Our Fall 2016 Member Newsletter is Here!

change_leavesOur Fall Newsletter is here! Copies will be printed and available at your nearest branch. An electronic version of the newsletter will appear on our website, social media sites, and will be sent to our members via email.  No printed copies will be mailed to any members in a continued effort to go green.

The Fall Newsletter features the following content:

  • Upcoming First Financial seminars and events (September – November 2016)
  • Article – “4 Ways to Be a Good Financial Role Model for Your Children”
  • Message from the CEO
  • Auto Loan Limbo
  • “What Could Go Wrong Between Now and 50?” – Investment & Retirement Center Article
  • 2016 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship Recipients
  • EMV Chip Debit Cards are here!
  • 80th Anniversary Visa Credit Card Introductory Rate – 0.80% APR for 8 Months
  • “4 Ways to Avoid Cybercrime When Banking or Shopping on Your Mobile Phone or Tablet” – Article
  • New corporate office staff photo with address
  • Important information, holidays, phone numbers, and branch locations

To view a copy of the newsletter, click here.

Enjoy and Happy Fall!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this September 2016

Family-Running-433x279Summer is officially winding down and all the children are heading back to school for another year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great events happening near you. Check out the list of activities that are kicking off the fall season. As always, feel free to post a comment and share your experience from any of the events listed here. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 3 – Monday, September 5: Monmouth Park’s (Oceanport) annual BBQ & Craft Beer Festival is back for three mouth-watering days! Come celebrate the juiciest, most tender BBQ the Jersey Shore has to offer and wash everything down with a great selection of brews in the Craft Beer Garden from 11:30am-5pm. It’s just $10 for 10, 2-oz samples and there will be over 40 craft beers to choose from. PLUS, enjoy everything from fall-off-the-bone ribs, to tender pulled pork, to melt-in-your-mouth brisket. Add in live music all holiday weekend long, three days of craft beers, and three days of heart-pounding Thoroughbred action – there’s no better place to be with friends and family than at Monmouth Park Racetrack on Labor Day Weekend. For more information, call 732-222-5100.

Saturday, September 3 – Sunday, September 4: Head on over to Historic Allaire Village (Farmingdale) for a weekend of good beer, food, and amazing music. Enjoy an amazing beer tent, food trucks with bacon-themed items, craft vendors, live bands, children’s activities, and tours of the historic buildings – there will never be a dull moment! Allaire loves to keep their history theme going with displays of historic bikes and motorcycles. The event is 11am-5pm with the ‘last call’ for drinks at 4:45pm and admission is $8 for adults – tickets can be purchased in advance (click the link above) or at the door. For more information, call 732-919-3500.

Friday, September 9 – Sunday, September 11: The Annual Asbury Park Oysterfest is back and better than ever! What’s the perfect recipe for a cool weekend in the hottest town at the Jersey Shore? Start with fresh seafood and other culinary delights, add a dash of music, and a pinch of surprises – and you have Asbury Park’s Oysterfest, a three-day culinary event you don’t want to miss. This year’s event will be held just outside the iconic Carousel building where the downtown meets the Asbury Park waterfront. Admission is $3 and the hours are Friday: 5pm – 10pm, Saturday: 11am – 10pm and Sunday: 11am – 6pm. For more information, call 732-775-7676.

Saturday, September 10 – Sunday, September 11: The 41st Annual NJ Friends of Clearwater Festival will be held from 11am to 7pm on Saturday and from 10am to 5pm on Sunday at Brookdale Community College (Lincroft). It is the oldest and largest environmental music festival in the state, so bring the family and some chairs and spend the day listening to music while visiting some great vendors! For more information, call 732-784-8547.

Each year, Delicious Orchards’ Apple Fest (Colts Neck) gets bigger and bigger! Attendees will enjoy a full antique car display (over 40 cars ranging back to the early 1900’s), fun games, local vendors offering delicious product samplings, farm animals, a clown, live music, and of course plenty of apple options including more than a dozen varieties, Delicious Orchards’ famous apple cider, seasonal apple ice cream, apple flavored cotton candy and made on site apple fritters are always a huge hit. You won’t want to miss this! For more information, call 732-462-1989.

Saturday, September 17 – Sunday, September 18: Zeppolis, Italian sausage and crispy calamari OH MY! Celebrate the proud Italian heritage on the Jersey Shore as part of the 5th Annual Feast of San Gennaro in Belmar. This year’s festival will feature delicious foods, live entertainment, music and dancing in the traditional feast way. The festivities kick off on Saturday with a Mass celebrated in Italian at St. Rose Church in Belmar, followed by the traditional procession of the Statue of San Gennaro to its place of honor on Main Street. Visitors can enjoy Italian treats, a wine & beer garden, eating contests, crafters, kids activities, dancing in the street and more. Stop by Saturday, from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm or Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. For more information, call 732-681-3700 ext. 214.

Saturday, September 24 – Sunday, September 25: The Asbury Park Fall Bazaar is a weekend celebration of local art, music, and summer in Asbury Park! The event will take place in the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall from 12pm-5pm. Enjoy local handmade artisan goods, live music & DJs, a bonfire, yoga & brunch, and beach camping overnight! This is an event you don’t want to skip – for more information, call 732-919-3500.

Sunday, September 25: Tons of Oysters, pints of Guinness, plus lighter beers and wine, live music, great food – it’s the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival! This great time for everyone is fashioned after the 61-year-old Galway Oyster Festival celebrating the opening of the oyster season. From noon-7pm, this huge food and music festival will showcase Red Bank’s excellent restaurants and will also entertain thousands with great live music and family fun. For more information, call 732-842-4244.

Have a great September!

