17 Aug

Mortgage Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

first-time mortgage loan

If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the market for a new home and need a little mortgage guidance. Well lucky for you, we’ve got some great advice to make your first (or next) home-buying experience as simple as possible with some mortgage tips!

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Making the decision to buy a home is a big one and being fully prepared is crucial to the entire process going smoothly. If you’ve already done all of your research and know exactly what you want, be sure you have all the proper documentation ready and accessible when applying for a mortgage. You can find a complete list of all required documentation here. It is always a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start shopping because it not only lets the seller know that you’re a serious buyer but also tells you what you can afford. Which bring us to our next point.

How Much Can You Afford?

You may think you can afford more house than you actually can. It’s important to factor in every detail from a down payment to interest when determining your budget for a home. Much like a credit card, mortgages can have high limits that can be tempting to max out but be careful. Just because you qualify for a high mortgage amount doesn’t mean you have to use that much. Be sure to carefully plan out your budget and determine what you can afford before committing to anything.

How is Your Credit?

A big factor in determining your mortgage interest rate is your credit score. If your credit score is lower, you will end up paying much more in interest over the life of the mortgage than someone with a higher credit score. It may be advantageous to work on building up your credit score before applying for a mortgage loan in order to save money in the long run.

Shop Around

A common mistake made by first-time homebuyers is to take the first mortgage they are offered. Be sure you shop around and get multiple quotes from various lenders before deciding and remember that even a small difference in interest rate can make a big financial difference over the life of a mortgage loan. As always, the best place to start is your credit union because we offer low, competitive mortgage rates exclusively for our members.

09 Aug

August Kasasa Share Contest

kasasa share

If you don’t know about Kasasa Share you could be missing out on earning some serious cash and prizes! But don’t worry. With this month’s contest, we’re giving you the opportunity to make up for it with the chance to earn $500 cash on top of the normal prize of $150 Amazon gift cards for you AND your referral.

Wait. Did we just say $500 cash AND $150 Amazon giftcards?

We sure did!

Get to sharing Kasasa with everyone you know, and that dough could be yours. Here’s how to participate.

kasasa Share

For the month of August, when a Kasasa account holder refers an eligible potential member* using Kasasa Share they will be entered to win a $500 cash prize!

Win the cash by sending the most referral requests to eligible potential members using your personalized Kasasa Share link. The more referrals that receive and open your referral email, the higher your chances of winning are!

Not a Kasasa account holder? No problem! Simply refer eligible potential members to RMLEFCU and when they open any checking or savings account and mention your name, you’ll be entered to win! But if you want a much higher chance of winning, we suggest opening a Free Kasasa Cash or Kasasa Cash Back checking account and sharing your Kasasa link. Not only will you up your chances of referrals signing up, but you’ll get all the benefits of having a Kasasa account! Which, in our humble opinion, is all the reason you need.

Good Luck & Happy Referring!

 

* Eligibility is open to current or retired employees of the below listed law enforcement organizations in the state of Colorado as well as 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

20 Jul

HELOC vs. Home Equity Loan: Which is Better for You?

HELOC vs. Home Equity Loan

Many people think Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) and Home Equity Loans are the same thing because they sound alike. In reality, they have some similarities but are very different regarding how and when you access the funds. In this post we’ll discuss the differences between the two and describe a few reasons to use each.

HELOC vs. Home Equity Loan

So, what is the difference between a HELOC and home equity loan? While they both borrow against your home’s equity, they go about it a bit differently. A HELOC allows you to draw on your home’s equity on an as-needed basis with a variable interest rate acting like a credit card that uses your home as collateral. A home equity loan on the other hand, gives you a lump sum up front with a fixed interest rate. They both use your home’s equity as collateral backing which is why they are usually referred to as “second mortgages”.

Why a HELOC?

A HELOC tends to be a better option for those who need extra money over a long period of time. For example, if your kid is going to college and you need to pay tuition over the next 4 years, a line of credit is ideal. You simply borrow the amount you need when you need it and only pay off the amount you’ve used. Check out a few more reasons to use a HELOC.

Why a Home Equity Loan?

A home equity loan is a better option for those who need a set amount of money up front. For example, if you need a new roof that will cost $3,000 and you’re planning a family vacation that will cost about $5,000. An $8,000 home equity loan is ideal for this situation because you know exactly how much you need to borrow.

Different situations call for different types of home loans. Determine if you need a larger sum of money now or have a longer-term financial commitment that will require spread out payments. Have more questions? Stop by an RMLEFCU branch or call to speak to a loan specialist today! You can also check out these helpful videos to learn more.

RMLEFCU HELOC vs Home Equity Loan

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Explained by RMLEFCU

12 Jul

Kasasa Cash vs. Kasasa Cash Back

Kasasa Cash Back

If you’re thinking about upgrading your RMLEFCU checking account to Kasasa, you may have noticed that there are two different account options. While both are free, offer great rewards and ultimately put more cash back into your pocket, there are a few differences between them that might make one more attractive to you over the other.

