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

18 Jan

5 Financial Milestones to Hit in 2017

Financial milestones are goals we aim to achieve. Some should be stressed at certain milestones in our own life. In this vein, we picked five financial goals you may have depending on your current age.

Are you just entering workforce?

Start saving for retirement

If you can stand to, save 10% of your salary. The earlier you start doing this, the more you can take advantage of compound interest. If you’re a woman, chances are you will live longer (sorry boys), so try and factor that into your retirement savings. Although you may be receiving a pension if you joined the force, it might not be enough for you to live on entirely.

You’re in Your Mid-Twenties

Set up an emergency fund

Save to be able to cover all your expenses for 6 months if you’re single, three months if you’re married. Start by adding $100 a month to a separate account. You can set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account to help build your emergency fund. Read More

14 Sep

Avoid Making a Big Money Mistake with these Questions

The best way to avoid a money mistake is to question big-ticket items fully before committing. Asking yourself these questions will help you help you maintain your financial health by avoiding unnecessary debt. If it doesn’t relate to heating your home, drying your clothes, keeping your house dry, or getting you to work – the purchase is likely not one you MUST make.

This brings us to the first question in our series that you’ll want to answer.

1. Is it necessary? Can you function in your day to day life without it?

We realize we’re being strict, but a narrow view of necessities is key to maintaining control over your finances. You may have guessed from the introduction that we consider a new heater, a dryer and a car to be necessities. Boats, vacations to Tahiti, and kitchen renovations are typically not.

2. Can you borrow? Buy used?

Use Facebook or Nextdoor to put a call out. Examples of things you might be able to borrow include phones and laptops. They are necessary for us to maintain our jobs but if we don’t have the money to buy them new, one option would be to borrow or buy a sparingly used phone or laptop from a friend. Furthermore, while you wouldn’t borrow a dryer, you might make due without one for the summer months by hanging up your clothes to dry outside, using a neighbor’s, or going to the closest laundromat until you have saved up enough to buy your own.

Some items are harder to borrow, like a car or truck. Having a reliable vehicle to get you and your loved ones to where they need to go is important. RMLEFCU is proud to partner with AutoTrek for honest car buying advice. They are offering the following incentives to RMLEFCU members for used and new cars:

  • $100 gas card
  • Discounted prices on 2017 models
  • Exclusive access to 50,000 used models online and over 100 on their lot

3. Shop around if possible and pay attention to reviews.

The Internet and social media make it so much easier to Google the specific brand and model of many big-ticket items and find out who has the best price. A little research can save you a lot of money.

4. Can you do it yourself? Do you have the time? Are you handy?

Be honest not only with how capable you are, but with how much time you are willing to give up to fix or replace the item yourself. YouTube videos can be useful to show you how to properly cut a mango, but hanging drywall may be best left to a team who has done it before.

We have mentioned starting an emergency fund in many of our articles. If you don’t have one, here’s a few reasons why you should. Thankfully, RMLEFCU offers a service called Courtesy Pay that will allow check, debit and ACH items to be paid up to $1,000 by allowing your checking account to go into the negative; rather than returning the overdraft item. This will help keep you out of debt in case you have any financial emergencies.

Speak with a RMLEFCU employee about our current AutoTrek promotion and Courtesy Pay today!

22 Jun

5 Things to Do When Buying in a Seller’s Market

When you’re buying a home in a seller’s market put yourself in the mindset of a contestant on an episode of the Amazing Race. Success depends on being resourceful, keeping a positive attitude, and managing your resources.

Thankfully, Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union can offer their members competitive rates and advice in the form of these five MUSTs before you start looking on Zillow, Redfin or your favorite local realtor’ website.

  1. Get your financing in order.

    In short, pay down your debts, have money earmarked for a down payment and check your credit report so there are no surprises.

    1. Pay Down Debts – Pay the most expensive first. This is the bill with the highest interest rate. Consider moving your balance from one credit card to another with a 0% interest rate, but be faithful with your payments before the 0% offer expires.
    2. Down Payment – Aim for 10-20% of the purchase price.
    3. Credit Report – Order your free one here. Get all three at once. Check for late payments and make sure they are not erroneous, especially recent late payments. If your name is common, make sure that the address noted is correct. If you see something that shouldn’t be there, call the creditor whose name appears alongside the disputed information.
  1. Get a low interest loan.

Here’s where Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union can help. From now until the end of June we can offer 125%* for 30 year and 3.25%* for 15 year loans. There’s no requirement for private mortgage insurance and we’re offering extremely low origination fees of 0.5%.

