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.

21 Jul

How to Bounce Back from a Personal Financial Crisis

There is no agreed upon definition of what constitutes a “personal financial crisis.”

A few examples might be:

  • Taking a pay cut with a different job
  • Unexpected repairs to your home or car that aren’t covered
  • Credit card debt that is eating up your income and not allowing you to save
  • You’re facing bankruptcy
  • You or your spouse has been laid off

Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union understands that a personal financial crisis is personal to you. However, we have a few suggestions of ways to tackle a financial setback that are widely applicable – whether the crisis was of your own doing, or beyond your control.

  1. Try to recognize if your emotions are taking over. It sounds hokey but positive thoughts lead to positive actions, while negative thoughts usually lead to negative action. If you have negative feelings about what has happened, you are likely to make a decision based on an emotion like fear, shame or anger.

Our attitudes towards money are shaped early in life, or develop without having much formal education. Everyone knows someone who seems to be constantly plagued by money problems.

People who believe that money is something within their control are the ones who become more successful in how they manage their finances.

  1. Look for pro-active solutions and don’t give in to the fear of making the same mistake or another financial setback. One antidote to fear is as much research as possible. Before starting to look for work, do your research and determine what you need to be earning in a new job to support your lifestyle. If there is some way you can increase your skills or better your negotiation techniques to secure a higher salary – do so. In the short term, think about what you can immediately cut from your monthly budget. Simple things like eating out less can help you get through a tough time.
  1. Check out a few books about money. – You’re busy – we get it – but if you have a few moments each day for social media – you can skim a few of these books.
  • Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin
  • The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  • Start Late, Finish Rich: A No-Fail Plan for Achieving Financial Freedom at Any Age by David Bach
  1. Pare down a few of your non-necessities.

A few examples are: eating out at restaurants, movie theater tickets, a gym membership, outdoor gear.

Alternatives: Use coupons to eat out (restaurant.com, Groupon). Watch movies and TV on Amazon Prime, Hulu or Netflix or go to a cheap theater like Elvis Cinemas in Denver. Rather than a gym membership, explore free or low cost fitness apps on your cell phone or move along to free videos on Youtube.com like the Fitness Blender series. To save money on shopping, borrow items when possible, or buy used or from outlets.

  1. Be cautious about credit counseling companies. Credit counseling is an alternative to bankruptcy. These companies have you pay them and they in turn pay your creditors, having negotiated a payment plan and schedule. It’s not all bad but you should do your research first.

Advantages:

You avoid filing for bankruptcy.

You consolidate your bills into one monthly payment, for a period that lasts usually three to five years.

Your credit score should stay the same as when you enroll.

You’re forced to follow a strict monthly budget and live within your means.

Cons:

Reports from researchers show a 50/50 success rate.

Most lenders will not lend to you until your counseling period ends and you have re-established some credit. This will take a few years.

Similar to bankruptcy, credit counseling may impact how potential employers view you.

Nobody is born with superior financial knowledge. It is a learned skill and one that takes assessment and constant practice. RMLEFCU has dedicated personnel to help you in a financial crisis. You may call (720) 458-6660 to learn more. We also offer an in-house financial planner, Deborah Wilson, who can be reached at 720-855-4128. Call to schedule a free consultation and gain peace of mind.