August Newsletter

Best Bellco Savings Products
 

Do you have money sitting somewhere that you’d like to have earn interest? Maybe you’re a bit risk-averse and aren’t comfortable with more aggressive investment options. Then again, you may already have money in higher-yield, higher-risk investments but want to keep your money somewhere safe while earning interest.

Bellco has three interest-earning products with various levels of accessibility and variable interest rates. Depending on your earning needs, our CDs, money market accounts, and Boost Interest Checking account can get your money working for you.

CDs
Our “set it and forget it” products now come with higher rates and more options. Choose a short or long term, regular or jumbo, and have your money earn a fixed interest rate for the duration of the CD.
• Bellco’s Traditional CDs earn a higher interest rate than a standard savings account with as little as $500 down to get started
• Our Smart Move CD lets you make a one-time "bump-up" to the current interest rate anytime during the term, and you can even make a one-time deposit without penalty
• For a very limited time, you can earn 2.50% APY on a 13-month CD with a minimum balance of $10,000 (Click here for full details)

Money Markets
Bellco's money market accounts are variable rate accounts without the term limitations you'd find in a CD. 
• These accounts allow for deposits and withdrawals at a great rate (withdrawals are limited to 6 per month)
• As a tiered-rate account, the more money you deposit, the higher the yield you can get
• There are no minimum balance requirements 

Boost Checking
Our Boost Interest Checking account has all the accessibility of a typical checking account but with a higher interest rate than most standard CDs, money markets, or savings accounts (if certain conditions are met). Plus, there’s no minimum balance and no maintenance fees.

To achieve the highest interest rate of 2.25% APY* (which is good on balances up to $25,000), simply:

  • Make 15 debit card purchases a month (not including ATM transactions)
  • Have at least one direct-deposit per month
  • Log in to our online or mobile banking at least once per month

Which product is the right fit for you? Learn more about our CDs, money markets, and popular Boost Checking.

*Please speak to a Bellco representative for more information about applicable fees and terms.

While summer will be winding down soon, there are plenty of activities in and around Denver to enjoy both indoors and outdoors. Below is a short list of low-cost or free events and attractions available over the next couple of months that are perhaps less well-known.

Union Station Buskerfest (August 10–12)
This year’s annual Buskerfest festival will take place in Denver Union Station's public plaza. Attendees of all ages are welcome to watch street musicians, fire performers, face painters, hula-hoopers, jugglers, and more from around the globe.

Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads (Now thru October 17)
Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei has reinterpreted the twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac in the Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads sculpture installation at Civic Center Park. Check out these grand public sculptures in Denver before they continue on their world tour.

Hummingbird and Friends (Now thru August 31)
Twenty-five artists celebrate and explore wild birds and mountain animals in the Hummingbird and Friends exhibit at the Shadow Mountain Gallery in Evergreen. Shadow Mountain Gallery has been an artists-owned gallery since 1991.

Forney Transportation Museum
For 60 years, the Forney Transportation Museum has been home to an extensive collection of buggies, steam locomotives, aircraft, motorcycles, and more. From August 1 through October 31, the museum will house a special exhibit highlighting American cars from the 1970s. 

Phantom Canyon Preserve
Get ready for a hike! North of Fort Collins, Phantom Canyon is a bit of a drive from Denver, but it is one of the last remaining roadless canyons along the Front Range. The preserve provides habitat for many wildlife species, including black bear, mountain lion, bobcat and bald eagles. Guided hikes are available through summer.

Explore more free to low-cost events, attractions, and festivals at Denver.org.

ARMs and Combo Loans

One of the most important decisions you will make when buying a home is choosing your mortgage. The options can be overwhelming. Here are a few particularly suited for first-time home buyers. 

ADJUSTABLE-RATE MORTGAGES
As opposed to a 30- or 15-year fixed interest rate mortgage, the interest rate in an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) fluctuates over the life of the loan. The most common ARM is a 5/1 loan, meaning the interest rate is fixed for the first five years and adjusts each year thereafter.

To determine the loan interest rate, ARMs use an index, which is an interest rate set by market forces and published by a neutral party. The lender then adds percentage points to the index, which is called the margin. For instance, if the index is 1.5 percent and the lender’s margin is three percentage points, the loan interest rate would be 4.5 percent. If the index is 1.75 percent after the fixed rate ends, the adjusted rate would be 4.75 percent for the next year.

ARMs are appealing because they offer an interest rate that is usually lower during the fixed-rate period than that of a 15- or 30-year fixed mortgage rate. Given the unpredictable nature of interest rates, the rate may adjust higher or lower when the fixed period ends.

This unknown about how the rate will adjust makes an ARM susceptible to index volatility. Therefore, ARMs frequently establish caps that protect the interest rate against drastic index swings. There are various types of caps that limit how much the interest rate can change year over year (periodic cap), over the life of the loan (lifetime cap), or by how much a monthly payment can increase (payment cap).

COMBO LOANS
First, a little context. A home lender requires private mortgage insurance (PMI) if the loan-to-value (LTV) is greater than 80 percent of the home’s value or the purchase price, whichever is less. Loan-to-value is a ratio between the amount of financing requested and the value of the property. If you put 10 percent down, your LTV ratio is 90 percent. Since this is greater than 80%, you will be required to pay PMI, which is paid monthly directly to the lender.

Combo loans are designed to avoid PMI by financing all or a portion of the LTV ratio difference with a second mortgage. They come in several varieties:
The 80/10/10 is combination of two mortgages, the first comprised of 80% of the purchase price, the second mortgage at 10%, and the remainder covered by a 10% borrower down payment. 
Similarly, the 80/15/5 is a combination of a first and second loan, but the second loan is 15% with a 5% borrower down payment. The interest rate on the second 15% mortgage is typically higher than a 10% second mortgage.
The 80/20 is a combination of just the two mortgages and requires no down payment as the entire purchase price/property value is financed. Expect to pay higher interest on the second loan in an 80/20 combo loan.

The first and second mortgages in combo loans can either be a fixed or adjustable-rate mortgage.

These are attractive options for home buyers of all types. Compare the interest rates in combo loans against PMI on one loan to determine which aligns with your financial needs. For further information or for assistance choosing the right loan for you, visit Bellco.org/Mortgage, call 1-800-BELLCO-1, or contact a mortgage specialist directly at Firstmortgages@bellco.org.

Mi Casa

In August, Bellco will collect donations for Bright Pink, a non-profit organization that focuses on the risk-reduction and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women while providing support for high-risk individuals.

For ways you can donate to this worthwhile cause, visit Bellco’s Charity of the Month page. To learn more about Bright Pink, just visit their website at BrightPink.org.