Recognizing the Special Role of Credit Union Mortgage Originators

September 20, 2016 / Shannon VanSickler, Vice President — Credit Union Channel

Recognizing the Special Role of Credit Union Mortgage Originators


As a credit union mortgage originator, you wear many hats. One minute you're digging into the finer details of a loan applicant's credit report and the next you're answering a credit union member’s questions about strategies for building up his family’s savings. But this is the kind of environment in which you thrive—assisting members in whatever way you can!

This week, we're taking a closer look at credit unions and the efforts these organizations put into helping their members.

A closer relationship

You're known for going above and beyond the typical bank. In your case, a home buyer isn't just one out of hundreds of customers, but a valued member. Plus, the member is also likely to remain with your institution over the long term, since credit union members tend to be far more loyal than bank customers, according to recent reports on defection rates.

There are plenty of reasons for members to seek a mortgage from your credit union, but the top three are:

  • Members can save money because credit unions pass along savings to members while many large publically traded banks are more focused on generating revenue for investors.
  • Credit union members know they aren’t just a number to you. Many credit unions service mortgage loans in-house rather than outsourcing the servicing to a third party. As a result, there’s less likelihood that the mortgage servicer could change multiple times over the life of the loan, which is common with loans from other large lenders.
  • Credit unions offer first-time buyer programs and are more likely to loan to lower- and middle-income borrowers than other originators.

Because credit union mortgage originators like you are becoming more proactive in offering help with mortgages to members, credit unions as a whole are rapidly expanding their presence in the mortgage market. Credit union market share in mortgages has risen from 5.7 percent in June 2011 to 7.3 percent in June 2016. In the second quarter of 2016, credit unions in the U.S. held more than $340.7 billion in first-mortgage loans, an industry record, according to Callahan & Associates. Credit union originations totaled $62.6 billion in the first half of this year, a 1.7 percent annual increase.

Credit Unin Mortgage Originators

Some of this growth is due to the tireless work of credit union mortgage specialists. To provide individuals and families with the best mortgage your credit union can offer, you work proactively throughout the mortgage process to:

  • Gather and analyze data alongside the processor.
  • Meet with members to answer their questions about applying for a mortgage and closing on a home.
  • Provide educational tools and take the time to help members understand the options available to them as they search for a home.
  • Communicate with underwriters to update mortgage applicants on the progress of their mortgage submissions.

The credit union difference: members

What’s not said often enough is that credit union members tend to have better credit scores than customers of other types of lenders. This member base characterized by financial stability and a solid history of using credit responsibly allows credit unions to offer members more flexibility when considering a mortgage loan—so the approval rates for individuals with lower income levels are higher with credit unions. It must be incredibly rewarding to help qualified members at all levels attain the dream of home ownership.

On behalf of all of us at United Guaranty, thank you for providing the attention that you put into your relationships—it's truly something to admire!

Shannon VanSickler

Shannon VanSickler
Vice president of United Guaranty’s Credit Union Channel, Shannon VanSickler has more than 26 years of retail and wholesale lending experience, including directing the real estate lending units of three large credit unions in the Western United States.

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