Buying a home can be one of the more stressful times in a person’s life. When you’ve finally found the home of your dreams (or at least one that you might have some chance of affording), your thoughts will quickly turn to where you can source the funds to buy it.
Like so many people across Ireland, you may have built up your mortgage deposit by saving in your local credit union. You’ll now be happy to hear that more and more credit unions are now offering mortgages to their members.
So why should you choose a credit union for a mortgage instead of a bank?
Here are 9 reasons why a mortgage from your credit union might be the right option for you.
1. You’ll be dealing with an organisation based in your community which you know and trust.
Credit unions constantly go above and beyond for their members. In fact, Irish credit unions hold a world record for customer (or member) experience! They have been ranked the number one organisation for customer experience in the CXi Ireland Customer Experience study for seven consecutive years.
2. Your CU will see you for you!
When you apply to your local credit union, you will be treated you as an individual and your credit union mortgage advisor will take time to understand your particular circumstances. Or in more simple terms, your CU will see you for you!
While every financial institutions in Ireland must adhere to the Central Bank mortgage measures regarding loan to income (LTI) and loan to value (LTV) limits, all too often there are circumstances pertaining to an individual mortgage application which aren’t black and white. Perhaps someone had a dip in their income due to Covid-19? Maybe a credit card wasn’t cleared on time in a particular month?
When you deal with a credit union, a member of staff will take the time to listen to you. They will endeavour to support you at every stage of the mortgage process and help you towards getting a positive outcome.
3. A Mortgage Decision Made at Local Level
Your mortgage decision will be made at local level, not in some remote banking headquarters. You’ll be dealing with people who understand the local area and the challenges faced by local people. In most cases, credit unions are happy to accept applications for small mortgages, something your not so local bank may not be as happy to entertain.
4. You can deal directly with the CU
You can deal directly with your local credit union, rather than going through an intermediary. Credit unions don’t generally use the services of mortgage brokers. Instead, they focus on promoting mortgages directly to their members.
When you are applying for a mortgage, you’ll be dealing directly with a member of staff who is motivated to make the process as straight forward and stress free as possible for you.
5, You’ll be Supporting Local
If you choose a credit union for your next mortgage, you’ll be helping to break the stranglehold which Irish banks have on the mortgage market. In recent weeks, the ILCU has been running an #unlockthepotential campaign to highlight that restrictive lending rules limit credit unions to just 3% of the mortgage market. In comparison, Ireland’s three pillar banks share 70% of the mortgage market with the remainder primarily held by KBC and Ulster Bank, which are exiting the market.
By choosing your local credit union for your next mortgage application, not alone will you reap the benefits of the exceptional member service which credit unions provide, you’ll also be giving your business to a not-for-profit community based institution, that’s motivated to help you.
6. No Vultures!
Credit unions don’t sell their mortgages to so called vulture funds. Enough said.
7. Straight Forward, Competitive Rates
Credit unions offer straightforward, competitive mortgage rates, which are set at local level. They won’t try to hoodwink you with an ‘introductory’ offer or try to win your business with a view to ramping up the rate charged in subsequent years. They’ll give you a clear picture of your total repayments over the term of the mortgage, and highlight how any changes in interest rate may impact these repayments.
8. Imagine More from your Local Credit Union
You credit union can now help you with most or all of your financial needs. This reduces the likelihood of you having to go to a bank for other financial services.
As well as mortgages, many credit unions now offer a full range of banking serves. More two million credit unions members now have access to a current account, many credit unions now offer business lending, loans for home energy upgrades and financial planning support. In addition, credit unions have digitised their services with more and more now facilitating members to carry out their financial needs, without having to visit a credit union branch.
9. Your a part owner of the Credit Union
You’ll be dealing with a financial institution that, as a member, you actually own and one which is on hand to help you with your financial needs through at all life stages.
Whether you’re buying (or building) your first home, trading up (or down) or you’re thinking about switching your mortgage, your local credit union could be on hand to help.