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Thinking About Buying Your First Home? Read This First!

Posted in
Updated June 18, 2021 3:10 PM
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As a first-time homebuyer, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the entire home buying process. There's a lot of information out there about how to buy a home, and you deserve a knowledgeable partner to help you every step of the way. We've highlighted the key information you need to get started and when you're ready, our mortgage experts are here to assist you with the pre-approval process. After you’re approved, they’ll continue to be your resource for all of your questions and will provide you with information about our special mortgage relationship pricing, the closing process, and more. 

Getting Started

Ready to start looking at homes? Before you do, consider getting a mortgage pre-approval first. Getting a pre-approval will help you and your real estate agent determine what you can afford so you have an idea of what to look for when you’re house hunting. Our pre-approvals last for up to six months, which is 2x longer than our competitors. 

Next, find a licensed real estate agent. This is the person who will help make your house hunting easier and find you the home you’re looking for. They know how to negotiate the sales price and prepare a purchase contract once you’ve found your home.

Do I Need a Down Payment?

Yes, but although many people believe you need to put 20% down to buy a home, you can actually finance your new home with CCU with as little as 3%* of the purchase price as a down payment. But don’t forget, you’ll also need to factor in additional fees that come with closing on the house such as the closing fees, appraisal fee, optional inspection fees, title charges, and state or local taxes. We will be able to provide more information to you once you have found your home and are ready to begin the closing process.

What to Do After You Find Your Home

It’s recommended (not required but it could save you money in the long-run) to hire a licensed home inspector. They will help you determine the quality of a home and help protect your investment. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues to find someone who is trustworthy and thorough in their inspection.

Once you find your home, your inspection is complete (if you choose to get one), and your offer has been accepted, it’s time to start your mortgage process. After you have a signed purchase contract, forward it to your CCU mortgage originator. Our team will prepare and send your application documents to you and also take care of ordering a full appraisal of the property (this determines the value of the property) once all documents are signed and received. Finally, you’ll choose an attorney to represent you and review all mortgage documents and coordinate a closing date with the seller’s attorney.
Once these steps are complete, congratulations! You are ready to close on your new home! All that’s left to do is sign, collect the keys, and unpack. 

Not Quite Ready to Start? No worries!

It’s important to take time to do your research and figure out your finances when you’re considering buying a home. For more information, check out the rest of our website, give us a call at 800-677-8506, email us, or stop by one of our branch locations. 

Ready to Get Started?

Apply for your pre-approval with CCU today! And be sure to check out our special mortgage relationship pricing to help you save money on your home.


*You should consult a tax advisor for information regarding the deductibility of interest and charges. Property insurance is required. An example of a monthly principal, interest, and private mortgage insurance payment for a 3% low down payment fixed rate mortgage on $97,000.00 at 6.237% annual percentage rate for 360 months would be approximately $606.54. This payment does not include property taxes and homeowner/flood insurance. The interest rate for a 3% low down payment mortgage product can be .5% higher than a conventional 5% down payment mortgage. Private mortgage insurance and escrow for taxes and insurance are required with a down payment of less than 20%.


How to Prepare for Your Next Home Project

Posted in
Updated April 13, 2023 8:25 PM
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This past year has had many of us spending more time at home than ever before. Combine that with the warmer weather, and you may be itching to start some of those lingering home projects. From kitchen and bathroom updates to a new roof, a pool, or smaller projects, this is the perfect time to start making your house feel more like home. But sometimes those home projects can be overwhelming and it can be challenging to know where to start. That’s why we put together our top tips to help make sure you’re getting the job done, within your budget.

Set Project Goals 

It’s time to put pen to paper. You may have a general idea of what you want to accomplish with this project, but writing out your goals and objectives really gives you a clear and visual idea of what you plan to achieve. Depending on the type of project, you may even want to consider getting blueprints or sketching out your plans before you start. 

Establish a Budget

It’s important to create a budget to identify how much you’re able to spend and how much you need to set aside for the project. It might even be helpful to make an Excel sheet to plan and track your budget along the way (however, it’s not required if it’s not quite your thing).

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before getting started: 

  • What’s the average cost for a project like this?
  • Are there other options that are cheaper and more within my budget?
  • What other resources do I need for this project?
  • Will there be any additional or unforeseen costs?
  • Do I have all of the money I need for it right now?
  • Is my project deadline realistic financially?

While a budget is super helpful, it can be a little discouraging if it is low. But don’t get discouraged if you have a small budget and big ideas – a lot of times you can make something look like you had a really big budget but in reality, it didn’t cost that much. The internet is a wonderful resource to help make DIY projects look like a million bucks on a budget. 

Find a Contractor

If the project you have in mind is more than a DIY project, we suggest finding a reputable contractor. Start by getting recommendations from friends, family, and local community members and then ask those contractors for written estimates. Also, ask for copies of current licenses and insurance certificates based on your state’s contractor licensing requirements. A reputable contractor should be carrying personal liability, workers’ compensation, and property damage insurance. Lastly, ask for a written contract with all project specifications, including start date, completion date, cost, guarantees, warranties, and promises. 

