17 May

Getting Your First Mortgage Through a Credit Union- Lower Rates and No Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage Through a Credit Union

When it comes to buying your first home and applying for a mortgage loan, finding your dream home is only half of the battle. There is the task of making sure you understand all the requirements of applying for a loan, figuring out what type of mortgage is best for you, and making sure that your lender has your best interests in mind. Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase you will ever make, so there is a lot at stake when choosing a lender.

All of these reasons are why getting a first mortgage through a Credit Union like RMLEFCU is becoming more and more popular. Credit Unions operate very differently than big, private banks and in turn can offer you better service, lower rates, lower origination fees, and NO mortgage insurance if you’re putting down less than 20%.

Yes, you heard correctly! NO mortgage insurance required.

No Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

For many first time home buyers, the biggest obstacle to getting the ball rolling is the intimidating task of saving up 20% of the home cost or facing a monthly charge of $100-$300 for mortgage insurance. At RMLEFCU, you can have your cake and eat it too!

Is it up to the lender whether to charge mortgage insurance on loan with less than 20% down, and at Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union, there is none required. You can put less than 20% of the total home cost down and still avoid a monthly PMI fee.

Low Interest Rates and Origination Fees

Credit unions are able to offer lower than average interest rates and origination fees because of how their business models differ from that of a traditional bank. Credit Unions (like RMLEFCU) are owned by the members and run as close to cost as possible. Any profits earned don’t go into the executives’ pockets, members democratically decide where they go, which is usually to lowering rates and fees.

On a huge, long term loan like a mortgage, small fractional increases in interest rates can have an enormous impact on how much you will pay out over the life of the loan. Getting as low an interest rate as possible is a vital part of getting the best mortgage.

Better Service

Credit Unions are known for their great service. It all ties back to the business model; a Credit Union is owned by its members and decisions are made democratically. This involvement by members in the innerworkings of the business eliminates the divide between bank employees and you.

In addition, RMLEFCU is a local, Colorado credit union made up exclusively of law enforcement officers, support staff, and their families. Our loan officers understand the Denver real estate climate, your situation, and know you by name. Your experience applying for a loan will be much more personal and specific to you, not just how you add up on a piece of paper.

Make your dream of being a home owner happen sooner than you thought possible by getting a mortgage through a credit union. With no PMI and low rates and fees, you can’t afford not to!

08 May

Beware of Free Trials – Always Read the Fine Print

Free trials for software and website subscriptions are popular and very common. They exist with the goal of letting customers try products before they purchase. However, if you don’t plan to buy the service, beware of free trials!

Before signing up, always read the fine print agreement and make sure you know when to cancel before the trial runs out. It may help to write down that cancel-by date so you do not forget! Even if you have every intention of cancelling before the trial runs out, you will still be responsible for payment if you fail to cancel and your credit card is charged. This does not count as fraud.

Always Read the Fine Print

For most free trials (but not all of them), the business will be up front about how the trial works before you sign up. You enter your credit card information to get the free trial, but if you cancel by such and such date you will not be charged. Remember that you are responsible for cancelling.

Always read the fine print before you sign up, especially if the information about how/when to cancel is not obvious. Here are the most important factors to look for to make sure you do not end up getting charged:

  • Confirm that you CAN cancel the free trial and avoid being charged for the service.
  • Learn exactly how long the free trial lasts, and most importantly, the last day you can cancel to avoid being charged.
  • Once you identify the cancel-by date, plan to cancel at least a business day before. Write it down on a calendar or set a reminder on your smart phone.
  • Make sure that there are no clauses “trapping” you into buying the service. For example, check that you are not entering into a long-term contract where you will still owe a partial payment if you cancel, etc.
  • Be aware that the fine print likely tells you that if you do not cancel by the specified date, you have agreed to be charged for the service.

If You Forget to Cancel, You Are Still Obligated to Pay

If you planned the entire time to cancel the free trial before you were charged, but you forgot to cancel before the specified date, you are still liable for payment. This does not count as fraud. The fine print agreement often stipulates very clearly that your card on file will be charged at the end of the trial.

Unfortunately, you are responsible for this payment and filing a fraud claim or dispute with your credit union can rarely change that. Any time you enter your credit card information online you should be fully aware of what you are signing up for and the terms that go with it. Free trials are a nice way to try out a new program, but if you do not plan to buy the product, be sure you take the necessary steps to avoid being charged.

03 May

How to Fund Your Honeymoon with a Loan

Fund Your Honeymoon with a Loan

Figuring out how to pay for a honeymoon that lives up to your expectations, especially after planning and paying for a wedding, can just seem like one more daunting task to deal with.

A great option that not many know about is to fund your honeymoon with a loan. You can still go on the honeymoon you’ve always dreamed of while not racking up a mountain of credit card debt. Vacation loans have lower interest rates than your typical credit card (as low as 7.95% APR*) and you often have up to 12 months to repay.

You don’t want to start off your new life together without two pennies to rub together. Take out a loan for your honeymoon to eliminate the struggle of finding the cash to pay for it and make your vacation the way it should be: stress free!

Don’t Compromise on Your Dream Honeymoon

You probably have one or two vacation destinations you’ve always imagined for your honeymoon. Whether it’s something tropical or a mountain getaway, you don’t have to compromise on your honeymoon. This should be your one chance to truly take that romantic getaway to your dream destination. Celebrate your new marriage without stressing the financial details!

If you have a little bit of money set aside for the honeymoon but it just doesn’t seem like enough, pay for your honeymoon with a mix of both. Knock out the plane tickets and lodging with a loan, then use cash for dining out and spending money while on your honeymoon.

