Anne Myrick wanted to be a homeowner. She and her 11 year-old son had been living in apartments and rental homes throughout his entire life. A house with a yard that was close to both her mother and grandmother was her ideal American Dream, one that seemed far out of reach.
Several months ago while visiting her mother she noticed that the neighbor next door had just listed their house for sale. Her mother, it turns out, had once considered buying that house years earlier. Knowing it to be a charming and perfect fit, Mom and Anne seized the opportunity and decided to make an offer. Looking back on the experience, Ann describes, “As soon as it came onto the market Mom and I came knocking on their door and said ‘Hey lets work this out!’ So we put in an offer and it took off from there.”
Knowing she needed financing, Anne first turned to a mortgage broker for help. Try as he might, the broker could not get her loan approved. Recently divorced, with little work or credit history, no lender was willing to approve her loan. Ditto the experience at area banks. In addition to having her loan turned down, Myrick was also told that her prospects for financing a home over the next several years were not good.
Fazed, but undeterred, her next stop was a visit to her financial advisor. The advisor recommended BECU. There she was introduced to the HLPR Loan Program, an affordable mortgage program created to help people of modest means become homeowners. According to Anne, “BECU made it a breeze and here I am living in a house that other lenders said I could never have.”
The HLPR Loan Program, designed by a group of leading credit unions and CUNA & Affiliates, offers a 3/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) at 1% below market rates. Just as importantly, private mortgage insurance is not required and members need only make a $500 down payment. To qualify, a member must make no more than 100% of their county’s median income. Since launching the Program in November 2005, BECU has taken more than 109 HLPR applications. Thus far, 9 have closed. Anne Myrick’s was one of the first. As CUNA describes, “This program demonstrates credit unions' commitment to serve all their members, including those of modest means.”
Myrick applied on-line with the assistance of her credit union. The HLPR Program, while unique in its pricing and underwriting criteria, is as simple to approve and process as any conventional conforming loan. “The HLPR Loan Program is underwritten using Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter™,” explains Susan Akins, BECU’s manager of secondary marketing. “Twenty minutes later Ms. Myrick’s loan was approved and closing was scheduled.”
“BECU has a strong commitment to affordable housing, and to helping all members become homeowners,” adds Joe Brancucci, BECU’s Chief Lending Officer and Vice President for Product and Delivery Channel Management. “Affording a home of one’s own can be a daunting financial challenge. That’s exactly why credit unions were formed. We exist to help members tackle their toughest economic challenges and build their financial well-being. One way we’re accomplishing this is through the programs like the HLPR Loan,” he explains. Myrick couldn’t agree more, “BECU allowed me to become more than a homeowner – they helped me purchase a home close to my family and in the heart of my community when no other lender was willing.”