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Power Rate1

Save on monthly payments with our lowest, discounted rate

2.986

%

APR*

as low as

Power Rate 15-Year Fixed

3.509

%

APR*

as low as

Power Rate 30-Year Fixed

Power Mortgage2

Save up to $5,000 in closing costs, plus no origination fee

3.598

%

APR*

as low as

Power Mortgage 15-Year Fixed

4.057

%

APR*

as low as

Power Mortgage 30-Year Fixed

Home Equity3

Receive money in a lump sum with a home equity loan or when needed with a line of credit

6.060

%

APR*

as low as

20-Year Home Equity Loan

Introductory Rate

3.990

%

APR*

as low as

Home Equity Line of Credit4

3.990% APR for the first 12 months. After the first 12 months, APR as low as 5.500%

15/15 Adjustable Rate Mortgage

Your low rate is locked in for the first 15 years and adjusts once at year 16 for the remainder of the loan

3.931

%

APR*

as low as

15/15-Year Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

3.897

%

APR*

as low as

15/15-Year Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) Jumbo

All About Home Loans

The Benefits of Owning vs. Renting

I’d been renting for about seven years. I moved a couple times, finally found a place I liked, and decided to stay. It was a great neighborhood, my rent was reasonable…I was happy. Then I met someone and we moved in together. After two years, we got married.

That’s when the thought started peeking into my head: why not buy a house? I had been saving quite a bit over the last couple of years, and we were ready to have a place to call our own. You know, a yard, a place for our dog to run around. We could plant a garden and really make it ours.

But renting is just so convenient. When something breaks, I call it in and they fix it. I don’t have to mow my lawn. I don’t have to pay for damages the property. It’s easy living. With a home, there’s maintenance to do almost every day. If something breaks, I have to pay for it on top of my mortgage. And with renting, I’m not tied down. I can leave in six months, a year, whenever the lease is up. With a home, it’s a big investment. Who knows how long I’ll want to stay in one place?

My partner was tired of speculating, so we went and talked with a mortgage expert at Security Service. She sat down with us and told us everything we needed to know about owning a home. Like the fact that with a home, you’re making your payments on something you own and working toward building equity. Not like an apartment where you’re just paying a landlord every month. On top of it all, if you get a fixed-rate mortgage, the principal and interest payment won’t change.1 Not like rent where your landlord can price you out at the end of your lease.

Sure enough, when it came time to renew, our rent went up $200! We knew our area was expanding, but not that much. So we finally decided we’d take the plunge and use some of our savings as a down payment on a house. Now we’ve got three bedrooms, a beautiful yard, and our tomatoes are as big as my fist! Buying a house was the best decision we ever made, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Security Service.

DISCLAIMER: Membership eligibility required. Loan subject to credit approval. Financing available for properties in Texas, Colorado, or Utah. This piece is not meant to be an actual representation of individual experience, but a composite of multiple users’ experience with different home loan products. Actual experience may vary. 1) Principal and interest payment does not include taxes and insurance (T&I), therefore actual payment may be higher and T&I portion of the total payment will vary.

 

7 Simple Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying your first home can feel like a daunting task. There’s a mountain of paperwork to be filed, a sea of real estate agents to sift through, and thousands of financial institutions hoping you’ll choose them as a lender. That’s why it’s important to start thinking about the process before it even starts. (Hopefully we caught you early enough!) Here are seven simple tips to help you get into your new home.

1) Start saving early Saving enough to purchase a home may seem like an unattainable goal. When you first think about saving for a down payment and start doing the math, you may not know how you’ll ever save up enough to make it work. That’s why it’s important to start saving as soon as you can. You don’t have to save the entire amount at once. Just putting a little away each month can help make a big dent in a down payment later down the line. Plus, there are tons of mortgage programs available that may not require large down payments.

2) Compare rates Mortgage rates are tied to changes in Treasury notes, bills, and bonds. Because of this, most financial institutions offer (basically) the same interest rate on loans. This is why you should shop around and not only compare rates, but compare features of loans, like origination fees, closing costs, and down payment requirements.

Security Service offers two main conventional mortgage loan programs: Power Mortgage1 and Power Rate.2 Power Rate is the lowest rate we offer, which means lower monthly payments and more savings over the life of your loan. Power Mortgage, on the other hand, helps you with upfront costs and fees. We also offer FHA and VA loans.

