12 Oct

Tips for Paying Off Debt

Tips for Paying Off Debt

Debt has become a dirty four-letter word of sorts. People don’t want to talk about it, and yet it consumes and frustrates so many of us. Fear not though! RMLEFCU is here to give you a few tips for paying off debt and help you along the way.

Plan and Budget

Even though it may be intimidating and seem impossible to dig yourself out of the debt hole, if you learn how to take control of your finances and come up with a game plan, it can be a lot simpler than you think. A simple way to start, is by gathering the balances and interest rates from your various credit cards and loans. Once you have a good idea of how much you owe in total, then you can begin to come up with a budget and plan of attack.

To create a budget, start out by making a spreadsheet that includes your monthly income and expenses. Then, go through the expenses and see what costs are truly non-negotiable and which you can live without – at least until you are debt free. This will loosen up some extra cash that you can put directly towards paying off your debt, getting you one step closer to financial freedom. Check out the new budgeting tool in the RMLEFCU online banking portal. This handy feature integrates with your spending to help you plan a budget and stay on track.

Tackle the Most Expensive Debt First

Now that you have decided how much you owe in total, it’s time to take a closer look at the different interest rates on various loans and cards. Sort them from highest to lowest interest rate and focus on paying off the higher ones first, by putting more than the minimum payment down on them each month. By doing this while continuing to pay at least the minimum on all others, you will lower the amount of interest costing you the most money every month.

Another option is to consolidate your high interest debt into a lower interest option. If you have credit card debt, consider transferring the balances on your higher interest credit cards to a lower interest RMLEFCU credit card for no additional fee. If you have high interest loans such as student loans or an auto loan, talk with a loan advisor about paying them off with a lower interest RMLEFCU option such as a HELOC, personal loan, or by refinancing.

Pay More Than the Minimum

The minimum monthly payments on credit cards and loans are usually 2-3% of your total outstanding balance. In order to make a dent in your debt, you must pay more than just the minimums. Otherwise you are just dragging out the repayment period causing yourself more stress and costing yourself more money. The longer it takes you to repay charges, the more interest banks charge you. Don’t fall into this vicious cycle. Instead, try paying the minimum payment every other week or pay double the monthly minimum. For example, if your minimum payment due is $100, try paying $200 or more whether it’s all at once or sporadically throughout the month. This will allow you to avoid interest charges and improve your credit score. Win-win!

Increase your Assets

If you’re following all of the above steps and still don’t feel like you’re getting un-buried as fast as you would like, it might be time to consider other options to increase your cash flow. This can be anything from selling unnecessary items you may have accumulated over the years, or even getting a second job. Depending on how much money you need and how much time you are willing to invest, each of these options has its pros and cons that should be taken into consideration with your unique situation.

Paying off debt doesn’t have to be intimidating and frustrating. If you develop a solid plan and stick to it, becoming debt free is completely possible for anyone. If you want more tips for paying off debt or would like to speak with one of our expert representatives, give us a call at (303) 458-6660 or visit our website.

27 Jun

Giving a Child a Credit Card: Why It’s Not as Crazy an Idea as It Sounds

Giving a Child a Credit Card

Do you remember when it first started to really sink in that you were going to have to repay all of those purchases you racked up on your credit card, plus interest? Many of us learn this lesson in early adulthood when we first become financially independent, but there is a way to help your children to this epiphany before it has to happen the hard way. By giving a child a credit card at an age as young as 12, you can keep the training wheels on while still helping them build credit and learn valuable financial lessons.

Builds Accountability

Skills like budgeting and money management come with practice, so why not start early?

Giving a cash allowance to a child is one step in building accountability, but giving them the capability to make credit purchases will take that budgeting training to the next level. Learning about delayed consequences for your spending decisions is something many adults have not even mastered yet. Start instilling the idea that choices you make today will always have consequences tomorrow while your children are still young.

Learn About How and When to Use Credit Cards

There is no harm in responsible use of credit cards. Using credit cards regularly will help lenders see that you are reliable to pay off debts, and when you are confident that you can afford to repay what you have borrowed, credit cards can be used to earn reward points and budget large purchases.

Giving a child practice making decisions of when to use credit versus cash will give them valuable financial practice for their adult life, and hopefully, avoid later falling into debt.

Online shopping is still growing and credit cards tend to be safer than debit for online purchases. By giving your child their own, they can make online purchases with their own money and not need to borrow a parent’s credit card.

Establish Credit Early

Many people begin building credit once they are adults. By allowing a child as young as 12 to have a credit card in their name, you can help them to build valuable credit gradually and be better prepared for larger purchases as young adults such as college loans, vehicles, and eventually their first home.

