Years ago, credit unions weren't the best place to look for a mortgage. But that was then and this is now. Today, credit unions are a great source for mortgages, especially if you're looking for something more creative.

Credit unions offer great flexibility

For first time homebuyers, Navy Federal Credit Union offers fantastic deals, perhaps the best in the country. That's why they recently did $1 billion in closings in just one month! As a whole, the credit union industry has quadrupled its share of mortgages since the Great Recession.

Credit unions make sense particularly for shorter term loan or mortgage refinances like 7 years, 10 years, and 15 years. Many have low or no closing costs in return for bumping up the interest rate just a bit.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union has some unusual loans that you typically won't find from a bank or mortgage broker and could save you money in the right situation.

For example, they have a 15/15 ARM. It's a 30-year loan, but the rate is only fixed for the first 15 years. You get a lower interest rate than you would with a traditional 30-year loan. And because the typical person keeps a loan for around 7 years, this can save you money. If you do stay put in the house, the loan resets at prevailing rates 15 years down the road.

Other credit unions are offering a 5/5 ARM. The rate is set for 5 years at today's rate, but unlike a 5/1 ARM, the rate resets five years down the road and stays put for another 5 years. For many people, these rates would work very well too.

When it comes to mortgages, the difference between a credit union and a bank is the credit union wants you to get out of debt, while the bank wants you to stay in debt. So credit unions do more creative products with the whole design being to get you debt free instead of paying the bank forever and ever.

 

 

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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