3) Act fast The market’s hot. That house you just looked at? Even hotter. In the last few years, the demand for housing has grown exponentially, while supply has remained relatively static. That means the home of your dreams is probably someone else’s, too. When you find what you’re looking for, you’ve got to act fast. That’s why it’s important to…

4) Get pre-approved Getting a letter of pre-approval from a financial institution is an important part of the home buying process. Once you find the rate and product you’re looking for, submit an application and get pre-approved before you go any further. Make sure you have all your paperwork in order so your financial institution can get you on the right path. Also let your agent know that you’re already pre-approved. This will help the process go much more smoothly.

5) Shop around for insurance Unless you’re paying for your house in full, lenders will require that you get homeowners insurance before the purchase goes through. But there are thousands of providers out there. How do you know you’re getting the right coverage for the best deal? Security Service Insurance3 will search the marketplace for you, find gaps in any current coverage, and find the perfect policy to meet your needs.

6) Hire an agent They might seem unnecessary, but real estate agents are there for a reason. They’ve been around the block (literally) a few times before, and they know how to help you find a home that meets your lifestyle. Instead of looking at 10-15 homes, your agent can help you narrow it down to two or three that provide exactly what you want. Agents know neighborhoods, know home types, and often have insider information on market conditions that you might overlook, giving you an edge up over other buyers. They’ll also handle the large amount of paperwork that comes with buying a home, which, trust us, is a huge benefit.

7) Don’t spend it all in one place One of the biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make is spending all their savings on a down payment. That can be problematic, especially if you’re buying an older home. Things break and need to be repaired. Unexpected personal expenses happen, too. Choosing to make a lower down payment can be better than having a $0 balance in your savings account.

Purchasing your first home is a big deal, so keep a level head and make sure you go into the process prepared. One of the best ways to prepare yourself is by having a partner at your side, one who’s there to help you every step of the way. A partner like Security Service that has the knowledge, experience, and products to help you get through the process and into your new home.

Have more questions about the home buying process? Contact one of our loan officers today.

Talk to an Expert

DISCLAIMER: Federally insured by the NCUA. Membership eligibility required. Over 2,600 ways to join. The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as home buying advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking professional advice from a loan officer or other home loan expert. 1) Power Mortgage offer to save up to $5,000 on select closing costs does not cover private mortgage insurance, seller paid closing costs, discount points, pre-paids or reserves. The program is not valid for FHA or VA loans. Closing costs may vary based on transaction. If loan is closed or paid off within first 36 months of the term, member may be required to reimburse all or some of the closing costs incurred. This offer is subject to change without notice. 2) Membership eligibility required. Loan subject to credit approval. Financing available for properties in Texas, Colorado, or Utah. 3) Security Service Insurance (SSI) is a subsidiary of Security Service Federal Credit Union. Products offered by SSI are not insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and are not issued, guaranteed, or underwritten by Security Service or the NCUA.

Why Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage?

Buying a new home is supposed to be exciting. You’re supposed to be looking for the home of your dreams, not going to banks and filling out boring paperwork. But getting pre-approved is one of the most important steps in the home buying process. What is pre-approval, and why is it so vital to getting into your new home?

What is pre-approval? When talking to a lender, you can either request pre-qualification or pre-approval. Pre-qualification is a basic estimate from a lender on how much you can spend on a new home. Pre-approval, on the other hand, is a much more in-depth process where the lender verifies your income, assets, credit, and debt to income ratio to provide you with a loan amount to use before you begin shopping for a new home. Getting pre-approved is as close to a mortgage as you can get without going through the loan process.

Why get pre-approved? Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important step in the home buying process. First of all, it gives you an advantage over other borrowers who want to make an offer on the same home as you. Many realtors won’t take your inquiry seriously without a pre-approval letter, either, and good luck finding a new home without a trusted partner at your side.

Pre-approval also means you’ll get into your new home faster. Instead of finding your dream home and having to wait for approval before making an offer, you can go into negotiations knowing that you’ll be able to put an offer on the table right then and there.

