Find mortgage deals at credit unions
When you’re shopping for a home loan, checking the mortgage rates and deals offered by a not-for-profit credit union might save you money.
The 3.7 million members of the world's largest credit union, Navy Federal Credit Union, for example, can get a credit of up to $2,500 toward their closing costs.
Because credit unions are usually tied to a workplace, social group or community, they can also be very responsive to local financial troubles.
The Limestone Federal Credit Union in Manistique, Mich., this week offered a three-month payment break to employees laid off by local employer Manistique Papers Inc.
The Credit Union National Association can help you find a local credit union where you can shop for a mortgage deal.
As with any "free" offer, you’ll want to check to make sure the deal is really a deal:
- Is the lender jacking up closing costs and then offering "free" money to offset those higher costs?
- Is the interest rate higher than competitor’s rates?
- If the loan is an ARM, is it tied to an unusual index other than Treasury?
- Are you eligible for the deal, or does your scratch-and-dent credit history mean you can’t get the offer?
- Is the offer good for the type of loan you want? Credit unions pretty much stick to conforming loans, and they don’t go for subprime.
The fact that a lender is a not-for-profit doesn’t mean it’s not planning to make a profit from your loan. So, read all the fine print and check disclosure documents carefully to make sure you deal is really a deal – no matter who’s offering it.