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.

15 Jun

Get Creative when Searching for College Scholarships

If you will be attending college or university in the Fall of 2016, this article is for you. Beyond applying for financial aid and dipping into your savings account to pay for college, carve out time for searching for college scholarships. Find scholarships nationwide, statewide or even locally using creative means. Scholarships and grants are used synonymously, but the semantics are unimportant – it’s free money that you do not have to pay back – EVER.

  1. High School

Ask your school’s guidance counselor for college scholarship materials. It’s hard to believe that in 2016 certain things exist offline only. But consider these kind of scholarships to have two benefits. First the applicant pool will be small since someone would have to go directly to their guidance counselor and secondly, hardcopy requirements will at least discourage some applicants who feel it is not worth the time if they can apply for another scholarship online.

2.  Employers and community groups

Begin with larger employers, community organizations, and civic organizations. Examples include the Lions Club (find your local chapter or ask a guidance counselor), Rotary, Kiwanis, or Knights of Columbus.

  1. State Scholarships

The above link is for Colorado based scholarships. In addition, your statewide Rocky Mountain Federal Law Enforcement Credit Union offers four William Threlkheld scholarships each year to deserving members. The scholarship is named after the retired Division Chief of the Denver Police Department who passed away on 11/8/11. Requirements include having a 3.0 GPA or higher, being involved in your community and having the potential to succeed at the college level. Apply here.

Read More

08 Jun

5 Reasons Your Teen Should Have a Credit Card

 

Should Your Teen Have a Credit Card?

1. Teens need to walk before they run both physically and financially. Consider this unique card their “financial training wheels.” It will help instill good financial habits in your child while they are more receptive than say an 18 or 19 year-old. Rather than letting credit card companies tempt them with a free t-shirt on campus in exchange for a card with a $10,000 limit, RMLEFCU’s Kid’s Credit Card has a much lower limit in line with the reality of their earning capacity.

2. A credit card allows teens (and watchful parents) to track spending. Online tools make an easier job of tracking credit card use. If your child only uses cash and checks, it becomes next to impossible to see a spending pattern or recognize how much they are spending and on what.

3. A RMLEFCU’s Kid’s Credit Card will help your children build their credit history. By the time they reach adulthood, they will have already established a valuable credit record. No credit is almost as bad as poor credit since a lender has nothing to review when evaluating credit worthiness. Establishing credit earlier helps when your kids apply for a car loan or complete a rental application.

Read More