Two of the primary lending institutions are banks and credit unions. Most banks answer to their shareholders and are like all companies seeking to make maximum profit. Credit Unions, on the other hand, are owned by their members or account holders. Therefore their loyalty is not to the shareholders like standard banks. Instead they seek to please their customers who are owners.
The Personal Touch
Because most credit unions are regional with fewer branches, account holders tend to develop a friendly relationship with the bank employees. While credit and cash flow are taken into consideration, a lower credit score may be overlooked, as the loan officer knows you, your business or employer and your reputation.
Lower Rates and Fees
Credit unions are considered not-for-profit. This can be a huge advantage for those looking for a refinance option. Because these unions are not looking to make a profit they can offer lower fees. So the loan fee and other typical bank fees charged on a refinance are typically much lower. In addition credit unions offers lower interest rates as this is in the best interest of their account holders.
Because credit unions tend to focus on the individual, the loan officer is able to personalize the loan to suit the needs of the borrower. Larger banks are typically restricted to rigid rates and terms. A refinance loan can have unusual terms, collateral, or interest built in to the loan to help the account holder. For example, a credit union may be able to offer an interest only time period on a refinance or offer a longer amortization to lower the loan payments. They are also more open to creative financing and are better able to think outside the box when it comes to refinancing a loan.
Because these unions are small and more personable they afford more opportunities to a borrower seeking to refinance a loan. The underwriter can tailor the loan itself to the financial needs of the client and can offer lower fees & rates than conventional banks.