First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to Rutgers University Student

Press Release

Max WitkowskiFREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) awarded a $500 scholarship to Max Witkowski of New Egypt, a senior who recently graduated from the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science in Manahawkin, NJ  and will attend Rutgers University (New Brunswick Honors College, NJ) in the fall.

In order to qualify for this year’s scholarship, high school seniors attending school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties were given the option to submit a written essay or create a 60 second video clip. The students must also be attending an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university in the fall of 2016. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2016 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s essay topic: You and a friend decide that you would like to start building credit. Discuss with your friend what good credit is, ways to start building credit, how your credit union can help, and the benefits earned by having good credit.

The year’s video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Witkowski submitted an essay in a script format with two friends discussing how to transition into the adult world of finance and credit. He covered the concept of credit scores, how to build them, the self-discipline it takes to keep a good one, and the benefits of having a great score. He added, “If we start building good credit it can be less challenging. When you have a higher credit score, loan interest rates can go down, so when you’re paying back your loans a couple of years from now, you won’t have to pay back as much as you otherwise might with a lower score.”

“We are thrilled to be able to aid these admirable and bright young students in their journey of success and education,” said First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan.  “Our credit union puts a high priority on education. After all, that’s how First Financial began 80 years ago – with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

# # #

About the First Financial Foundation: Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, visit http://www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to High Point University Student

Press Release

Kelsey QuinnFREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) awarded a $500 scholarship to Kelsey Quinn of Howell, a senior who recently graduated from Freehold High School. She will be attending High Point University (High Point, NC) in the fall.

In order to qualify for this year’s scholarship, high school seniors attending school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties were given the option to submit a written essay or create a 60 second video clip. The students must also be attending an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university in the fall of 2016. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2016 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s essay topic: You and a friend decide that you would like to start building credit. Discuss with your friend what good credit is, ways to start building credit, how your credit union can help, and the benefits earned by having good credit.

The year’s video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Quinn constructed a thoughtful essay, beginning with the importance of having a good credit score, the need for having the basic knowledge for creating a good score, and the commitment to be responsible with credit. She included ways to build credit with a secured credit card, a credit builder loan, or to have a co-signer for an unsecured credit card. She stated, “Credit, in the long run, can have a big impact on your life. It can decide whether you get to rent that beautiful apartment that you want, or whether you can get your dream car. There are many things that your credit score controls, and having a good one can make your life a lot easier.”

“We are thrilled to be able to aid these admirable and bright young students in their journey of success and education,” said First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan.  “Our credit union puts a high priority on education. After all, that’s how First Financial began 80 years ago – with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

# # #

About the First Financial Foundation: Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, visit http://www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to Brookdale Community College Student

Press Release

Dylan WisniewskiFREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) awarded a $500 scholarship to Dylan Wisniewski of Howell, a senior who recently graduated from Howell High School’s Vocational Educational Program. He will be attending Brookdale Community College (Lincroft, NJ) in the fall with a concentration in Automotive Technology.

In order to qualify for this year’s scholarship, high school seniors attending school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties were given the option to submit a written essay or create a 60 second video clip. The students must also be attending an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university in the fall of 2016. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2016 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s essay topic: You and a friend decide that you would like to start building credit. Discuss with your friend what good credit is, ways to start building credit, how your credit union can help, and the benefits earned by having good credit.

The year’s video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Wisniewski submitted an essay where he began with the financial freedom that comes from having a few dollars in your pocket and the pitfalls that come with easy spending combined with no savings. He related how he received an “A” in his Financial Literacy class but nearly flunked in his real life spending habits. In his essay he stated, “Building credit is a lot like building muscle. I take my daily gym workouts very seriously. Hard work, time and dedication have helped me attain physical fitness. Therefore, having a partner such as First Financial can help me achieve financial fitness in the long run.” He finished strongly with a detailed account of how to bolster savings, cut back on spending, and how small changes add up to having more dollars in one’s pocket.

“We are thrilled to be able to aid these admirable and bright young students in their journey of success and education,” said First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan.  “Our credit union puts a high priority on education. After all, that’s how First Financial began 80 years ago – with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

# # #

About the First Financial Foundation: Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, visit http://www.firstffcu.com.

First Financial Foundation Awards Scholarship to University of New Hampshire Student

Press Release

Lauren Harper 2

FREEHOLD, N.J. – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation (www.firstffcu.com) awarded a $500 scholarship to Lauren Harper of New Egypt, a senior who recently graduated from the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (Sandy Hook, NJ). She will be attending the University of New Hampshire this fall as a Biomedical Sciences major with a Mathematics minor.

In order to qualify for this year’s scholarship, high school seniors attending school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties were given the option to submit a written essay or create a 60 second video clip. The students must also be attending an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university in the fall of 2016. Four winners were selected to receive a $500 First Financial Foundation 2016 Erma Dorrer Literary Scholarship.

This year’s essay topic: You and a friend decide that you would like to start building credit. Discuss with your friend what good credit is, ways to start building credit, how your credit union can help, and the benefits earned by having good credit.

The year’s video topic: Create a 60-second video that covers the importance of financial literacy.

Harper submitted a bright and innovative film clip, which discussed how financial literacy, especially as part of the American Dream, can make a profound impact on one’s financial life from the beginning of adulthood all the way to retirement. In her video she states, “Personal financial literacy requires long term goals and vision. It requires a person to plan for the future and have the discipline to use their financial literacy skills every day. Financial literacy skills span from knowing how much money to save for your first car to choosing the best insurance policy for yourself.”

“We are thrilled to be able to aid these admirable and bright young students in their journey of success and education,” said First Financial President and CEO, Issa Stephan.  “Our credit union puts a high priority on education. After all, that’s how First Financial began 80 years ago – with a group of schoolteachers in Asbury Park.”

# # #

About the First Financial Foundation: Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, visit http://www.firstffcu.com.