August 30, 2013

Veep walks CU campus for Buff One promotion

Dennis Paul said he got hot and sweaty and had a pair of sore feet last week, but he was mighty happy nonetheless.

Paul, an assistant vice president at Elevations Credit Union, was on the campus of the University of Colorado-Boulder, wooing students to sign up for Elevations’ Buff One Banking accounts.

While Paul didn’t say exactly how many students signed up, he said he was pleased with the outcome. Students received a $100 incentive to sign up for Buff One Banking as part of a back-to-school promotion. Students can use their Buff One cards as ATM cards at Elevations, which has an on-campus location.

“We try to put them on the path to financial success,” Paul said of Elevations’ strategy in recruiting new student customers. “The (banking) industry sees this demographic as a revenue stream, but we see them as somebody we want to set up for the future to thrive.”

Elevations started at CU in 1952, but since has expanded to serve more than 100,000 members in Boulder, Broomfield, Larimer and Adams counties.

Money Sense

On the educational front, Elevations also is the bank partner for CU’s Money Sense program.

Niomi Williams is the program’s new financial educator.

Williams said she is looking forward to helping students learn how to handle their finances, since she remembers not doing a great job of it when she was a recent college graduate. But once Williams got her financial house in order, “all the pressure and financial stress I had been feeling went away,” she said.

If you’re a student or CU alum, Williams can meet with you one-on-one to discuss things such as how to organize and budget your money or how to put money into a 401(k) program for retirement. She also has several seminars on tap for student audiences.

The CU Bursar’s Office created the Money Sense program in 2009 to offer financial workshops during national “Money Smart Week.” Things went so well that the office decided to hire Williams this year, said Susie Jacobs, program director.

For details of the Money Sense offerings, go to bursar.colorado.edu/cumoneysense.

“Intro to Money, Banking and Budgeting in Boulder for International Students,” the next Money Sense seminar, will be at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the University Memorial Center, Room 425, 1669 Euclid Ave., in Boulder.

Don’t be fooled by the title. This seminar is likely to have valuable information for anyone looking to budget their money, not just international students.

Homebuyer savings

One of the main reasons people want to get their finances in order is to buy a home. If you’re looking to buy in Boulder, you can get 4 percent off your down-payment cost through an affordable homeownership program that the city joined recently.

You do not have to pay back the grant, which is available for qualifying individuals and couples who make $91,100 a year or less. The program offers homebuyers 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at competitive interest rates, according to a city of Boulder press statement.

Homebuyers who qualify and receive grants must go through homebuyer education classes approved by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Buyers must live in the homes they purchase but don’t necessarily need to be first-time homebuyers to qualify.

It costs about $1,000 to participate in the program. After buyers qualify and pay to join, they get back thousands more, said Diane DeSalvo-Cunningham, a loan officer at Citywide Home Loans in Greenwood Village, which has offices in Boulder. She works in the Boulder office.

Boulder’s higher-than-average home prices make it just a little harder for potential homeowners to save up for a 20 percent down payment, DeSalvo-Cunningham said. For example, most refinanced home mortgages in the past year or two were for homes valued at more than $500,000, she said. A 20 percent down payment on a $500,000 mortgage would be $100,000.

“It’s extremely helpful for this income range of borrower and buyer,” DeSalvo-Cunningham said.

The Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus program is offered at Citywide in Boulder and other lenders in Denver. DeSalvo-Cunningham said she and her husband know about the mortgage program firsthand because they used it when they bought their house in Boulder.

For more details on the program, contact Citywide’s office in Boulder and DeSalvo-Cunningham at 720-409-4880.

Beth Potter can be reached at 303-630-1944 or bpotter@bcbr.com.

Dennis Paul said he got hot and sweaty and had a pair of sore feet last week, but he was mighty happy nonetheless.

Paul, an assistant vice president at Elevations Credit Union, was on the campus of the University of Colorado-Boulder, wooing students to sign up for Elevations’ Buff One Banking accounts.

While Paul didn’t say exactly how many students signed up, he said he was pleased with the outcome. Students received a $100 incentive to sign up for Buff One Banking as part of a back-to-school promotion. Students can use their Buff One cards as ATM cards at Elevations, which has…

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