Are Credit Unions a Good Place to Get a Mortgage?

Couple Moving In
Photo by Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to the “2-Minute Money Manager,” a short video feature answering money questions submitted by readers and viewers.

Today’s question is about borrowing to buy a house; specifically, whether a credit union is a good source for mortgage money.

Watch the following video, and you’ll pick up some valuable info. Or, if you prefer, scroll down to read the full transcript and find out what I said.

You also can learn how to send in a question of your own below.

For more information, check out “How to Pick the Best Credit Union for You” and “Ask Stacy: Is a Credit Union the Best Place for Loans?” You can also go to the search at the top of this page, put in the words “mortgage” or “credit union” and find plenty of information on just about everything relating to these topics.

And if you need anything from tips on finding the best mortgage to finding the best financial advice, be sure and visit our Solutions Center.

Got a question of your own to ask? Scroll down past the transcript.

Don’t want to watch? Here’s what I said in the video

Hello, and welcome to your “2-Minute Money Manager.” I’m your host, Stacy Johnson, and this answer is brought to you by Money Talks News, serving up the best in personal finance news and advice since 1991.

Today’s question comes from Sally:

“Are credit unions a good place to obtain mortgages?”

The short answer is yes; you should definitely check out credit unions when it’s time to mortgage shop. Let’s go over a few reasons why.

Not-for-profit is more profitable for you

The reason I can say that credit unions are typically better than banks is because they’re nonprofit. That means that, unlike a bank — which is formed to make as much money as possible — a credit union is there for the benefit of its members.

Why does that matter? Because when you’re not trying to make a profit, you can charge less on your loans. And remember, even a quarter-point lower can mean hundreds, even thousands, in savings over the life of a mortgage loan.

So when shopping for a mortgage, you should definitely check credit unions, both local and national. But don’t stop there. Check as many sources as you can. The internet is full of mortgage search tools, including one we have at Money Talks News.

Bottom line? You should definitely check out credit unions for all your banking needs. You’re often — but not always — going to find lower rates on loans of all types, including mortgage loans, as well as higher rates on savings. And since they’re smaller than the big banks, you might also find more personal service.

More credit union pros and cons

One negative often associated with credit unions is convenience. Generally speaking, credit unions are local. So, what happens if you’re from Florida and you need to make a mortgage payment in Colorado?

While that may seem like a drawback, it’s often not.

Most credit unions participate in what’s called a shared branching network. That means they basically share their branches. So, I could go to a completely different credit union’s branch in Colorado and access my Florida credit union account. Pretty cool, huh? You can also use ATMs all over the country. Some are even in 7-Elevens! (You can see the 30,000 ATMs and 5,000 participating branches here.)

That’s the good stuff. What about the bad? There can be some minor drawbacks to credit unions, depending on what you’re looking for. For example, credit unions may have fewer bells and whistles when it comes to things like reward points on credit and debit cards. If that kind of stuff is important to you, you might want to shop for those services.

Which brings me to my last point. Before switching banks, or many other services, start by writing down exactly what you’re looking for. Do you want a vast ATM network? Do you want better savings rates? Do you want lower loan rates? In other words, figure out what you need, then compare services.

Hope that answers your question, Sally. Now, if you’re watching me on YouTube, click the subscribe button below. If you’re watching me at Money Talks News, sign up for my free, awesome newsletter: Click the “newsletter” button in the nav bar above. I’m Stacy Johnson, and I’ll see you all next time!

Got a question you’d like answered?

You can ask a question simply by hitting “reply” to our email newsletter, just as you would with any email in your inbox. If you’re not subscribed, fix that right now by clicking here. It’s free, only takes a few seconds, and will get you valuable information every day!

The questions I’m likeliest to answer are those that come from our members. You can learn how to become one here. Also, questions should be of interest to other readers. In other words, don’t ask for super-specific advice that applies only to you. And if I don’t get to your question, promise not to hate me. I do my best, but I get a lot more questions than I have time to answer.

About me

I founded Money Talks News in 1991. I’m a CPA, and I’ve also earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options principal, mutual funds, life insurance, securities supervisor and real estate.

Got any words of wisdom you can offer on today’s question? Share your knowledge and experiences on our Facebook page. And if you find this information useful, please share it!

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say
This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say

One major wireless provider stands out for the least reliable call, messaging and data services.

15 Ways Retirees Can Make Their Savings Last Longer
15 Ways Retirees Can Make Their Savings Last Longer

Study these strategies to make your golden years gleam.

The Worst Nursing Homes in America Are Revealed
The Worst Nursing Homes in America Are Revealed

The nursing homes with a history of providing subpar care previously hadn’t been identified for a government list.

Secret Ways to Save on Netflix
Secret Ways to Save on Netflix

These little-known savings tactics can help whittle down what you pay for your streaming video subscription — every month.

7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon
7 Free Tools for Saving More Money at Amazon

Use these websites and other tools to save money — or earn extra cash — when shopping at Amazon.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk
Why Cloth Masks May Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

A new study finds that wearing a cloth mask can backfire if you don’t clean it properly.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.