23 Mar

How RMLEFCU Can Help You During This Crisis

hands holding during crisis helping

First things first – we care about our members and want you to be successful. Please be proactive by contacting RMLEFCU if you run into any hard times during this crisis. We can help you save money, but most importantly, reduce some of the tension that you may face if you are facing financial hardship.

Here are just some of the ways RMLEFCU can help right now:

  • Skip-a-Pay is available now to members during this crisis to skip an RMLEFCU loan payment with no fee.* Exclusions apply.
  • Refinance your auto loan at RMLEFCU and receive a lower interest rate and no payments for 90 days. 90 days without a car payment could be a helpful break from a bill during this crisis. Save another 0.5% if you qualify for our relationship rate.
  • Refinance your mortgage with RMLEFCU and receive a $500 lender credit** toward closing costs, plus skip your first month’s payment. This could lower your monthly payment and allow you to skip a payment during the crisis.
  • Transfer your credit card balance from another institution onto an RMLEFCU credit card for free and a likely receive a lower interest rate. See our rates.
  • We are offering low rate personal loans to pay bills to those institutions who aren’t as understanding.
  • Sign up for debt protection to cover loan payments in the event of death, disability or involuntary unemployment.

Do not hesitate to call us if you are having trouble making a payment or if you have any questions about RMLEFCU’s services. Contact us at lending@rmlefcu.org or (303) 458-6660.

What to do During Times of Uncertainty

The last thing you need in times of uncertainty is financial stress. The following financial guide includes free tips, guidance, goods, resources, and financial assistance programs to help you save and access money. This will ensure you have what you need to handle some of the financial and emotional challenges that may occur in periods of instability, specifically during the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ll keep adding more tools, so keep checking back to this post!

Come Up with an Action Plan

Your first step is to come up with an action plan to move forward with confidence. Below are three things that you can bear in mind when you first receive reports about times of crisis.

  • Remain calm. Don’t make irrational or short-term financial decisions during this period of uncertainty. This can actually do more harm than good. Examples include withdrawing large amounts of cash or selling stock at the bottom of a crash.
  • Reduce expenses to a minimum. If your income is limited, it’s a smart idea to reduce your expenses to a minimum. If you are having trouble making a payment, please contact us. RMLEFCU understands what law enforcement officers and their families have to go through and we will work with you to the best of our ability to help reduce financial stress.
  • Keep investments for the long term. If you are an investor, it’s recommended that you do not check the markets daily and take caution against making decisions on the basis of media headlines. These fluctuations may seem concerning now, but over a longer period of time they will average out.

Re-Examine Financial Expenses

It’s not often in life that we re-examine our financial expenses. Here are a few practical things you can do to make the best of these times.

  • Re-examine your bills. Gather all your bills and find out the amount you need to pay every month for essential expenses. Then, you can prioritize your expenses by the amount of satisfaction. Then, you’ll have a better understanding of what to cut out of your budget during hard times.
  • Re-examine subscriptions. Subscriptions are easy to stack up and forget about. We’ve written a comprehensive guide to canceling your unneeded subscriptions to help you determine which are worth keeping and which you can do without.
  • Create a plan for the future. Think about the improvements you want to make in the way you spend your money. At the end of the day, the best way to use your income is to ask: what are the things you should spend money on that make you and your family happy, and what are the things you spend money on that don’t make you happy? When you have learned these things, you’ll be able to build a realistic strategy for healthy financial investment.

Help with Housing Payments and Utilities

Paying for rent and utilities can be some of the greatest challenges these days. Ask your landlord or utility provider if it is possible to seek an extension on full or partial payment if you aren’t able to make it. See if they’re willing to help you get on a payment plan. It never hurts to ask, and they’re most likely amenable to helping out when there is transparent communication.

You can also go to your credit union for assistance in the form of a low rate personal loan or the ability to skip a payment.

Finally, it could be a good time to pick up a side job in an industry that is booming right now, like food delivery or grocery stores, to make a little extra cash.

 

 

* Lines of credit, VISA or mortgage loans do not qualify at this time.

** Exclusions apply. Must be refinancing from another institution.

15 Mar

In-Branch Closures Effective Monday, March 16th

In-Branch Closures RMLEFCU Effective March 16th

RMLEFCU will implement in-branch closures effective Monday, March 16th to aid in the control of Covid-19 spread. Lobby traffic will be closed, however, drive-up service will be open at normal hours. Aurora’s drive-up service will be closed on Saturdays. Cases of the virus within our community have exponentially increased. We feel it is our responsibility to do all we can to minimize the spread and ensure the safety of our members and our credit union family.

Remember you can bank anywhere, any time with RMLEFCU Online Banking and the RMLEFCU Mobile App. They’re free, secure, easy-to-use, and save you time! Also, remember that Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as debit and credit cards are much more hygienic payment options than handling cash.

With these tools, you can:

  • View account balances and history
  • Deposit checks
  • Transfer funds between accounts
  • Access eStatements
  • Pay bills
  • Make loan payments

As always, our team is here to help you! If you should need assistance, feel free to call us at (303) 458-6660. For the latest info about Covid-19 (coronavirus), visit the CDC’s resource center.

