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Homebuyer News from Credit Union of America, Neighbors Credit Union

Mortgages can be a scary word for consumers, but not for credit union members! For example, Credit Union of America (Wichita, KS) announces first-time homebuyers' access to federal grants, Neighbors Credit Union (St. Louis) sheds light on recent developments in the mortgage industry and Vantage Credit Union teaches financial education with a free homebuyer seminar. Read below to learn more!  

Credit Union of America Offers First-Time Homebuyers Access to Federal Grants up to $5,000

Eileen Phelps, Sr. Vice President and Chief Services Officer of Credit Union of America (Wichita, KS), announced that the credit union has been approved and is ready to offer grants to first-time homebuyers through the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Homeownership Set-aside Program (FHLB HSP).

The grants are $5,000 per first-time homebuyer (no homeownership within past three years) and the borrower must meet income (at or below 80 percent of Area Median Income) and other requirements, such as completing homebuyer education. If ownership of the home is kept for at least five years, the homeowner then has no responsibility to pay the funds back to the program. Not all financial institutions are approved for this program.

Those approved, like Credit Union of America, are limited on how many grants are offered per month.

“This subsidy program is a great way for lower-income, first-time home buyers to increase or even make a down payment. The funds can also be used to cover closing and/or prepaid expenses," says Ernest J. Warren, Real Estate Lending Manager. "Helping with these initial costs can put low-income homeowners on a path to financial success by having a home where their hard-earned income is building equity, rather than going to rent.“

Neighbors Credit Union's Chris Smith Weighs in on TILA-RESPA, 100 Percent Financing Program

The St. Louis Business Journal recently invited area experts to discuss residential real estate and the market's performance. Among these experts was Chris Smith, Assistance Vice President of Mortgage at Neighbors Credit Union (St. Louis, MO). 

Experts addressed topics like the overall housing market in St. Louis, the overall condo market, and new developments in the mortgage industry. Smith discussed the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) regulation, and how it has made the process much slower on the lending side. He noted that it benefits first-time homebuyers because they know exactly what amount to bring to closing; however it involves more regulations for the lenders and takes longer to close. 

"The nationwide closing average now is up to 50 days," says Smith. "And prior to the new regulations, it was around 40 days. So not only is it extending the closing three days, but it’s also extending it even further because of the more complex regulations. Having a local lender is more significant now than ever. Currently, we’re averaging less than 35 days on a closing time." 

To avoid a breakdown in communication or a lengthier closing, he stressed the importance of finding a local lender and a loan officer who handles the process from beginning to the closing table. 

Smith also had the opportunity to mention Neighbors Credit Union's new 100 percent financing program. 

"What we’re seeing is a lot of student loan debt come across our desk and that is a big burden on people trying to buy homes," says Smith. "So with the lower down payment or no down payment options — as long as they have the available credit, ability to repay, a good stable job, they have options to purchase a home with Neighbors Credit Union. Many other programs have requirements and limitations regarding income, job type, or property location."

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