Kasasa Cash

Kasasa Cash is a checking account that pays monthly cash rewards based on your account balance. The dividends for various balances are the following:

  • 3.00% APY* on balances up to $10,000
  • 3.00 to 0.73% APY on balances over $10,000 depending on balance in account*
  • 0.05% APY* if qualifications aren’t met

You only need $50 to open a Kasasa Cash account and start earning monthly dividends!

Kasasa Cash Back

Kasasa Cash Back account holders earn 3% cash back on all monthly debit card purchases. You swipe your card, we’ll put some cash back in your account. It’s that simple! You can earn up to $9 cash back per month on purchases up to $300 with no category restrictions.

How to Qualify

To earn your monthly rewards for either account simply do the following:

  • Have at least 12 signature-based debit card purchases post and settle
  • Be enrolled and agree to receive eStatement notice
  • Have at least 1 direct deposit/ACH credit transaction post and settle

In other words, what most people are already doing with their checking accounts can be earning you extra rewards! And don’t worry – if you don’t meet all the qualifications for the month, it’s no big deal. Your account is still free, and you can get right back to earning your rewards the very next month.

Both accounts offer ATM refunds nationwide, free online and mobile banking, and no services fees. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for Kasasa and start getting paid to bank with RMLEFCU today!

 

 

*APY=Annual Percentage Yield. APYs accurate as of 05/31/2016. Rates may change after account is opened. Minimum to open is $50. If qualifications are met each monthly qualification cycle: (1) Domestic ATM fees incurred during qualification cycle will be reimbursed up to $25 and credited to account on the last day of monthly statement cycle; (2) balances up to $10,000 receive APY of 3.00%; and (3) balances over $10,000 earn 0.50% dividend rate on portion of balance over $10,000, resulting in 3.00% – 0.73% APY depending on the balance. If qualifications are not met, all balances earn 0.05% APY. Qualifying transactions must post to and settle account during monthly qualification cycle. Transactions may take one or more banking days from the date transaction was made to post to and settle an account. ATM-processed transactions do not count towards qualifying debit card transactions. “Monthly Qualification Cycle” means a period beginning one day prior to the first day of the current statement cycle through one day prior to the close of the current statement cycle. Transfers between accounts do not count as qualifying transactions. PIN based transactions do not count towards qualifying debit card transactions. Limit one account per SSN. ATM receipt must be presented for reimbursement of an individual ATM fee of $5.00 or higher.

09 Jul

Littleton Unparalleled Community Impact Award Ceremony

Officer Ford

We had the honor of presenting Officer David Ford, of the Littleton Police Department, with the Unparalleled Community Impact Award. He is currently assigned to the traffic unit as an accident reconstruction expert and traffic enforcement officer.  He also serves on the SWAT Team as a negotiator. He has been the coordinator and organizer for his department’s Shop with a Cop program. This program pairs a child from a less-privileged neighborhood with a police officer and they go shopping for Christmas presents together. Not only does the program provide numerous children with Christmas gifts, but it also fosters positive relationships between the police and the community. In addition to organizing and being a shopper for the event, David solicits community donations. This year is planned to have the best turnout for the event yet, all due to David’s hard work and dedication to the cause.

Shop with a copShop with a cop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from the 2015 Denver Shop with a Cop event. (above)

Littleton Unparalleled Community Impact Award ceremony

The Littleton Unparalleled Community Impact Award ceremony was an emotional one. Officer Ford received the award before his friends, family, and colleagues and gave a heartwarming speech about why he is passionate about the work he does for the community. He explained that his motivation for becoming a police officer stemmed from his respect and admiration for a security guard from his high school that positively impacted him during his youth. His dedication to his work and his community is undeniable, and there is no doubt why he was the recipient of this honorable award.

If you were unable to make it to the ceremony, check out the coverage of the event and see David’s story!

25 Jun

Why Your Credit Score is Important

credit score

We all know that credit scores are important, but do you really know why? We’re here to let you know what goes into your credit score and why it’s important to keep it at a good level.

What is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a numerical value used to evaluate a consumer’s creditworthiness based on financial history. The scores range anywhere from 300-850 (bad to good accordingly) and are determined by three main credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They are based on things like on-time payments and how many accounts you have open in good standing.

Loans

When applying for a loan, financial institutions look at your credit score and credit history to determine if you’ve proven to be responsible with your payments in the past. They do this to ensure that they only give loans to the people who they are more confident will be able to pay them off. That is not to say that you cannot get a loan if you have a less-than-great credit score. Typically, the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate on the loan will be because you are considered a higher liability customer. This can add up quickly for large mortgage or home loans, as interest can accrue over time making it more difficult to pay off the balance of the loan.

Renting

If you’ve ever rented a house before, you know that landlords and property managers commonly ask for your social security number. This is because they’re running a background and credit check on you to determine if you will pay your rent on time. If your credit score is too low for their liking, they will more than likely reject your application and you will be stuck looking for another place to live.

Employers

Sometimes, employers will look at their prospective employees’ backgrounds and credit scores to assess the risk of hiring a candidate before extending an offer. This is most common in finance roles or in a position where you will be responsible for handling company money. The thought process being, if you can’t handle your own finances well, how could you manage those of others?

If you need help building your credit or repairing damaged credit, our credit builder loan is a perfect way to build positive credit without any risk. Learn more and apply online today