13 Mar

Coronavirus COVID-19 Preparedness

RMLEFCU is observing the latest news and recommendations regarding COVID-19. We would like to reassure you that we’re doing all we can to make sure our branches remain open and staffed. We pride ourselves on the cleanliness of our facilities, and staff members have been instructed to stay home should they show any symptoms of illness.

Remember you can bank anywhere, any time with RMLEFCU Online Banking and the RMLEFCU App. They’re free, secure, easy-to-use, and save you time! Also, remember that Apple Pay as well as debit and credit cards are much better, more hygienic payment options than handling cash.

With these tools, you can:

  • View account balances and history
  • Deposit checks
  • Transfer funds between accounts
  • Access eStatements
  • Pay bills
  • Make loan payments

As always, our team is here to help you! If you should need assistance, feel free to call us at (303) 458-6660. For the latest info about coronavirus, visit the CDC’s resource center.

10 Mar

What Affects Your Mortgage Rate?

Fluctuating mortgage rates

Your mortgage rate depends on your financial portfolio and the home you are looking to purchase. Mortgage rates also reflect the U.S. housing market and global economic patterns, which is why they are constantly changing. Here are the things that affect mortgage rates:

  • Economy – The global financial picture affects all interest rates.
  • Lender Pipeline – The amount of business a lender is currently handling will affect their rates.
  • Location Property – State regulations can drive up lender costs or keep them down.
  • Home Use – Primary residence, vacation home, or rental?
  • Property Type – single, multi-family, condo, mobile, co-op, etc.
  • Loan-to-Value –Borrowing less (and putting more down) gives you a better rate.
  • Credit Score – Higher credit means lower interest rate terms.
  • Loan Features – Term, documentation, rate adjustment, interest-only payments, etc.
  • Points – Paying more upfront for “discount points” reduces the loan rate.
  • Loan Amounts – Very high or very small loan amounts will mean higher rates.

Can You Control Your Interest Rate?

Unfortunately, you can’t control a lot of factors that have an effect on your mortgage rate. Change in the interest-rate market is beyond our control, however, you should gain knowledge about what is typical. This way, you’ll have a sense of whether an interest rate quote you receive seems to be within the range of normal rates, or whether you should ask more questions and keep shopping around. The good news is that the variables you can control affect your interest rate the most.

What Factors Can You Control?

Property Type — Take into account the relative cost of financing when comparing homes. Most lenders offer different interest rates depending on the state you live in. Various lending institutions may offer diverse loan products and rates. Whether you’re looking to buy in a rural or urban region, talking to several lenders will help you understand all the choices that you have.

Loan-to-Value (LTV) — Putting more money down increases your chances of loan approval, reduces your loan fees and offers a lower mortgage insurance rate. In general, a bigger down payment means a lower interest rate, because when you have more stake in the property, lenders see a lower level of risk. If you can put 20% or more down comfortably, do that — you’ll usually get a lower interest rate.

If you can’t afford a 20% or more down payment, lenders will usually require you to buy mortgage insurance, also referred to as private mortgage insurance (PMI). Mortgage insurance covers the lender in case a borrower avoids paying their loan.

Credit Score – One factor that could impact your interest rate is your credit score. Consumers with higher credit scores typically get lower interest rates than those with lower credit scores. Lenders use your credit scores to determine how reliable you will be in your loan payments. Credit scores are determined using the details in your credit report that shows your credit history. If you have a low credit score, putting off buying a home and focusing on increasing your FICO score to obtain a lower rate might be worth it.

Loan Features – The loan term, or duration, is how long you are supposed to repay the loan. Short term loans generally have lower interest rates and lower overall costs but higher monthly payments. The specifics matter a lot. You can save a lot on interest by choosing a loan with a shorter fixed-rate duration or a loan with a 15-year amortization instead of a 30-year term. Use our mortgage loan calculator to see how much your monthly payments will be.

Points – If you have expendable cash on hand, you can negotiate a lower interest rate by spending more upfront. When you choose a fixed-rate mortgage and intend on owning the home after you have reached the break-even date, buying points to lower your rate will make sense.

Buying mortgage points when you buy a home can save you considerable money over the course of your loan. It’s important to understand how they’re functioning and how long it takes to make the extra upfront expense worthwhile.

Loan Amount —For your mortgage loan, the amount you’ll have to repay is the house price plus closing costs minus your down payment. Your closing costs and mortgage insurance can also be included in the amount of your mortgage loan, depending on your circumstances or form of a mortgage loan. Use our mortgage loan calculator to see how much your monthly payments will be.

If you’ve already started shopping for homes, you might have some idea of the home price range you’re hoping to buy. If you’re just getting started, real estate websites can help you gain a sense of the typical prices in the neighborhoods you’re looking for.

We know there’s nothing like the warmth and safety of home after a long day on the job. That’s why we make financing it as affordable as possible. If you’re looking to refinance your mortgage or apply for a new one, contact us at 303-458-6660 or lending@rmlefcu.org.