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March 1, 2023Why Home Mortgage Pre-approval is Best

If you're thinking about buying a new home, you might be wondering whether to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Getting pre-approval is actually the best way to go, for several reasons. First, it gives you an idea of how much money you'll be able to borrow from the lender. This will help you narrow down your search to homes within your budget. Second, having pre-approval gives you more negotiating power when it comes time to make an offer on a home. The seller will know that you're serious about buying and that you have the financing in place. So if you're thinking about buying a new home, be sure to get pre-approved for a mortgage first!

smiling woman with new house keys

Mortgage Pre-Approval Gives You an Estimate

When it comes to purchasing a home, mortgage pre-approval is essential and can make the process of buying a house much easier. Pre-approval gives you an estimate of how much you are able to spend based on your financial situation. You don’t want to waste time looking at houses out of your price range. Getting pre-approved allows you to confidently search for a place within your budget. Mortgage pre-approval also aids in streamlining the negotiation process with potential homeowners and speeding up the closing process. It’s a simple step that can simplify the home buying process. Let 1st Community Credit Union help you determine your home buying budget.


It Helps You Know Your Range


Knowing what price range to look in for homes when shopping for your perfect house can save you time and make the whole process more efficient. Pre-approval for a home mortgage is the best way to make sure you know exactly what to expect and what you're able to afford. A pre-approval letter from 1st CCU will not only provide additional leverage during negotiations, it will also make sure that your mortgage rates are as competitive as possible! It's never been easier or faster to get pre-approved, so why wait? Submit an application at 1st CCU to get started. Make your dreams of homeownership a reality and put yourself in the driver's seat with a pre-approval today.


Make a Stronger Offer


Securing a mortgage pre-approval before you start shopping for a home can give you an extra advantage when making an offer. Sellers are more likely to take your offer seriously when they know that you have already been approved for financing and can follow through on the purchase. Pre-approval puts you in a stronger negotiating position and helps ensure that your offer isn’t outbid by someone else who might not be able to secure financing. 1st CCU is dedicated to helping our members get pre-approved so that they can confidently move forward with their home buying journey. Contact 1st CCU to learn more about the process and get pre-approved!


Pre-approval Can Streamline the Process


Gone are the days of endlessly searching for a home without assurance that you'll be able to secure financing. Pre-approval from 1st CCU not only tells you what your budget range should be; it also helps streamline the homebuying process overall. You no longer have to worry about wasting time on homes that you may not have been able to afford; with pre-approval, you can rest assured that you're looking at properties within your price range. Additionally, since the lender has already taken a look at all the pertinent information, if you find a property and decide to make an offer, there’s less time between making an offer and closing on it – making pre-approval the best choice!

girl and mother unpacking

Get Started On The Path To Homeownership Today!


There is no better way to begin your journey to homeownership than to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval helps you understand exactly what kind of loan you can expect and the amount you are approved for, regardless of any changing market conditions. This will give you peace of mind as you start shopping for your dream home or investment property knowing that you have the right financing in place. With this solid foundation, you can make sure all other aspects of the home buying process go as smoothly as possible. So don’t wait—get started on the path to homeownership today by getting pre-approved for a mortgage!


Getting the keys to your new home isn’t out of reach, it just takes the power of planning. Let us help you with pre-approval. If you’re looking to buy your first home, ask a 1st CCU Mortgage Loan Officer about the 1st Time Home Buyer program, in which qualifying 1st-time buyers receive a free lawnmower at closing.

Let us help you reach that home buying milestone with simple, easy home loan pre-qualification from 1st Community Credit Union in Sparta, West Salem and Tomah. 

With pre-qualification on a home mortgage loan, before you know it, you’ll be hanging up decor that says home sweet home. Contact us at 1st CCU today!


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July 1, 2022What You Need To Know About Mortgage Pre-Approval

If you feel ready to buy your own place and are considering getting a mortgage, there’s one thing you should do first. Mortgage pre-approval is a great and quick way to determine how much you can borrow to purchase the home you want. Your lender will check and review your financial details, including your income, assets, and credit score, to find loan options you could be qualified for.