Parents Are Still in Control

With credit cards for children under 18, a parent or guardian can still be the responsible party and can track their child’s spending. These cards tend to have low, manageable limits and can be linked to a debt account for easy payments. You can kill two birds with one stone by giving a child a credit card; learn how to responsibly use a credit card while establishing a credit history.

Giving a Child a Credit Card

Open a credit card for your child in their name to help them learn valuable financial lessons early on in life. You will still retain control and the ability to track their spending, but with them being the primary holder, you can more closely give them the accountability a credit card of their own will one day require.

09 Jun

Conveniences of RMLEFCU

Conveniences of RMLEFCU

At Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union, members not only get to enjoy low rates and great service, but we strive to be on the cutting edge of banking technology. Take advantage of our many conveniences such as mobile and online banking, shared branching, courtesy pay, mobile check deposit, and more!

Online Banking

With RMLEFCU, your bank account is never more than a click away. Online banking is free, secure, and easy-to-use. Anywhere with internet access you can log on to your account to:

  • Access eStatements
  • View transaction history
  • Check account balances
  • Complete funds transfers
  • And more!

Another great convenience made possible by online banking is online bill pay. With your RMLEFCU checking account, set up one time or recurring bill payments to any person or business in the country.* This service is available 24/7 and will send email alerts directly to your inbox. No need to keep mailing the same check each month, set up bill pay and let your bills pay themselves!

Mobile Banking

With mobile banking, all your main transactions just got even easier to reach; in the palm of your hand! RMLEFCU mobile banking is fast, free, and secure for every member enrolled in online banking. With the mobile app (available for iPhone or Android) you can:

  • View account balances
  • Review history
  • Deposit checks
  • Transfer funds between accounts
  • Pay bills
  • Make loan payments

Don’t ever get to the checkout line, watch the total start to rapidly climb, and stress if you have enough in checking to complete the transaction. With mobile banking, you can quickly transfer the needed funds before the moment of truth – potential embarrassment avoided!

Shared Branching

Myth: Local Credit Unions are inconvenient because if you ever travel, you are out of luck if you need to visit a branch.

Myth busted! Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement FCU has 5,000+ shared branching locations in the United States.

RMLEFCU has joined with other credit unions around the world in a cooperative effort to bring you a new level of financial convenience. Through the CU Service Centers Network you can perform many of your financial transactions and obtain services even when you’re far away from your home branch!

As of February 2011, there are currently 190 credit unions in the State of Colorado participating in the Shared Branching program and 5,000+ locations within the United States. And that number is growing every day. We even have international Shared Branching Service Centers.

Isn’t it nice to know that you have easy access to your money when you are on vacation or if an emergency arises that takes you out of Colorado? Find a participating branch near you here or call 1-800-919-CUSC (2872).

Services Offered

Because a CU Service Center is a “shared” facility, members of participating credit unions can transact teller business, such as:

Some of these services may not be available at all locations.

  • Deposits
  • Withdrawals
  • Money orders
  • Transfer funds
  • 24-hour ATM access
  • Loan payments & advances
  • Balance inquiries on all accounts
  • Statement printouts on all accounts for the past 10 days
  • Purchase cashiers & certified checks

You can expect to pay a nominal fee* on the following items at service centers:

  • Service center checks
  • Checks deposited in excess of 10 checks
  • Money orders
  • Stop payments on counter checks
  • Notary service
  • Coin machine

NOTE: CU Service Centers may limit the amount of cash you can withdraw per day, regardless of RMLEFCUs withdrawal limit.

What You Will Need

You need these things when you visit a CU Service Centers Location:

  • Credit union name: Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement FCU
  • Your account number (without dashes)
  • A VALID U.S. Government issued picture identification with signature
  • Last 4 digits of your Social Security Number

Have these items ready to present to the teller. This will save you time and will help us with serving you. All transactions require identification because the CU Service Centers Network cares about protecting your identity and account information.

If you have questions regarding your account or transactions that were performed through the CU Service Centers Network, please contact us.

Courtesy Pay

Courtesy Pay is a free service that works as an emergency source of cash. If you do not have an Overdraft Protection Loan, Courtesy Pay will allow check, debit and ACH items to be paid by allowing your checking account to go into the negative, rather than returning the overdraft item.

Courtesy Pay will allow items to be paid up to $1,000. When paying the item, your checking account will go negative and you will be expected to pay the negative balance back within 30 days in addition to a fee of $28. This protects against mistakes made, or if you simply overdraw your balance. Courtesy Pay prevents collection agency fees and other associated fees and may help clear an important item such as a house payment.

Mobile Check Deposit

Deposit checks without ever setting foot in a branch! Mobile deposit uses your smartphone camera to make deposits in just a few quick clicks. No changing out of your sweats or human interaction necessary.

It’s free, secure, and easy to use. Save yourself some time — take advantage of this convenient mobile banking feature today.

