core banking activities. Gathering deposits and making loans in our community, by offering a robust and competitive product menu. Just take a look around our website to see all we have to offer.
Do Mutual Savings Banks lack the technology of ‘big banks’?
First Federal Savings Bank has a strong commitment to offering all the online and mobile features, as well as payment methods you need. We know our customers expect those services. But we also know that our technology will never be a replacement for personal service. We serve our customers where they want to be served, whether they are on the go with their mobile device, home on their laptop, or in our lobbies or drive-thrus. We have all the latest technology, without giving up the personal service you need.
What is one thing a prospective customer should know about the Bank?
When you bank with us, you are supporting your community. Your deposits will in turn be used to make loans-home, business, and personal loans. We are going to offer you competitive interest rates and reasonable fees. But the one thing you should know is that we value each and every individual customer. We are going to get to know you, support your financial needs, and do our best to make you a customer for life.
If this sounds like the type of bank you are looking for, we want you to know:
The Feeling is Mutual.
Check Fraud: What’s old is new again!
Like some of those 80’s fashion ‘fads’, some things should be left in the past. Unfortunately, it appears that good old-fashioned check fraud....
Check Fraud: What’s old is new again….and not in a good way!
Like some of those 80’s fashion ‘fads’, some things should be left in the past. Unfortunately, it appears that good old-fashioned check fraud is on the rise again!
How does check fraud happen?
Recently, criminals committing mail theft-related check fraud have been targeting the U.S. Mail in order to steal personal checks, business checks, tax refund checks, and checks related to government assistance programs, such as Social Security payments and unemployment benefits. Criminals will generally steal all types of checks in the U.S. Mail as part of a mail theft scheme, but business checks are more enticing because business accounts are often well-funded.
What are some types of check fraud that we are seeing?
Forgery – signing a check without authorization or endorsing a check not payable to the endorser.
Theft – stealing checks to use for fraudulent purposes.
Paper hanging – writing checks on closed accounts or ordering and, then, writing checks on closed accounts.
Washing – using chemicals to remove information from a check.
Counterfeiting – illegally printing checks using information from the victim’s account.
How can check fraud affect me?
Of course, the most common concern related to check fraud tends to be loss of funds. Even if those funds are returned, there can be other problems or hassles. In most cases it is best to close the defrauded checking account and open a new account. This often times means changing payment account information for vendors, and usually means ordering a brand-new debit card at the same time. For businesses, one incident of check fraud could easily be detrimental to customer and vendor relationships and cause reputational damage. For individuals, unchecked occurrences of fraud could cause long-term damage to your credit score and leave other finances at risk.
How can I prevent check fraud?
Unfortunately, check fraud can happen to anyone…whether it is a stolen blank check, stolen mail, or looking through garbage to find cancelled checks. Here are some ways that you can help prevent, or quickly report, check fraud:
1. If you have to write a check:
a. Reconcile your checking account (or at least review your transaction activity) every month. Keep check images or cancelled checks in a secure locations and destroy those checks once they are no longer needed for tax purposes.
b. Never give your checking account information to anyone, especially over the phone.
c. Limit the information that is written on a check (do not include your SSN, driver’s license number, or phone number)
d. Make sure your checks have built-in security features. While you may pay a little more in the short-run, you will be grateful for the security measures provided in the long-run.
e. Never endorse a check until you are ready to cash or deposit the check.
f. Write the check out with a dark, permanent, ink pen. Preferably gel ink, because it is Be consistent with your signature! Banks attempt to compare your signature as part of fraud prevention.
g. Don’t leave blank spaces! Fill the check amount box and write the cents in a way that cannot be altered. For the written amount, start at the far-left edge and put a slash between the cents and the 100. Draw a line after the cents all the way to the right side of the dollar line.
h. When mailing a check, when possible, it is safest is put the mail in the post office building. Avoid using public blue mailboxes, as criminals do something called ‘mailbox fishing’ where they utilize a sticky trap to pull envelopes out of the mailboxes.
2. Ways to avoid writing checks:
a. Pay bills online, preferably using your bank’s Bill Payment service. You won’t need to write a check, pay for postage, or send a check in the mail.
b. Use a debit card for purchases.
c. Setup automatic payments for regular bills.
d. Setup alerts on your account. Many banks provide customers with the ability to setup alerts for when transactions occur. You can get alerts for all withdrawals, limit it to withdrawals over a dollar threshold, and for when your account drops below a certain balance.
What do I do if I have been a victim of check fraud?
If you think you’ve been targeted, or are a victim of check fraud, reach out to the bank where your checking account is located. They may suggest you place additional stop payments on other checks or check ranges. You may also be directed to close the affected account and open a new account. You should also contact any of your creditors that may have been impacted by the fraud. Lastly, file a police report, and monitor your credit.
