BEST OF

6 Best Credit Union Mortgage Lenders of 2021

Credit union mortgages may come with advantages such as lower fees and interest rates. Here are some of the best credit unions for VA loans, home equity products, first-time home buyers and California residents.

NerdWalletJan 26, 2021
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

You may have heard good things about credit union mortgages. Credit unions are member-owned nonprofit organizations that use their profits to reduce costs and fees, and to offer higher savings rates.

Credit unions can excel at financial education and customer service, making them a good place to shop for a mortgage. And credit union mortgage rates may be more competitive than rates from banks or other lenders.

These credit unions rise to the top of the heap for first-time home buyers, VA loans, home equity products and California residents.

Summary of Best Credit Union Mortgage Lenders of 2021

PenFed: NMLS#401822

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
PenFed

National / Regional

National

Max LTV

90%

Why we like it

PenFed Credit Union has a digital mortgage application and offers a wide selection of mortgages, including low-down-payment home loans. But it doesn't offer FHA mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers a broad selection of home loan products, including low-down-payment options for first-time home buyers and home buyers of limited means.

  • Offers a lender credit, based on loan amount, for purchase mortgages.

  • Offers relatively low mortgage rates in comparison to other lenders.

Cons

  • Lender credit isn't available for refinance mortgages.

  • Doesn't offer FHA loans.

Read Full Review

Connexus: NMLS#649316

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Connexus

National / Regional

National

Max LTV

N/A

Why we like it

Connexus boasts low-down-payment conventional loans and makes mortgage rate information readily accessible online, but doesn't offer government-backed mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers both traditional and interest-only HELOCs.

  • Displays sample rates for its entire array of loan products, and you don't need to provide personal information to get a custom rate quote.

Cons

  • Lacks document upload and online loan tracking capabilities.

Read Full Review

Alliant: NMLS#197185

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Alliant

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers who want to avoid mortgage insurance and prefer a digital application process.

Pros

  • Low- or no-down-payment options with no mortgage insurance.

  • Mortgages are available for non-warrantable condominiums.

Cons

  • Does not offer government-backed mortgages, like FHA and VA loans.

  • Does not offer renovation mortgages.

Read Full Review

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Navy Federal

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%

Why we like it

Good for: military members and their families looking for low-down-payment mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.

  • Has an online application for preapproval.

  • Offers low rates compared with most lenders.

Cons

  • Website does not provide customized mortgage rates based on credit score or other factors before you apply.

  • Credit union membership is limited to veterans and current military members, their families, and certain federal employees, retirees and contractors.

Read Full Review

Golden 1 Credit Union: NMLS#669333

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Golden 1 Credit Union

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Why we like it

Golden 1 offers a cost-saving Realtor program, plus a range of loan types, including jumbos.

Pros

  • Has a wide range of purchase and refinance loans, including FHA.

  • Offers jumbo loans up to $2 million.

  • Preferred Realtor program saves on commissions.

  • Considers alternative credit data.

Cons

  • Does not offer VA or USDA loans.

  • Products available only to California residents.

Read Full Review

San Diego County Credit Union: NMLS#580585

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
San Diego County Credit Union

Min. Down Payment

5%

National / Regional

Regional

Why we like it

SDCCU offers low-interest mortgage rates and charges relatively low origination fees, and discloses plenty of detail about them to shoppers. But it doesn't offer VA, FHA, USDA or home improvement loans.

Pros

  • Offers purchase, refinance, home equity and jumbo mortgages, plus loans for second homes.

  • Provides customized rate and fee quotes without requiring contact information.

  • Charges lower rates and origination fees than most other lenders.

Cons

  • No FHA, VA, USDA or home improvement mortgages.

  • Doesn’t offer online loan process tracking.

Read Full Review

Last updated on January 26, 2021

Methodology

NerdWallet's star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services each lender offers to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The five key areas we evaluated include the variety of loan types and products offered, online conveniences, online mortgage rate information, and the rate spread and origination fee lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Credit Union Mortgage Lenders of 2021