How to choose a good small local Credit Union?

3 Replies

Hello Everyone,

I would like to purchase my first property in the next 6-9 months. The plan (at the moment) is to attempt to use a FHA loan in order to finance a small multi. I recently stated looking into what programs the credit union I currently use offers and it turns out they dont offer FHA loans. Now this really bummed me out because i've noticed on the forum and in podcasts that its great if you have a long relationship with the bank and how you should just walk in off the street looking for a loan. Basically that having a good relationship with your local bank or credit union is almost priceless.

I've been with this small credit union for 8+ years. I currently have use multiple services for my personal accounts as well as business. Almost everything but a home loan (Roths, 529, auto loan, business business checking and saving, personal checking and saving, and credit card).

My question is, Should I start searching for credit unions that offer more? When I started looking around the web at local credit unions, others offer multiple types of conventional loans. Should I find one and move most of my accounts over? (in order to start building a relationship) Should I start with just the basics, like maybe a checking and savings? Is this not that important and i'm wasting my time thinking about it? 

Any and all suggestions are welcome!

(I wasn't sure if I should list the actual credit unions I have available her in San Diego. If this info will help, let me know)

@Brandon Heath IMO there are far better lenders than the brick & mortar banks and credit unions. I have a broker and a direct lender that I have over the years built relationships with that will be far less frustrating than the big bank processing departments. 

If you are happy with your credit union, I would stay with them and use a different lender for my home loan. If you need a couple referrals, let me know OK.

@Brandon Heath you won't find better or more personal service than what you get from a credit union but I understand the frustration with the limited options. Have you talked to someone from their loan department to see what comparable home loans they offer that might work for you? If they don't have something in-house they may be able to refer you to one of their affiliate partners for what you need.

@Brandon Heath In my opinion, as long as you meet the criteria for the loan, these days you can find a better loan and less fees with an "online" lender. 

Credit, income and job stability far outweigh anything else. I guess the point is that it depends - if you know you're not going to have any issues getting a loan, then the relationship is not as important. If you think you are going to need some rule bending, then the relationship becomes more important. 

I have seen loan officers make miracles happen with the bank's underwriting department and that wouldn't have happened without a solid client - lender relationship.

Hope that helps! 

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