To ramp up volume, the 68-year old credit union (B.C.’s 16th biggest CU) started distributing through brokers last month.
Debbie Kirby, who runs the broker division, told CMT, “Community Savings recognizes the strong contribution brokers make to the mortgage industry and the value in expanding our operation to include the broker community.”
She cites “experienced staff, exceptional service, competitive rates and finder’s fees,” as well as a “make-sense lending approach” as CSCU’s selling points to brokers.
CSCU also has a strong set of mortgage features, including:
Accelerated payment options:
CSCU’s lump-sum prepayments are tied for the best in Canada. Customers can put down an extra 30% of the original mortgage amount annually, payable in multiple amounts at any time during the year.
Regular payments can be increased once a year, up to double the original payment amount.
Readvanceability: Like most credit unions, CSCU offers a collateral mortgage, typically registered for 1.5 times the value of the property.
The positive: This allows for multiple equity take-outs without using a lawyer. (This feature is available to qualified homeowners borrowing at 80% loan-to-value or less. Fees for title search and appraisal apply.)
The negative: Collateral mortgages don’t qualify for most lenders’ free switch programs (in the event you want to change lenders at renewal).
Convenient closings: Broker clients can do a face-to-face closing at a branch, or CSCU can contact the primary applicant by telephone and instruct the legal firm directly, allowing signing of all documentation at the legal firm.
Extended amortizations: Maximum amortization is 30 years.
Skip-a-Payment: Clients can skip up to one mortgage payment every year if their loan-to-value is 80% or less.
Portability: CSCU mortgages are portable, but like most credit unions they cannot be ported outside its lending area. CSCU lends from West Vancouver to Mission, B.C. and in the Victoria Capital region district.
Early renewal: To lock in a good rate early, clients can renew without penalty 120 days before maturity.
Online access: Clients can check their balance and make prepayments online. You can even pull money from an outside bank account (using CSCU’s Me-to-Me feature) and use that to make a prepayment.
Long-term rate holds: 120-day rate holds are standard.
Even playing field: Unlike some lenders, CSCU brokers can sell any mortgage and rate the branch can sell. There is no favouritism towards the retail channel.