How do you get pre-approved? First off, you’ll need to talk to a lender. Security Service has a trusted team of mortgage professionals who have vast experience financing homes across Texas, Colorado, and Utah. Be prepared as the lender will need your personal information to issue a pre-approval.

Our mortgage loan officers use a variety of metrics to determine how much you can borrow. First, we ask for proof of assets and income. Then, we will pull your credit report. This is to determine your debt to income ratio and see how you have handled repaying your existing debts.

Depending on these factors, and a number of others, your lender will give you a loan amount that you qualify to borrow. Pre-approval opens up a number of opportunities for first-time and seasoned buyers alike.

When starting out on your home-buying journey, it’s best to go in prepared. Preparation means gathering all the necessary papers and doing all your homework. It means finding a lender that’s been providing services for over 50 years. It means getting pre-approved with Security Service so you can get into your dream home that much faster.

Get Pre-Approved

DISCLAIMER: Federally insured by the NCUA. Membership eligibility required. Over 2,600 ways to join. The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as home buying advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking professional advice from a loan officer or other home loan expert.

 

5 Tips for a Better Move

Let’s face it, moving isn’t fun, but it’s a fact of life. Packing up everything you own and moving to a new home, city, or state is stressful and exhausting. But it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of steps you can take to make your move less of a headache.

1) Start Early The second you decide to move, start preparing to pack. Get some of your least-used possessions into boxes and start thinking about what’s going where. It might not be fun to live around boxes for a while, but starting to pack early can help take care of a lot of stress when moving day comes. Plus, it gives you plenty of time to work on our next tip.

2) Downsize Thanks to the latest Netflix craze, everyone seems to be getting rid of their unwanted or unused possessions. This isn’t just good for your current living arrangement. It’s good for moving, too. Since you’re starting to pack early, take the time to go through your things and see what you could do without. Not only will this make it easier to move, but it will make the move into your new home feel more like a fresh start, a clean slate, if you will, for your new life to begin.

3) Use Labels This one may seem like a no brainer, but labeling your boxes is one of the smartest things you can do when moving. Write on them with a marker, or even better, color-code them with colored stickers. This way you’ll know (or be able to tell your movers) that red goes into the kitchen, green to the bedroom, yellow to the living room, and so on. Just remember which label is which. Maybe make labels for your labels?

4) Get the Right Boxes We’ve all had the terrible experience of having the bottom of a box drop out from underneath our hands—and that’s the last thing you want to happen when moving your belongings. That’s why you need to get the right tools for the job. Moving boxes come in all shapes and sizes, and can be found at most shipping or truck rental stores. Another great place to get moving boxes from is your local liquor store. These boxes are built to hold heavy containers, and can withstand a lot of punishment. Plus, they come in variety of sizes, so they’re perfect for odds and ends.

5) Make a Plan The last thing you want to do when moving is wait until the day before to start planning your trip. We know there’s a lot going on—the move itself, buying a new home, changing utilities—but you don’t want to be unprepared. Before you pack the first box, start a plan of action for your move. When will you have your bedroom packed? What about your kitchen? What route will you take to get to your new home? It’s important to know where and when you’re going so your move can be as stress-free as possible. Not everything always goes to plan, but hey, it’s better than no plan at all.

Whether you like it or not, moving is a necessary evil. But with some simple planning and a little bit of preparation, you can make your move much less stressful, even enjoyable. If you don’t want to move yourself, there’s always an easier alternative: movers.

In the same way that movers make the moving process easier, Security Service makes the home buying process easier by working with you every step of the way. Our mortgage experts will walk you through our loan options, find you the best rate, and will be here to answer your questions no matter what. Want to learn more? Click here (LINK TO: Rate page) to learn more about our mortgage options and rates.

DISCLAIMER: Federally insured by the NCUA. Membership eligibility required. Over 2,600 ways to join. The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as home buying advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking professional advice from a mortgage loan officer or other home loan expert.

Every Question You Have about Private Mortgage Insurance, Answered

For the last three years, you’ve worked hard and saved for a down payment on your dream home. So when you tell a mortgage loan officer what you’ve saved and they mention Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI, it’s understandable to be a little confused. What is PMI, why do you need it, and is there any way to avoid it?

