BECU mortgage review
This lender offers several types of mortgages, but you must meet strict criteria to qualify.
The Boeing Employee Credit Union (BECU) provides mortgages for first-time homebuyers and experienced homebuyers. However, you must have excellent credit and satisfy other specific requirements to qualify.
|Loan products offered||Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, Refinance|
|Minimum credit score||FHA - 600|
Conventional - 620
|Minimum down payment (Conventional)||3%|
|State availability||Only available in: AZ, CA, ID, IL, KS, MO, OR, PA, SC, WA|
Not just anyone can get a BECU mortgage. To even open an account with BECU, you must meet at least one of the following requirements.
- You live in or own a business in Washington state or in select counties in Oregon or Idaho.
- You or a family member work for Boeing, BECU or another credit union.
- You’re associated with the University of Washington Alumni Association, the Washington State University Alumni Association, the Northwest Credit Union Foundation or the radio station KEXP-FM.
Here’s what you need to apply for a mortgage from BECU.
- A Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
- A valid US government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license
- Contact information, including a street address and telephone number
- A utility bill to validate your address
Costs and fees
If you apply for a mortgage with BECU, you won’t have to pay an origination fee, although you will have to pay closing costs. BECU’s website doesn’t explicitly state which closing costs you can expect to pay.
How to apply for a mortgage with BECU
If you satisfy the criteria to apply for a mortgage from BECU, here’s how to get started.
- Prequalify. Request prequalification online, over the phone or at a BECU branch. No matter which you choose, a BECU representative determines your needs, answers your questions and clarifies the information on your mortgage request. BECU obtains and evaluates your credit report and sends you a prequalification letter for the type of mortgage you might be approved for if you satisfy underwriting and product guidelines.
- Search for a home. Identify a home and make an offer to buy it. If you’re having trouble finding a place to live, a BECU representative can connect you with a real estate agent. You’ll likely need to leave a good-faith deposit that will later be applied toward your down payment. If the seller accepts your offer, share the address with your BECU mortgage representative.
- Lock in your rate. Once you’ve provided all of the information BECU needs, lock in your interest rate with your mortgage representative for a specific amount of time. Respond to the representative’s requests promptly before the rate lock expires. If you don’t close on your home before the expiration date, you need to get a new rate, which may be higher.
- Begin the appraisal process. To determine your desired home’s value, BECU hires an appraiser to photograph your property and compares it to similar homes in the area. Then you put down a deposit that’s credited toward the final cost of your appraisal at closing. You receive a copy of the document once the appraisal is complete.
- Be patient during processing. A BECU loan processor ensures all your documents are in order and may reach out to you for additional information. BECU also arranges other services, such as title insurance, escrow and flood determination. Be prepared for third parties to contact you while processing these requests.
- Await underwriting. Once the loan processor verifies your information and receives your appraisal, an underwriter evaluates the property and your finances to confirm the loan meets the requirements of the program you requested. The underwriter may request additional information to approve the loan, and your BECU representative contacts you if more details are needed.
- Closing. Your BECU loan processor ensures all loan documentation is complete and accurate. If any additional information is required, a representative contacts you as soon as possible. BECU also orders other services related to the closing, such as escrow, title insurance and flood determination. Again, third parties may contact you for final processing.
- Make your first payment. When the loan is finally closed and funded, you receive the keys to your new home. You can begin moving in, though you should also start thinking about your first payment. BECU accepts mortgage payments online, or you can set up your bank account for automatic debit each month.
What types of mortgages can I get through BECU?
Other mortgage products offered by BECU
BECU also offers these specialized types of mortgages.
- First-time home buyer. If this is your first time buying a home, you may be eligible to receive up to $7,500 in down-payment assistance and a $750 credit at closing.
- Home-equity line of credit (HELOC). A HELOC from BECU allows you to borrow from your home’s equity to consolidate debt, pay for tuition or make a large purchase.
- Home improvement. If you don’t yet have equity in your home, a home improvement loan from BECU allows you to improve your property for a low fixed-rate and without paying for an appraisal.
- Refinance. If you owe less than $510,400 on your mortgage, you can take advantage of recent low rates by refinancing with BECU and without having to pay closing costs or out-of-pocket fees.
How BECU‘s mortgage products compare to other lenders
Compared to other mortgage lenders, BECU’s offerings are about average. Nothing is necessary off-putting about BECU’s rates, limits and fees, but there’s not anything too special about them either. If you already have a checking account with BECU — or have a relationship with Boeing or another credit union — getting a mortgage with this lender is a reasonable choice. But if you live in one of the approved areas and don’t work for Boeing or a credit union, you’re likely to find better terms with another lender.
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BECU reviews and complaints
As of October 2020, BECU has 210 reviews on Wallethub and 38 reviews on DepositAccounts.com. The credit union has received mostly mixed-to-positive feedback about its services, though there are a handful of one-star reviews as well. BECU currently has a rating of 3.3 out of 5 on Trustpilot, but that average is based on only two reviews.
There are relatively few BECU mortgage reviews compared to reviews of the credit union’s other banking products, and most complaints are related to BECU’s customer service and personal loans.
Pros and cons of BECU
- No origination fee. BECU doesn’t charge an origination fee for any mortgage type.
- Good intentions. BECU is a nonprofit organization that cares about its community and the financial well-being of its members.
- Financial education. BECU offers free financial health checks, seminars and webinars to help members learn how to better manage money.
- Strict criteria. You must live in specific areas or work for Boeing or a credit union to qualify.
- Not nationwide. BECU only offers mortgages in Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington
- No USDA loans. BECU offers various mortgage types, but it doesn’t offer United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans.
What is BECU?
Founded in Tukwila, Washington, by 18 employees of the Boeing Company in 1935, this lender was initially known as Fellowship Credit Union before renaming itself the Boeing Employee Credit Union. Only Boeing employees were eligible to join the BECU in the past, but those restrictions have loosened over time.
The employee-owned financial cooperative now has more than one million members, and it controls $17.5 billion in assets, making it the largest credit union in Washington and the fourth-largest credit union in the United States. As of October 2020, BECU has nearly 50 branches throughout Washington State and two locations in Charleston, South Carolina.
Frequently asked questions
Michael Benninger is a staff banking writer at Finder. He is a former credit analyst and longtime freelancer whose articles have been published by Intuit, Business Insider and the Los Angeles Times. Michael is passionate about all facets of personal finance and has written hundreds of articles about money management during the past decade.
BECU offers affordable mortgages for first-time and experienced homebuyers, but you must live in a particular region or work for a specific company to qualify. If you meet the requirements to open a BECU account, this lender is certainly worth considering. Otherwise, explore some other popular mortgage lenders.