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.

10 Sep

First Time Home Buyer Mortgage Tips

First Time Homebuyer Mortgage

Buying a home can be nerve-racking, especially if it’s your first one. When you find your ideal home, you should secure a mortgage that makes sense for you today and for the future. To ensure you can do this appropriately, here are some insider first-time homebuyer mortgage tips.

Apply for What You Can Afford Today

 First-time home buyers may be buying too much home. You may qualify for a large mortgage but making that steep monthly payment will impact all other parts of your life. Instead of shopping for a home that fits for the mortgage you qualify for, look at monthly payments to see if it is doable for your finances currently. When you’re making high monthly payments on a mortgage for your home, you can put yourself in a tough situation and not have money left for other things like savings and travel.

Shop for Your Mortgage 

Shopping for your mortgage is crucial and, when you ask the right questions, it can save you thousands of dollars. While filling out a mortgage application is tedious and time-consuming, that should not stop you from applying for a mortgage from more than one source.

Similar to shopping around for any large purchase you’re making, you should apply for a mortgage and get competitive rates. RMLEFCU’s mortgage application process is a breeze with our quick, local decision-making. We also have competitively low, fixed rates for home purchase and a variety of repayment terms available. On top of that, we also have helpful loan advisors with working knowledge of the local Colorado real estate market to help you get the best deal.

 Mortgage Down Payment

One prevailing myth about mortgages is that you’re required to put 20% down. While you will usually get a lower interest rate if you have a 20% down payment, that is not the threshold for achieving mortgage financing. Many lenders now permit much less and first-time homebuyer mortgage programs allow as little as 3% down. To see what your monthly payments will be, play around with a down payment calculator to help you land on a goal amount.

If you are a first-time homebuyer and are shopping around for a mortgage, you may find it difficult to sort through all the financing options. Take some time to read over these tips accordingly. A good mortgage broker or mortgage banker should be able to help steer you through all the different programs and options. If you have any questions about a first-time homebuyer mortgage or would like to speak to one of our loan officers, email us at lending@rmlefcu.org.

12 Jun

What is Debt Protection Insurance?

Debt Protection Insurance

Debt protection insurance is designed to help borrowers by providing financial support in times of need. Whether it’s due to unemployment, sickness, or disability, debt protection insurance can protect the insured from defaulting on their loans.

There are a lot of benefits to this type of protection that will protect you and your family more directly and thoroughly in an unexpected event. If you haven’t thought of debt protection insurance yet, here is a list of reasons why you should consider debt protection options from your local credit union.

RMLEFCU offers you six different options, giving you the flexibility to pick the Debt Protection package that’s right for you. Each option has specific eligibility requirements and a different range of benefits.

Do I Need Debt Protection Insurance?

Debt Protection provides you with the peace of mind of knowing your monthly loan payments will be canceled in the event of death, disability or involuntary unemployment. The cost of debt protection insurance depends on where you live and how much coverage you would like to have. Debt protection insurance can be very expensive if you have a poor credit score and you might end up paying a higher premium for coverage. However, having debt protection insurance can pay off when you select a policy that is inexpensive and will provide the amount of coverage that’s right for you.

A great thing about debt protection insurance is that it helps maintain your current credit score because the policy enables you to keep up-to-date with loan payments. The policy will continue to pay your loans in times of financial crisis, so your credit score is not affected.

Are There Other Options?

If you’re unsure of getting a debt protection insurance policy or if the premium is too high, there are other options you can take to protect yourself and your family from defaulting on a loan. Here are some alternate solutions you can consider to protect your loan:

  • Life insurance or disability insurance to protect the loan
  • Using long term savings to repay the loan when an unexpected situation occurs
  • Building larger emergency savings to cover your loans
  • Asking family if you can rely on them to pay the debt if necessary

Keep in mind a debt protection policy is beneficial if the premium payments are affordable. Look at it like protection plans offered on small and large appliances and other goods you buy at retail stores. If the plan would set you back an extra $15, it’s probably worth it to protect your expensive item.

How Do I Get Started?

Speak to your local credit union or bank today to see how you can get started on obtaining a debt protection insurance policy!

If you’re an RMLEFCU member, speak with one of our loan representatives today by calling us at 303-458-6660 or sending an email to lending@rmlefcu.org for complete details — including the monthly cost for each option.

We can discuss this program with you, explain how it is different from traditional credit insurance, and provide you with a copy of our new Debt Protection Brochure which outlines the details of each one of our Debt Protection options.

05 Apr

 The Advantages and Benefits of Credit Cards

Credit Card

While credit cards and debit cards may seem quite similar, they are actually very different when it comes to how they are used. A debit card is directly linked to a checking account or money market and transactions are taken from the available balance in that account. Credit cards, on the other hand, are not linked to a checking account and there is no balance due immediately after a transaction. Instead, it works with monthly payments.

Credit cards often get a bad reputation, because of the delayed balance due and temptation surrounding that, but the truth is they can be very advantageous to your finances! Credit cards are a great tool for earning rewards, traveling, building credit, and handling emergencies or unplanned expenses. And, if you use them correctly, these advantages can even earn you money!

Benefits of Using a Credit Card

Let’s talk about the biggest benefit. Building your credit. A credit card is a line of credit and paying it off in full every statement can help you build your credit.

Along with that, when used responsibly, they can be beneficial when traveling. Major hotels and car rentals often require a hold on a credit or debit card. If you don’t currently have the funds in your account for the deposit/hold, it’s great to use a credit card for the time being.

You can also earn rewards on your card for purchases you make. These rewards can be in forms of cash back, discounts, or even travel miles! For those who use their cards regularly, a rewards card might be the best option for you so you can earn those extra points and redeem them for rewards!

How Do I Use Credit Cards Responsibly?

Treating your credit card as a debit card is a top priority. You should never spend more than what you can pay back. It’s essential for anyone who decides to open a line of credit to consider how they plan to make the payments and how to use their new purchasing power responsibly.

Credit cards also offer balance transfer options. These options allow a cardholder to transfer the balance on one or multiple credit cards to another card. The transferred balance is now subject to the interest rate and terms of the new card. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of you are to utilize the balance transfer option!

Which Card Should I Apply For?

There are credit cards options for every kind of spender. Some are specifically tailored for people trying to build up their credit, usually with a deposit attached to the card. There are some cards with low-interest rates for users who want to keep money on their card and there’s also rewards cards that offer enticing rewards in exchange for spending.

RMLEFCU offers three credit card options for our members. The Classic Visa, the Platinum Visa Select, and the Platinum Visa.

These three cards all have the following benefits:

  • Accepted worldwide
  • No fee for cash advances or balance transfer
  • Competitive rates with no annual fees
  • 25-day grace period to pay for purchases
  • Make payments and view statements online

Don’t know which card to choose? Watch this video to see which card is right for you!

If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call at (303) 458-6660 or visit a branch today.