First Time Homebuyer Programs

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First-time homebuyers start their journey here

As a first-time homebuyer, you have an exciting journey ahead, but navigating a complex housing market and applying for your first mortgage can be daunting. At Sacramento Credit Union, we want your first home purchase to be a rewarding experience and we're here to help first-time homebuyers every step of the way. Your friendly, professional mortgage experts, based here in California, can answer any questions as they arise. In the meantime, this practical advice provides good starter material for the journey to purchasing your first home.


Is buying a better option than renting?

It all depends on market conditions in your particular area. Find out which option makes the most sense for your finances by looking at the pros and cons of each. Use our calculator to find some answers.

What are the different types of mortgage loans?

Depending on your credit history and financial situation, you could qualify for Conventional, FHA, VA or First Time Homebuyer loan programs. Take time to research each and understand your mortgage options. Then check our updatedmortgage rates.

How does my credit score affect my mortgage rate?

Staying up-to-date on your monthly payments and carrying a low debt-to-income ratio can make you eligible for lower mortgage rates. If your credit score isn't where you want it to be, good payment habits and smart debt management can improve it over time.

What's the difference between prequalification and pre-approval?

A prequalification letter gets you started and a pre-approval letter makes it official. Both show you're a serious buyer with financing lined up. This calculator can help you figure out how much you can comfortably borrow.

How do I make an offer on a house?

This is a formal, serious process that might be best led by a competent, experienced real estate agent working on your behalf. You can find all the resources you'll need with our HomeAdvantage program.

What documents are part of the mortgage process?

As a homebuyer, you'll be required to provide paperwork that shows your earnings, housing history, monthly debts and account balances.

What is your Lock and Shop program?

Our Lock and Shop program provides peace of mind by allowing you to lock in your interest rate for up to 90 days while you shop for your dream home.* If rates drop, you can lock it in again.

* Interest rate is locked at application date for 90 days from the date of the signed initial Lock and Shop lock-in agreement. Borrower must sign and date initial lock-in agreement. Borrower is allowed to re-lock at current market rate one time for 60 days during the processing period of their loan. Interest rate cannot be re-locked until after borrower has obtained a fully executed purchase contract. Interest rate must be locked in prior to loan closing documents being drawn. Borrower must notify Sacramento Credit Union of intent to re-lock and must sign and date lock-in agreement for 60 days after the purchase contract has been executed. All locks will be priced at the Sacramento Credit Union published interest rate on the day of the rate lock. Conforming 30, 20, 15 and 10 year fixed-rate mortgages are eligible for the Lock and Shop program. Sacramento Credit Union credit and underwriting guidelines apply and all home loans require underwriting approval. Lock and Shop can be utilized for owner-occupied purchase transactions only with a maximum loan-to-value of 80% and a maximum loan amount of $424,100. FHA, VA and non-conforming loans are ineligible for the Lock and Shop program. Sacramento Credit Union Lock and Shop program eligibility applies to all home loan applications submitted on or after May 1, 2017, and the program is subject to change or cancellation at any time without notice.