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Do you offer VA or FHA loans?

Yes, Schools Financial Credit Union offers FHA and VA loans in the state of California.

Is a down payment required for a mortgage loan?

Yes, your down payment depends on many factors specific to your loan, including the type of loan selected. We offer up to 97% financing. The minimum amount you will need as a down payment will be 3% - 5% of the purchase price. The amount you put down determines the loan to value, or LTV. Putting 3% down will give you a LTV of 97%. To determine your LTV, divide your loan amount by the purchase price.
Please see the representative payment example below.
Representative example: A loan in the amount of $215,000, at 3.875% (3.943% Annual Percentage Rate) and a term of 360 months would have a principal and interest payment of $1,011.01.

Should I refinance?

Refinancing at a lower interest rate will lower your monthly payment and drop your total interest paid over the life of the loan. But it may also mean closing costs, and in some cases, points.

A refinance extends the length and increases the balance of the loan, so any long-term savings may be offset. If long-term interest savings is your goal, finance your loan for a similar term and balance and pay your costs out of pocket instead of including them in the loan.

Many homeowners refinance just to reduce their monthly payment and are fine with extending the term of the loan. If you plan to stay in your home for a long time this is a good option for you because eventually the costs are offset by the lower interest.

Be sure to check our our financial calculators to see if a refinance is right for you.

How much will it cost me to refinance my first mortgage?

Closing costs will differ for each applicant based on the loan amount and your individual situation. You can view an example of potential closing costs here. Please contact the Credit Union 916-569-5400 and we will be happy to discuss your specific situation.

What are the closing costs for my mortgage?

While the specific amount of your closing costs will vary, here are the reasons why the fees may change:

- A home loan often involves many fees, such as the appraisal fee, title charges, closing fees and state or local taxes. These fees vary from state to state and also from lender to lender.
- To assist you in evaluating our fees, we've grouped them as follows: third party fees, taxes and other unavoidable costs, and lender fees.
- Fees that we consider third party fees include the appraisal fee, the credit report fee, the settlement or closing fee, the survey fee, tax service fees, title insurance fees, flood certification fees and courier/mailing fees.
- Third party fees are fees that we'll collect and pass on to the person who actually performed the service. For example, an appraiser is paid the appraisal fee, a credit bureau is paid the credit report fee, and a title company or an attorney is paid the title insurance fees.
- Fees that we consider to be taxes and other unavoidable costs include: state/local taxes and recording fees. These fees will most likely have to be paid regardless of the lender you choose. If some lenders don't quote fees that include taxes and other unavoidable fees, don't assume that you won't have to pay them. It probably means that the lender who doesn't tell you about the fee hasn't done the research necessary to provide accurate closing costs.
- Lender fees such as points, document preparation fees and loan processing fees are retained by the lender and are used to provide you with the lowest rates possible.

This is the category of fees that you should compare very closely from lender to lender before making a decision. You can get an accurate estimate of what your closing costs would be with Schools Financial Credit Union by contacting us at 916-569-5400. You can view an example of potential closing costs here.

Do you offer first mortgages?

We offer first mortgage loans for purchases and refinances with guidance and advice from experienced home loan professionals. You'll be sure to find the one that works best for you.

Enjoy the convenience of accessing everything you need to buy or sell a home in one place. Schools Financial and CU Realty Services give members access to HomeAdvantage™ — a leader in the residential real estate industry — to offer you a complete and FREE solution for your home buying needs. Plus, when you utilize HomeAdvantage to buy or sell, you'll earn a rebate equal to 20% of the realtor’s commission!

When you're ready to get started with your first mortgage purchase or refinance, there are two ways to begin:

Send an email to or
Call a loan counselor at 916-569-5473 (Sacramento area) or 800-962-0990, ext. 5473.
Don't forget your Document Checklist, a comprehensive list of every piece of paper you will need as you start your journey.

What is the difference between being prequalified and preapproved?

A prequalification is performed during your initial loan interview with a loan counselor. Preapprovals are more like mortgages without property.

During the prequalification interview, your counselor will use your income and expenses to determine your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Using this ratio the counselor will determine the potential loan amount for which you may qualify. The counselor does not issue a loan approval and a prequalification is not a commitment to lend. A prequalification is simply a calculation used to determine the amount of money you qualify to borrow.

If you go the preapproval route, your credit will be checked, your assets will be verified and your employer and landlord will be contacted. Your loan application is formally underwritten to current guidelines and, if your application is approved, you will receive formal commitment in the form of an approval letter along with a preapproval certificate.

Having a preapproval gives you the peace of mind knowing that you are already qualified if you find the house of your dreams in your price range. A preapproval also tells the real estate agent and potential sellers that you are a serious shopper and often gives you an edge over buyers that still need to go through the qualification process. Your loan will generally close more quickly since you have already provided the documentation requested by your lender.

Do you have any deals for first-time buers?

We have many options that may fit your needs. While not specifically geared toward first-time homebuyers, they have many of the same benefits. Please contact a loan counselor for more information.

When you're ready to get started with your first mortgage purchase or refinance, there are two ways to begin:

Send an email to or
Call a loan counselor at 916-569-5473 (Sacramento area) or 800-962-0990, ext. 5473.
Don't forget your Document Checklist, a comprehensive list of every piece of paper you will need as you start your journey.

What is a mortgage loan?

"A mortgage is a loan to finance the purchase of a home.

Your home is collateral for the loan, which is a legal contract you sign to promise that you'll pay the debt, with interest and other costs, typically over 15 to 30 years.

If you don't pay the debt, the lender has the right to take back the property and sell it to cover the debt. To repay the debt, you make monthly installments or payments that typically include the principal, interest, taxes and insurance, together known as PITI.

To get more information directly from a mortgage loan counselor, call 916-569-5473 or 800-962-0990, ext. 5473.

To apply, click here."

Can I change insurance companies for my homeowner's policy? Do I need to notify you?

Yes you may change the insurance company for your homeowners policy. You will need to provide the lienholder information to your new insurance company. If we receive notice of cancellation from your old insurance company and do not receive a new policy, it will appear you have no insurance coverage. Check with your insurance carrier to see if they automatically send a copy to the lienholder on your behalf. The address to send your insurance to is:

Schools Financial Credit Union, ISAOA
P.O. Box 537000
Sacramento, CA 95853-7000