Useful Tips

This page was developed to provide our members with helpful tips for saving time and money.


We understand that our Members may occasionally experience challenges that make it difficult to meet their financial obligations. Uncertain economic times can bring unexpected financial issues for many, higher household expenses, missed mortgage payments and in some instances, job layoff.

If you are facing difficulties making your payments and your home mortgage is with Safeway Los Angeles Federal Credit Union call us Toll Free at (877) 803-4652. We’re here to help you find the best options. If your home mortgage is not with us, Contact your lender to discuss your situation.

Please consider the following suggestions if you are facing the possibility of foreclosure. There may be options available for you, which can help you avoid foreclosure. Some suggestions are:

  1. Do not ignore letters or telephone calls from your lender.
  2. Contact your lender immediately.
  3. Contact a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency toll free at (800) 569-4287 or TTY at (800) 877-8339.
  4. If your loan is with Safeway Los Angeles Federal Credit Union, call us Toll Free at (877) 803-4652 or (562) 864-2524 ext. 340.
  5. Consider the following possibilities if you are delinquent or otherwise in breach of your real estate loan.
    1. Pay the amounts past due on your account.
    2. If you are able to make your current monthly payments and some of the past due payments, we may be able to enter into a workout arrangement with you.
    3. Consider selling your property. It is possible that we may accept a short sale payoff. Again, it will depend upon a number of factors and your particular circumstances.
    4. Consider surrendering the property through a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. Again, it will depend upon a number of factors and your particular circumstances.
    5. Even if you are unable to make your full payments, please contact us so that we can explore with you any possible accommodations we can make. What, if anything, we can do for you will depend upon a number of factors.
  6. Whether you are eligible for any of the above options will depend on your particular circumstances. Please pull together the following documents and information and submit them to us, so that we can discuss which of the options, if any, are available given your particular circumstance. You can fax a copy of the documents you want us to consider to (562) 864-8470 or mail them to P.O. Box 1108 Norwalk, CA 90650

List of items needed to evaluate how to best help you.

(1) Pay stubs for the last two (2) months.
(2) Tax returns for the last two (2) years.
(3) A copy of current bills, invoices, utility bills.
(4) A letter signed by anyone who is going to contribute to the loan payments.
(5) A copy of all deposit account statements.
(6) A list of all debts.
(7) A list of assets, including other real property, stocks, bonds, IRAs, whole life insurance, general, intangible and tangible assets.
(8) Proof of current insurance on the real property, naming the Credit Union as loss payee.
(9) A copy of real property tax bills and proof of payment or a written statement listing all real property taxes that have not been paid and when they became due.
(10) A letter signed by you, explaining why you are unable to make your payments.
(11) It would be helpful if you would complete a FannieMae Loan Application. You can access the form by clicking on the following link. FannieMae Loan Application. Alternatively, you can contact us and we will either mail or fax a FannieMae Loan Application to you.

Steps you can take to save money on your homeowner's insurance:

1. Shop around
The State of California Department of Insurance makes information available on typical rates charged by major insurance companies. Also consider the quality of service you should expect when selecting an insurance company.
  • Determine your insurance needs before talking to an agent. This will help you to purchase the right amount of insurance and eliminate the expense of being over insured.
  • Ask friends if they are happy with their insurance carrier.
  • Obtain several insurance quotes and compare rates.

2. Buy your home and auto policies from the same insurer
Some insurance companies sell homeowners, auto, and liability coverage, and will take 5 to 15 percent off your premium if you purchase two or more policies from them. It is important, however, that you verify that the combined policy purchase would be less than buying the policies from different companies.

3. Make your home more disaster resistant
Find out from your insurance agent what steps you can take to make your home more resistant to natural disasters. You may be able to save on your premium.

4. Improve your home security
You can usually get a 5 percent discount by installing smoke detectors, burglar alarms, or dead bolts. Find out what your insurance company recommends, how much it might cost, and how much you would save on premiums.

5. Stay with the same insurer
By keeping your coverage with the same company for several years, you may receive a special discount for being a long time policyholder.

Guarding Against Fraud:

As the use and availability of credit cards increases, so does credit card fraud. It can happen to anyone at anytime. Below are some helpful hints that may prevent you from becoming a victim.

  • Sign or write the words "Ask for ID" as soon as your card arrives.
  • Never keep your PIN number in the same place as your credit card!
  • Keep an eye on your card during the transaction and get it back as quickly as possible.
  • Destroy carbon copies.
  • Save receipts to compare with billing statements.
  • Report any questionable charges promptly and in writing to the card issuer.
  • Notify the credit union in advance if you have a change of address.

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Car Buying Tips:

Whether you are buying a new or used auto, here are some helpful tips you can use before making your purchase.

Does the car fit?
With today's saturated car market, it's not always easy to make the right choice when buying a car. When we buy clothes, which are a fraction of the cost one pays for a car, we usually try the clothing on first to make sure it fits. The same should be done when buying a car. How do you try on a car? You may ask. Well, does it get the kind of gas mileage you want? Is it within in your price range? Is the cost of maintenance affordable? Does it have the safety features you want? Does it fit your family's needs? Does your wife like the color? And of course how does it drive?

Can I still afford a McDonalds' happy meal if I buy this car?
How much can you afford per month for a car payment? This is a good question, one that should be answered before you buy a car. Using our Loan Calculator, you can determine how much a loan would be based on a selected monthly payment and term. Take into consideration the cost of insurance for the type of vehicle you are considering. This will help determine whether it 's a new or used vehicle you can afford.

Avoid the pressure; get your financing in order first.
If you will be financing your vehicle, its best to get pre-approved before you go and make your purchase. Auto dealers usually allow customers five days to come up with their own financing; otherwise you're stuck with theirs. It is really to your advantage to get your loan approved in advance.

The new car purchase
Before you go out and pay the full window sticker price on a new car, consider the following information, which can save you hundreds of dollars on your next car purchase. Every new car, truck, van, and SUV has a dealer invoice price and MSRP. The dealer invoice is dealer's cost plus freight before mark-up. MSRP is the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Your objective as a consumer is to try and buy that vehicle as close as possible to the dealer invoice price. People have been known to buy new cars for $200 to $300 over invoice. For new car pricing, contact the credit union and ask to speak to a loan officer.

The used car purchase
Unlike a new car, a used car purchase can come with greater risks. Is the vehicle still under the manufacturer's warranty? How well was it maintained by the previous owner? Or, was it ever involved in an accident? These are common concerns of the used car buyer. To limit your risk, have the vehicle checked out by an expert before making your purchase. What about the price? How can you be sure you're getting a good deal? Every used car that is at least one year old has what is called a wholesale/retail value that is published by Kelley Blue Book. Dealers usually set their used car prices somewhere near the Kelly Blue Book retail value, leaving ample room for negotiation. Knowing what a vehicle is valued at before you buy it can make all the difference. Here's an example: a dealer has a 1998 Honda Accord that has a wholesale blue book value of $11,650 and a retail book value of $15,150 with an asking price of $14,999. The dealer took this car in as a trade and paid $10,800 for it (dealers very seldom pay over wholesale blue book for their used cars), so an offer of $13,500 on this car is reasonable and would most likely be accepted by the dealer.

Get extra protection for your car
They say that all good things must come to an end, but who says that good things can't be made to last a little longer, like your vehicle's warranty. Did you know that you can obtain Mechanical Breakdown Insurance (MBI) through Safeway LAFCU and be protected from the high cost of major auto repairs for up to four additional years after your manufacturer's warranty has expired? Yes you can, and at a very affordable price. Contact the credit Union today for a quote on MBI.