13 Aug

How to Get the Best Auto Loan

new car guy in car keys happy car loan

Finding your dream car is only half of the battle. The other, and quite possibly harder, half is finding the best auto loan rate. If you’re going to borrow money for your purchase, the loan you choose is extremely important.

If you borrow wisely, you can enjoy two important benefits. You’ll spend less on your vehicle, and you’ll have the flexibility to change vehicles and fund other goals within a few short years. Properly planning for a loan before you shop for a car can improve your chances of receiving the loan and car that fits your budget and your style.  Here’s how to get the best deal for your auto loan.

Shop the Loan Separate

Before starting to negotiate on the exact car and price you want, you should begin your loan application process. You can prequalify for a loan which will enable you to set a budget for yourself and have leverage at the dealership. RMLEFCU offers prequalification with auto loans and through September 2019, there is a limited time Relationship Rate offer that’ll knock .75% APR* off your auto loan!

Shop the Total Loan

The only time you should consider the monthly payment is when you have privately calculated how much you want to spend for your car. After that, monthly payments are out of the discussion. Some lenders may focus on the payments to persuade you to borrow more money by extending the number of months in your term. This way, they make more in interest and you have to keep your car longer.

Utilize a Credit Union

A credit union is a nonprofit organization that returns profits to its members through higher savings rates as well as lower fees and loan rates. Membership comes with benefits. Credit unions generally offer lower interest rates than banks do. If you have poor credit, a credit union may be more flexible than a bank. Credit unions build relationships with their members that allow them to offer a more personalized experience. RMLEFCU is Colorado’s only law enforcement credit union and our service to our members is unparalleled. Be sure to check with us before settling on an auto loan with a higher rate!

Your financial situation and the type of vehicle you’re purchasing are key factors in determining the type of lender that’s best for you. If you can’t qualify for a car loan or are being offered high-interest rates, consider getting a cosigner, saving up for a larger down payment, or taking some time to build your credit. If you’re ready to take advantage of RMLEFCU’s limited-time Relationship Rate offer and knock off an extra .75% APR*, contact us now at lending@rmlefcu.org or give us a call at (303) 458-6660.

07 Aug

What to Consider When Choosing Credit Cards

When you’re looking for credit cards, you want to make sure you get one that fits your wants and needs. It might be a little overwhelming trying to navigate through all the different choices being offered, and instead of choosing the first one that sends you a letter in the mail, you should shop around to see which card fits your spending habits and has the rewards you want.

Why Do You Want A Credit Card?

This is the first question you should answer before beginning to look at any credit cards. There can be a variety of reasons ranging from building your credit score, earning card rewards, or making large purchases! These common reasons often have different cards that work best for each.

Building Credit

Credit Cards are a fantastic tool for building credit. If this is the reason you’re looking into a card, you should look for something with no annual fee. To build credit, you should pay off your card every month, which means you can afford to go with a card with a higher interest rate.

Some credit cards require you to pay an annual fee that can range up to hundreds of dollars, however, this is an easy requirement to fulfill. Due to the sheer volume of credit cards available, many of them have no annual fees. Be sure to check the fine print as some cards won’t charge you an annual fee until the second year of being a cardholder.

Earning Rewards

Different cards come with different rewards, while some come with no rewards at all. Rewards typically include cashback, free trips, airline points, hotel stays, gift cards, and merchandise! There is an unlimited number of rewards you can find on credit cards now, in fact, there are great cards that give you rewards just for spending! RMLEFCU credit AND debit cards allow for LEO Card Rewards where you can redeem gift cards, cash back, charitable donations, travel, experiences, event tickets, and merchandise.

If you want to earn rewards, try to find a card that offers rewards based on how you’re already spending. This is so you can get maximum rewards without having to go out of your way to spend differently.

Large Purchases

If you’re looking for a card to make a large purchase, credit limit and percentage rate are the two things you should focus on. Credit cards usually have high-interest rates, but if your credit score is looking good, you can shop around for a lower APR*. You can also find cards with 0% interest for the first few months – 1 year, which means an interest-free loan, for the time being, given if you pay it back within the time.

If you’re looking for a large credit limit, some cards will allow you to request an upgrade your credit limit after a year or more if you continuously pay your card on time. Some cards even offer balance transfers with no fees for better APR, credit limit, or a grace period!

