Credit Unions Lead on Mortgage Refinancing

Credit union housing finance programs refinanced more mortgage notes in 2013 than they originated purchase money loans, according to a recent article in CU Times. It’s no wonder, considering the outstanding service that CUs provide in what can be a stressful process.

If you’re thinking about a mortgage refi, you make your credit union your first stop. CUs typically offer very competitive rates on refis – coupled with a level of honest, personal service that you often don’t find in the “for profit” lending world.

Credit unions operate on a not-for-profit model, so you can be sure that their #1 consideration is you. This is important, since a mortgage refi is not for everyone.

The typical “gotchas” in the mortgage refi process are the numerous fees that you incur for credit reports, home appraisal, title insurance, documents, etc. If you’re dealing with a for-profit financial institution or broker, these fees will likely also include sales commissions. All of this can really add up, and potentially negate the benefits of refinancing.

Some of the “refi specialists” advertising for your business engage in shady practices designed to confuse you. These include hiding certain fees until just before closing, and “bait and switch” tactics used to lure you in the door with low rates before hitting you with the real, higher rates once you’re committed to the process.

Sit down with your credit union’s lending personnel first, and get all the facts on a potential mortgage refi. He or she will let you know which rates you qualify for, and take a holistic look at your financial and housing situations to help you determine if a refi is right for you.

Refinancing your mortgage may indeed be a wise move for you to make, now that rates have dropped to their lowest levels in more than a year. By working with your CU, you can be sure that you’re getting the best advice on your available options.


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