Englewood—Nestled in the heart of Englewood, is one of the first and largest branches of Citibank in the state. And although this bank functions as part of an international bank, it also services the community on a personal, intimate basis.
On June 27, the Englewood branch hosted an evening to educate first-time home buyers about different aspects of lending and financing a new home. The bank hopes to have another similar event on July 18. Citibank specializes in mortgage lending, and even though they are a large bank, they continue to aggressively pursue the best rates for purchases and refinancing loans. Citibank also offers a variety of programs to help customers reach their dreams of homeownership. In addition to Community Lending Programs, they also have a unique opportunity called “Home Run,” which is ideal for first-time homebuyers in the low to middle income bracket. Eligible buyers only need to put down 3 percent of the purchase price, and don’t have to pay extra insurance as they would with other similar products.
Said Citibank’s Home Lending Specialist, David Siegel, “Because of our size and abilities, we can be competitive with rates. If you have a relationship with the bank, you may be eligible for more benefits.” Working with customers leads to developing personal relationships, and thus affords more flexibility, in terms of requesting exceptions for loans and discounts. “If you don’t fit in the box, sometimes you can’t get a mortgage. But we try to accommodate even those people with unusual needs.”
As an international bank, Citibank is also ideal for companies with foreign currency exposure. This is a useful option for those who travel abroad or who have businesses overseas. Additionally, for those individuals who are new to the United States, there are savings and mortgage products that can accommodate their needs.
There are also innovative credit card opportunities for those who travel abroad, specifically for summer travelers and gap year students. The Citigold card does not have conversion or ATM fees on transactions in foreign countries. Part of the “Citi Forward” card plan is a “ThankYou Points” system that teaches the value of staying under a spending limit and paying bills on time. A current promotion offers new card holders no interest for seven months.
The Englewood branch has it all—the feel of a small community bank, complete with personal attention and specific programs to meet all needs, with the backing and support of a larger institution. “We should be on your list of places to speak to before you make a decision on where to bank,” Siegel said. And indeed, it seems like Citibank may have just the answer you are looking for.
Sarah I. Abenaim is a freelance writer, living in Teaneck. She is working on her first book. For more of her essays, please visit www.writersblackout.wordpress.com.
By Sarah I. Abenaim