July 2023 News

The Strategic Benefit of Building a CD Ladder

If you haven’t heard of a CD ladder, it’s basically a savings strategy where, rather than putting all your funds into one certificate of deposit, you invest in several CDs with staggered maturity dates. This allows you to earn the higher rate offered by CDs without locking up all funds for the entire term of one product.

Here’s an example of how you could set up a CD ladder. Perhaps you want to build a Bellco CD ladder with three rungs. If you have $1,500 to invest, you could divide the funds equally into three CDs with different maturity dates. Such as:

$500 into a 6-month CD at 5.50% APY*

$500 into a 17-month CD at 5.00% APY*

$500 into a 24-month CD at 4.25% APY*

When the first CD matures after six months, you can cash out or continue to build your ladder by reinvesting the funds into a new high-yield CD. When the seventeen-month CD matures, you can use the proceeds from that account to open a new CD, and so on. You can continue the process each year for as long as you want to maintain the CD ladder.

To learn more about our CD rates and terms, visit our Certificates of Deposit page.

*Annual Percentage Yields (APYs) are effective as of 7/1/2023. The minimum balance to open any of the CDs mentioned above and earn the advertised APY is $500. APYs are fixed for the above stated terms assuming the account balance remains above the minimum for the full term of the CD. A penalty may be imposed for early withdrawals. Fees may reduce earnings. After maturity, if you choose to renew your CD, the 6-month CD will automatically revert to a 6-month traditional CD, the 17-month CD and 24-month CD will both revert to a 24-month traditional CD, and you will earn the base rate of interest in effect at that time for the applicable CD term. Rates apply to consumer CD accounts only. Rate subject to change without notice. Membership eligibility is required.

Enjoy Free Summer Concerts in Colorado

Summer is in full swing, and what better time is there to enjoy the outdoors than now? Daytime can clearly be about hikes and pools, but the evening can be about dancing to good music under the stars. Many venues throughout Colorado are offering free family-friendly concerts all season—they can be a great way to explore new music genres, hear up-and-coming bands, or just get out and enjoy a beautiful summer evening. Just a few of the opportunities include:

  • Levitt Pavilion Denver. The lineup is bursting at the seams with concerts scheduled through September; each night will feature different kinds of music, from Brazilian to reggae to soul. The venue encourages RSVP through the website, but if you’re feeling spontaneous, they’ll welcome walk-ups as long as there’s space.
  • City of Broomfield. With five concerts slated on the Wednesdays of July, the City of Broomfield is welcoming families to enjoy free music and preshow fun. Genres include country rock, jazz, and salsa, and food trucks will be available if you want to make a full night of it.
  • City of Aurora. The city’s Department of Library and Cultural Services is featuring one free concert a month through the summer and beyond. RSVP through the link on the city’s site to get access to sounds of Nordic music, Venezuelan folk music, and more.
  • Orchard Town Center. Just off I-25 in Westminster, the Orchard Town Center is a hub for family- and kid-friendly fun. Bring your lawn chairs and nonalcoholic beverages to enjoy outdoor concerts every Saturday in July and August. The final show features an opening act of students from the School of Rock in Broomfield.
  • Frisco. For a beautiful mountain venue, check out Frisco’s Concert in the Park Series, featuring free shows every Thursday night through August. You’re welcome to bring folding chairs and picnic blankets, as well as your own food and nonalcoholic beverages; beverages and light snacks will also be for sale at the venue, with proceeds benefiting various nonprofits.

These are just a handful of the available free concerts for this summer—if you’re not close to one of these venues, there’s bound to be another option near you. Find one that appeals, grab the fam, and get out and be surrounded by the sweet summer sounds.

Protect Yourself From These Recent Scams

Although we might hope that good would prevail in this world, it’s still full of people who are trying to defraud others for their own gain. And these days, many of them are taking old, tried-and-true frauds and implementing something a little new to steal from the unsuspecting. See below for a few of the scams that have recently affected victims, so you can arm yourself with the information you need to avoid being taken in.

