HELOCs and home equity loans may sound very similar, but in reality, they act very differently. In this video, Cary discusses the differences between HELOCs and Home Equity Loans, their typical terms, and what they are commonly used for. For more information, check out past blog posts on what a HELOC is and how to use it to pay off debt. If you think you could benefit from a HELOC or home equity loan, give us a call at (303) 458-6660 or visit our website to learn more and apply today!
As much as we all like saving money wherever we can, there are a few things in life that people, for the most part, agree are worth spending the extra money on. Whether it’s an experience you’ll never forget or an item that you’ll use every day; some things are worth a bit of a splurge. While everyone’s priorities and opinions are different, this list of things worth saving up for and splurging on seems to be pretty consistent across the board.
Fun fact, you spend about a third of your life sleeping, so the real question here is why wouldn’t you splurge on a great mattress? Not only will you get a better night’s sleep, but your productivity and energy will increase too.
This goes hand in hand with the quality mattress point. Anyone who’s slept on scratchy sheets can attest that great bedding can make all the difference in getting a good night’s sleep. Now, we’re not saying to go out and buy 1,800 thread count, Egyptian cotton bedding, but spending a little extra money on better sheets can really impact the quality of your shut eye.
Phone and Computer
It’s 2017 and most of us use one, if not both, of these items all day, every day. Investing in a quality product, whichever brand you may be loyal to, will not only last longer, but have less technical issues in the long run than its cheap counterpart.
Anyone who’s ever ran more than a mile in subpar shoes knows what we’re talking about. While paying $100+ every 200-500 miles may seem like a lot, the injuries that you’ll prevent in the long run make it completely worth it; especially if you consider yourself an avid runner.
Are you going to remember that one week in May 2018 when you went to work every day like normal, or when you took a trip somewhere new and made unforgettable memories? People are always saying how they regret not having more experiences and making the most of life when they had the chance. Don’t let that be you.
Now, while you can plan a vacation on the cheap, there are some things you should not go for the cheapest option on. Generally speaking, hotels and sleeping accommodations are the best example of “you get what you pay for.” Depending on where you’re vacationing, paying a little more per night for a room in a safer and more comfortable place, could make or break your whole trip.
Quality Toilet Paper
Not that this one needs very much explaining, but you’ll end up spending the same amount, if not more, for more roles of the cheap, thin stuff than for the nicer brands. Give yourself a break and go for luxury here.
While not splurging on some of these items may be fine with some, a good rule of thumb is that if you use something every single day, it’s worth spending a little extra money on to ensure it is of great quality. While it may take some time to save up the money to splurge on these items, it is usually worth it in the long run.
Making a budget and investing in a good savings account are some great first steps to ensuring you have the money for things worth saving up for and splurging on. Lucky for you, RMLEFCU has the people and resources to help with both! Visit our website or give us a call at (303) 458-6660 to find out how we can help you start saving today.
Do you agree or disagree with anything on this list or have anything to add? Let us know in the comments!
We’re keeping members first with this summer’s upgrade
This summer, our internet and mobile banking interfaces are getting an overhaul, but it’s not just a pretty facelift. By August, you’ll find slicker, smoother banking online. “It’s important for us to stay in step with leading technologies,” says Christine Wiley, RMLEFCU President/CEO. “In implementing the proven tools in the update, and keeping pace with continuing development, we continue to offer a ‘Best in Class’ interface to all our members.”
Internet and Mobile Banking Upgrades include:
- Member-centric interface, rather than account centric. Members will have a unique username, and once registered in the new system, will have access to all their accounts. We are moving from the account centric system, where all you can see is the account you are signed into, to a member centric platform which shows all account relationships tied to the user. You can even add external bank accounts into your RMLEFCU login!
- Person-to-person transfers (P2P). P2P Payment is an online technology that allows members to transfer funds from their bank account, debit or credit card to another person’s account via the internet or mobile phone.
- Wire transfers. Members will be able to transfer funds to and from other institutions to or from their credit union accounts.
