23 Mar

How RMLEFCU Can Help You During This Crisis

hands holding during crisis helping

First things first – we care about our members and want you to be successful. Please be proactive by contacting RMLEFCU if you run into any hard times during this crisis. We can help you save money, but most importantly, reduce some of the tension that you may face if you are facing financial hardship.

Here are just some of the ways RMLEFCU can help right now:

  • Skip-a-Pay is available now to members during this crisis to skip an RMLEFCU loan payment with no fee.* Exclusions apply.
  • Refinance your auto loan at RMLEFCU and receive a lower interest rate and no payments for 90 days. 90 days without a car payment could be a helpful break from a bill during this crisis. Save another 0.5% if you qualify for our relationship rate.
  • Refinance your mortgage with RMLEFCU and receive a $500 lender credit** toward closing costs, plus skip your first month’s payment. This could lower your monthly payment and allow you to skip a payment during the crisis.
  • Transfer your credit card balance from another institution onto an RMLEFCU credit card for free and a likely receive a lower interest rate. See our rates.
  • We are offering low rate personal loans to pay bills to those institutions who aren’t as understanding.
  • Sign up for debt protection to cover loan payments in the event of death, disability or involuntary unemployment.

Do not hesitate to call us if you are having trouble making a payment or if you have any questions about RMLEFCU’s services. Contact us at lending@rmlefcu.org or (303) 458-6660.

What to do During Times of Uncertainty

The last thing you need in times of uncertainty is financial stress. The following financial guide includes free tips, guidance, goods, resources, and financial assistance programs to help you save and access money. This will ensure you have what you need to handle some of the financial and emotional challenges that may occur in periods of instability, specifically during the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ll keep adding more tools, so keep checking back to this post!

Come Up with an Action Plan

Your first step is to come up with an action plan to move forward with confidence. Below are three things that you can bear in mind when you first receive reports about times of crisis.

  • Remain calm. Don’t make irrational or short-term financial decisions during this period of uncertainty. This can actually do more harm than good. Examples include withdrawing large amounts of cash or selling stock at the bottom of a crash.
  • Reduce expenses to a minimum. If your income is limited, it’s a smart idea to reduce your expenses to a minimum. If you are having trouble making a payment, please contact us. RMLEFCU understands what law enforcement officers and their families have to go through and we will work with you to the best of our ability to help reduce financial stress.
  • Keep investments for the long term. If you are an investor, it’s recommended that you do not check the markets daily and take caution against making decisions on the basis of media headlines. These fluctuations may seem concerning now, but over a longer period of time they will average out.

Re-Examine Financial Expenses

It’s not often in life that we re-examine our financial expenses. Here are a few practical things you can do to make the best of these times.

  • Re-examine your bills. Gather all your bills and find out the amount you need to pay every month for essential expenses. Then, you can prioritize your expenses by the amount of satisfaction. Then, you’ll have a better understanding of what to cut out of your budget during hard times.
  • Re-examine subscriptions. Subscriptions are easy to stack up and forget about. We’ve written a comprehensive guide to canceling your unneeded subscriptions to help you determine which are worth keeping and which you can do without.
  • Create a plan for the future. Think about the improvements you want to make in the way you spend your money. At the end of the day, the best way to use your income is to ask: what are the things you should spend money on that make you and your family happy, and what are the things you spend money on that don’t make you happy? When you have learned these things, you’ll be able to build a realistic strategy for healthy financial investment.

Help with Housing Payments and Utilities

Paying for rent and utilities can be some of the greatest challenges these days. Ask your landlord or utility provider if it is possible to seek an extension on full or partial payment if you aren’t able to make it. See if they’re willing to help you get on a payment plan. It never hurts to ask, and they’re most likely amenable to helping out when there is transparent communication.

You can also go to your credit union for assistance in the form of a low rate personal loan or the ability to skip a payment.

Finally, it could be a good time to pick up a side job in an industry that is booming right now, like food delivery or grocery stores, to make a little extra cash.

 

 

* Lines of credit, VISA or mortgage loans do not qualify at this time.

** Exclusions apply. Must be refinancing from another institution.

25 Sep

Finding the New Normal with Your Finances

Staying on top of your finances and credit can be overwhelming as is, but when you add a global pandemic and economic crisis to the mix, it can be extremely overwhelming. Here are three tips to help you navigate your financial situation and find your new normal during these times.