  1. Be willing to look in different areas and during the weekday.

If there’s a great house out there but you’re only able to view it on the weekends, you might lose out. Buying in a seller’s market means meeting the realtor at the first opportunity. Having a manageable commute is important, but be willing to look for homes in areas you haven’t considered. Arvada and Lakewood are our picks if you want to live closer to the mountains.

  1. Be flexible with the closing date!

Summer and Fall are busy and maybe you have dates in mind that would be less than ideal for moving. Sorry to say, you need to make it work for the seller when you’re buying in a seller’s market. What matters most ultimately is the price you end up paying – and getting a home that works for you. Don’t get hung up on dates.

  1. Shorten your lists of must haves.

You may think you have to have air conditioning, but a swamp cooler can do just fine in this area of the country. Be open to a corner lot, replace the kitchen cabinets yourself, and don’t get stuck on the existing paint colors. Certain characteristics are non-negotiable: school districts, number of bedrooms for each child (bunking brother and sister together for the “perfect house” is not recommended). Save your long list of must haves for a buyer’s market that will eventually happen. If anyone has any guesses of when, let us know.

Buying in a seller’s market is difficult, but not impossible. Stay tuned for more home buying advice from RMLEFCU.

*Annual Percentage Rate. With approved credit. Some restrictions may apply. Applications must be submitted by June 30th, 2016 to qualify for the promotional rate and origination discount.

17 Feb

When is it ok to tap into your IRA?

Ninety six percent of the time, it is wise to adopt an out of sight out of mind mindset when it comes to your retirement accounts. But this article is about the other 4%. When is it ok to withdraw money from your IRA? When does it make more sense than borrowing? How can you avoid being penalized?

First, there are two types of IRAs. The first is a traditional IRA, where you are taxed when you take out the money in retirement. The second kind, a Roth IRA, taxes you on the front end but doesn’t hit you with any taxes when you make your withdraw the money in retirement.

The good news: withdrawals are fair game and penalty free after your 59 ½ birthday, no matter which IRA you choose.

Unfortunately, if you withdraw money from a traditional IRA or Roth IRA before you turn 59 ½, you must pay a 10% tax penalty.

There are exceptions to this rule:

Higher Education: If you pay educational expenses for

  • yourself
  • your spouse; or
  • you or your spouse’s child, foster child, adopted child, or descendant of any of them.

Educational expenses include: tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment. To get into the nitty-pic for 2.17 bloggritty, see the chart at the bottom of this link.

This is not limited to a 2 or 4 year degree program but includes any college, university, vocational school, or other post-secondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program, essentially all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) post-secondary institutions.

Home:

You can withdraw up to $10,000 of IRA funds toward the purchase of your first home. If you’re married, and you and your spouse are first-time buyers, you each can pull from retirement accounts, giving you $20,000 in residential cash.

Better news: You qualify as a “first-time homebuyer” as long as you (or your spouse) didn’t own a principal residence at any time during the previous 2 years.

Read More

15 Dec

Member’s Choice Mechanical Repair Coverage. You need it, we have it.

mechanical repair picMany people believe that cars are more reliable these days than in decades past and that additional auto coverage is a waste of money.  They’re half right. Cars are built better and are infinitely more functional than in years past. As IHS Automotive recently reported, nearly 1 out of 4 cars on the road was built before 2000.

But consider that if you are keeping your car longer, the likelihood that it will need repairs will increase with time. Not to mention that more of cars have electronic parts that require additional attention, otherwise known as more expensive repairs.

You are a prime candidate for this coverage if:

  • You plan on keeping your new car longer than the manufacturer’s warranty – most common are three years or 36,000 miles or 5 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first.
  • You bought a used car and the factory warranty period is fast approaching its expiration.
  • You want to sell your car to a private party to get the most money and want to increase its appeal.

Luckily, RMLEFCU offers Member’s Choice Mechanical Repair Coverage with a laundry list of benefits:

A few highlights:

  • Rental reimbursement: up to $35 per day for 5 days.
  • 24-hour emergency roadside assistance: up to $100 per occurrence. Includes towing, battery jump start, fluid delivery, flat tire assistance and lock-out service
  • Travel expense reimbursement: up to $500 for lodging, food and rental expense when a covered breakdown or collision occurs more than 100 miles from home
  • Honored at any authorized repair facility in the U.S. or Canada
  • No out of pocket expense (except for any deductible)
  • Transferable: if you sell your vehicle privately, the coverage can be transferred (for an administrative fee), adding resale value and appeal.

Select from 3 levels of coverage: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Platinum, the highest, covers ANY breakdown as long as you perform normal maintenance.

Car repairs can be crippling to your budget, but you can purchase piece of mind with Member’s Choice Mechanical Repair Coverage. Talk to a RMLEFCU member representative today to find out more.