Having a plan to know what to look for in a credit card is important so you’re not stuck with a card that doesn’t match your needs and wants. To have good credit card usage, remember these guidelines: always pay your bill on time, pay your bill in full each month, and have a plan for large purchases. Speak to an RMLEFCU representative today for any questions you have regarding our variety of credit card options! Contact us at (303) 458-6660 or lending@rmlefcu.org.

17 Jul

Credit Union or a Traditional Bank?

Couple smiling at credit union with banker

You have a few options when choosing where to store your cash – a credit union, a traditional bank, or stuffed inside your box spring. We highly recommend you do not do option three. This leaves us with a credit union vs a traditional bank. Which is better? We’ll dissect the differences and let you decide!

What is a Credit Union?

A credit union is a non-profit money organization where members can borrow money from pooled deposits at a lower interest rate than typical banks. Credit unions exist to serve their members rather than maximize corporate profits. They can range from small, volunteer-run organizations to quite large with thousands of members run by a professional board.

Take for example RMLEFCU: Originally founded by the Denver Police Department, RMLEFCU has proudly served law enforcement professionals and their families since 1938. Over the years, we have grown to include a membership of more than 14,000 members and assets in excess of $220 million.

Credit unions offer the same core products that banks offer; checking and savings accounts, home, auto, and personal loans, debit cards, online bill pay, paper checks, certified and cashier’s checks, money orders, and more.

How do Credit Unions Differ from Traditional Banks? 

With RMLEFCU, every member is not just a customer, but an owner of the credit union. In fact, member ownership is one of the key differences between credit unions and other financial institutions.

The credit union is 100% owned by its members. The credit union pays operating expenses and sets aside reserves. Earnings are then returned to members as competitive dividend rates on savings, lower rates on loans, and additional services. Dividends are paid from current income and available earnings, after required transfers to reserves at the end of a dividend period.

With traditional banks, investors own banks and banks have a responsibility to make money for them. That might be through legitimate means like loaning money and earning interest or illegitimate means like opening fraudulent accounts. It can also mean earning money by charging customers outrageous fees.

Credit unions exist to serve their members. That means that credit unions often offer better interest rates both on checking and savings accounts and on loans.

How Do You Join a Credit Union?

Anyone can join a credit union! Membership is determined by being a part of a specific community such as profession, college, or membership in an association or organization.

At RMLEFCU, we serve law enforcement officers and their families. Eligibility is open to current or retired employees of the below-listed law enforcement organizations in the state of Colorado, as well as the family of our current members.

  • Federal Police Services
  • Highway Patrols
  • Government Marshals Offices
  • Sheriffs and Constables Offices
  • Emergency Dispatch Departments
  • State Police
  • Park Police
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Transportation Security Agencies
  • Division of Gaming Security Officer/Guard (has completed POST)
  • Government Criminal Investigation Offices Police Departments
  • Drug Enforcement Agencies
  • The FBI

Once you’re a member of Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement FCU, you are a member for life, even if you or your family member no longer works in law enforcement.

To establish membership, either open a regular savings account online in minutes or apply in person at your local branch.

If you need help transferring any existing accounts or would like more information on becoming a member at RMLEFCU, please give us a call at (303) 458-6660.

10 Jul

 How to Refinance your Mortgage

Buying a home is a major milestone in your life, but the journey continues! After a few years, you might be ready to refinance your mortgage. Refinancing your mortgage is getting a new one to replace the original.  People do this to get a better interest term and rate or to lower their monthly payments.

Refinancing a mortgage isn’t a simple phone call or online form, and there may be more paperwork involved than when you first bought your home. Here’s how to navigate it and what you can expect.

Find Your Mortgage Refinancing Goal

Before you begin the process of researching different mortgage rates, it’s important to consider why you want to refinance your home loan in the first place. This will help direct your process from the beginning.

Some options are to refinance your mortgage for a lower monthly payment, a shorter loan term, or better interest rates. Lowering monthly payments is the most common goal, however, that usually means you are opting for a longer repayment term.

Shop for the Best Rates 

Once you’ve decided on your goal, it’s time to shop for the best rates. Using a mortgage refinance calculator can help you estimate and shop for the best mortgage. On top of that, you should also shop for your best mortgage refinance rate and get estimates from lenders. There are also closing costs that are associated with refinancing your mortgage. Finding deals or low closing costs are also something you should look for.

Luckily for you, RMLEFCU is offering a lender credit of $500 if you are refinancing from a different institution! We have rates as low as 4.0% APR* on a 30-year mortgage or 3.5% APR* for a 15-year mortgage. Don’t hold off on contacting us – this offer is only available through August 31, 2019.

