09 Dec

The Dangers of Moving Your Certificate of Deposit (CD)

Certificate of Deposit CD savings stacks of money increasing as years go by

Life is all about balancing risk versus reward and your safe investments should be managed with a safe institution. Safety is why many people have a certificate of deposit or CD. It’s a federally insured savings account that has a fixed interest rate and fixed date of withdrawal, known as a maturity date. These accounts typically do not have monthly fees.

Most CDs come with fixed rates, meaning annual percentage yields are locked in for the duration of the term. These rates are usually higher than regular savings accounts since there are penalties for early withdrawal. CDs really pay off when people are certain they won’t need access to that cash during the duration of the term length.

If you have a longer-term CD, you may be tempted to move it to another institution for a 25 or 50 basis point increase. Moving your CD into a risky institution for a 25 or 50 basis point difference in rate is NOT worth the risk, fees, and hassle for a nominal gain. Advertisements for institutions that will offer you a 25 basis point increase are typically involved in high-risk investments. There’s no guarantee your money will be safe and if you’ll even get the money back on these unpredictable accounts.

Also, if you happen to withdraw your CD early, it will eat into your existing gains. Before you withdraw your CD, take a moment to calculate the cost of CD early withdrawals. Early withdrawal penalties can vary depending on the length of the CD term and the bank offering the account. CDs with longer terms usually pay higher rates, but the early withdrawal penalties for these accounts tend to be harsher. It’s just not worth the hassle, risk, and fees of moving your money.

RMLEFCU is in the Top 40 healthiest credit unions nationwide and our accounts are insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA). You can feel good about your investments in our institution helping your community. We use the money you save at RMLEFCU to help fellow law enforcement officers get loans and the interest returned is given to you and other members, not greedy shareholders at a bank!

The cons outweigh the pros of moving your CD to another financial institution. Sure, you might get a few more dollars each year, but at the same time, you’re risking losing all your money and taking money away from the law enforcement officer community. Take a look at how little you’ll earn with a 25 basis point increase.

18 Oct

Why Join a Credit Union?

Credit Union Savings

It’s important to have a financial institution you can trust. You need a place to store your cash as well as a reliable loan provider and a source for other financial needs.

Most people default to a local bank when it comes to selecting a financial institution. After all, there are tons of banks out there and they offer all kinds of financial services. But banks aren’t your only option — in fact, the smarter decision is to join a credit union.

Credit unions offer many of the same services as banks, but they are non-profit entities owned by their members. A bank, on the other hand, usually exists to make a profit for its investors, whether it is a private company with millions of shareholders or a publicly-traded company. Such ownership contributes to differences in the operation of banks and credit unions.

If you are deciding to join a credit union, it is important to understand these differences. This article will help you decide if a credit union is right for you.

Better Rates

Credit unions offer higher rates on savings accounts and lower rates on loan interest. This is because credit unions are not focused on making money, instead, they are focused on covering their operating costs.

Interest rates can be much lower for loans and, depending on the credit union, you can qualify for additional discounts. RMLEFCU has a special Relationship Rate service that brings your APR* on your auto loan even lower!

Since credit unions are not focused on making money but on helping their members, they can balance these prices better. It ensures that their members are better served and get the best rates possible on car loans, student loans, and mortgages.

Credit Union Deals

On top of better rates for members, credit unions offer exclusive member-only promotions and deals. For example, RMLEFCU offers a yearly Holiday SlideBy loan that allows you to skip a loan payment** in November or December plus many more member perks and services.

Community

Credit unions are required by law to restrict their membership by location, profession, religion, or fraternal association. This builds a tight-knit community between members and employees.

RMLEFCU is the only credit union that serves law enforcement officers in Colorado.

Eligibility is open to current or retired employees of law enforcement organizations in the state of Colorado as well as the family of our current members. See the full list of eligible organizations here. 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.

Ready to join RMLEFCU? Follow this link to apply for a membership online! If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone about your membership, call 303-458-6660.

 

 

*Annual Percentage Rate. With approved credit. Some restrictions may apply.
** Most consumer loans qualify.
30 Sep

International Credit Union Day 2019 at RMLEFCU

International Credit Union Day at RMLEFCU

Local Service. Global Reach.

Celebrate 71 years of International Credit Union Day® at RMLEFCU.

On Oct. 17, 2019, credit union members around the world will celebrate International Credit Union Day®, an annual event to commemorate the credit union movement’s impact and achievements. This year marks the 71st anniversary. In honor of this special day, RMLEFCU invites its members and the entire community to come stop by any branch for snacks and RMLEFCU swag!