A Loan is Better than Credit Card Debt

Many new couples come out of their wedding and honeymoon with a mountain of credit card debt; probably not the ideal way to start your new life together. By opting for a loan rather than racking up your credit card to pay for a honeymoon, you can enjoy a lower interest rate and a structured re-payment plan.

A loan is gentler on your credit score as well. If you have other large purchases planned, like a house or a car, you will want your credit score looking as good as possible. Not only will a loan collect less interest but it is also “better” debt than consumer debt.

Start Your New Life Together in Good Financial Standing

A new marriage usually means new joint expenses and more serious planning for your future together. Do retirement-age you a favor and start things off on a good foot. Keep some cash for the unexpected, minimize your credit card debt, and prioritize low interest loans to higher interest alternatives.

With Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Credit Union, you can borrow up to $2,500 with an APR as low as 7.95%.* To learn more, call 303-458-6660, go to rmlefcu.org, or visit one of our branches.

*Annual Percentage Rate. With approved credit. Some restrictions may apply. Offer valid through July 31, 2017

27 Apr

Emergency Funds: Do I Really Need One and How Big Should It Be?

Emergency Fund

Did you know that according to recent survey, roughly 26% of adults in the U.S. have no savings set aside for emergencies*? What do you think is the percentage of adults that experience financial emergencies each year? It would be nice to think that it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 26%, but it is surely higher.

You probably periodically consider starting an rainy day fund but then something comes up to pay or save for and you put it off to next year. No matter how small your first contribution is, now is the time to get serious about building (and keeping!) a healthy emergency fund.

Why Have an Emergency Fund?

Separate from your general savings account, every individual and family should have a designated emergency fund with a consistent balance. Anyone with children knows how common unexpected dental work or home repair can be, but even unattached adults need to be able to survive a lay-off or medical emergency.

Other than interest, another thing that can be gained from having an emergency fund is simple peace of mind. Anyone who has ever lived paycheck to paycheck can tell you that it is not a fun lifestyle; the smallest financial inconvenience can spell falling behind on important bills, not to mention sleepless nights. By having a designated emergency fund, you are buying yourself a sense of security just as much as you are paying for those unforeseen life events.

How Big Should My Emergency Fund Be?

The general rule of thumb for an emergency fund is three months’ worth of expenses. Obviously the more savings the better, but enough cash to get you through three months should be your minimum. This fund can be for anything from medical bills to home repair, but it should also be large enough to support you and your family in the event of losing steady income.

If you do not already have a good idea of how much you spend each month on everything from housing to groceries, figure out that amount first. Go back and take a good look at your spending habits. Guessing your total grocery bill won’t do you any favors if you have to live off of your emergency fund and realize half of it is being lost to food.

Once you have that monthly figure, multiply by three and then add a little cushion of maybe 10% more for good measure. Don’t stop there if you have the means to beef up your emergency fund even more, but three months should be your absolute minimum balance at all times.

If you don’t have an emergency fund, today is the perfect day to start one. Open a separate savings account, deposit just $100, and make the mental decision to never withdraw money unless it truly is an emergency. Your future self will thank you.

Check out this video to learn more about emergency funds!

*https://www.creditdonkey.com/average-american-savings-statistics.html

25 Apr

6 Money Draining Habits You Need to Quit Doing

Would you like to regain control of your financial health? Have some of your spending habits become so familiar you forgot what life was like when you didn’t make them?  We’ve identified six money draining habits and give advice on how to make them a thing of the past.

  • Stop rewarding yourself with sweets. Do you “treat” yourself with sugary sweets? Look for other ways to treat yourself that won’t affect your waistline, blood sugar, and pocketbook as much. A few suggestions include trying a new workout on YouTube, going for a hike, or letting everyone know you are taking “you time” and aren’t available for the next hour or so.
  • Curb your enthusiasm for wine, beer, and liquor. Try not to keep it in the house and be ready to turn down some social activities that require buying drinks. Look at how much you are spending at the liquor store, bars, and restaurants. Did you know the average consumer spends more than $1,200 a year on beer? That figure doesn’t include spending at bars or restaurants. Think about how often you usually order food with your drinks and the tally increases.

Read More

12 Apr

2017 Denver Police Week Events

Denver Police Week

We are pleased to be a part of the 2017 Denver Police Week activities. This year’s Denver Police Week will be occurring from May 14th – May 20th. Per usual, the statehouse will be lit up blue in honor of our local police officers. We will be updating this post with events as additional information becomes available.

2017 Denver Police Week Events

Thursday, May 18th: The Denver Police Memorial Day Ceremony will be on Thursday, May 18th. The day will progress as follows:

9:00 – 9:45am – Police Museum Reception at the Art Dill Auditorium at 1331 Cherokee St. in Denver. Light refreshments will be provided.

10:00 – 11:00am – Denver Police Memorial Ceremony held at 1331 Cherokee St. Plaza.

Retiree appreciation lunch immediately following in the DPPA Building at 2105 Decatur St. Please RSVP by May 11th to (720) 913-6779 or denverpolicemuseum@gmail.com

Fallen Officer Memorials

Throughout the week there will be fallen officer memorials honoring five police officers that lost their lives. The events are listed below.

Officer Donald J. Seick
Time: May 17, 2017 2pm
Location: 50th Ave (Regis Blvd) and Green Court

William Claassen
Time: May 15, 2017 at 1:00pm
Date: 2805 Downing Street

Thomas O’Connor
Time: May 16, 11:00 am
Location: 13th and Welton street in Denver

Bruce VanderJagt
Time: Thursday, May 18, 9:00 am
Location: Denver Police Headquarters, Art Drill Auditorium, 1331 Cherokee Street

Officer DeHerrera
Time: Friday, May 19, time pending
Location: Denver Police District 1, 1311 West 46th Avenue, Denver