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.

02 Dec

How to Prevent Elder Financial Abuse

Preventing Elder Financial Abuse

There is an alarming epidemic of elder financial abuse. This kind of abuse involves taking advantage of an older person for financial gain. Older adults are losing billions each year as a result of scams, fraud and exploitation.

It’s even more disturbing that nearly half of that money is lost because of tactics that are technically legal, but dishonest in nature. Experts predict the problem will only get worse with a large number of Baby Boomers going into retirement. Here’s what you can do about it.

How Seniors Can Protect Themselves

There are a number of ways for seniors to be better protected from elder financial abuse. Use these strategies to identify financial abuse and avoid it because not all financial abusers take money from their victims using the same methods.

  • Remain socially active
    Isolation is one factor that can lead to the financial vulnerability of a senior since being cut off from the outside world will make it harder for others to spot warning signs.
  • Avoid joint bank accounts
    Some seniors might open a joint bank account in order to make transactions or withdrawals on their behalf easier for a family member and better manage their finances. However, a shared bank account can also be an easy way for fraud and violence to take place.
  • Invoke a power of attorney
    Financial abuse risk increases after a person develops a reduced ability to make independent financial decisions. Invoking an attorney’s power can be a constructive way to prepare one’s property and resources for the future. Seniors may recommend seeking legal advice to assist in this process.

How to Identify Elder Financial Abuse

It can be difficult to identify elder financial abuse, particularly if you don’t know what you’re looking for. It is also challenging to identify signs of abuse if the abuser is someone you know and trust. Here are some signs and what you can do with financial elder abuse.

  • Money Missing from Accounts
    Is there a shortage of funds or large amounts of money missing from the savings or bank accounts? If so, it’s crucial for you to find out where the money went.
  • Unusual Use of Credit Cards
    If an elder unexpectedly uses their credit cards more often or if cash advances are being taken out, there may be financial abuse or financial hardship.
  • Unpaid Bills, Collection Letters, Lack of Food in House
    If a person who is financially responsible does not seem to pay bills or buy food or other necessities, it is time to investigate. Signs of abuse, disease, or dementia can be mismanaging money or neglecting self-care.

If you see any of the signs listed here, it is important to talk to old friends or loved ones. Try to determine what is happening, specifically with your financial situation, such as a new person “helping” you with money management, or a relative using cards or credit without your permission. Then, report elder financial abuse to your financial institution and enlist the help of your banker to stop it and keep it from repeating. Call the city or state’s Adult Protective Services for support. If you have any questions or concerns about elder financial abuse, call RMLEFCU at 303-458-6660.