Final Tips

Lowering your monthly rate isn’t the only reason some people refinance. You can also refinance to get rid of mortgage insurance or tap into your home equity as cash in a cash-out refinance.

For any mortgage refinance, there are also fees and expenses. It’s important to have cash on hand to take care of those additional costs.

Refinancing your mortgage for the right reasons and with a good rate and suitable term can enhance your financial position. Contact an RMLEFCU lender today to receive $500 toward your closing costs and great low rates today.

02 Jul

Summer Fun with a Summer Loan

family having fun in the summer in convertible car

Get a head start to your summer with a summer loan! If you’ve been dreaming about that vacation you’ve wanted to take for years or maybe that backyard renovation, RMLEFCU can help with all your summer plans with a personal loan! These costs can be a bit tricky to finance but with RMLEFCU on your side, we can help you fund your summer goals!

Not sure what to do with your summer loan? Here are some great ideas for the summer of your dreams:

  • Family vacation
  • A cruise
  • Landscaping
  • Patio furniture
  • Swimming pool
  • Camping equipment
  • Entertainment system

Once you’ve decided what you want to use your summer loan on, let’s get started on how to use it so you can maximize your funds for the best summer ever.

Research

After you’ve decided how you want to use your summer loan, then comes the research. Plan out all the costs of your project or vacation to get a rough estimate of how much you should borrow. RMLEFCU offers competitive rates for a wide variety of personal needs and loans up to $10,000!

Budget

The best way to finance your renovations or vacations is to supplement part of the costs with a loan and pay what you can afford. See if you can DIY some things or cut costs here and there on your vacation. This will bring down your loan total and with RMLEFCU, you can choose a variety of repayment terms.

Financing Options

 With your budget set and total estimated, it’s easier to shop around for your summer loan. RMLEFCU offers a variety of different rates and options. You can choose between a secured and unsecured loan with competitive rates and a variety of repayment terms all in an easy application process. If you have any questions about your summer loan, you’ll receive attentive, friendly service from start to finish. And don’t worry! RMLEFCU has quick, local decision-making so you won’t have to wait too long to get started on your vacation or renovation.

Speak to a lender today to finance your dreams. Call us at 303-564-6660 or email us at lending@rmlefcu.org.

18 Jun

What Are Credit Builder Loans and How Do They Work?

Credit Builder Loan at RMLEFCU

If you have poor or no credit, it may seem like getting a loan is impossible.

A lender’s main concern when considering a loan application is whether or not the applicant will be able to pay the loan back. Your credit score is a way for lenders to know if you are trustworthy enough to loan to. A credit score takes into account payment history and allows lenders to determine if the applicant is risky or not.

A credit builder loan is designed for people who have poor credit or little to no credit history to build credit. It’s designed to help you eventually qualify for other loans.

What Is A Credit Builder Loan?

Building up your credit takes patience. To show lenders you are consistently reliable and make on-time payments, you’ll need to put in the work. Credit builder loans are a great way to begin establishing a good credit score.

A financial institution, such as a credit union, deposits a small amount of money into a secured savings account. The borrower then pays the money back in monthly installments, with interest, over a set period of time. At the end of the loan’s term, the borrower receives the total amount of the credit builder loan in a lump sum, plus any interest earned, if the lender offers interest.

RMLEFCU’s credit builder loan features:

  • No money needed to secure the loan
  • Eligible to members 18 and older who have means to repay the loan
  • Low monthly installment payments
  • Convenient automatic payments
  • Easy application process
  • Quick, local decision-making
  • Attentive, friendly service from start to finish

How Does A Credit Builder Loan Work?

This loan helps build credit by providing an opportunity for people who want to build their credit to make small monthly payments.

With this loan, your credit history will show you can make regular, on-time loan payments.

Most credit builder loans are small, which means they will have small monthly payments. Interest rates vary by bank, so be sure you compare all your options to get the best rate.

Where Can I Find A Credit Builder Loan?

Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union, of course!

Credit Unions often list loans and loan details online and have lower rates than traditional banks. Take a look at the loans RMLEFCU offers.

Some traditional banks also offer credit builder loans to help clients build a good credit score and work toward good financial health.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to a lending officer at RMLEFCU about our Credit Builder Loan, give us a call at 303 458-6660 or send a message to lending@rmlefcu.org.