Rates start at 3.5% on fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages. But only for SDCCU members.
For first-time homebuyers and veterans looking for a fixer-upper to flip, finding the right mortgage can be tough. Terms, interest rates and amortization can make for a daunting home loan process.
Many lenders will do whatever it takes to increase their margins. But not San Diego County Credit Union, so it claims. For more than 80 years, this nonprofit has had little incentive to take advantage of customers, given it’s wholly owned and operated by its members.
Instead, it strives to put customers first with transparent business practices and trusted financial products. In fact, it’s San Diego’s largest locally owned financial institution. Here’s what to know when considering a mortgage with SDCCU.
|Rate structure||Fixed and adjustable|
|Mortgage rates||Starting at 3.5%|
|Fixed-rate terms||10, 15, 20 and 30 years|
|Repayment type||Fixed rate, ARM, No Closing Costs 5/5 ARM|
|Maximum loan||$1.5 million|
|Service limitations||Must be a member of the SDCCU to apply|
|Customer service||Phone, email, online|
What does SDCCU do best?
- Low fixed and adjustable rates. Buy or refinance at terms of 10 to 30 years.
- Opt for no closing costs. A 5/5 mortgages offer flexibility and stability with the added benefit of no closing costs.
- Low down payments. Some products allow for as little as 5% down, making buying a home accessible.
- Lender-paid PMI options. With some products, SDCCU pays for personal mortgage insurance if your down payment doesn’t reach 20%.
- Solid support. This lender offers top customer service by phone, in person or online. It even offers a live chat option.
- Cash rebates. You can receive up to 20% cash back on your participating real estate agent’s commission.
- Online application. Get preapproved for loans and complete your entire application online.
What can I expect with a mortgage from SDCCU?
- Real estate service. SDCCU can provide a specialist matched to your needs who guides you through the process of buying a home.
- Up to 90% LTV. Loans are available for up to 90% loan-to-value, depending on your financial situation and the property you’re buying.
- No risk-based pricing. Many lenders use risk-based pricing to determine your interest rates and mortgage fees. SDCCU doesn’t, resulting in a more fair process for customers.
- Free online banking and e-statements. Manage your mortgage online easily.
What type of fees come with this loan?
It’s not easy to nail down the fees you face with SDCCU. But they appear to be standard, including fees for the title services and insurance, your home appraisal, a tax service, your credit report, flood certification and recording fees. Note that SDCCU offers a 5/5 ARM with no closing costs, but it applies to owner-occupied primary residences and external refinancing only.
For other mortgage options, you could face the closing costs below.
|Type of fee||Description||Estimated cost|
|Origination fee||Covers the cost of processing a loan, usually charged by the lender on entering into a loan agreement.||Around 1% of the total home loan|
|Home inspection fees||An inspection that’s done after closing and before you move in.||Roughly $200–$500|
|Property survey||The process of locating, describing, mapping and noting the boundaries and corners of a property.||About $450|
|Real estate transfer tax||The fee for acquiring land, buildings or property||0.01%–3% of purchase price|
|Legal fees||Costs associated with hiring a lawyer when buying a home.||Roughly $1,500+|
|Private mortgage insurance||Protects the lender if you stop making payments on your mortgage. Mandatory if you don’t put down at least 20% of your home’s appraised value.||Roughly 0.5%–1% annually; SDCCU covers 100% of the cost for some of its loan products|
|Property tax and utility fees||Cost of reimbursing your lender if they prepay property taxes or utility fees.||$400–$500|
|Mortgage prepayment penalty fee||May apply when:
Fixed-rate mortgage. Equal to three months of interest on the amount you’re prepaying or an amount calculated using the interest rate differential, whichever is greater.
Variable rate mortgage. Equal to three months of interest on the amount you’re prepaying.
|Mortgage discharge fee||Paid for the document that releases you from your mortgage.||$150–$300|
|Property valuation fee or appraisal cost||A fee charged for the lender to appraise the value of the home you want to purchase.||$350–$500+|
What do customers say about SDCCU?
SDCCU has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1995, accompanied by an impressive A+ rating, as of this writing. SDCCU’s BBB profile presents a handful of complaints regarding issues with payments and customer service, but it holds a composite score of 3.78 out of 5 stars.
Many users on other forums report issues with communication, online payments and customer service. But plenty of positive reviews offset the negative. Customers praise this lender for its great rates and easy approvals, along with its excellent customer service at branches.
How do I apply for a home loan at SDCCU?
1. If you don’t already have an account, visit the SDCCU website and click Open an Account.
2. Click Open Now to get started.
3. Fill out all of the necessary information, then log in after your account is created.
4. Navigate back to the homepage and click Apply for a Loan.
5. Follow the steps under Start Your Application, then click Continue.
6. Work your way through the application, confirming your personal and financial details before submitting for review.
Like many mortgage lenders, SDCCU requires a long list of documentation and information to process your application that includes:
- Your current address and addresses for the past two years.
- Social Security numbers for all borrowers.
- Your employment history for the past two years.
- Income information for all borrower, including overtime, bonuses, commissions, interest, dividends, retirement and any other regular source of income.
- Information about the property you’re buying, including the price and how much you’re borrowing toward it.
- Bank and brokerage account information, including current balances.
- Any other owned real estate, including the current market value, how much you owe on it, any rental income and monthly payments.
- Any creditors, including account numbers, balances and monthly payments.
- For refinancing, the date of your original purchase, the original cost, your current loan balance and payment amounts.
Compare home loans
I got the loan. Now what?
- Review your loan agreement. Familiarize yourself with any prepayment fees or late penalties that could result from early or late payments.
- Secure important documents. Keep your mortgage paperwork together safe spot.
- Look into a homestead form. You may be able to get a reduction in your assessed value, which provides a discount on your property taxes, with a form saying you occupy the home you just bought.
- Reach out to SDCCU. Contact customer service at 1-858-453-2112 with any questions or concerns.
SDCCU puts its customers first with a commitment to fair products, low rates and excellent support. Through a selection of mortgages that include a no-closing-costs option, it could be the place for your next loan.
But as its name implies, SDCCU provides services to members in San Diego county only.
If you live elsewhere, compare top lenders and eligibility in our comprehensive guide to home loans.
Frequently asked questions about SDCCU
Images: San Diego County Credit Union