Credit unions have 5 distinct advantages over big banks when it comes to mortgages. After years of hard work, you’ve saved up your money, you’ve found the perfect house, and you’re ready to buy it and move in. Now you’re on the hunt for a mortgage — but where’s the best place to go? A big commercial bank may seem like the obvious choice, but it’s not the only one. In fact, a credit union offers distinct benefits that other lenders, such as banks, mortgage companies and mortgage brokers, don’t. Due to their not-for-profit status and focus on member-customers, credit unions are able to offer more attractive mortgage terms compared with other traditional lenders. For example, credit unions often offer lower interest rates and closing costs. Low closing costs make getting a mortgage more affordable, and a lower mortgage rate reduces your loan payment, saving you thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan. And the perks don’t stop there. Below are five primary benefits of credit union mortgages that the big banks can’t compete with. 1. Competitive rates As mentioned above, one of the main benefits of working with a credit union is lower interest rates on loans. And the reverse is true for deposits: Those interest rates are higher than average. Because credit unions are exempt from paying federal taxes and prioritize breaking even, they have the capability to offer these advantages. 2. Easier loan approval Credit unions prioritize customer service for their members over profits. They want to help homeowners and future homeowners find the options that work best for them, the community they will be living in, and the credit union membership as a whole. Therefore, they offer loan programs with more flexible qualification options than bigger institutions. And if you’re currently a member of a credit union, you may already be pre-approved for a mortgage based on your prior account activity. Loans are procured and underwritten locally. 3. Better options for first-time homebuyers New buyers might have difficulty financing a home, especially in markets with high, competitive pricing that can make coming up with a sizable down payment difficult. Credit unions often have programs designed to help first-time buyers break into the housing market secure the starter home they’ve been saving for, and avoid a FHA loan. 4. Personalized customer service Putting members before profits means better customer service when you apply for a mortgage with a credit union. From the time you get in touch and start the loan approval process, you’re guaranteed attentive service and an advocate who will help you get your mortgage approved. And, if roadblocks arise, a loan officer can help you find the right path. A big bank might just tell you that your credit score is too low, but a credit union broker will likely explain how credit scoring works, then make recommendations like paying off some credit cards or student loans to make you eligible in the future. 5. Local market knowledge The majority of bank mortgages are serviced out of state — or later sold to other financial institutions that have no relationship with the homeowner. Credit unions, however, are community based and locally serviced, so they know the area and the market in it well. Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investment decisions you’ll ever make, so you need a strong financial partner by your side. CBC Federal Credit Union members can trust CBC’s professional guidance and efficient processing to make the often intimidating homebuying experience easier. CBC offers loan options specific to different members’ needs, whether you’re a first-time buyer looking to purchase a starter home, a family looking to move on to something bigger, or a seasoned owner adding another investment property to your portfolio. A dedicated CBC loan officer can help guide you through the process of applying or refinancing, depending on your goals. CBC loan officers work face to face with members to help ensure that they receive proper support and assistance throughout the lending journey. If you’re ready for the next step and your next home, go to cbcfcu.org to meet your loan officer, fill out an application and check out real-time mortgage rates.