22 Mar

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Don’t Get Suckered into High APR* Credit Cards with Enticing Rewards

Unless you’ve been living in Siberia, you’ve inevitably heard advertisements for credit cards. Maybe you’ve seen a smiling Jennifer Garner or a smooth talking Samuel L. Jackson chatting about cash back rewards. Regardless of the spokesperson, credit card companies try to entice you with travel reward bonuses or cash back bonuses and they always close with a catchy tagline like “What’s in Your Wallet?”

Our catchy tagline: Keep more of your money with the RMLEFCU Visa. (Maybe it’s not that catchy after all, but it is true.) Keep reading to learn more.

Credit Card Comparison:

It seems like a great deal right? Spend money that you would be spending regardless on your credit card to get rewarded with travel. The cold hard truth is that it takes so much spending to get you to the level of redemption, you would be better off checking Kayak or other travel websites to get a better deal on flights and hotels. Furthermore, miles are not really miles. They’re points that are redeemed at 1 cent per dollar spent.

Let’s use the simplest example: a one-point-to-one-cent ratio, which happens to be Capital One Venture Cards’ ratio. In such cases 100,000 points can buy you $1,000 worth of airline tickets. Do you spend $100,000 a year on your credit card? Yeah, us neither.

There is a tradeoff for those “perks.” Take advantage of them, but if you ever carry a balance, be prepared to pay 19-25% APR for your purchases. Yowza! That would easily and quickly negate any rewards. Thanks but we’ll keep our lower APR and buy our tickets through discount websites.

Here at Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union we offer a Classic Visa®, Platinum Visa® Select, and a Platinum Visa® with uChoose rewards. Read More

15 Mar

Tips for the First Time Homebuyer in Colorado

 

Imagine you are at the starting line of a marathon. You’re contemplating whether your training was enough, what you ate the night before, and what you will do if things go south. You’re anticipating the reward at the end – the accomplishment of having persevered through unwelcoming territory both mentally and physically. While this narrative is about the sport of running, it could also describe the home buying process in Colorado, especially for a first time homebuyer. You need to be prepared, patient, and ready for roadblocks. But before you take off from the starting line, there’s a lot of prep work to do.

Examine why you want to buy and not rent

Maybe you think there is an opportunity to earn a return – Over time this may be true in our market as home values have been steadily rising, but unless you are very handy, or have the money to hire a contractor to renovate your home – this should be far down on your list of reasons to buy and not rent.

Perhaps you want to buy because rents are just as expensive as a mortgage. Rent Jungle reports for February 2017 show that 1 bedroom apartments in Denver rent for $1,367 a month on average and two-bedroom apartment rents average $1,748. Your mortgage could be comparable. Especially because with a first mortgage loan from RMLEFCU doesn’t ever carry mortgage insurance.

“Pride of ownership” remains one of the top reasons to buy. This one really resonates with buyers who believe buying is the best way to make an investment in their own future and the future they envision for themselves.

If all else fails, you can always leave it up to science and math with this really useful test for renting or buying.

Once you’ve decided to buy – get your affairs in order.

First, check your credit report – Make sure there is nothing surprising. Remember: don’t close old accounts and for Pete’s sake, refrain from making other large purchases if you are hoping to bid and secure a house soon.

Next, prepare copies of everything you will need to apply for a loan. At a minimum you will need:

  • W-2s or federal tax returns for the past two years;
  • Most recent pay stub for proof of income;
  • Most recent statements for any loans or outstanding debt;
  • Statements for bank accounts and other assets for the past three months;

Find out what you can afford by meeting with RMLEFCU’s loan department

The loan application process at Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union is easy, quick and attentive from start to finish. We offer competitively low, fixed rates with no PMI (mortgage insurance) to take you from renter to homeowner with a variety of repayment terms to suit your individualized situation. Our loan advisors are local, experienced and can provide fast approvals and loan letters during the bidding process.

Three reasons to use RMLEFCU for your First Mortgage:

  1. No Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – Mortgage brokers and banks require you to have mortgage insurance if your down payment isn’t high enough. We trust our members so we don’t require PMI!
  2. Lower Origination Fees – We keep your initial down payment lower.
  3. Low Fixed Rates – Your payment will stay the same for 30 years. No surprises as interest rates climb.

A word of advice: Aim for a mortgage payment that is no more than between 25-29% of your pre-tax income.

  • Find a realtor in Colorado

Many people look to their immediate social network, i.e. friends and family, when selecting a realtor. But rather than worry about whether your co-worker’s wife will be upset that you went with a different real estate agent, worry more about what an agent should be doing for you.

Here’s a few tips for finding a realtor that matches your expectations.

Once you narrow it down to a few contenders, prepare questions to ask. The most important clue is how responsive they are to you. In a market that depends on 24/7 availability, a realtor needs to prioritize your phone call or email.

  • Take a deep breath as a first time homebuyer.

Prepare for stress by remembering to be patient, aggressive, and motivated. Get ready to chip away at a wish list of things you want in a home and focus on your needs.

  • Do your research for the area where you want to live.

Are there young people nearby, or will you be surrounded by retirees? Is there new development going in that will impact your experience living there? How much of a commute are you willing to deal with? How are the schools? Even if you don’t have kids, consider how the quality of schools may have an impact when you decide to sell.

  • Find a trusted home inspector.

Usually your realtor will have someone they work with. If you decide to branch out, keep these tips in mind.

  • Don’t come to the table with baggage. The less stipulations you have as a buyer, the better.

Consider RMLEFCU your running coach in the marathon that is home buying. We have a local lending team that is experienced and familiar with the needs and wants of law enforcement officers and their loved ones. Put us to work for you and we’ll work hard to show that you’ve made a wise choice.

 

06 Mar

Share your story to win #KasasaProtect™

The Denver metro area was recently home to a shocking case of identity theft. This past December an Aurora woman’s credit card was used to buy four motorcycles, a Corvette, and thousands of dollars worth of merchandise at Home Depot, Sears, and Best Buy. The woman was alerted about the ID theft when the couple attempted to finance another Corvette!

Not every thief is as brazen as this one. Whether a thief plans to use your financial information for flashy purchases or a large number of smaller transactions that don’t seem as suspicious – you need someone – or better yet – a team of many – to help prevent identity theft and restore your confidence if your information gets into the wrong hands.

Ok, but tell me about the contest already!

Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union is sponsoring a contest to win one year of Kasasa Protect™ Fraud Protection for free! The contest runs from March 1st through the 15th. Simply share a photo or video of something or someone you protect and use the hashtag #KasasaProtect to enter. Kasasa Protect™ is a comprehensive identity protection and restoration solution available to RMLEFCU account holders.

What can Kasasa Protect™ do for me?

Kasasa Protect™investigates on your behalf. How? Kasasa Protect™performs Dark Web monitoring by scanning millions of international sources in real time. They also quickly pinpoint stolen data that could identify you, such as a social security number or medical identification numbers.

Kasasa Protect™steps up to bat when your personal identifying information is compromised. How? Say you’ve lost your wallet. One convenient point of contact will handle cancellation and replacement of all your important documents

Restoration through Kasasa Protect™ includes: your cards, licenses, social security cards, insurance cards, passports, military IDs, and even traveler’s checks.

To learn more click here.

Finally, go to RMLEFCU’s Facebook page and post your video or picture soon so you can rest easy knowing Kasasa Protect™ will safeguard your financial info!

Best of luck!