  • Deposit checks anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone
  • Free service for customers with a Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement FCU checking account
  • Save time and avoid unnecessary trips to a branch
  • Deposit your check in just a few quick clicks.

Getting started is easy! Simply download the app for iPhone or Android and follow these steps:

  • Take a picture of the front and back of your check, following the on-screen instructions (make sure you sign it)
  • Select the checking account into which you want to make the deposit
  • Enter the check amount
  • Verify that everything on the screen is correct, then hit “Submit”
  • We’ll confirm that the check has been received

Apple Pay/Samsung Pay/Visa Checkout

Carrying around a wallet full of plastic can put in quite a bind if that wallet is lost or stolen. Connect your RMLEFCU checking account to a mobile payment app such as Apple Pay, Samsumg Pay, or Visa Checkout and have your virtual “debit card” password protected! A huge number of stores and restaurants now accept mobile payments, so you can leave the plastic at home.

Make banking easy, and dare we say it, fun. With RMLEFCU’s many convenient ways to bank, there is no need to fight traffic or even get dressed to perform your basic CU transactions.

*Some restrictions apply. Alimony, court, and certain government payments may not be made using the online bill pay service.

22 Mar

Credit Card Comparison Shopping

choose credit card

Don’t Get Suckered into High APR* Credit Cards with Enticing Rewards

Unless you’ve been living in Siberia, you’ve inevitably heard advertisements for credit cards. Maybe you’ve seen a smiling Jennifer Garner or a smooth talking Samuel L. Jackson chatting about cash back rewards. Regardless of the spokesperson, credit card companies try to entice you with travel reward bonuses or cash back bonuses and they always close with a catchy tagline like “What’s in Your Wallet?”

Our catchy tagline: Keep more of your money with the RMLEFCU Visa. (Maybe it’s not that catchy after all, but it is true.) Keep reading to learn more.

Credit Card Comparison:

It seems like a great deal right? Spend money that you would be spending regardless on your credit card to get rewarded with travel. The cold hard truth is that it takes so much spending to get you to the level of redemption, you would be better off checking Kayak or other travel websites to get a better deal on flights and hotels. Furthermore, miles are not really miles. They’re points that are redeemed at 1 cent per dollar spent.

Let’s use the simplest example: a one-point-to-one-cent ratio, which happens to be Capital One Venture Cards’ ratio. In such cases 100,000 points can buy you $1,000 worth of airline tickets. Do you spend $100,000 a year on your credit card? Yeah, us neither.

There is a tradeoff for those “perks.” Take advantage of them, but if you ever carry a balance, be prepared to pay 19-25% APR for your purchases. Yowza! That would easily and quickly negate any rewards. Thanks but we’ll keep our lower APR and buy our tickets through discount websites.

Here at Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union we offer a Classic Visa®, Platinum Visa® Select, and a Platinum Visa® with uChoose rewards. Read More

04 Jan

3 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Cards

Did your holiday excesses extend to all aspects of your life? If so, we have a few suggestions about how you can pay down your high interest credit cards.

  1. Free cash advances on RMLEFCU credit cards*

    – Normally a credit card company would charge a fee of 3-5% of the amount of cash you withdraw. With RMLEFCU it is free. Use this cash to pay down another card or an outstanding bill.

  1. Free balance transfers onto a RMLEFCU credit card*

    – This is a great member benefit since 3% of the amount you are transferring is usually the price you pay for transferring a credit card balance.

RMLEFCU has three different credit cards to choose from.

  • Classic Visa®
  • Platinum Visa Select® – 7.25% APR*.
  • Platinum Visa® – 12.75% APR* by visiting UChooseRewards.com

The idea behind a balance transfer is simple. You open a new credit card with a low interest rate and move the balance from your old, high-interest card to the new one. Essentially, this means that the debt on your old card has been paid by the new card. After you complete the transfer to the new card, you can start paying it down. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save when your interest payments have been drastically reduced.

Read More

10 Aug

Save on Back to School Expenses

Although it’s not news to parents, back to school costs are nothing to sneeze at. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual Back-to-School Spending Survey of 6,500 consumers, the average family with children in grades K-12 planned to spend $630.36 on clothes, electronics and school supplies this year. Regardless of whether you have overspent, underspent, or kept to a budget, we have a few back to school shopping tips for kindergarten through college graduation that you may be able to incorporate into your spending (or saving) repertoire.

Students in any grade or year – Shop out of season. Shopping post-season sales and clearance racks is a great way to build up you or your child’s wardrobe on a budget. Take inventory to determine exactly what pieces you or your kids will need for the upcoming year, and then organize your budget around what you still need to buy. Keep a look out for winter coats, boots, and jackets in late February, and summer clothing in late August. If you have one, shop where your Student ID gives you a discount.

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