23 May

5 Reasons to Take Out A Personal Loan

Personal Loan

Personal loans are a worthwhile option for a variety of circumstances and can be used for just about anything. They are justifiable when it’s a less expensive option than other forms of credit and when you can comfortably afford the monthly payments for the duration of the loan term.

However, before you take out a personal loan, make sure to shop around for the best interest rates and terms! You should also examine your budget to determine whether you can make the monthly payments on time and within the set schedule. If you’re able to do both, a personal loan may make sense for your needs. An additional bonus is having a positive impact on your credit score.

If you’re deciding to get a personal loan, read this article to see what you can use your personal loan for!

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses can get pricey and not paying your bills can harm your credit. These bills that go unpaid will end up with a collection agency that will report the past-due account to credit bureaus. This will cause a major hit to your credit score. However, if you’re able to make the installment payments, a personal loan can help you pay off medical debt and could be a good way to protect your credit.

Debt Consolidation

This is likely the most common reason for getting a personal loan. Consolidating your debt can help boost your credit and organize everything into one easy loan payment! Often times, personal loans have lower interest rates and can help reduce the amount of interest you’re paying on other debt when you consolidate.

Small Business Personal Loan

Small Business

Whether you’re looking to start a small business or a side hustle, a personal loan may be the key to getting your ideas up and running. The most important thing about starting a business is balancing your budget so you don’t find yourself in a debt hole down the road.

Vacations

Financing a dream vacation is another excellent opportunity for a personal loan if you know you can repay the loan on time. Sometimes it’s good to treat yourself to a splurge-worthy vacation or the honeymoon you’ve been putting off.

Weddings

Weddings can be stressful and expensive. A personal loan can help alleviate some of that stress coming from the cost, so you can have your dream wedding! Be sure you are keeping the payment amount in mind to ensure your credit score is unaffected.

The bottom line is that personal loans can benefit you in a lot of ways from financing your dreams to paying down your debt. They can also help positively impact your credit score if payments are made on time. Finding the right personal loan makes all the difference in the world. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a lending professional, give us a call at (303) 458-6660 or email lending@rmlefcu.org.

20 May

2019 RMLEFCU Unparalleled Community Impact Award Winners

2019 RMLEFCU UNPARALLELED COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD

Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate law enforcement officers and professionals for our 2019 Unparalleled Community Impact Award. We genuinely loved reading each story of how these amazing men and women go above and beyond every day to make our communities better. Please take the time to read the stories of the winners of the 2019 RMLEFCU Unparalleled Community Impact Award and Outstanding Act of Service Awards below.

Colorado Springs Unparalleled Community Impact Award

We are honored to announce Officer Matthew Waters as the winner of this year’s Unparalleled Community Impact Award for the Colorado Springs Police Department. He is currently in the Tactical Enforcement Unit (SWAT) and is still involved in past cases in his prior Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Unit and still finds time to care for the previous survivors he was working with.

He poured his dedication into the time he was with the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Unit. From responding to the scenes, follow-ups, interviews, trials, and overall being there for families, he is such a great example of what an Officer should be and represent.

Along with showing immense support for his community, he also supports his fellow officers. Most prominently with wounded Officer Cem Duzel. Officer Duzel was wounded on duty and Officer Waters helped take care of Officer Duzel’s family at the time of need then and still does now. He is in constant communication trying to make sure his fellow brother gets better and also keep us informed of his progress.

Officer Water’s dedication to his work and his community is undeniable. He is not only an outstanding representative of Law Enforcement in our community but he is also a great person.

Denver Unparalleled Community Impact Award

We have the honor to announce Officer Alicia Harris of the Denver Police Department as a recipient of the Unparalleled Community Impact Award. She is assigned to the District 6 Homeless Outreach Team and her daily duties brings her in contact with countless individuals experiencing homelessness and living outdoors. She works with these individuals and provides outreach and services.

Officer Harris’ extreme dedication to her work and her community is shown through her support with Arthur Robinson, an individual who was initially founded to be shelter-resistant and somewhat uncooperative. After a lengthy conversation with Mr. Robinson, it was discovered that he just wanted to get help getting out of the cold and back in touch with family in Spokane Washington.

Officer Harris took it as her mission to make this happen. Using her own money, she contacted him every day giving him money for meals, taking him to the clinic, and with Officer Fischer even helped him repair his bicycle which was his only means of travel. She ultimately encouraged Mr. Robinson to give her his mom and sister’s name and date of birth. This information allowed her to research a way to contact them. After an exhaustive search, she ultimately found his sister on Facebook and contacted her through Facebook messaging.

