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6 Best Credit Union Mortgage Lenders of 2020

NerdWalletFebruary 10, 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

LenderNerdWallet Rating National / RegionalMax LTVLearn More

Best for home equity borrowing

National

90%

Read review

Connexus

Best for first-time home buyers & home equity borrowing

National

N/A

Read review

Best for first-time home buyers

National

N/A

Read review

Navy Federal

Best for VA home loans

National

N/A

Read review

Golden 1 Credit Union

Best for California borrowers

N/A

N/A

Read review

San Diego Country Credit Union

Best for California borrowers

Regional

N/A

Read review

PenFed: NMLS#401822

Logo

National / Regional

National

Max LTV

90%


Why we like it

Ideal for military or government-employee borrowers. PenFed offers a variety of options to tap into home equity.

Pros

  • A variety of home equity options, including an interest-only HELOC.

  • A 5/5 HELOC allows you to lock in a low rate for five years.

Cons

  • Membership required, but it's easier to obtain these days than in years past.

  • Branch offices are in limited locations, following a major military base footprint.

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

0%


Why we like it

Ideal for first-time home buyers who qualify for membership, don't have much saved for a down payment and want to avoid mortgage insurance.

Pros

  • First-time home buyers may put zero down and pay no mortgage insurance.

  • Repeat homeowners may put down as little as 5% with no mortgage insurance.

  • Mortgages are available for non-warrantable condominiums.

Cons

  • Only one public branch location in Chicago.

  • As it's a credit union, membership is limited.

Read Full Review

Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

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National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

0%


Why we like it

Ideal for military members and their families. Navy Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of mortgage products, an online application and considers alternative credit data for certain loan types.

Pros

  • Wide range of affordable mortgage products designed for military members.

  • Willing to look at nontraditional credit data, such as rent payments, as part of its credit evaluation for certain products.

  • Online application for preapproval with quick decision.

Cons

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

Read Full Review

Golden 1 Credit Union: NMLS#00001

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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

San Diego County Credit Union is ideal for borrowers who want a conventional loan, and live or work in San Diego County.

Pros

  • Online loan application and rate tracking.

  • Customized rates available without personal info.

  • Down payments as low as 5%.

  • Offers partial rebates on real estate agent commissions.

Cons

  • No FHA, VA or USDA home loans.

  • Can't digitally sign loan documents.

  • Online preapproval not available for all loan products.

Read Full Review

Last updated on February 10, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's selection of mortgage lenders for inclusion here was made based on our evaluation of the products and services that lenders offer to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The six key areas we evaluated include the loan types and loan products offered, online capabilities, online mortgage rate information, customer service and the number of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a percentage of loans issued. We also awarded lenders up to one bonus star for a unique program or borrower focus that set them apart from other lenders. 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