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.

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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

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20 Mar

6 Signs You Are Overextended Financially

worried-debt-financialAre you starting to avoid picking up the mail because it’s filled with bills? Does it seem like you are entering onto a financial treadmill where your savings and retirement accounts aren’t growing? Or worse, are they falling? We have assembled 6 signs that you are becoming overextended. If you recognize yourself in any of these, it’s time to have a financial sit down with an expert at RMLEFCU before its too late.

1) You know your CVV number by heart. And you’d better because it has been worn off due to using your credit or debit card so much.

2) You are charging more on your credit card than you are paying off each month. It’s just like a diet, in order to shake that debt, you have to remember less in, more out!

3) You are adept at hitting silence on your cell phone when certain numbers call. You are unable to pay your bills and if you do manage to pay them, you’re late and incurring extra fines, or just paying what you can. Read More

10 Feb

Getting Your Finances Ready for 2015 Part 2

Planning and Saving in 2015, Your Best Financial Year!

The holidays may be a distant memory past, but the debt you incurred while trying to make sure you gave everyone the present of their dreams has not. It’s time to get out of the red and into the black with some easy tips on budgeting and saving in the New Year!

Planning and Saving in 20151.) Make sure you’re getting the most out of your financial institution. Not all banks are created equal, and certainly not many (or any!) banks are better than credit unions (in our humble opinion). Does your financial institution offer free checking? Low interest rates on auto loans and mortgages? ATM fee refunds? Make sure you shop around and find a place that suits your service and financial needs.

2.) Establish your financial goals and then prioritize them. People often feel overwhelmed with everything they should be saving for, like paying off debt, buying a car, and/or building savings. It can feel a lot less impossible if you work towards one goal at a time. Decide what is the most important to you, and save for it. When you reach that goal, you’ll feel so good you’ll be ready right away to jump into your next savings project. Be sure to check out RMLEFCU’s Custom Savings Accounts!

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03 Feb

3 Years vs. 5 Years: How Long Should Your Auto Loan Be?

Choosing an auto loan for your new car is a big decision. It can affect your monthly finances, your credit, and your ability to sell the car down the line.

The most common auto loans are 3-year loans and 5-year loans. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of each:

3 year vs 5 year auto loan rocky mountain law enforcement federal credit union3-Year Auto Loan

Benefit: These loans are less expensive overall. They are less risky for the lender, so they carry a lower interest rate. If you anticipate having very solid income for the next three years, a 36-month plan will save you money over the course of the loan. It will also allow you to pay off your car faster, meaning you can resell it sooner. That is a significant benefit, since cars depreciate quickly.

Drawback: 3-year plans come with a higher monthly cost. This can eat into your monthly budget. Even if you can afford it now, if your financial future is uncertain—if you know you’ll be looking for a job in six months, for instance—you may not want a 3-year loan. These expensive monthly payments leave you less discretionary income to handle life’s uncertainties, whether it’s unemployment or unexpected medical bills. You cannot eliminate these uncertainties, but if you anticipate having them, a high monthly payment might not be your best option. Read More

22 Jan

Car Buying Tips: Getting a Fair Price on a Quality Car

car buying tips auto loan rmlefcu colorado So you’ve made the decision to buy a new car! Now it’s time to start the process of looking for and purchasing the right vehicle. It is, most definitely, a process, but with these hot tips from RMLEFCU you’ll be sure to get your car at the best price.

Research online:

This is probably the best car-buying tip we have. From the comfort of your own couch, you have access to millions of customer reviews, professional reviews, videos, photos, price ranges, etc. You can find out anything there is to know about a car except for perhaps, what it actually feels like to be in that car. You can even go so far as to purchase your car online, but we don’t suggest that. Check out our auto resource center powered by Autotrek for help in finding your perfect fit.

Get preapproved for a car loan

This is key in a few different ways. First of all, financing through the dealership will only allow them to squeeze that much more money out of you through “financing deals” and “special interest”. Having the money ready from a different source cuts their negotiating power and adds to yours. Second, getting a preapproved loan allows you to shop around, in no hurry, for the best deals. While most dealerships won’t go below 4% interest, a lot of credit unions, like RMLEFCU will often go as low as 1.99% APR*. That’s practically free money! During February, 2015 we are sweetening our already great rate by offering no payments for 90 days! Read More