Look at Your Debt

If you are among the millions of Americans who have unfortunately lost their jobs or are expecting a loss of income, stick to making the minimum payment on your lower priority debts for now.

When you pay the minimum, you’ll keep up to date with your accounts, and your credit score will remain more on track. You can also consolidate your debt into a lower interest rate loan. RMLEFCU has competitive rates for our loans. Contact us to find out more!

Find New Routines

Although the stress of a global pandemic may make you run to material comfort, you should keep your money in your pocket instead of spending it on new belongings. In times of tension, we’re all looking for something comforting and the sensation of spending can be something we turn to.

Instead, consider little rituals that will bring back routine and a sense of calmness to your life. Find new ways to feel satisfied and comfortable at home, such as studying, artwork, new hobbies, or talking to a friend.

See New Opportunities

Pre-pandemic, you may have made totally different financial decisions than those you’re making right now. See this as an opportunity to take a more active role in your financial life and create positive habits.

Start by creating a budget for yourself. When you’ve got a hold of your monthly spending, take out your credit report and see where your credit is. Keeping track of these things will help guide you to a better financial situation.

RMLEFCU is here to help you with your financial needs. Your membership includes a free financial advisor and plenty of low rate loans for you to refinance into. Contact us at 303-458-6660 for more information.

22 Sep

Signature Equipment Loan

Congratulations! You have just graduated from the Police Academy, now what? Law enforcement officers are burdened with the costs of equipment from the first day they graduate. RMLEFCU has been helping new graduates since 1938!

History of RMLEFCU

It was a crude understatement to say that it was hard to get a loan in 1938. The Denver Police had nothing to give in the form of collateral and, combined with the financial instability of the Great Depression, their loan demands fell deaf to the ears of the bankers.

A new way to promote financial stability was required. 

Fortunately, three Denver police officers, Ivan Eldher, Harold Dill, and Roy Floyd, formed a credit union devoted to law enforcement officers. This credit union? Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Credit Union.

Over the past eight decades, we have experienced numerous moves, increased membership, and modernized programs – but our loyalty to officers who keep Colorado communities safe remains unchanged.

New Recruits

Joining the Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union was a rite of passage that happened soon after an officer had been sworn in. Newly minted police officers would obtain a $250 signature loan to help buy the required equipment.

Over the years, we have evolved to include more than 14,000 members and more than $220 million in assets. We are still supplying new officers with our Signature Equipment Loan, but now for up to $2000.

From our humble beginnings with one employee in the Denver Police Department’s basement, we have grown to three physical locations in the Denver Metro area with fifty employees.

RMLEFCU members enjoy joint branching with 200 other credit unions in Colorado and with more than 5,000 locations throughout the country.

We’ve constantly improved our online banking to be as smooth and stable as possible. To learn how to become a member, please see our switch kit or contact us at (303) 458-6660.

11 Sep

Current Low Rates Means Refinancing Your Auto Loan is a Big Deal

The current pandemic is straining economies both locally and internationally. It’s now time to find opportunities to save money.

One way for some people to minimize monthly payments is by refinancing their car loans at lower interest rates. These current rates are much lower than average, and it is important to consider what the refinancing of a car loan means.

RMLEFCU will help you navigate the refinancing of your auto loan to get the lowest rate out there.

Look at More than the Monthly Payment

A lower monthly payment can still mean paying more for your vehicle over time, particularly if your loan period is extended. This could get you in some other financial trouble later.

Pay attention to the rate of interest you’re paying, as well as when you’re actually going to get rid of the car payment. This is especially important if you don’t intend to keep your car around for a long time. Your aim should be to make the loan payments quicker.

Do Your Research

Just like all big financial decisions, it’s important to do your homework before you get a refinancing loan. Jumping in headfirst and committing to a new loan before you fully understand it could be a major mistake.

Your existing loan may be subject to a prepayment penalty, which means that you may have to pay a prepayment charge to substitute it with a new loan. Shop around a little to see what the prices are like before you commit.

Features Available at RMLEFCU

RMLEFCU offers low, competitive auto loan rates for new or used vehicles with a variety of repayment terms available. We also have a variety of buyer resources to make your car purchasing and refinancing process easier:

  • Get fast financing with Credit Union Direct Connect.
  • Easily browse inventory and make an informed auto buying decision with AutoTrek.
  • Protect yourself against financial loss in the event your car is totaled or stolen with GAP Insurance.
  • Be prepared for unexpected auto repair costs with RMLEFCU’s Mechanical Repair Coverage. Our benefits are usually hundreds less than the prices the dealerships offer.

