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.

18 Feb

The Ultimate Guide to Credit Scores

Credit Score Tips

The talk of credit scores often surrounds finances, but how many of us know how they’re calculated and actually used for? We all know they affect how much credit you can get and that it’s better to have a higher credit score, but how are they calculated? Don’t worry! RMLEFCU has compiled a handy guide on what your credit score is, how it’s calculated, and how to raise and keep your credit scores high. Read on to find out!

What is a Credit Score?

Let’s go to the very basics and understand what a credit score is. It’s a three-digit number that is basically a grade for how well you have managed loans, lines of credit, and other financial obligations over the years. Banks and lenders use it to decide whether they’ll approve you for a credit card or loan.

There are three main credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, that create your credit reports with credit scoring models like VantageScore and FICO. These models are used to come up with a score that ranges from 300-850.

It’s also not uncommon to have multiple different scores at the same time, with the numerous ways to calculate them. You can have different scores if a lender doesn’t report to all three credit bureaus or reports updates to them at different times. You could also have different scores depending on the what loan or car you’re applying for. For example, an auto lender might use one scoring model, while a mortgage lender uses another.

This might be confusing, but not to worry, these scores are calculated on a similar basis, which leads us to our next question.

How are Credit Scores Calculated?

We’ve touched base on how important these scores are so let’s get to how they are calculated so you understand the works of your score. All scores are calculated differently, however, they generally consider similar factors such as:

  • Payment history (35%)
  • Debt usage ratio (30%)
  • Credit history age (15%)
  • New credit (10%)
  • Credit mix (10%)

Your payment history is the payment records of car loans, mortgages, retail accounts, installment loans, credit cards and more. It’s critical to make sure your payments are on time because late payments and accounts sent to collections can have a significant negative impact on your score.

Your debt usage ratio calculates the total amount owed on accounts in relation to the total credit limit. A general rule is to keep your balance below 30% of the total credit available.

Length of credit history looks at the age of your accounts, the number of recently opened accounts, and new credit vs. established credit.

New credit/inquiries are also considered in your score and the calculation consists of the number of recent inquiries, the time since an inquiry, the number of recently opened accounts, and the time since opening an account.

Additionally, having a balanced credit mix is also important for your score. These accounts include credit cards, installment loans, mortgages, consumer finance accounts, and more. A mix of credit types can have a more positive impact on your credit scores than a credit report that shows only one type of credit.

How Do I Increase My Credit Score?

Now that you know what a credit score is and how it’s calculated, it’s time to understand how you can increase your credit score.

The most impactful way to improve your score is through your payment history. Your scores are affected greatly by this factor, contributing to 35% of the score calculation and has the greatest effect on improving your scores, but missed or late payments are not easily fixed. If you already have missed payments, it’s best to get up to date with your payments and stay current. The longer you keep up with on-time payments, the more your score should increase. The impact of prior credit problems will fade over time as long as recent good payment patterns show up on your report.

The second largest factor contributing to your credit score is the debt usage ratio, contributing 30%. It’s best to keep your balances low on credit cards and other revolving credit. High outstanding debt can affect a credit score and it’s best to pay off debt rather than moving it around. It’s also unwise to open a number of new credit cards that you don’t use just to increase your available credit limit or to close unused credit cards as a short-term strategy to raise your scores.

Need help building up your credit? RMLEFCU offers a Credit Builder Loan to rebuild your credit score if it is damaged or non-existent. You don’t need to put down any money to secure the loan and there are low monthly installment payments, making it easy to get your score up!

If you would like to open a new line of credit with RMLEFCU or help rebuild your credit with a Credit Builder Loan, don’t hesitate to contact us or visit a branch.

25 Jun

Why Your Credit Score is Important

credit score

We all know that credit scores are important, but do you really know why? We’re here to let you know what goes into your credit score and why it’s important to keep it at a good level.

What is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a numerical value used to evaluate a consumer’s creditworthiness based on financial history. The scores range anywhere from 300-850 (bad to good accordingly) and are determined by three main credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They are based on things like on-time payments and how many accounts you have open in good standing.

Loans

When applying for a loan, financial institutions look at your credit score and credit history to determine if you’ve proven to be responsible with your payments in the past. They do this to ensure that they only give loans to the people who they are more confident will be able to pay them off. That is not to say that you cannot get a loan if you have a less-than-great credit score. Typically, the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate on the loan will be because you are considered a higher liability customer. This can add up quickly for large mortgage or home loans, as interest can accrue over time making it more difficult to pay off the balance of the loan.

Renting

If you’ve ever rented a house before, you know that landlords and property managers commonly ask for your social security number. This is because they’re running a background and credit check on you to determine if you will pay your rent on time. If your credit score is too low for their liking, they will more than likely reject your application and you will be stuck looking for another place to live.

Employers

Sometimes, employers will look at their prospective employees’ backgrounds and credit scores to assess the risk of hiring a candidate before extending an offer. This is most common in finance roles or in a position where you will be responsible for handling company money. The thought process being, if you can’t handle your own finances well, how could you manage those of others?

If you need help building your credit or repairing damaged credit, our credit builder loan is a perfect way to build positive credit without any risk. Learn more and apply online today