SECU Says HMDA Data Indicates Equality In Lending

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State Employees Credit Union here said the recent release of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data, which seeks to illustrate alleged bias in mortgage lending, also highlights its own policy of fairness to every member.

"One detail that sets SECU apart from other mortgage lenders is that without exception, all SECU members receive the same rate and terms for its loan products, and this philosophy follows through with every SECU loan product-vehicle, credit card, personal or home equity," the credit union said in a statement. "Credit history, income levels, gender, race or property location does not increase or decrease rates or charges for the loan, and credit scores are never used in determining the loan interest rate charged. In terms of rates, State Employees' Credit Union's adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) program ranks among the most favorable in the industry, allowing members to build equity faster. Favorable, too, are SECU's fees and closing costs. With origination fees set at 1/2% of the loan amount (with a maximum fee of $750) and no prepayment penalties, SECU members are able to obtain homeownership at a minimal cost. Some SECU mortgage programs are also available without a down payment."

SECU said its ongoing improvements in its mortgage lending process have included paying dividends to members on escrow accounts, eliminating private mortgage insurance (PMI), increasing the number of 100% financing programs, and recently implementing a process of closing mortgage loan refinances in SECU branches, to eliminate legal costs for members. In addition, the credit union said, it continues to maintain servicing of all loans and, to assure fair, impartial service, SECU lending officers are salaried employees, receiving no sales or incentive commissions.

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