We’re also offering an exclusive member-only special on our Relationship Rate! Normally, members can take an extra 0.5% APR* off our already low auto loan rates if they qualify for four out of five following services:

  • Line of Credit (includes credit cards, overdraft protection, or a home equity line of credit)
  • Kasasa Checking
  • Online Banking
  • Direct Deposit
  • Automatic Payments

This month, for Member Appreciation Month, we are offering an EXTRA 0.25% APR** off the Relationship Rate. This means you can get a total of .75% off our already low rate of 3.5% APR*! That means your rate could be as low as 2.75% APR*! With auto loan rates currently low, it might be the perfect time to refinance your auto loan.

 

 

 

 

 

*Annual Percentage Rate. With approved credit. Some restrictions may apply. Rates subject to change.

**Annual Percentage Rate. With approved credit. Some restrictions may apply. Rates subject to change. Offer valid for the month of September 2020.

 

18 Aug

4 Reasons to Ditch Your Tent and Purchase an RV

If a self-proclaimed camping purist scoffs at an RV or camper it can only mean two things: 1) They have never tried it or 2) They genuinely enjoy roughing it and being uncomfortable. If it’s the latter, there’s no convincing them. They are at peace sleeping on a pad as thick as a yoga mat and it’s best to let them be.

For everyone except the most extreme mountain types, there are four main reasons that an RV/Camper is a better choice than a standard tent.

  • You will save money on hotel stays with an RV/Camper
    The average hotel stay in Durango, CO is between $100-200 a night. That is before taxes and fees for any extra guests beyond the allotted number per room, pet fees, and even fees for parking. Compare this to a single site during peak season at Durango’s Junction Creek campground that is $24 per night. If you opt to stay on the Bureau of Land Management land, you will pay $0. In a hotel without access to a kitchen, you will also spend roughly $50 per meal for a family of four. Compare this to cooking in your RV or camper where the total meal cost is significantly lower.
  • An RV/camper provides more protection from human or animal threats
    While a tent’s fabric walls can protect you from insects and snakes, they’re no match for a bear or cougar. Yes, animal attacks are rare but better to play it safe and not turn into a tasty treat or chew toy for a hungry mammal. Sometimes it’s the sound of a coyote, wolf, or unidentified animal that makes it hard to sleep. If you are inside your camper or RV, you likely won’t be bothered.
  • There’s no need to pack and unpack with an RV/Camper. Do you have a storage shed or basement full of camping gear? Between portable stoves, sleeping pads and bags, tents, and tables, there is a lot of gear that must be packed and unpacked and stored after every camping trip. If you have an RV or camper you can store what you need inside and either hook it up to your tow hitch or drive it away when it’s time to go. The more you move around your camping supplies, the more chance that you will misplace or lose them. You’re protecting your gear when you invest in an RV or camper.
  • You are more likely to ACTUALLY go camping than you would with just a tent. Additional reasons you will look forward to camping in an RV over a tent is because you’ll have a better night’s sleep on a bed than you would on a cot or sleeping pad – plus you’ll stay warmer inside an RV or camper’s walls. If your family members hesitate for any of the above reasons or complain about comfort, these roadblocks can be easily overcome with the purchase of an RV or camper.

If you’re ready to rev up an RV, RMLEFCU offers its’ members competitive rates on RV loans. Whether you are considering a motorhome, fifth-wheel camper, or teardrop, we have a variety of repayment terms available. Our application process is quick and painless and you can start online today! If you have any questions, please call us at (303) 458-6660.

14 Aug

4 Reasons Why Your College Student Needs a Credit Card

News stories and surveys show the average American is burdened by credit card debt. It may seem odd that we encourage college students to open up a credit card but hear us out. We recognize the potential pitfalls that out of control spending can have, but when used responsibly, a credit card is a steppingstone your child needs to become a credit carrying consumer.

Here are four reasons why your college student needs a credit card.

