CUNA Mortgage Turns 25; Sees Big Opportunity

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CUNA Mutual Mortgage Corp. turns 25 this month as credit unions increasingly turn to mortgage lending to increase their loan portfolios.

CUNA Mutual Group and CUNA & Affiliates founded CUNA Mutual Mortgage on Nov. 20, 1978 in response to credit unions seeking help after Congress enacted legislation allowing all CUs to offer mortgage loans.

"Twenty-five years later, we're still focused on doing what it takes to partner with credit unions so that more members can own homes," said Jim McCourt, senior vice president of CUNA Mutual's Homeownership Solutions. "Today, more than ever we have the pieces in place-a seasoned mortgage leadership team, the technology, services and a package of mortgage lending options-that allows credit unions of any size to compete and succeed in today's marketplace."

CMMC offers a variety of "levels" of mortgage resources including:

* MEMBERS Choice netMortgage, which is Web-based and allows members to apply and receive instant approval.

* Member-Direct: Credit unions refer members to loan consultants. CUNA Mutual Mortgage handles loan processing, underwriting and closing.

* Wholesale lending: This is for credit unions wanting their own mortgage department but not having the resources, or are seeking alternatives to improve or enhance their existing mortgage department.

* Correspondent lending: Credit unions hold the mortgage lending ownership as they manage the entire process, from origination, through closing and funding.

With 48% of member households having a mortgage loan, but only 7% of those being made through their credit union, CMMC said there is tremendous opportunity for CUs to grow their mortgage business.

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