23 Sep

Money Tips for Young Adults

Money Tips for Young Adults

As a young adult in your 20s or 30s, you’re probably excited about all the opportunities life has to offer, but you’re also aware of increased financial responsibility. Unfortunately, in most high schools or colleges, personal finance is not a required subject. This lack of basic financial education leaves many young adults clueless about how they should manage their finances, apply for credit, or even get and stay out of debt.

We’ve come up with three important things to understand about money to help you be more financially responsible.

Build a Budget

Regardless of your age, the number one money tip that you should follow is to live within your means. You should never spend more than what you’re earning. It’s easy to get into debt but getting out of it is much harder.

This is why it is helpful to have a budget. If you track your spending, not only will you see where your money goes, but you will also be more aware of what you spend your money on.

Start an Emergency Fund

Life can be unpredictable and being prepared for when unexpected things occur will benefit you in the long run. Having a safety net for those unplanned moments, like car repairs, medical expenses, or unemployment, will make it easier for you to bounce back financially.

As a rule for your emergency fund, you should have 3 to 6 months of living expenses saved up. This is where the previous tip helps. If you know how much you’re spending, you’ll know how much you need to save.

Save for Retirement

While retirement may seem a long way away, the earlier you begin, the better. Starting early on your retirement savings is recommended. If you start adding to your accounts now, you’ll see more money later! Start by investing in a 401(k) or IRA. Make sure you also maximize the opportunity if your company offers a matching contribution.

There are also a lot of retirement options to choose from. Read our blog post on Retirement 101 to learn more about the different retirement accounts you can choose from.

These three tips should give you a head start on financial responsibility, but the most important tip is not to compare with others. It’s easy to look on social media and get an elevated, flawless perception of reality and it may seem as if everyone is doing well and affording extravagant things, but everyone’s situation is different! If you would like help with financial planning, RMLEFCU offers personal services to members! Learn more about our financial planning services here or call us at 303-458-6660.

18 Jun

What Are Credit Builder Loans and How Do They Work?

Credit Builder Loan at RMLEFCU

If you have poor or no credit, it may seem like getting a loan is impossible.

A lender’s main concern when considering a loan application is whether or not the applicant will be able to pay the loan back. Your credit score is a way for lenders to know if you are trustworthy enough to loan to. A credit score takes into account payment history and allows lenders to determine if the applicant is risky or not.

A credit builder loan is designed for people who have poor credit or little to no credit history to build credit. It’s designed to help you eventually qualify for other loans.

What Is A Credit Builder Loan?

Building up your credit takes patience. To show lenders you are consistently reliable and make on-time payments, you’ll need to put in the work. Credit builder loans are a great way to begin establishing a good credit score.

A financial institution, such as a credit union, deposits a small amount of money into a secured savings account. The borrower then pays the money back in monthly installments, with interest, over a set period of time. At the end of the loan’s term, the borrower receives the total amount of the credit builder loan in a lump sum, plus any interest earned, if the lender offers interest.

RMLEFCU’s credit builder loan features:

  • No money needed to secure the loan
  • Eligible to members 18 and older who have means to repay the loan
  • Low monthly installment payments
  • Convenient automatic payments
  • Easy application process
  • Quick, local decision-making
  • Attentive, friendly service from start to finish

How Does A Credit Builder Loan Work?

This loan helps build credit by providing an opportunity for people who want to build their credit to make small monthly payments.

With this loan, your credit history will show you can make regular, on-time loan payments.

Most credit builder loans are small, which means they will have small monthly payments. Interest rates vary by bank, so be sure you compare all your options to get the best rate.

Where Can I Find A Credit Builder Loan?

Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union, of course!

Credit Unions often list loans and loan details online and have lower rates than traditional banks. Take a look at the loans RMLEFCU offers.

Some traditional banks also offer credit builder loans to help clients build a good credit score and work toward good financial health.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to a lending officer at RMLEFCU about our Credit Builder Loan, give us a call at 303 458-6660 or send a message to lending@rmlefcu.org.

09 Aug

Banking for Students

Banking for Students

As a student, your schedule can vary widely from day to day, along with your financial needs. It’s important that your credit union be flexible and grow with you as your needs change. RMLEFCU offers a number of convenient features for students, such as mobile banking, person-2-person transfers, and shared branching. Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union also has a first time Visa credit card for students without any credit history. Banking for students is not just limited to whatever institution has an ATM near campus – use RMLEFCU when you are away at school for both its convenience and unbeatably low rates.

