Personal Home Loans 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

A HELOC works a lot like a credit card. It’s a flexible line of credit secured by your home’s equity but with a “draw” period (typically the first 15 years of a HELOC) which you may access from your available balance. You can draw at any time from this balance up to your available credit limit for things like home improvement, a medical bill or a family vacation.

Interest rates on HELOCs are usually variable rates. With a SECU HELOC, you can lock in up to three fixed rate, fixed payment sub-accounts under one master line. Often the interest on a HELOC is tax deductible, although you should check with your tax advisor.

Accessing your HELOC funds is quick and easy. Watch this video to learn how.

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.

Not at this time. However, our Home Equity Line of Credit offers you the option of locking in up to three fixed rate sub-accounts under one master line of credit. This gives you the advantages of both a fixed rate/fixed term account and a revolving home equity line.

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).

This is where you can divide up your HELOC into smaller portions which are called sub-accounts. A sub-account gives you the advantage of a fixed rate, a fixed payment, and a fixed pay off schedule. Dividing up your HELOC also makes it easier to track your money.

For example, let’s say you want to purchase an $8,000 kitchen countertop. You have a $20,000 credit limit in your HELOC and no outstanding balance. With a SECU HELOC, you can create an $8,000 sub-account and either lock in that amount at a fixed rate with fixed payments, or allow the $8,000 to remain in your variable rate outstanding balance. Either way, you’ll still have $12,000 in affordable financing that you can still access for virtually any purpose.

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)

No, but the total of your outstanding balance (including all sub-accounts and any revolving balance) may not exceed your total master credit limit.

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.

We allow up to three fixed rate sub-accounts.

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.

No. SECU will calculate one master payment for each of your sub-accounts and for any revolving balance you have outstanding. This one payment will be allocated to the appropriate sub-accounts. There is no need to individually pay each account or calculate separate payments. SECU does all that for you!

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.

The additional $200 will be applied to any outstanding balance in the revolving line unless the member requests otherwise.

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.

New sub-accounts will receive the APR in effect at the time the member opens that sub-account. Rate qualification will be based on the LTV and credit score in effect at the time the member opened the HELOC. You can check our current APRs here.

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.

Intro rates will not apply to HELOC sub-accounts. If a sub-account is opened during an intro rate period, the APR will be that in effect at the time the sub-account is opened.

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.

At present, you should call SECU or visit one of our branches.

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%.

There should be no difference in the tax deductibility of the interest on your sub-accounts vs. the interest on your HELOC revolving balance. However, you should consult with your tax advisor regarding deductibility.

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.

HELOCs resulting from applications submitted on or after October 19, 2016 are eligible for sub-accounts, provided the account and the member are in good standing.

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, funds must be available in order to open a fixed sub-account.

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

Members may set up a sub-account at any time but may use ONLY their available balance. Members cannot take outstanding balance and put it into a sub-account.

It depends on the amount of your sub-account:

  • $5,000 to $9,999 for a term of 12 to 60 months
  • $10,000 to $14,999 for a term of 12 to 120 months
  • $15,000+ for a term of 12 to 180 months

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.

No. The terms are set.

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.

No. Sub-accounts are fixed rate, fixed term, fixed payment accounts. Members who want to go back to a revolving balance will need to pay off one of their sub-accounts or take out a completely new HELOC.

At this time, SECU does not finance raw land.

At this time, sub-accounts are available only for new HELOCs resulting from applications submitted on or after 10/19/16.

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.

SECU renders a decision based upon information provided on the loan application. Because this decision is based upon information that has not yet been verified, it is considered a pre-approval subject to verification and/or receipt of additional information. Once all of the condition outlines in the pre-approval letter are satisfied, the loan will receive a final approval.

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.

Call the Home Equity Department at 443-517-5676 or 800-879-7328.

We provide a guide online.

The LTV is the relationship between the amount of the home equity loan and the value of the real estate property being pledged as collateral. For example, if you have a home that appraises for $100,000, and you have a $50,000 first mortgage and a $25,000 second mortgage, the two loans together represent a 75% loan to value.

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.

No. Your monthly payments are credited towards the loan’s principal and interest.

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!

You cannot increase an existing line of credit because the loan amounts are recorded in the county real estate land records. Therefore, you would need to reapply to increase your existing line of credit to match the loan amounts to the recorded lien amounts.

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 $500,000. For all loan requests over $500,000 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 36 months of the original loan date. Closing costs generally range from $850 top $1,000 on a $20,000 line of credit.

You may pay off your HELOC using any payment channel. You can always find the payoff amount in online banking. To close your HELOC, you must call SECU or visit a branch.

Once your loan is ready to close, you will meet with a SECU branch representative at a SECU branch or with a settlement notary at your home or another location of your choosing.