If you think you may be a victim of mail theft-related check fraud, you should also report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 1-877-876-2455 or https://www.uspis.gov/report
Does My Teenager Need a Checking Account?
You might be wondering if it is a good idea to open a checking account for your teen. Maybe they have asked or maybe ....
Does My Teenager Need a Checking Account?
You might be wondering if it is a good idea to open a checking account for your teen. Maybe they have asked or maybe you want to start teaching them about managing their money. Many people in the Gen X and Gen Z groups lament their financial mishaps and mistakes. Personal finance just wasn’t taught to a lot of kids falling into these generations, and in many schools, it still isn’t taught. So, what’s a parent to do?
Why should your teen have a checking account?
It’s all about showing your teen how to manage money, set financial goals, and budget. Opening a student checking account with your child can be a great “first step” in helping them learn good money management skills. They can use the account to manage the allowance they earn, monetary gifts they receive, or they can use it to learn how to manage money earned from their first job.
Choosing the right account is critical!
Before you open a checking account for your teenager, you’ll want to consider which features are most important for you and your child. Managing a checking account comes with responsibility, so you’ll want your teen’s checking account to have features that set them up for success. After all, we still call it a checking account, but it is possible your teen will never even write a “check”. Consider things like:
• Low minimum balance requirements
• Debit card availability and ATM fee waivers
• Mobile app availability
• Mobile deposit
• Text alerts
• Parental controls
Look for “extra” features, like card controls, spending insights, Apple Pay®, and Round Up – where teens can round debit card purchases up to the nearest dollar and have the extra funds transferred into a savings account (we call this a Goal Savings Account).
So, what are parental controls?
Parental controls can vary by bank or account, so focus on the ones that are a top priority for you. Some examples may include, joint ownership of the funds, shared online banking access, the ability to set specific debit card controls on things like spending limits, merchant types, location and so on. Get account specific alerts you create on things like balance and account activity.
A path to a responsible financial foundation.
Teaching your child to manage their own money via a checking account is just one more way to usher in the responsibility that your child will need to have when they venture out on their own.
By the time they’re 18 they’ll be set up to have a good handle on money management skills, and that can lead them to greater financial success as an adult.
If you’re interested in showing your teen how to manage money, set financial goals, and budget. Learn more about our Student Checking Account.
Life Insurance: For Anyone Who Loves
Do you love someone? If the answer is clear, then so is the answer to whether you need life insurance. Because the truth is, life insurance ....
Life Insurance: For Anyone Who Loves
Do you love someone? If the answer is clear, then so is the answer to whether you need life insurance. Because the truth is, life insurance is for anyone who loves. Whether you love your spouse or partner, your children or grandchildren, your parents or a favorite charity, life insurance means they're protected financially if something happens to you. Getting life insurance is a simple and affordable way for consumers to protect the ones they love, financially.
For Love and Money
Did you know that financial security is one of the most attractive traits to have in a partner. The way American couples look at finances in their relationships is changing. A 2022 consumer survey by Life Happens, included these key findings:
- 59% of people would feel more secure in their relationship if they discussed getting life insurance with their partner.
- Half of respondents would talk about wills and life insurance before marriage.
- Men are more likely than women to say that purchasing a life insurance policy is a financial way to demonstrate your love (40% vs 33%).
Real Reasons to Consider Life Insurance
To most people, life insurance is a scary and intimidating thing. Life insurance covers more than the inevitable (to help pay for funeral and other end-of-life expenses). It is designed to provide the ultimate peace of mind to those you love, if something unexpected happens. Here are some real reasons to consider buying life insurance.
- It can provide a lump-sum payment to help your family meet their financial needs and continue paying bills.
- It can be used to help fund a college education or other expenses for your children or grandchildren.
- It can help loved ones pay off a mortgage or other debt, so they can stay in the family home.
- It can help pay for childcare, or elder care, if the main breadwinner of the family passes away.
- It can help provide income, so your family has time to grieve.
Next Steps to Getting Insured
The next step involves the critical part of deciding which life insurance product provides the best solution for you and your family. A common misconception is that if your employer offers a Group Life Insurance Plan you are adequately covered. This may only be a portion of what is needed. It is usually not portable – meaning if you are no longer an employee you are no longer covered under a group plan.
Here are 3 things you should consider:
- Assess your insurance needs. What is your contribution to the family income and how many are dependent on you financially? A good Agent will help you decide how much coverage you need.
- Compare insurance policies. The two basic types of life insurance are term insurance and whole-life insurance. Your choice should depend on your needs, both immediate and future.
- Choose a coverage that you can afford. After assessing your life insurance needs, determine how much it will cost you in terms of annual premiums. The first goal of insurance should be protection.