Once you’re pre-approved, you might be asked to provide documents like bank statements or pay stubs as proof of income. During this process, you’ll find out the maximum amount of mortgage you’ll qualify for, how much your monthly payments might be, and what your interest rate would be.

documents for mortgage pre-approval

Why Is Mortgage Pre-Approval Important?

Getting pre-approved allows you to set a total house-hunting budget, which can help you better balance your finances. When you are aware of how much you can afford, it will be easier for you to shop mortgage rates and find the best deals. In addition, you’ll have more confidence in making an offer to a seller because a pre-approval shows that you are a serious homebuyer.

Furthermore, a seller would want an assurance that you’ll complete your purchase of the property. Showing them your pre-approval letter will give you a competitive advantage over other buyers.

How Do You Get Pre-Approved?

Once you’ve made the decision to buy a new home, get pre-approved for a mortgage. To start the pre-approval process, here are some steps you should do:  

Collect Relevant Documents

Gathering all the relevant documentation is essential to the pre-approval process. This includes your proof of income, employment verification, proof of assets, credit history, identification, and debt-to-income ratio. Your lender or loan officer will review them to provide you with a loan estimate, which you will typically receive within 3 business days.

Get Your Credit Score Checked

You can give your lender permission to obtain your credit report so they can assess it. Although inquiries from loan officers might cause your credit score to drop slightly, they won’t significantly hurt your credit.  

Receive Your Pre-Approval Letter

Once you’re pre-approved, make sure to secure the pre-approval letter that your lender will provide. Most real estate agents would want to see this document before they start showing you houses. This will prevent them from presenting properties that aren’t within your budget.

You can also show the pre-approval letter to the seller when you make an offer. It will work as proof that you won’t have problems financing the amount you’re promising to pay.

Get Expert Help From Us Today

If you need guidance on purchasing your dream home, our mortgage experts at 1st Community Credit Union are here to help. We can tell you about the current mortgage rates and terms, as well as advise you in finding the right options for your budget. You can get started today, it’s as easy as clicking the “Apply Now” button on our website and answering a few simple questions.

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December 1, 2021The Do's and Don'ts of Buying a Home

Finding the perfect property, negotiating a price you can afford, and receiving financing are all important factors in buying a new house. Many homebuyers successfully navigate all three criteria, only to make significant errors before finalizing the purchase. Are you planning to purchase a home soon? Continue reading to discover the dos and don’ts of buying a new property.

house and set of keys on financial spreadsheet

Do: Consider Paying for a Professional Inspection

Sellers may not always tell potential buyers the complete picture or they may have done some patch-up work to hide problems in the property until the deal closes. This is why you need help from a professional inspector who can spot possible issues in the property, such as leaks and pest infestations. When you hire an experienced professional to look into your prospective home, you'll save time and money in the long run.

Do: Use a Mortgage Calculator

Your lender can tell you how much house you qualify for but only you know how much you can comfortably afford to pay each month. Mortgage calculators are made to help you determine the right figures. It’s important to only pay a comfortable price so you can still enjoy living a comfortable lifestyle.

A mortgage calculator can narrow down your search for properties that are within your budget. It can also play with the numbers to discover how different home prices affect your monthly payment.

Do: Get Pre-Approved for Your Purchase

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a procedure in which you initiate an application with a lender and acquire a conditional commitment for a mortgage. This is a great way to speed up and simplify the closing process once you’re approved. It also shows sellers that you’re serious about buying a property. Do this process to have an advantage when it comes to negotiating for your prospective home.

In the competitive property market, you should do your best to stand out from the crowd. Getting pre-approved indicates that a bank or credit union has already confirmed your information and that you have started the mortgage application process. It also helps you discover possible issues with your prospective home before signing the contract, such as credit report errors.