Officer Harris is to be commended for the professionalism and dedication in her efforts to help Arthur and his family. Her selfless actions truly were a miracle for this family.

Jefferson County Unparalleled Community Impact Award

Through her outstanding work in Jefferson County, we are honored to present the Unparalleled Community Impact Award to Victim Advocate Courtney Hill of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. She is a part of the Victim Services department and her knowledge, dedication, and willingness to go above and beyond is extraordinary.

Victim Advocate Hill began her career with the Sheriff’s Office in 2014, since then she has hit the ground running. She is highly respected by her supervisors, colleagues, and members of the community. One member of the community praised her dedication and even said: “we need to clone her so that everybody can be like her”. Courtney is a true asset to the agency and she strives to make Jefferson County a safe place to live, learn, work and play.

Denver Outstanding Act of Service Award

Through their outstanding work in their community, we are honored to present the Outstanding Act of Service Award to Tara Moxon and David Felts of the Denver Police Department.

Starting back in September of 2018, Officer Felts and Officer Moxon were both assigned to Precinct 321. These officers recognized an issue in their precinct, with a high call volume they were experiencing, at 9100 E Lowry Blvd. This location is called the Third Way Center which is a housing facility for troubled youth who are in the custody of the State of Colorado. This facility provides a wide range of help for these juveniles.

The type of calls for service were typically assaults to staff or other residents, damage to private property, runaways, and mental health calls. The department was averaging 6 – 8 calls per week and approximately 1 to 2 hours every call, due to the nature and fact that the department was managing juveniles.

Officer Felt set up a meeting with the facility Executive Director and both officers attended this meeting with the intent of collaborating with the facility. The officers wanted to obtain a better understanding of the inner workings of the facility and how they could better serve the citizens there to reduce calls for service and crimes being committed.

The officers learned that the staff at this location has been frustrated with the response they were getting from officers because there were different officers responding all the time to this location. Each time the officers were unaware of the history of different juveniles and would address things in a different, but correct, manner. They also learned of a program that was started by a District 3 CROs referred to as “Lowry Tickets”. Third Way Center would issue “Lowry Tickets” for low-level infractions committed by residents. The CRO would then come out on a regular schedule and meet with the kids to discuss the infraction and appropriate consequence for the incident. Unfortunately, the program was no longer active due to work schedules.

Keeping what they learned from the meeting in mind, Officer Felts and Moxon started up a similar program and called the tickets “Police Referrals”. When a resident was involved in an incident and no one was hurt, the staff would complete these “Police Referrals” which were submitted to the officers once a week. The officers would respond to the Third Way Center every Monday at 3:00 p.m. and review the referrals for the week. Working with the staff and the resident, they would come up with the best course of action to take with all persons involved. They would have discussions with the residents on how the situation could be better handled next time and in a more positive manner. Resident input was typically writing essays/ letters, community service and/ or temporary suspension from activities.

These Monday meetings were lasting approximately 2 hours. There was such a success with the referrals that the officers started to respond there twice a week for an additional hour. The response by the juveniles was overwhelming. They loved having the police officers come to the facility and they developed a good working relationship with the officers.

Officer Felts and Officer Moxon’s outreach to their community has impacted their precinct immensely. The results of their efforts reduced the calls for service and time spent at the location by over half. More importantly, it built relationships with our community members and helped prevent crime, which is the very mission of the Denver Police Department. The violent crime rate at this location and damage to private property has dropped drastically over the past few months.

Even though this journey started to take shape in September of 2018, it is still currently an on-going program in which these two officers have continued to work very hard at. Through their personal initiative, they identified a problem in the community they serve and developed a program to help solve that problem. This program is in line with the departments’ mission and goals.

At RMLEFCU, we are proud to serve the law enforcement community and give back to the men and women who do so much for our society. We will be announcing dates for the award ceremonies on our social media, so be sure to follow our accounts for updates!

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12 May

How to Build an Emergency Fund

Emergency Funds Coin Jar

Building an emergency fund takes time and dedication, but it’s not as hard as you think! Having funds to cover large, unexpected expenses such as emergency visits, home-appliance repairs, major car fixes, and unemployment will make going through those things a lot easier. We’ll tell you the best tips on how to build an emergency fund and how much you should save.

How Much Should I Save?

This fully depends on your financial circumstance, but a good rule of thumb is to have enough to cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses. While three to six months’ worth of expenses sometimes seems like a massive amount, start small. Even having $500 saved can get you out of many financial emergencies. If you put away something now, you can build your emergency fund over time.

Where Should I Keep My Emergency Fund?