Since 1948, International Credit Union Day has been celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October. Each year, the international event affords the opportunity to remember credit unions’ proud history and promote awareness of and support for the credit union and financial cooperative difference. This year’s theme is “Local Service. Global Reach.” It speaks to how each credit union serves a local community—and it is because of that local service in communities across the world that we have a global credit union movement that’s now 260 million members strong. ICU Day 2019 is a celebration of the impact credit unions and other financial cooperatives have made—and continue to make for their members. It is also a chance to be thankful for the lives and communities that have been improved by our movement.

International Credit Union Day is recognized by the World Council of Credit Unions, the global trade association and development platform for credit unions and other financial cooperatives, as well as numerous national credit union trade associations and federations around the world.

Credit unions from around the world will join forces to celebrate the day with membership drives, contests, and fundraisers to help their local communities. Credit unions will share their activities with the global community on social media using #ICUDay and #LocalServiceGlobalReach.

For more information about RMLEFCU’s events, www.rmlefcu.org.

 

17 Sep

How to Get the Best Deal on Used Cars

Used Auto Loan

Shopping for a used car is like going on a treasure hunt. There are a lot of used cars out there and finding a good deal on a car that meets your needs and fits your budget can be quite challenging. Here’s what you need to know to get the best deal on a used car.

Set Your Budget

Deciding how much you can spend on a car and how you are going to pay for it should be the first step. There are really only two ways you can pay for a car, in cash or by taking out a loan. If you’re paying in cash, budgeting is simple. Don’t spend all your savings and remember to set aside money for registration, insurance, maintenance, and repairs!

Most people take out a car loan so they can protect their savings. It’s smart to get preapproved for a car loan. At RMLEFCU you can get an easy pre-approval to see what fits in your budget. With our easy application process and quick, local decision-making, you’ll get a pre-approval letter ASAP!

Finding Your Car

The internet is a great car shopping tool, especially for used cars. Take some time to choose the right car for you and your lifestyle. Narrow your search by making a list of must-have features and search for models with those features.

As a member of RMLEFCU, you have access to extensive car buying services available through Credit Union Direct Connect and AutoTrek to make finding your perfect car easier! As you move forward with your used car search, build a list of three target car models to research in more detail.

Negotiate the Best Price

 Negotiation doesn’t have to be stressful! Especially if you’ve done your research and have a pre-approval on a loan. Compare the seller’s asking price to the average market price, chances are, the seller is asking more than the market average.

When you bargain with a car salesperson, keep in mind you’re dealing with a pro who knows all the tricks. Don’t focus on a monthly payment. If you have a pre-approved loan, you’re a cash buyer as far as the dealer is concerned and you should negotiate on the price of the car, not the size of the monthly payment. Always be ready to walk if you’re not making progress toward a deal.

RMLEFCU has great car buying services for members. If you have any questions on our car loans and car buying services,  give us a call at 303-458-6660 or email us at lending@rmlefcu.org.

13 Aug

How to Get the Best Auto Loan

new car guy in car keys happy car loan

Finding your dream car is only half of the battle. The other, and quite possibly harder, half is finding the best auto loan rate. If you’re going to borrow money for your purchase, the loan you choose is extremely important.

If you borrow wisely, you can enjoy two important benefits. You’ll spend less on your vehicle, and you’ll have the flexibility to change vehicles and fund other goals within a few short years. Properly planning for a loan before you shop for a car can improve your chances of receiving the loan and car that fits your budget and your style.  Here’s how to get the best deal for your auto loan.

Shop the Loan Separate

Before starting to negotiate on the exact car and price you want, you should begin your loan application process. You can prequalify for a loan which will enable you to set a budget for yourself and have leverage at the dealership. RMLEFCU offers prequalification with auto loans and through September 2019, there is a limited time Relationship Rate offer that’ll knock .75% APR* off your auto loan!

Shop the Total Loan

The only time you should consider the monthly payment is when you have privately calculated how much you want to spend for your car. After that, monthly payments are out of the discussion. Some lenders may focus on the payments to persuade you to borrow more money by extending the number of months in your term. This way, they make more in interest and you have to keep your car longer.

Utilize a Credit Union

A credit union is a nonprofit organization that returns profits to its members through higher savings rates as well as lower fees and loan rates. Membership comes with benefits. Credit unions generally offer lower interest rates than banks do. If you have poor credit, a credit union may be more flexible than a bank. Credit unions build relationships with their members that allow them to offer a more personalized experience. RMLEFCU is Colorado’s only law enforcement credit union and our service to our members is unparalleled. Be sure to check with us before settling on an auto loan with a higher rate!

Your financial situation and the type of vehicle you’re purchasing are key factors in determining the type of lender that’s best for you. If you can’t qualify for a car loan or are being offered high-interest rates, consider getting a cosigner, saving up for a larger down payment, or taking some time to build your credit. If you’re ready to take advantage of RMLEFCU’s limited-time Relationship Rate offer and knock off an extra .75% APR*, contact us now at lending@rmlefcu.org or give us a call at (303) 458-6660.

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.