- Interactive budgeting app. An app that helps you stay on track with your spending.
- Enhancements to Bill Pay.
- Customizable screens so you see only what you need.
And Phase II will offer even more!
As the late-summer implementation approaches, we’ll keep you abreast of the coming changes. The transition will be a smooth one, as the tools are already well-proven in the financial industry. And don’t worry: the RMLEFCU staff will be ready to answer your questions or concerns.
Once again, RMLEFCU is giving a lucky local Colorado Law Enforcement department a visit from the Biscuit Bus. Could it be yours?
Here’s how it works:
- Take a photo of your department showing its patriotism
- Tag @RMLEFCU in a photo you post on Facebook or Instagram, or post it on the RMLEFCU Facebook page
- Collect the most likes by 3pm on July 19th
- Eat delicious biscuits. Nom nom nom…
The department represented by the patriotic photo with the most likes on July 19th at 3pm will win a complimentary visit from the Biscuit Bus! We will also randomly select two other departments to receive a visit by Fat Sully’s Pizza truck as runner-ups.
Show your patriotism and we’ll show you the biscuits! #2017BiscuitBusChallenge
*This contest is only valid for Colorado law enforcement departments whose employees are eligible for RMLEFCU membership. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook. RMLEFCU has the right to refuse entries. Contest rules and prizes are subject to change without notice. If your department location is not in range of the Biscuit Bus or Fat Sully’s, an alternative meal option will be issued.
One of the first thoughts after being accepted to college is usually, “Now how do I pay for this?!” The current costs of tuition are staggering, but there are several options for paying for college without going broke. It is worth the research and effort to explore all options, in particular assistance that does not need to be repaid like grants and scholarships.
Paying for Tuition
The first step in beginning your quest for financial aid should be to fill out your FAFSA at https://fafsa.ed.gov/. Filling out this document will tell you what government aid you qualify for, including grants, loans, and other programs like work-study.
It is a good idea to always accept all grants first, and then figure out what additional funding you may need after that amount is deducted from your tuition. Grants do not need to be re-paid if you graduate, but beware, dropping out of school can mean you have to repay the full amount you accepted.
The next best form of funding for college expenses after grants are scholarships. Scholarships do not need to be re-paid (under most types) and can be awarded for a variety of reasons. There are scholarships for all sorts of interests and activities. Some are based on merit, some are based on sports performance, and some are based on where you live.
The William Threlkeld Scholarship
RMLEFCU members that are in high school or college are eligible to apply for the William Threlkeld Scholarship. Four deserving members/students will be awarded the scholarship based on academic performance (a 3.0 GPA or higher), community involvement, and the potential to succeed at the college level. 2017 applications are due by July 31, to apply, fill out this application and mail to:
Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union
attn: Threlkeld Scholarship
10025 Park Meadow Drive
Lone Tree, CO 80135
Loans for college expenses come in two forms: government and private; both of which must be paid back plus interest. Through your FAFSA you will find out if you qualify for any government loans. Subsidized government loans are better than unsubsidized or private loans because you will not accrue interest while in school.
If after receiving grants, scholarships, and subsidized loans you still need cash for school, your next step is to decide between an unsubsidized government loan or a private loan. Choose whichever has a lower interest rate (hint: this won’t always be the government loan!). Another option is to use your parent’s home as collateral for a low interest loan. This could be in the form of a home equity loan or home equity line of credit.
As far as personal expenses while you are a student, some grants or scholarships allow for personal expenses. Only use these though if you have all school expenses (like tuition and books) covered first.
The ideal way to pay for personal expenses while in school is with a part time job or work study program. You want to minimize student debt as much as possible, so going into more debt for living expenses can put you into a bad cycle of increasing your debt each year.
College costs are intimidating for every student, but there are a large number of ways to pay for these expenses without graduating completely broke. Research your options, apply for every scholarship under the sun, and only accrue debt when necessary.
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.