The Bottom Line: Bethpage has a good selection, including home equity, jumbo and co-op loans, but no VA- or USDA-backed mortgages.
Pros & Cons
Ample educational support and financial tools for first-time home buyers.
Offers financing for cooperatives, a common type of ownership on the East Coast.
Offers three home equity borrowing options.
In-person service available only on Long Island, New York.
VA and USDA loans are not available.
Online capabilities limited; loan docs have to be delivered to an office or faxed in.
Bethpage Federal Credit Union, as it's been named since 1974, was established in 1941 when employees of Grumman Corporation, a large aeronautical engineering company, formed Grumman Plant Federal Credit Union. The institution became Bethpage Aircraft Federal Credit Union in 1948.
Since the name change in 1974, Bethpage has grown considerably. Today it’s the 16th-largest credit union in the U.S., with nearly $8 billion in assets. The credit union declined to respond to questions for this article, but a 2016 company news release shows it began serving Long Island, New York, in 2003, and in 2016 it began serving customers in all states except Texas. Today, Bethpage has roughly three dozen branches, all in the Long Island area.
Here’s a look at the products and services Bethpage offers mortgage shoppers.
The Bethpage website offers plenty of educational support for home loan borrowers. The mortgage and home equity learning centers are filled with educational articles, tools and FAQ pages that give detailed explanations of mortgage and equity borrowing that could be helpful to first-time home buyers and repeat buyers.
Bethpage offers members access to a nonprofit service, Balance, that delivers free money-management webinars, housing workshops and pre-purchase, reverse-mortgage and foreclosure-prevention counseling. Another credit union resource, My Money 101, is a free online financial education course that includes lessons on homeownership and mortgages.
Bethpage Federal Credit Union loan products
Before doing business with Bethpage Federal Credit Union, you must become a member. That’s easy and inexpensive to do: Just open a savings account with a $5 minimum deposit.
Bethpage’s products include conventional, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and jumbo purchase loans and refinancing, and home equity loans. Financing also may be available for second homes and investment properties. Fixed- and adjustable-rate loan options are available.
Bethpage Credit Union offers fixed- and adjustable-rate FHA and conventional mortgages for purchases and refinance. They are available for owner-occupied and non-owner-occupied homes of from one to four units, and second homes of one unit.
Jumbo ARMs and 10-year jumbo fixed-rate purchase and refinance mortgages have a $5 million limit; 15- and 30-year jumbo loans are limited to $2.5 million.
Bethpage offers mortgages for cooperatives in a few counties in the New York metro area. Cooperatives are a type of homeownership common in New York City and some other East Coast cities. Rather than buying an apartment, co-op residents buy shares in a corporation that owns their building.
Home equity loans
Three types of home equity loans are available:
Home equity lines of credit: HELOCs are available for up to $1 million. A 10-year interest-only draw period is available with credit lines of up to $500,000. Access HELOC money by withdrawing funds at a Bethpage branch, transferring funds electronically or writing a check.
Home equity loans: Bethpage fixed-rate home equity loans have terms up to 30 years.
First lien home equity loan: This unusual loan uses a home equity loan as the home’s primary mortgage. Features include no closing costs or fees on amounts up to $250,000 and terms of up to 30 years. You must pay closing costs, though, if the loan is repaid and closed before 36 months have passed.
At the home equity loan page and elsewhere on the company’s website, you’ll see offers for debt protection coverage. This is a type of insurance offered on certain loans that, according to the credit union, allows you to “defer or even cancel loan payments without penalty” in the event of disability, death or involuntary unemployment.
The Bethpage Federal Credit Union mortgage loan process
You can start a Bethpage Federal Credit Union mortgage or home-equity loan application online, visit a branch or call a loan officer. However, it appears borrowers submit their loan documents the old-fashioned way, dropping them at a branch or faxing them to the credit union.
Bethpage Federal Credit Union fees and mortgage rates
Links to current rates are offered in several areas of the website. There’s a mortgage rates calculator where you can type in a loan amount — $10,000 minimum and $3 million maximum — to see rates for numerous mortgage types. It is possible to obtain a personalized quote online by answering a few questions anonymously — on information like the property’s ZIP code and type, whether the home will be owner-occupied, and your approximate credit score. But the option is difficult to find. From the online mortgage application page, choose “Mortgage Full Application”; on the next page click “rate quote” at the lower right of the “Current Mortgage Rates” box.
Information about lender fees could not be found on the credit union's website.
Be aware of prepayment penalties with certain home-equity products. For example, a HELOC under $500,000 has no closing costs if you keep the line open for 36 months. Close it before then and you may need to pay closing costs.
NerdWallet's star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded 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.