Drawbacks of Financing Your Mortgage through a Credit Union

by Joe N. Pollifrone 09/07/2020

Image by Burst from Pexels

Buying a home is an exciting time. As you start to comb through listings and decide you’re ready to take the plunge to purchase, you’ll want to pursue getting pre-approved for a mortgage. This way, you'll know how much you're approved for and can shop for homes within your price range. Additionally, having a pre-approval boosts your chances of having your offer accepted once you’ve found a house you want to buy. If you aren't already pre-approved, this delays your ability to put in a bid, which means someone else may be the one moving into your dream home.

To get yourself qualified for a mortgage, it’s a good idea to shop around for rates. Many people find they do best with a credit union, however, there are some drawbacks you might want to consider before making your decision of the type of lender you want to work with.

Credit Unions Require a Membership

Unlike traditional banks, credit unions aren’t open to everyone to use. To apply for a mortgage through a credit union, you’ll have to join as a member. The drawback is not just anyone can join. To qualify for membership, you’ll have to be affiliated with a specified organization or meet other designated criteria set by the credit union’s guidelines.

Many people find they are successfully able to locate a credit union they are eligible to join, but it’s not a given. To check to see if you meet the criteria for membership to a credit union near you, check MyCreditunion.gov.

Fewer Branch Networks

Credit unions are community-based non-credit entities. As a result, most of them are geographically concentrated and operate with fewer branches than traditional banks. This means your options may be extremely limited if you want in-person service.

Having a physical branch to visit when you want to resolve problems is a convenience many people often want when working with a financial institution. Consider how important this access to your lender would be to you. If you’re comfortable with strictly phone contact or online options (which might also be limited, depending on the size of the credit union), in-person access may not be an issue for you.

Limited Financing Options

Larger commercial banks typically have a broad range of financing options. While you might find a good rate at a credit union, you’ll typically find far fewer product offerings than you would at a larger bank.

Depending on your individual credit and financial standing, a credit union may not be able to offer you the best interest rates on a mortgage. Additionally, since they are smaller entities, they don’t always have nearly as much cash on hand as traditional banks, which means they might be limited in the number of mortgages they can approve at a given time.

When shopping for lenders to pre-approve you for a mortgage, you have many options between traditional banks, credit unions, mortgage banks and mortgage brokers. If you diligently do your homework, it’ll empower you to find a lender that can meet your financing needs.

About the Author
Author

Joe N. Pollifrone

For over 30 years, Joe Pollifrone has practiced real estate full-time as a licensed Real Estate Broker in California. Joe’s vast sales experience includes duplexes, tri-plexes, four-plexes, apartment buildings, land, condominiums, townhomes, fixer-uppers, estate properties, and bank-owned properties (REOs). He also is active in selling non-owner occupied properties and is well-versed in 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, property management, tenant/landlord issues, and local laws. During Joe’s career to date, he has sold in excess of $200,000,000 of real estate, including over $32,000,000 in REOs. 

Joe brought his deep experience to Sereno Group Willow Glen as a Broker Associate in 2012. He was the Sales Manager and lead a top-producing office. Joe would mentor new Sereno hires, making sure that they’re comfortable with the ethos of the office, plugged into Sereno’s network of contacts, and well-versed in the technology required of today’s real estate professionals. 

Joe prides himself on his proven ability to negotiate, extensive knowledge of contracts, and securing close of escrows in a timely manner. Both he and his clients credit his success to effective communication skills, honesty, and hard work. Joe is a native of San Jose and resides in Willow Glen with his wife of twenty-seven years, Kimi, his daughters Milan and Micaela and their two Goldendoodles, Tony-Luca and Marco.