Don’t: Change Your Job

While changing professions may boost your career, it may make it more difficult to get a mortgage. A lender wants to know that you have a steady source of income and that you can afford to pay back your loan. If you were pre-approved for a mortgage based on a certain income and job, any changes may interrupt the deal and may delay your closing.

Don’t: Make Major Purchases

Another common mistake made by property buyers is to spend on furniture to begin planning for their new living arrangements. It may be tempting to begin purchasing furniture and appliances to furnish your new house, but it’s important not to splurge for the meantime.

Whether you use your bank account or credit card, taking on new debt for these household items can affect your credit score and may raise a red flag for the lender. This may result in your loan approval being denied.

Apply for a Real Estate Loan Now

Ready for a home loan? Contact 1st Community Credit Union in Wisconsin if you are planning on buying a new property, such as a home for your family. Our team of lending professionals will gladly answer all your questions about mortgages.

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November 1, 2021Benefits of Homeownership

Purchasing a home is a major investment. Undeniably, getting to that point demands some level of financial stability. Before you can even turn a key in a door, you will need to look for an appropriate home loan, come up with a down payment, and pay closing charges.

Young family in front of their home

Because of those fees, many people who take on this major responsibility may think homeownership is only about owning a property and paying their dues. The truth is having your own home has a lot of benefits. Continue reading to discover the perks of homeownership.

Owning a Home Builds Equity

Having high equity means getting a higher cash value out of the sale of your property. You should take into account if you’re planning to sell it in the future.

For most homeowners, the equity built up in their homes also becomes their largest financial asset. You can accumulate equity in your house while you pay off your mortgage each month. This is different from paying rent—instead of making monthly payments to a landlord, you will be contributing to a real asset.

After selling your property for a high profit due to equity, you may reinvest in a new home or another type of property. You can also use your home to start building wealth right away by renting it out or house hacking. This is why buying a house is typically regarded as a wise financial decision.

Getting Your Own Home Means Having More Control of Things

One of the most significant benefits of homeownership is having control over the costs of your space. Unless the conditions of your mortgage change, you already know how much it will cost you to live in your house every month. Renting can be unpredictable, and the price of the property may alter over time. On the other hand, owning a property will keep your costs controlled and provide you peace of mind.

You will also have full control over your space. When you own the property you live in, you can renovate it to your liking as much as you want. You could also enjoy the freedom of decorating your home, owning pets without having to worry about landlord rules or added fees, and having a backyard space where you can enjoy the outdoors.

Having Your Own Home Provides a Sense of Belonging

Owning a home helps you create long-term bonds with your neighbors and other members of your community. It’s because homeownership eliminates the risk of a premature move that can hinder you from forming close relationships with friends and local businesses in the area. Settling down can give you a new sense of security and bring more comfort into your life.

Start Your Journey to Homeownership

Finding the appropriate home loan can make all the difference when it comes to one of your most significant investments—your own house! Call 1st Community Credit Union in Wisconsin today with your questions about buying a home. Whether about mortgage terms or homebuyer programs, our experts will gladly answer them for you.

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August 1, 2021Should I Refinance My Mortgage?

A mortgage is a way to purchase a home without having to pay cash up-front. You are also given a set amount of time to pay back the loan with interest. Until then, you don’t fully own your home. Meanwhile, refinancing a mortgage is a whole different thing. It is the act of rolling over your current mortgage into a new home loan.

keychain "refinance your mortgage"

The benefits of a mortgage refinance vary from borrower to borrower, but it usually serves the purpose of shortening the mortgage’s term or lowering the payment. After assessing factors such as credit, tax, and return history, the mortgage lender presents you with several options to lower your monthly dues. That alone should already convince you to refinance your mortgage. Here are more key reasons:

To Secure a Lower Interest Rate

Technically, refinancing is a good idea because it can reduce your interest rate. While lenders would often say 2% is ideal, 1% can also make a big difference. This serves a dual purpose: it helps you save money and lessen the size of your monthly payment.

