March 2023 News
Join Us at the Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Now that spring is in the air, we hope you’ll join us for the annual Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We are celebrating our 17th year as the Presenting Sponsor of the parade, which will get underway on Saturday, March 11 at 9:30 am. The parade route starts at 19th and Wynkoop and ends at 27th and Blake.
For Best Viewing Experience:
- Arrive early to stake out your favorite spot.
- To catch the parade’s full performances (including dancing, full music sets, etc.), the best spot is generally considered to be south of 20th Avenue on Blake Street, which is also the most crowded with attendees arriving as early as 6 am to stake out a spot.
- If you prefer to avoid bigger crowds, a great place for prime viewing is at the end of the parade on Blake Street from 23rd to 27th Avenues.
- Due to unpredictable March weather, it is recommended to dress in layers and bring plenty of water.
To learn more about the parade, visit DenverStPatricksDayParade.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Get Them Financially Prepared for College
For those high school students who’ve already applied to colleges and universities, many will see their responses arrive from mid-March to early April. That’s because, as a general rule, most colleges try to have enrollment decisions made by May 1 for the upcoming academic year.
For parents with students moving on to higher education in the next few years, costs quickly become a big part of the conversation. To help answer questions around higher education costs, Bellco’s MoneySmarts program has added a new student-focused module, called Navigating College Finances, which can help set you or your student up for success. Modules include:
- Budget Hacks for College
- Financial Decisions for Your Career Path
- Paying for College
- Paying Your Student Loans
- Preparing for Graduation
- Understanding Your Student Loans
Plus, when you finish any MoneySmarts tutorial, you’ll be eligible for a chance to win a $100 Visa® gift card*. To get started, simply visit our MoneySmarts page.
If your current savings, scholarships, and/or grants aren’t enough to cover college expenses, you might need to explore student loans. Bellco can help there too by providing access to the right Sallie Mae® student loan that can bring you peace of mind knowing your student won’t have to worry about finding the money for tuition. With these loans, you and your student can get competitive rates, helpful repayment terms, and no origination fees. Whether you cosign with your student or access a parent loan to pay for their schooling, you can find the right loan to fit your tuition plan.
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. See official rules at bellco.org/moneysmarts. This sweepstakes may end at any time without prior notice.
Visa is a registered trademark of Visa International Service Association.
Helpful Tips for First-Time Homebuyers
By Bellco Home Loans
If you’re looking to purchase a new home, chances are you have questions about the process—including where to begin. Bellco Home Loan’s team of mortgage experts have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from first-time homebuyers.
Do I need a 20% down payment to get a mortgage for my first home?
No. There are many loan programs available to members through Bellco Home Loans that don’t require a 20% down payment. These may include, but are not limited to, Fannie Mae First Time Homebuyer programs, FHA, VA, and Colorado Housing and Finance Authority loan programs. Depending on the program and your qualification, you may need a down payment as low as a 3%—and in some cases, even less than that!
Are there programs or assistance for down payments?
Yes! There are down payment assistance programs that may be available for first time homebuyers. In addition, you may be able to use gifts from relatives as funds for down payments and even closing costs!
Can a seller help a buyer with the purchase of a home?
Yes. In our current real estate market, some individuals are so eager to sell their home, they’ll help in different ways such as providing funds for closing costs, or even providing funds for temporary or permanent interest-rate reductions! These are typically called “sales concessions.” Ask a Bellco Home Loans representative and real estate agent about the possibility of an interest-rate buydown.
To get more valuable information, including access to a Home Affordability Calculator, click the Continue Article button below.
Bellco Home Loans is a collaboration between Bellco Credit Union and Cherry Creek Mortgage, an independent mortgage lender that’s been helping families attain homeownership for over 30 years. Bellco Home Loans, LLC NMLS# 2085298. Equal Housing Opportunity
The Uptick in Fraud Impersonations & Scams
A scammer’s sole goal is to try to make money easily, which is why they constantly devise new schemes they believe will pull the wool over as many people’s eyes as possible. Here are just some of the scams that Bellco’s Fraud Dept. has seen occurring more frequently.
Bellco Fraud Impersonation – In this scenario, a member may receive a deceiving text from “Bellco Fraud” claiming fraud on their account. The Caller ID reads Bellco Fraud and even shows our 1-800-BELLCO-1 phone number. The member can then be scammed out of their online credentials, online banking multifactor authentication codes, debit or credit card info, or they may be instructed to perform a banking transaction themselves. This could be buying gift cards and giving the card info to scammer, doing a Zelle transaction, sending a wire transfer, or even transferring money electronically from one bank account into another.
Googling Phone Numbers – Scammers no longer have to reach out to you. A member may Google a phone number for Amazon, Apple, Xcel Energy, or any other business because their shipment has not arrived, or their Xcel Energy bill is past due. But when the member Googles a number to call, the results often shown first are numbers to actual fraudsters. Once on the phone with a fraudster, members can then fall for anything, including the Bellco Fraud Impersonation scam above.
Computer Tech Scam – Not only can computer pop-ups be a nuisance, they can also be fraudulent. In this scam, a member will get a pop up on their computer that something is wrong. The message may give a phone number to call, ask to allow for a remote session, or an online chat. Once the fraudster has remote access, they will have the member sign in to online banking, their email services, and more. Sometimes the scammer will transfer funds between accounts while they have a black screen for the member to see. Once the screen comes back up, they will show a fraudulent screen with the extra money that was transferred fooling the member to think they were refunded funds and they need to wire those back. The member then will either go to the branch or call in to the Contact Center to send the wire.
PayPal Phishing Email Scam – Another phishing scam that’s seen a recent uptick is when a member receives an email from “PayPal” about a purchase—the fraudsters notify them that if they didn’t authorize a charge, to call the phone number in the email. Of course, PayPal doesn’t send these emails and the sender’s email address is typically a personal email. The member calls the phone number in the email and the scammer advises the member to download the AnyDesk app so they can fix the issue.
If you have a financial loss due to suspected fraud or are aware of fraudulent transactions on your account, please call our Fraud Dept. at 303-689-7548. We also recommend filing a police report, as well as a complaint on ftc.gov and the Colorado Attorney General’s website.