Mortgages FAQs

SECU offers both Conventional and FHA financing, including the following loan products:

  • Fixed Rate Mortgages, including 10, 15, 20, and 30 year mortgage
  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages, including 3/1, 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 ARMs
  • FHA Mortgages
  • 100% Financing
  • Fannie Mae HomeReady® Mortgages
  • M.D Loans –special mortgages for medical professionals
  • Jumbo Mortgages

With an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, or “ARM,” your Interest rate is based on an index plus a margin. It is fixed for the initial period, such as first five years on a 5/1 ARM or the first seven years on a 7/1 ARM. The rate will then adjust each and every year thereafter. The new interest rate is based on the current index plus a margin. The rate interest is capped at 2% for each initial change, and the lifetime cap is 6% over the initial rate. Please contact us for the current index and margin.

100% financing is a mortgage product for first time buyers who have good credit but don’t have a lot of cash for a down payment or closing costs. Eligible borrowers can buy a home with a down payment of as little as 1% or $1,000 (whichever is less).

You will need to pay $1,000 or 1% of the loan amount, whichever is less.

Qualifying professionals include those with the following degrees. MD or DO, , DDS, DMD (Dr. of Dental Medicine), OD (Dr. of Optometry), DPM (Dr. of Podiatric Medicine), DO (Dr. of Osteopathy), RPH (Pharmacist) and DVM (Dr. of Veterinary Medicine)

We do not offer a service to notify you when rates have changed. To keep up-to-date on our changing rates, please keep an eye on our Rates page.

Mortgage interest rates are determined by a number of factors, including market and economic conditions, credit characteristics, personal financial situation, and the amount of the down payment or equity.

For our most current mortgage rates, visit our Rates page.

If you elect to escrow your property taxes, you will make monthly payments and SECU will pay your taxes on your behalf.

If you do not escrow the property taxes, then you are responsible for making the property tax payment when it comes due.

Yes! VA loans offer no down payments and a federal guarantee while FHA mortgages can be obtained for 3.5% down and are insured through HUD.

Yes! We offer unique mortgage loans for first time home buyers:

  • 100% Financing – No down payment
  • FHA – Low down payment

If your loan is set up with an escrow account, SECU will obtain the property tax bill from the government.

If your loan is approved with you paying the taxes yourself, provide a copy of the paid tax bill annually to the following address:

  • SECU, Mail Operations
    P.O. Box 2172, Glen Burnie, MD 21060

A mortgage is a loan to finance the purchase of your home. When you close on a mortgage, your home becomes collateral for the loan. You will be required to sign a legal contract stating that you promise to pay the debt, including interest and other costs, typically over the course of 15 to 30 years.

A mortgage note, also known as a promissory note, is a legal contract. By signing, one agrees to repay the loan amount as well as any interest that accrues within a specified amount of time.

When obtaining a mortgage loan, you will be required to sign a Note and a Deed of Trust, or Mortgage. A Deed of Trust is a legal contract that gives your lender an interest in your home, which will serve as the collateral for your mortgage loan.

An escrow account is established as a convenient way to manage property taxes and insurance for your home. Sometimes referred to as an “impound account”, escrow accounts allow you to make one monthly payment, instead of paying individual bills when they are due.

Getting pre-approved before buying a home provides you with the price range that works best with your budget. Pre-approval also makes you a more attractive applicant, as the seller knows your financing has already been approved. 

To calculate the cost of refinancing your first mortgage, use one of our Financial Calculators or speak with a Mortgage Advisor for assistance.

Yes. We offer the following low or no down payment mortgage options: 

  • 100% Financing – No down payment
  • VA Mortgages
  • HomeReady®
  • FHA

At this time, SECU does not have a list of properties that we currently own.

Loan amounts are available from $500,000 to $2,000,000.

Of course. One of our mortgage professionals would be happy to help you find the right mortgage. You may select a mortgage professional near you and they will be in touch with you within 24 hours.

Closing costs vary by location, although they are generally around 5% to 6% of your loan amount for a purchase and 3% to 4% of your loan amount for a refinance. On a refinance loan, SECU allows you to roll your closing costs into your loan amount.

A rate/term refinance is when the member pays off an existing first lien mortgage and rolls in their closing costs. A cash-out refinance request is when the member not only pays off an existing first lien, but also wants additional funds to either pay off a second lien, consumer debt, home improvement, vacation, tuition, etc.

A point is a fee, collected at closing, which the lender charges the member in order to obtain either a lower interest rate or a specific program. One point is equal to 1% of the loan amount.

Private Mortgage Insurance is required on all conventional loans where the member either has less than 20% equity in the property, in the case of a refinance; or less than a 20% down payment, in the case of a purchase. The lender will obtain the insurance, and the fee will be included in the member’s monthly mortgage payment. It insures the lender against the member’s default on the loan.

PMI is typically required when you have a conventional mortgage and make a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s purchase price or your equity will be less than 20%.

With the exception of the 100% Financing Mortgage and the HomeReady Mortgage, our products typically require at least a 5% down payment from the member’s own saved funds.

Yes, SECU is happy to work with our members to get them pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. Based on some personal information and your credit history, SECU will issue a pre-approval letter stating the sales price that the member would qualify up to and the loan program that would best suit them. The pre-approval letter and credit report are good for 120 days.

No, there is no application fee. SECU requires that the appraisal fee be paid at time of processing your mortgage.

You are eligible to lock in your interest rate at time of application or you may choose to float the rate. Once you lock the rate, the interest rate is guaranteed for 60 days. The interest rate must be locked in at least 10 business days prior to loan closing.

The Federal Truth-in-Lending law requires that all financial institutions disclose the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) when they advertise a rate. The APR is designed to present the actual cost of obtaining financing, by requiring that some, but not all, closing fees are included in the APR calculation. These fees in addition to the interest rate determine the estimated cost of financing over the full term of the loan.

There is no rate guarantee for a pre-approval loan request. You will be qualified at the current interest rate in effect at time of application.

At this time, SECU does not finance raw land.

Yes, SECU will require that an escrow account be set up at closing and 1/12th of the charges will be included in the monthly mortgage payment.

Each October, members that have a mortgage with an escrow account receive an Escrow Analysis statement from SECU. An Escrow Analysis is the periodic examination of escrow accounts to determine if current monthly deposits to an escrow account will provide sufficient funds to pay taxes, insurance, and other bills escrowed for when they are due.

If you have a surplus that is less than $50, we will reduce your escrow payments over the upcoming year. If you have a surplus greater than $50, we will mail you a check.

If you have a shortcoming, we will adjust the escrow portion of your payments to include 1/12 of your shortage and an increase to help cover your bills next year.

We provide a guide online.

Not without refinancing. However, you may lock in another fixed rate term (e.g. another five years on a 5/1 ARM, another seven years on a 7/1 ARM, etc.) using our LoanFlex program. If your loan is eligible for LoanFlex, you will see a LoanFlex icon in online banking. Click on it to learn more.

SECU does not offer construction loans at this time. However, we do offer a variety of Mortgages if you are looking to purchase an existing home!

SECU may be able to help. Please contact us at 410-487-7328 or 800-879-7328.

We also offer members financial counseling through Accel.

SECU pays all closing costs on owner-occupied and second home loans up to $300,000. For all loan requests over $300,000 and on Investment/rental properties, the member will need to pay at closing and this can be done directly from the initial withdrawal.

For loans where SECU does pay the closing costs, you must reimburse those costs to SECU if your line of credit is paid off within 24 months of the original loan date. Closing costs generally range from $850 top $1,000 on a $20,000 line of credit.