To Shorten the Loan’s Term

Once interest rates fall, homeowners have the opportunity to refinance an existing loan with another one. While the change in the monthly payment isn’t evident, you can have a significantly shorter term, which means you can settle your payments earlier.

To Prevent Monthly Payments From Increasing

If you currently have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), it’s possible to refinance to a fixed rate loan to lock in your rate for the rest of the mortgage. This means you don’t have to worry about sudden spikes in monthly payments during your term.

To Borrow Money in a Cost-Efficient Way

Mortgage interest rates tend to be lesser in scale compared to other types of loans. They’re also tax deductible, which makes them one of the practical options for borrowing money. For example, cash-out refinance allows you to borrow against your home equity to obtain funds for any purpose. You’ll get a check at closing with the amount added to the mortgage principal you owe.

To Get a Better Mortgage Rate

This is perhaps the most common reason why people consider refinancing. One thing to remember is that mortgage rates are never the same between borrowers. It depends on the lender and can either be fixed or fluctuating with a benchmark interest rate. Mortgage rates also depend on the credit profile of borrowers.

Mortgage rates have the tendency to rise and fall and can affect the homebuyer’s market. If the rates have fallen significantly since taking the loan, it’s possible to save money by refinancing your mortgage into a new home loan at the current rates.

Get Credit at a Fair and Reasonable Rate From Experts Who Care

If you’re looking for friendly and personalized credit services, then consider applying for a 1st CCU mortgage loan. It could be the best financial decision you’ll ever make. Contact 1st Community Credit Union for more information.

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April 1, 2021Financial Tips for First Time Home Buyers

For a lot of people, buying a house is the ultimate dream that they hope will come true someday. After all, it’s nice to have a whole place for ourselves.

However, the reality of buying a house is the fact that it’s exorbitantly expensive. In fact, the real estate company Zillow has currently reported that the median home listing price this 2021 is $272,446, and that figure is expected to rise by 11.4% in 2022.

As a result, even though 80% of millennials would love to purchase their own houses, only a few of them are actually able to afford the costs, according to the data from Apartment List.

Despite the daunting statistics, your dream of buying real estate is achievable if you are financially savvy. To aid you in this matter, here are some words of financial advice for you.

  • Be Realistic When You’re Looking at Houses
    When you’re looking through the possible houses you might buy, you need to be realistic before getting attached to a gorgeous house that you can’t afford.
    This means that you need to check your income and calculate the possible costs to determine what price range of houses you can handle. You can continue your research on houses once you know your price range.
  • Continue to Pay Off Debt
    As mentioned earlier, owning a house is really expensive, and if you’re not careful enough, you’ll be drowning in a lot of debt. It is important to continue to pay off your debt as you can afford it, while also being able to make your mortgage payments on time.
  • Save for Down Payment and Closing Costs
    After paying off all your debt, the next thing you have to do is to save for down payment. Some home loan options require a down payment of 20% or more so that you don’t have to pay for private mortgage insurance, which is an added expense for your monthly mortgage payment. Luckily there are also options for Zero-Down, 3% Down and 5% Down Payments available to qualified borrowers. Consult a 1st CCU Mortgage Loan Expert to find out which mortgage loan option is best for you and your budget.  Aside from the down payment, you should also save some money for closing costs. Usually, it costs about 3–4% of the purchase price to close on a house, and these costs pay for the next crucial steps in the home buying process, such as appraisal, credit report, and home inspection.
  • Get Pre-Qualified for a Loan
    Once you’ve already saved up for the closing costs and the 20% down payment, the next step you have to take is to talk to a mortgage lender and get pre-approved for a loan.
    Getting pre-approved for a loan and getting a pre-approval letter will show home sellers that you’re serious, and that can get you ahead in the competitive real estate market.

Buying a house doesn’t come cheap. As a result, you need to be financially prepared first, and the tips above can help you achieve that particular goal. For further advice and information on buying your first home, give the team at 1st Community Credit Union a call at 888-706-1228.

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