PortAlliance Federal Credit Union

Home Equity & Mortgage Options

Are you looking to purchase a home, refinance your existing home loan, or borrow against the equity of your home? PortAlliance can offer the option that’s right for you!

We offer solid financing solutions, with very competitive rates and friendly service from people who truly care about your well-being. We can make the mortgage process easy by answering all your questions and reviewing all of your options.

1st Mortgages

With record low interest rates and home prices on the rise, there has never been a better time to buy a home. Realize your dream of home ownership by choosing from a variety of fixed or variable rate mortgages with rates and terms to fit your budget.


Refinancing Mortgages

If you are looking to refinance your existing loan, rates are at record lows. Find out how to cut years off your mortgage or lower monthly payments. The process is quick and easy—so take advantage of all of the financial benefits available to you.


2nd Mortgages and Home Equity products

With a second mortgage, you can lower monthly payments, lessen your term or change the type of loan you currently have; while a home equity product will allow you to consolidate debt or pay for those unexpected large expenses. The amount you can borrow depends on the equity you have in your home.

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PortAlliance FCU NMLS# 433459. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)


How to Simplify the Homebuying Process

If you have limited income and not a lot of savings, homeownership probably seems like a dim and distant prospect. But the American Dream may still be possible. If you learn about all the options available, you may find the idea of buying a home more plausible than you expected.

Know your market and set a goal

Even if you’re not in a position to buy now, it doesn’t hurt to start learning your local market. What are housing units going for? What loans and interest rates are out there? There’s no guarantee the terms available today will be there tomorrow, but it’s still useful to develop a frame of reference.


With a clearer sense of the local market and loan options, you can take stock of your own finances, determine how much house you can afford and create a financial plan to attain your goal of homeownership.


Take it one step at a time

The first step toward purchasing your home is to set aside a sizeable amount of money for a down payment.  You may wish to establish a dedicated homebuying savings account with your financial institution and automatically transfer a set amount, weekly or monthly, from another of your accounts. 


Another way you might fund your savings account is by making small changes. Every little bit you save by cutting daily expenses will get you one step closer to becoming a homeowner. For example, simply eliminating a $5 daily coffee habit would save you $1,825 over the course of a year.


You have other options as well. You could deposit all, or a portion, of your tax refund into your homebuying savings account; you could continue to drive a paid-off vehicle rather than trigger fresh monthly payments by buying a new car; or you could consider withdrawing the down payment from your IRA as the IRS does not punish first-time homebuyers for withdrawing up to $10,000.


Get a hand from the government

As part of learning about your local market, check whether your state has a homebuying program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — and see whether you qualify for a loan through the Federal Housing Administration. Whereas many lenders want a down payment of 20 percent, a government-backed loan may be available to you with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent. As an example, a home costing $80,000 would require you to put down $2,800 rather than $16,000.


If you do qualify for a down payment of less than 20 percent of the purchase price, be aware of any special considerations, including private mortgage insurance. There are instances in which lower down payments cost you money in the long run.


Choose a Lender

If you are ready to look for a lender, and you’re thinking your first stop should be a bank, know that member-owned credit unions like Port Alliance Federal Credit Union generally offer better loan terms and interest rates. Shop around to find the most favorable rates and terms for your specific situation.


The bottom line

Buying a home is a wonderful way to accomplish a number of goals. It’s a major milestone that lets you put down roots, figuratively and, with a backyard, literally as well. It can also be a great way to build wealth and pass something on to your family. And it’s more within reach than you might think!


Peter Lewis, NerdWallet

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