Convenience

With RMLEFCU you can do most banking transactions from your phone or online, which is perfect for students that don’t have the time or transportation to get to a branch. This includes depositing checks, transferring money, checking your balance, and more.

If you are not near an RMLEFCU branch and do need to visit in person, RMLEFCU makes that possible by partnering with over 5,000 credit unions across the United States. Wherever you are going to school, RMLEFCU will go with you. Visit any partner credit union to perform your in-branch transactions.

Take advantage of free overdraft protection and courtesy pay for those students that are a little tight on cash. Your card will not be declined for insufficient funds and you do not need to worry about ATM fees either. With a Kasasa checking account, up to $25 in ATM fees are refundable each month.

Person-2-Person Transfers

As a student, there is a lot of splitting costs for meals and bills with roommates. RMLEFCU offers person-2-person transfers for those unpredictable times that you need to give someone money but don’t have (or want to pull out) any cash. Using either online banking or your mobile phone app, you can transfer funds from your bank account directly to someone else. Who carries cash these days anyways?

Build Credit Early

Most students don’t have much credit yet, but the time to build it is now. RMLEFCU can help you get your first credit card and establish length of account history with a checking account. RMLEFCU has reasonable interest rates for credit cards, even for first time card holders. By working on establishing credit as a student, after graduation you will be able to get great rates on everything from a car to your first house.

Pay for School

Another popular feature for students is using a HELOC to pay for schooling/living expenses. Having your parents take out a Home Equity Line of Credit, or a HELOC, to pay for schooling will help keep your interest rates low – saving both students and parents a lot of money. It can be drawn on when needed and paid back as you are able to.

RMLEFCU – Banking for Students

With shared branching, online banking, and mobile banking, you can get everything you need as a member of Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union even when you are away at school. Take advantage of our low rates for first time card holders and build credit now so you are in a good place after college to start making those large purchases.

20 May

Financial Advice for Younger Adults

financial advice for younger adultsRMLEFCU employees were informally surveyed and asked, “If you could go back in time and talk to yourself at 21, what kind of financial advice would you give?”

In no particular order, here are 6 top responses:

  • If your employer has a retirement plan, you had better contribute. If they don’t, open an IRA. Unless you are planning on checking out early or not having any children or loved ones you leave behind, you will want to start saving as soon as you move your belongings out of your college dorm.
  • Cash or Debit Cards Only. Speaking of college, chances are you don’t have the income to offset any high interest credit card debt you may have been enticed to rack up. I know it’s tempting, but if you can’t get by on a debit card or cash, you probably don’t need it. P.S. That’s great that they were giving out those mini footballs/Frisbees/t-shirts and you needed/wanted/had to have one, but cut that credit card up now if you can’t afford it.
  • If you already have a credit card, remember this advice, “Do not put anything on your credit card that you can’t pay off the next month.” Look at it only as a way to afford something that you’ll have the money for in 28 days. Maybe the movie “28 Days Later” will help drive this point home since having credit card debt will be worse than a zombie chasing you. Zombies can be outrun, creditors will never stop coming after you.

Read More

15 Apr

Your Financial Spring Cleaning Checklist

spring cleaning financial checklistNow is the time to give those finances a thorough Spring cleaning! At the Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union we are big fans of setting financial goals and achieving financial success. To help you we have assembled your financial Spring cleaning checklist!

Discard

  • Debt
    • Until you can completely pay off your credit card bill, there are still a few things you can do.
    • Pay your bill the day you get it. Grace Periods usually only exist for those who pay their balance IN FULL EVERY When you do this, you won’t be charged interest.
    • Always pay more than the minimum when you can.
    • If you are not eligible for a low interest rate card like our RMLEFCU credit cards, apply for one with a teaser rate (1 year or less) ONLY DO THIS if you know you can pay off the entire balance before that attractive rate disappears.
  • Discrepancies on your credit report
    • Contact Experian, Trans Union and Equifax for a free credit report once a year at: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action

Read More

21 Mar

Getting Your Finances Ready for 2015 Part III: When Things Go Awry

doctors-xray-financial-challengesYou never know when disaster will strike. My mother was driving when she had a heart attack. Curveballs, or for the positive set, “challenges” do not announce their arrival with a polite knock.

A wise person once said, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

The worst may include:

  • Car accident
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Serious Injury
  • Job Loss
  • Fires and or Floods
  • Bankruptcy

Here are seven ways to GET PREPARED FINANCIALLY: Read More