Since an emergency can strike at any time, having quick access to your emergency fund is crucial. The account should have competitive dividends and no monthly maintenance fees so you can get the most out of your savings.

RMELFCU offers multiple savings accounts that all earn competitive dividends, have no monthly maintenance fee, unlimited deposits, free digital banking, and more! Having a savings account with a credit union ensures you have access to your money when you need it and are earning benefits with it when you don’t.

Another, less liquid option, is an RMLEFCU share certificate. With these accounts, you deposit a certain amount, set your term length, and wait! You’ll earn competitive dividends at fixed rates that are higher than regular savings accounts. Keep in mind, the longer the term, the higher the rates. Early withdrawals are subject to penalties, so only use this option if you already have a set amount set aside for emergencies elsewhere to get you out of a pinch and are looking to build your already existing emergency fund faster.

Saving Emergency Funds

How Do I Save?

So, how do you get up to that three to six month goal? For a lot of people, this might seem like an enormous goal that will take years to reach and you might get disheartened along the way. Instead, a great way to start is to set a goal that is more reasonable and much smaller.

As mentioned above, an initial emergency fund of $250 or $500 is much more palatable and reaching those goals will make you feel accomplished and urge you to save more! Breaking down that emergency fund goal into even smaller pieces, like $25 dollars a week can make it even easier, and you can make those into automatic transfers, so you don’t even know the money is going to your savings!

If you save like this, you’ll realize quickly you’ve hit your first emergency fund milestone, and that will feel GREAT! Your account will start earning interest or dividends and you can continue the cycle by setting another easy-to-reach goal and you watch your emergency fund grow. Before you know it, you’ll reach that three to six month emergency fund and have it stashed away so your life isn’t disrupted by these kinds of inconveniences.

If you have any questions about RMLEFCU’s savings accounts or would like to open one in minutes, visit www.rmlefcu.org or give us a call at 303-458-6660. We would also love to see you in person! Find a branch near you.

06 May

Five Ways to Save Money this Spring

save money in the spring

A rising trend in frugality is taking things to the extreme. It started with extreme couponing and then DIY culture, and now the side hustle. While none of these things are particularly bad, they can easily be taken too far. We can show you that saving money should be simple! Here’s a list of the five easiest ways for you to save money this spring.

Negotiate Bills

This is the best money saving trick that doesn’t require you to sacrifice anything except a little bit of your time. You can negotiate a lower rate on your internet, cell phone, cable, gym membership, and more!

Start by making a list of recurring bills and set aside an afternoon to call those companies and ask for any new promotions or other options to save money. This might mean signing up for an annual contract or paying for a year up front.

But remember to be polite. Customer service representatives are people too! And if you’re nice, they might be capable of giving you a discount.

Hidden Discounts

If you or your child is in college, many businesses offer student discounts! You can also see if your company provides any discounts with your employee ID to local attractions, like museums.

You can also ask your HR department if there are any outside discounts available to employees. Big companies often have discounts for retail, entertainment, and more! Your bank or credit union might also have additional services you can use to save money. 

subscriptions saving money

Share Subscriptions

In a world of streaming, subscriptions pile up. Much like online shopping, these subscriptions can compound quickly if you’re not careful. It’s easy to sign up for something when it’s only $10 a month!

See if you can trim some of those subscriptions by sharing with friends and family! Netflix and Hulu picked up on this trend and offer multiple profiles. You can also share Spotify Family for people living in the same household.

If you’re not currently using a subscription, you can always pause or cancel easily! If you’re unsure about keeping a subscription, try pausing it and see if you actually miss it.

Refinance Loans

If you have a mortgage, student loans, personal or auto loans, refinancing could be the easiest thing you can do to save BIG. Refinancing your loan means selling your loan to a new lender who will give you a lower rate or better monthly terms.

Before you refinance, make sure to shop around and sign up for something that has a lower interest rate with the same loan term you had before. Be careful about refinancing to a longer term if you only have a short amount of time, say five years, left on a loan.

Carry Cash

A swipe of a card can be so easy! You’re not seeing the cash actually leave your hand – it’s just numbers on a screen. Sometimes you don’t associate the swipe or the numbers as the actual money you have.

If you know you’re going to the mall or a night out, it’s best to carry cash with you so you know how much you’re spending, and you have a hard limit on when to stop spending. You might rethink some purchases as cash is harder to pull out than a card.

 

Give us a call at (303) 458-6660, email lending@rmlefcu.org, or stop by a branch today if you have any questions or want to refinance any loans. If you want to learn more about how you can save money, take a look at our financial education center!