Connexus Credit Union Mortgage Review 2021

Good for: home buyers who want a low-down-payment conventional mortgage.
Kate WoodNov 3, 2021

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

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

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
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

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA

Get more smart money moves — straight to your inbox

Become a NerdWallet member, and we’ll send you tailored articles we think you’ll love.

Full Review

The coronavirus pandemic introduced some new challenges to getting a mortgage. Many lenders facing high loan demand and staffing issues increased their fees, adjusted minimum required credit scores or temporarily suspended certain loan products. While some products and business practices have returned to pre-pandemic levels, you might still find delays and limited options. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For 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 overall score:

  • Variety of loan types: 5 of 5 stars

  • Ease of application: 3 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 4 of 5 stars

Connexus Credit Union mortgage loan types

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.

Based in Wausau, Wisconsin, Connexus has about a dozen branches in four states — Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin (though some have closed "until further notice" because of staffing issues) — and it serves more than 375,000 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 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, Huseby says, because the credit union offers a low-down-payment program. It allows borrowers to get conventional mortgages with as little as 3% down, so long as they have mandatory private mortgage insurance.

Connexus and home equity: The lender also offers home equity loans and a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. These second mortgages are one way for homeowners to access existing home equity without refinancing or selling their home. Funds obtained with a second mortgage can be used for expenses such as home improvements, education costs or debt consolidation. A HELOC from Connexus comes with an introductory rate that adjusts higher after six months. It allows a draw period of 15 years and a repayment period of another 15 years after the draw period, and no home appraisal is required.

Connexus Credit Union mortgage ease of application

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, according to the most recently available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data:

  • Connexus Credit Union earns 4 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

  • Connexus Credit Union earns 2 of 5 stars for offered mortgage rates compared with the best available rates on comparable loans.

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