Contact First Fed Insurance Agency today to speak with one of our knowledgeable and professional Agents. After all, the basic motivation behind buying life insurance is love.
INSURANCE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES OFFERED THROUGH FIRST FED INSURANCE AGENCY, INC. are not insured by the FDIC *are not a deposit or other obligation of, or guaranteed by, the bank *are subject to Investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.
FFSB Announces Promotions
February 8, 2023
First Federal Savings Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of ....
What to do if you receive a scam, email or text.
Every day, thousands of people fall victim to fraudulent emails, texts and calls from scammers pretending to be their bank.
What to do if you receive a scam, email or text.
Every day, thousands of people fall victim to fraudulent emails, texts and calls from scammers pretending to be their bank. And in this time of expanded use of online banking and mobile payment services, the problem is only growing worse. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission’s report on fraud estimates that American consumers lost a staggering $3.3 billion to phishing schemes and other fraud in 2020. That’s nearly double what was lost in 2019, which means it’s time to put scammers in their place!
At First Federal Savings Bank, we’re committed to helping our customers protect their financial information and identity, which is why we partnered with the American Bankers Association (ABA) and other banks across the country in nationwide effort to fight phishing—one scam at a time.
Email or Text
If you suspect that an email or text, you receive is a phishing attempt:
• Take a deep breath. In most cases, it’s perfectly safe to open a scam email or text. Modern mail apps, like Gmail, detect and block any code or malware from running when you open an email. The key is not to click links or download any attachments.
• Do not download any attachments in the message. Attachments may contain malware such as viruses, worms, or spyware.
• Do not click links that appear in the message. Links in phishing messages direct you to fraudulent websites.
• Do not reply to the sender. Ignore any requests from the sender and do not call any phone numbers provided in the message.
• Report it. Help fight scammers by reporting them. Forward suspected phishing emails to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at email@example.com. If you got a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726). Then, report the phishing attack to the FTC at reportfraud.ftc.gov.
If you receive a phone call that seems to be a phishing attempt:
• Hang up or end the call. Be aware that area codes can be misleading. If your Caller ID displays a local area code, this does not guarantee that the caller is local.
• Do not respond to the caller’s requests. Financial institutions and legitimate companies will never call you to request your personal information. Never give personal information to the incoming caller.
• If you feel you’ve been the victim of a scam, and you did provide personal or financial information, contact your bank immediately at their publicly listed customer service number. Often, this is found on the back of your bank card. Be sure to include any relevant details, such as whether the suspicious caller attempted to impersonate your bank and whether you provided any personal or financial information to the suspicious caller.
For more best practices and tips on how to spot scams, connect with us on social media or visit www.BanksNeverAskThat.com.
4 Tips to Reach Your Financial Goals
Setting attainable and realistic financial goals is key to reaching success, however knowing how to reach them and which to prioritize can be tricky.
4 Tips to Reach Your Financial Goals
How to set achievable financial goals
Setting attainable and realistic financial goals is key to reaching success, however knowing how to reach them and which to prioritize can be tricky. Whether you decide on a money-related goal because of a substantial change happening soon, such as buying a car, making major renovations, or just to improve your financial wellbeing, it is important to consider your priorities and make sure your financial goals are clear and concise. Here are four realistic financial goals that can help improve your financial health, as well as tactics you can use to help achieve these objectives.
1) Pay down debt
Owing money on things such as mortgages, credit cards, student loans, and vehicles is a reality many Americans face. As frustrating as those debts may be, it is best to break them down and simplify them: look at your debt and decide on a percentage you would like to reduce it by. Also keep in mind not all debt is created equal, so determine the best approach to achieve each goal.
2) Track your spending
If the thought of maintaining and setting a budget sounds a bit overwhelming, you might choose to just track your spending, so you have a better idea of where your money is going.
Technology can be a huge asset in helping keep track of your spending. Apps, along with online and mobile banking, offer solutions for not only tracking your spending but identifying areas where you can make cuts.
3) Make savings simple
If you set a goal to save a big amount in a set timeframe, there’s a chance you’ll fall short.
Instead, give yourself smaller more specific, short-terms goals, such as seasonal goals. Maybe you want to take a vacation, have your eye on a birthday gift or the newest iPhone. If a big-ticket item is the end goal, consider setting certain targets along the way so you can achieve the same effect while still taking longer to save.
4) Invest in yourself
Many Americans struggle to save for retirement. It is best to start saving for retirement as soon as possible, so your money has more time potential for growth. This is just one of many ways to invest in your future self!
Take time to research what options are available, such as certain retirement plans, 401(k), IRA and do your research of the ones that make the most sense for you.