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.