Create a Timeline

Whether you’re working with a contractor or doing the work yourself, it’s important to create a timeline to stay on track to ensure everyone involved will be on the same page. If you choose to work with a contractor, it’s important to know their schedule so you know when they can start the job, and when they can finish it. 

How We Can Help!

We’re here to help you, no matter how big or small the project is. Check out a couple of our helpful options below.

CCU’s Home Improvement Loan1

This loan is a great option if you don’t have substantial equity in your home but want to make improvements or prep your home to sell. Unlike home equity loans, this loan option allows you to borrow up to $25,000 for home improvement projects without needing to borrow against your home. This loan could be used for new flooring or windows, a kitchen or bath remodel, or installation of an in-ground pool or central air and more. 

Looking for Other Options?

Let us help you find the best option that meets your specific needs. Contact us today to learn more. 

1Credit Union membership required. Minimum borrowed amount $7,500. Approval for financing is subject to lending guidelines and credit qualifications. Must be a homeowner to qualify. Home must be your primary residence. For home improvement projects only; an itemized list of materials or estimate from a contractor is required. Limited time offer.


New Card? Easily Update Your Card Info!

Posted in
Updated April 13, 2023 8:40 PM
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Picture this: you’re out and about doing your usual errands and as you go to pay, you realize your credit or debit card expires soon (don't worry, we will be sending you a new one!). You start thinking about all of the places you shop online that have your card info saved and all of the automatic bill payments you have linked to your card and realize that updating them could be a time-consuming task. Great news! With our Automatic Card Updater Tool, you can instantly update your card info in one place, at one time. All you have to do is enter your info once and it will update across all participating sites whenever your card information changes in the future.

So, what is it?

The Automatic Card Updater Tool securely and quickly updates your card information in apps and on websites where you shop and pay. Simply register your CCU debit and/or credit card and select your merchants. If you get a new card or change card information in the future, this tool will help you update your card information instantly!

Is it safe?

Yes! The app is completely safe. It relieves the pain of getting a new card and helps you update your accounts. All that you need are the login credentials for the sites you’d like to update and this information remains secure in your account. 

Cool! How does it work?

Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Click the “Learn More and Get Started” button below and accept the Terms of Service.
  2. Select all the merchants with whom you would like to update your card.
    Don’t see the merchant you want? We’re always adding to our list! Just contact us and let us know!
  3. Enter your card information one time.
  4. Enter your login information for each merchant.

We hope this tool provides a better banking experience and saves you time!


Digital Banking Enhancements Made Just for You

Posted in
Updated June 17, 2021 5:02 PM
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You may have noticed a few updates to your online banking or mobile app recently. We’ve been busy behind the scenes enhancing features and functionality as part of our continued mission to create a better and more seamless banking experience for you. These updates include a new look and feel for the way you manage your cards, the ability to add travel notes on your account, quick access to redeem your CCU Visa® credit card points, and new login and security updates. Keep reading to learn more about these enhancements. 

Cards Widget Updates

Formerly known as the Cards widget, the updated “Card Management” widget has a new name and new look, with all of the same functions as before. When you select this widget, you’ll now see a display of your active ATM, debit, and credit card(s) and have the ability to freeze and unfreeze them, report a card as damaged, lost, or stolen, and have a new card ordered. 

Create Travel Notes

You’ll also notice the Card Management widget now allows you to create travel notes. Travel notes are a great tool to let us know of your current and future travel plans and are the best way to ensure your card transactions won’t be interrupted while you’re away. If we aren’t aware you’re traveling, purchases you make can look suspicious and may be blocked, so be sure to fill out the quick and easy form in digital banking before you leave. 

Redeem Your Visa® Points!*

If you are a CCU Visa Signature® Rewards+ or Visa® Platinum Rewards credit cardholder, you can also easily review your rewards history and redeem any available points from the purchases you’ve made. If you have a points card, you’ll see this option under the Rewards tab of the Card Management widget. Once you redeem your points, we will deposit your funds into the account you select. Remember, you must have a minimum of 2,500 points before being able to redeem, so be sure to keep using your CCU card on your everyday purchases to allow those points to add up. 

Login Updates

Logging in just got easier. You can now enter your username and password at the same time on the CCU website, which means one less click and step to access your account on your desktop computer. The login screen on your mobile app has also been updated to include an option to hide or show the password you’ve typed in by tapping on the “eye” icon.

We’ve also made an optional security setting available. As you already know, we’ll occasionally prompt you to receive and enter a verification code. This type of security feature is known as two-factor authentication and is designed as extra verification that it is you logging in to your account. Now you can choose to receive a prompt every time you log in. To enable this setting, simply go to Settings > Security > Two-Factor Authentication. If you use a verification code app (like Authy), these are also now supported. This enhancement creates an extra layer of security on your account. To enable, go to Settings > Security > Two-Factor Authentication > 2FA App.

*Please note, travel notes and points redemption are only available for CCU Visa Signature® Rewards+ and Visa® Platinum Rewards cardholders.