What is PMI? PMI is a way to protect a lender if you default on your home loan. This is a monthly premium added onto your monthly mortgage payment. The annual premium can range between .5% and 1.5%.

Why do I need PMI? PMI insures the lender if you default on your mortgage loan. It doesn’t protect you—it protects them. If you’re planning on buying a home but putting down less than 20%, you will need to pay PMI because the lender views your loan as higher-risk than others.

When do I stop paying PMI? When you have believe you have reached a loan to value ratio of 80:20 based on the appraised value or purchase price, you can call your financial institution and request to cancel the PMI. Keep in mind there are requirements to process a written request to cancel PMI, and your request may not be approved. Some things to consider are: 1) Do I want to pay for a new appraisal, knowing my request may not be approved? 2) How long have I had my loan? 3) Have I made all my payments on time? 4) Did I reach 80% by making additional payments, or was it because home values in my neighborhood are skyrocketing?

How can I avoid PMI? Unless you have 20% to put down on a conventional loan to purchase a home, there’s no avoiding private mortgage insurance.

The circumstances around purchasing a home are different for every individual and family. That’s why it’s important to speak to an expert when you have questions. The mortgage loan officers at Security Service have been helping people find the home of their dreams for over 50 years, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Have more questions about PMI or the home buying process? Contact one of our mortgage loan officers today.

Talk to an Expert

DISCLAIMER: Federally insured by the NCUA. Membership eligibility required. Over 2,600 ways to join. The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as home buying advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking professional advice from a loan officer or other home loan expert.

Buying a Home while You Have Student Debt

I was 26 and it had been a few years since I’d graduated college. One day, my partner and I started talking about buying a house. I was so excited, but I still had a lot of student loan debt. How was I supposed to afford a mortgage and pay off my student loans at the same time?

Well, it turns out it’s a lot simpler than that. I went to Security Service and talked to a mortgage loan officer. Apparently there’s this thing called DTI, your debt to income ratio. When you go to apply for a mortgage, they check your debts against your gross monthly income to see how much you have coming in compared to what you have going out. Luckily, I had gotten a great job right out of school, and she said that I would be able to afford a house, as long as my credit was good.

Sure enough, when she ran my credit report, I had a 758 score, which was great! I had opened a credit card account when I was 21 and had always paid it off on time. She said that, on top of my car and student loan payments I was making on time, gave me the boost I needed to get approved for a mortgage.

Then we started talking about a down payment. I told her that I’d been saving for a while, but I didn’t know how much I would need for a down payment. Then she told me about all the great mortgage programs available that don’t require a huge down payment. We talked about how much I could put down and she found a great mortgage program that worked for me.

What a relief! I was so glad that, even with my student debt, I could make my dream of owning a home a reality. I’d worked so hard, I was glad that that was all going to pay off. Thank you so much, Security Service!

DISCLAIMER: Membership eligibility required. Loan subject to credit approval. Financing available for properties in Texas, Colorado, or Utah. This piece is not meant to be an actual representation of individual experience, but a composite of multiple users’ experience with different home loan products. Actual experience may vary.

 

Rates effective as of 10/11/19. *APR = Annual Percentage Rate.

Membership eligibility required. Loans subject to credit approval. Rates vary based on product and credit criteria. All rates are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions apply. Estimated payments do not include taxes, mortgage insurance, or insurance premiums; actual payment may be greater. Rate may vary with credit, underwriting, property, and other factors. Financing available for properties in Texas, Colorado or Utah. Images are for illustrative purposes only. Not actual members.

  1. Estimated interest savings is based on comparison of SSFCU Power Rate and Power Mortgage for a 30-year term.
  2. Power Mortgage offer to save up to $5,000 on select closing costs does not cover mortgage insurance, seller paid closing costs, discount points, or pre-paids and reserves. The program is not valid for FHA or VA loans. Closing costs may vary based on transaction. If loan is closed or paid off within first 36 months of the term, member may be required to reimburse all or some of the closing costs incurred.
  3. Applies to 1st or 2nd lien only. Certain restrictions may apply.
  4. Home Equity Lines of Credit are variable-rate loans during the 15 year draw period and fixed for the 25 year repayment period. At the end of the introductory period, the rate will be adjusted by adding the index and margin.

Assumptions