College Students Can Build Credit

With great power, or in this case, purchasing power, comes great responsibility. Making sure your child understands interest and the importance of not spending more than you have, is how they can show you, and credit agencies, that they are responsible. No credit is not nearly as bad as a credit history gone awry, but it’s not much better. It may be harder for them to secure a credit card post-college so building credit at an earlier age can ensure credit continues to be available as they enter their early 20’s.

Credit Cards Bring Increased Purchasing Power

College expenses can add up fast, especially when the price tag of a PC or laptop is concerned. A credit card from RMLEFCU will gibe your student the ability to buy the necessary technology to complete their coursework online or off. Don’t forget the laptop warranty with today’s on-the-go students. Moving laptops from place to place increase the chances of damage and even theft. For theft recovery software, click here.

There’s a Paper Trail

Credit card transactions will always see the light of day with detailed statements. There is no need to keep receipts or wonder where all of their money goes when there’s an electronic record. You and your college-age student can easily spot where the bulk of their money is being spent, so a correction can be made, if necessary. There’s also the accountability factor of a credit card statement. When your student uses cash, the pain of purchase is fleeting and occurs within moments. With a credit card, they are forced to reckon with the purchase for at least a month and be reminded of its’ utility, or lack thereof, when they see the description on their credit card statement. For a detailed explanation of the type of expenses college students should plan for, see our earlier post “How to Create a College Budget

Credit Cards Offer Assurances Cash Cannot

If you lose your credit card or it is stolen, you can call RMLEFCU and we will make sure to put a stop on all purchases. Compare this to what happens if you make all of your purchases using cash. There is no bank-backed guarantee and the chances of recovering your lost or stolen cash are slim to none.

A credit card builds the credit you will eventually need to for loan approvals for a home or car, it allows you to afford big-ticket items that you need but are otherwise unable to buy without the ability to pay it back later, we see you unanticipated car repair and credit cards offer accountability and assurances that keep us in line and protected from financial loss. For your son or daughter just starting out, RMLEFCU recommends our classic VISA credit card with no annual fee and a low APR. See all of our credit card choices here.

07 Aug

3 Staycation Ideas to Get You Excited About Summer

Staycation loan helps family buy camping gear

Oh, summer, warm weather, sunshine, the open road … or not. Among the many changes that the novel coronavirus has brought upon us, there is also the likelihood that your family has had to rethink your 2020 vacation plans. Not to worry! RMLEFCU has you covered with some fun stay-cation plans that will make you forget you were supposed to leave town at all!

Here’s how to plan a totally immersive, all-inclusive family staycation without leaving Colorado!

Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

When was the last time you explored your town’s history? There’s most likely a few local museums close by, historic markers, classic restaurants, or kitschy shops you pass by every day. Visiting these hole-in-the-wall businesses is a great way to discover your new favorite restaurant or store and helps to support local businesses!

It’s not often we play tourist in our own town. You may think you know where everything is, but once you imagine you’re a guest coming from a faraway place, you’ll find some amazing places to visit and things to do! 

Take the Scenic Route

Sometimes the open road calls to us but it’s hard to really enjoy the scenic route with the same car you drive to work every day. This is where car rentals come in handy! Renting your dream car for a day won’t cost too much and enjoying a long drive into the Colorado sunset could be your new favorite activity. If you have a specific destination, try spending a night or two! If you don’t, even better, the magic is in the journey.

Get in Touch with Nature

Now is the best time to put your camping gear to work! Pitch the tent, hang the hammock, bust out the hot dogs, roast a couple of marshmallows, and sleep under the stars. We are fortunate to be living in Colorado with plenty of exposure to the great outdoors. State and county parks, recreational trails, and green spaces in the city offer plenty of opportunities to get in a little exercise, enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, and see some amazing wildlife. You needn’t go very far to experience nature’s wonders. RMLEFCU is also offering a low-rate camper/RV loan to help you purchase the adventure gear of your dreams!

Staycations can be a lot of fun! What’s even better is our low rate Staycation loan is here to help you pay off some bills, purchase new equipment for your hobbies, get a head start on your home improvement projects, and even splurge a little on yourself!

A healthy and happy family staycation is what we hope for all of our members! We’d also like to remind you to observe recommended practices for social distancing whenever you leave home and keep up that frequent handwashing. Share your best staycation ideas or trips on social media and tag @RMLEFCU and #RMLEFCUStaycation to be entered into our Staycation Giveaway for Sunglass Hut gift cards!