Connexus Credit Union Mortgage Review 2020

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

Kate WoodJune 30, 2020

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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

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

Connexus

Connexus: NMLS#649316

Min. Credit Score

640

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable

Pros & Cons

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

  • Doesn't offer FHA, VA or USDA loans.

  • Lacks document upload and online loan tracking capabilities.

Compare to Other Lenders

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable

Full Review

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, getting a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with high loan demand and staffing issues that may slow down the process. Also, some lenders have increased their fees or temporarily suspended certain loan products. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Connexus Credit Union at a glance

Connexus Credit Union may not offer government-backed loans, but it does have low-down-payment conventional options. Connexus makes sample rates easily accessible and you can apply online, but once your loan is in progress its digital features are limited.

Here's a breakdown of Connexus Credit Union's score:

  • Variety of loan types: 5 of 5 stars

  • Variety of loan products: 2 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 3 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3.5 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 5 of 5 stars

Connexus Credit Union mortgage loan types and products

As a national lender, Connexus Credit Union is looking to appeal to the next generation of borrowers. Toward that goal, it is building out its online presence to make managing a Connexus Credit Union mortgage online easier and more seamless, says Eric Huseby, chief lending officer of Connexus.

The Wausau, Wisconsin-based Connexus has thirteen branches in four states — Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire and Minnesota — and serves more than 350,000 members across the country. To join the credit union, you must be affiliated with a member company or community or you can join the credit union’s charity, the Connexus Association, by making a one-time $5 donation.

Although it’s had three different names since 1935, one thing that’s remained constant about Connexus is its stable of product offerings. Connexus gives members the option of choosing from conventional fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages for purchases and refinances. Fixed rates of 15, 20 or 30 years, as well as 5/1, 3/3, and 7/3 ARMs are available.

Connexus doesn't offer government-insured mortgages, such as FHA loans or VA loans. Underwriting details for FHA loans — specifically the required mortgage insurance for the life of those loans — aren't particularly attractive to Connexus members because the credit union offers a low-down-payment program, Huseby says. It allows borrowers to get conventional mortgages with as little as 3% down, so long as they have mandatory private mortgage insurance.

Connexus Credit Union mortgage online convenience

Connexus has invested heavily in its online loan origination platform. According to Huseby, it offers online mortgage applications and free rate quotes, as well as electronic signing for some documents and a mobile app to manage the details of your loan after closing.

Two areas Connexus hasn’t built out are document upload and online loan tracking. Instead, loan officers provide one-on-one service and loan file updates to keep borrowers in the loop, Huseby says.

Connexus Credit Union mortgage rates and fees

One of the most important considerations when choosing a mortgage lender is understanding what the loan will cost. In order to provide consumers with a general sense of what a lender might charge, NerdWallet scores lenders on two factors regarding fees and mortgage rates:

  • A lender's average origination fee compared with the median of all lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Connexus Credit Union earns 4 of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared with the best available on comparable loans. Connexus Credit Union earns 3 of 5 stars on this factor.

Borrowers should consider the balance between lender fees and mortgage rates. While it's not always the case, paying upfront fees can lower your mortgage interest rate. Some lenders will charge higher upfront fees to lower their advertised interest rate and make it more attractive. Some lenders just charge higher upfront fees.

You can decide to buy discount points — a fee paid with your closing costs — to reduce your mortgage rate.

Deciding whether you want to pay higher upfront fees is a matter of considering how long you plan to live in your home and how much cash you have to apply toward closing costs when you sign the loan paperwork.

Connexus Credit Union mortgage rate transparency

Connexus readily provides sample rate information for all of its mortgage loan products, as well as home equity loans and HELOC. Enter a few details about the property you hope to purchase, and you can get detailed personalized rates for any (or all) of their loan offerings. Any assumptions made are extremely clear, with the biggest caveat being that the rates shown are for a borrower with excellent credit (since you don't enter an estimated credit score, everything is based on information provided about the property).

You can use the same tool to estimate rates for a rate-and-term or cash-out refinance, as well as a construction loan. To get rates that are personalized for you, you'll need to contact a loan officer or begin an application.

More from NerdWallet:

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.