Check washing. Although a lot of payments are virtual these days, some are still made by check. Fraudsters take advantage of that by stealing checks (both incoming and outgoing) from mailboxes and washing them with household chemicals so that they can write a new name in the “pay to” line and a new figure (sometimes an exorbitant one) in the amount section. To protect yourself, use official USPS blue mailboxes to deposit your outgoing mail, and never leave your incoming mail in your mailbox overnight. Also, if you’re going out of town, have your mail held at the post office so that it won’t be unprotected in your absence.

Wrong number texts. Scammers will send seemingly misdirected texts to random numbers, hoping that someone will engage. Feeling like they’re being polite, a victim might respond with a “wrong number!” text, only to have the scammer continue the conversation as though it’s friendly banter, eventually upping the stakes to invite the victim to click a link to a website or to download an app. If the victim follows through, they might lose personal identification, credit card numbers, or bank account information. To protect yourself, never respond to numbers you don’t recognize (even if it’s to say “stop”) and don’t click links from strangers. Be sure to block any numbers these texts come from.

Fake LinkedIn relationships. If you’re on LinkedIn, you probably know it can be a valuable networking tool. However, it can also be the arena for a fraudster’s trap. In this case, the scammer might send a message saying that they’re new to your industry and looking for advice. While it might be tempting to play the mentor, be careful. If the person asks to move the conversation to a private setting, they might be trying to lure you into giving up personal information or money. To protect yourself, be wary of any requests to move a chat to a private channel. Once that’s on the table, your best bet is to block the trickster.

No matter the setting, it’s important to maintain vigilance to ensure your personal data and savings aren’t stolen. If you have even the slightest inkling that a person isn’t acting aboveboard, trust your gut and protect yourself.

If you believe you are a victim of fraud, please contact our Fraud Department at 303-689-7548.  And if you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov.

How to Lower Your Cost of Purchasing a Home

By Bellco Home Loans

Buying your first home is an exciting – and nerve-racking – milestone. Having a trusted mortgage expert by your side can make all the difference in your experience. Bellco Home Loans is your one-stop-shop for all your home loan needs and has a variety of products to help you throughout your homeownership journey – from first-time homebuyer to repeat customer.

When you’re getting ready to purchase a home, one of biggest hurdles is saving for the down payment. For many years, the rule of thumb was that you must have a 20% down payment. Today, that’s outdated advice and just isn’t realistic for most first-time homebuyers. There are many low-down payment loan options and programs available to help you reach your goal of becoming a homeowner.

One of our most popular programs for first-time homebuyers is the 3-2-1 Home Plus Program. It provides a variety of benefits that lower the investment needed to purchase a home. Let’s take a look at what the program entails and who may benefit.

What is 3-2-1 Home Plus?

If you’re a first-time homebuyer with low-to-moderate income, the 3-2-1 Home Plus program provides down payment flexibility to get you into a home now. With this program, you can buy a home with just 3% down.

If you’re considering purchasing a home that needs a little work, you’ll be happy to hear that you’ll also receive a $2,000 e-gift card* to The Home Depot®. You can have peace of mind knowing you have extra resources to put toward minor repairs or improvements without tapping into your cash reserves.

The perks don’t end there. You’ll also receive $500 to $1,500 toward your closing costs.** The exact amount is determined based on your area and other eligibility criteria. Your loan officer can give you more information.

*In the state of NV, the consumer receives a $2,000 lender credit in lieu of a gift card. Payment subject to maximum allowable lender credit and minimum contribution requirements. Some loans require a minimum cash investment by the borrower, which may limit the amount of any lender credit or payment by Bellco Home Loans under the offer.

**Freddie Mac BorrowSmartSM down payment/closing cost assistance amounts of $2,500, $1,250 or $1,000 based on Area Median Income and other eligibility criteria. $1,000 assistance applies to manufactured homes.

Bellco Home Loans is not affiliated with The Home Depot®. The Home Depot® is not a sponsor of this promotion. The Home Depot® is a registered trademark of Home Depot Product Authority, LLC. All rights reserved.

Bellco Home Loans is a joint venture between Bellco Credit Union and Cherry Creek Mortgage, an independent mortgage lender that’s been helping families attain homeownership for over 30 years. Equal housing opportunity lender. All applications subject to approval. Bellco Home Loans, LLC, NMLS #2085298. Guild Mortgage Company; NMLS ID 3274. www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org.