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6 Best Credit Union Mortgage Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletSeptember 3, 2020

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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.

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 2020

PenFed: NMLS#401822

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National / Regional

National

Max LTV

90%


Why we like it

Good for borrowers looking for a HELOC with flexible features and the low rates of a member-owned credit union.

Pros

  • PenFed pays most closing costs.

  • Available for owner and non-owner occupied homes.

  • Borrowers can switch from a variable to fixed interest rate on all or some of the credit line.

Cons

  • Has a $99 annual fee, but that fee may be waved in certain circumstances.

Read Full Review

Connexus: NMLS#649316

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Min. Credit Score

640

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: home buyers who want a low-down-payment conventional mortgage.

Pros

  • Offers a range of fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages in most states.

  • 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

  • Does not offer FHA, VA or USDA loans.

  • Lacks document upload and online loan tracking capabilities.

Read Full Review

Alliant: NMLS#197185

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National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Good for: 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

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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

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Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%


Why we like it

Ideal for California residents who want to work with a home-grown credit union that offers a variety of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages.

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

  • Charges $850 origination fee.

  • Does not offer VA or USDA loans.

Read Full Review

San Diego Country Credit Union: NMLS#580585

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Min. Down Payment

5%

National / Regional

Regional


Why we like it

Good for Californians who live or work in San Diego, Riverside or Orange counties, and who want a conventional, non-government mortgage.

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 or USDA or home improvement mortgages.

  • Doesn’t offer online loan process tracking.

Read Full Review

Last updated on September 3, 2020

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 2020