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.
Credit unions for first-time home buyer mortgages
These lenders offer credit union mortgages, programs, tools and support for first-time home buyers.
- Offers in-house mortgage with 3% down payment and mortgage insurance that can be canceled at 80% LTV
- Sign and upload documents in online application, and manage the loan with a mobile app
- Minimum credit score: 600
- Connexus Credit Union review
- In-house first-time home buyer loans require just 3% to 5% down
- Personalized service with focus on digital tools
- 0% down payment available for well-qualified first-time buyers
- Alliant Credit Union review
Credit unions for VA home loans
These lenders offer U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs mortgages (VA loans) to the military community.
- 65% of mortgages are VA-backed
- Products include mortgages, banking, loans, credit cards, insurance and investment advice
- Charges origination fee of 1 point (1.0%), or $2,000 on a $200,000 mortgage, for example
- USAA Mortgage Loans review
- Lending to military home buyers is a priority
- Loan origination fee of 1% can be financed or waived for a higher rate
- Alternative credit, including utility and rent payments, is considered as part of the entire financial picture
- Navy Federal Mortgage review
Best credit unions for home equity borrowing
You’ll find many and varied options for home equity borrowing at credit union mortgage rates.
- Cash-out refinance available
- Offers home equity loans and three types of HELOCs, with 5/5 ARM and interest-only options
- Membership open to those who have no military affiliation but support a military organization
- PenFed Mortgage review
- Offers home equity loans and two types of HELOCs
- 5/1 ARM available for borrowing up to 90% of equity
- Add and e-sign documents in online application and manage the loan details in mobile app
- Connexus Credit Union review
Best California credit unions
Californians have access to numerous credit unions. Here are two of the best.
- Offers a variety of purchase and refinance loans, including jumbo, FHA and home equity
- If using a Preferred Realtor, borrower earns 25% discount on agent commission to apply toward closing costs
- Members are eligible for discounts on homeowners insurance and other policies
- Golden 1 Credit Union review
- Members must live or work in San Diego, Riverside or Orange counties, or be members of the Financial Fitness Association
- Offers HELOCs and 10- or 15-year fixed-rate home equity loans
- Fixed- and variable-rate conventional loans in a variety of terms, and three 5/5 ARMs
- San Diego County Credit Union mortgage review
Best Credit Union lenders: summary
- Best for first-time home buyers: Connexus Credit Union
- Best for first-time home buyers: Alliant Credit Union
- Best for VA loans: USAA
- Best for VA loans: Navy Federal Credit Union
- Best for home equity borrowing: PenFed Credit Union
- Best for home equity borrowing: Connexus Credit Union
- Best credit unions for California residents: Golden 1 Credit Union
- Best credit unions for California residents: San Diego County Credit Union
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