HONOLULU — Hawaii State Federal Credit Union (HSFCU) is once again funding home loans after a three-year hiatus. It recommenced underwriting mortgages in January 2013 in order to provide better service to its members.
“By resuming underwriting mortgages, we can provide better and faster service to our members,” said Victor Brock, vice president of mortgage and consumer lending. “And, we have more flexibility with qualifying members and do not have to comply with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or wholesale lenders’ criteria.”
In 2011, government programs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reduced the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) from 97 percent to 95 percent. This means homebuyers need to save two percent more down payment. The alternative, Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) Federal Housing Administration (F.H.A.) program substantially increased its up-front and annual renewal mortgage insurance premiums in 2012 and 2013, further making it less affordable for buyers.
In response, HSFCU launched a first-time homebuyer program this summer. This is specifically designed to provide first-timers an easier alternative to getting a mortgage loan without having to make a large down payment. The product will lend up to 97 percent of the appraised value of the home, requiring the borrower to put up only three percent for a down payment.
“It’s a tough time to buy a home,” said Brock. We want to help first-time homebuyers because that’s what a credit union does; extend credit to the community and to people who may not qualify for loans or financing from a traditional bank.”
In addition to making financing a home easier and more affordable, the program includes features such as no cap on household income for program eligibility and no up-front mortgage insurance or guarantee fee similar to the F.H.A., Veteran’s Administration (VA), or U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service government guaranteed loans.
“We want to be there for our members for all the significant milestones where they need financial services,” adds Brock. “Home ownership is critical for our quality of life, and we are offering our members, the very best home loan package in the islands.”
Hawaii State Federal Credit Union (Hawaii State FCU) was founded in 1936. Serving state, city and county employees as well as non-profits and select businesses and their families across the state, Hawaii State FCU has more than 81,000 members and holds more than $1.3 billion in assets. Hawaii State FCU provides financial advising, checking, savings and loan services at seven branches throughout Oahu and one in Kahului, Maui. For more information, please visit www.HawaiiStateFCU.com.