America First Mortgage Facts
- Offers conventional loans at fixed and adjustable rates
- Provides jumbo mortgages for homes that exceed the typical mortgage limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Services buyers who cannot afford to put 20 percent down with FHA, VA, and USDA loans
- Empowers homebuyers to build their dream homes or renovate with construction loans
- Accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Allows prospective borrowers to apply for home loans online
Overview of America First
America First was founded March 16, 1939, in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was initially named the Fort Douglas Civilian Employees Credit Union and had service hours from just 3:30 to 4 pm. Its humble beginnings are exemplified by the place in which employees stored all cash deposits: a Prince Albert tobacco can.
Currently, America First operates as a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. This credit union offers a variety of home mortgage and refinance options for members in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.
History of America First
Since its founding in 1939, this credit union has come a long way. America First has been ranked the 6th largest credit union by membership in the U.S., as well as the 10th largest credit union in assets in the country.
The credit union has 130 full-service branches in the U.S., with multiple locations in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and one location in Boise, Idaho. America First has 939,000 members and $9.5 billion in assets.
America First provides a variety of loans, such as auto and motorcycle loans and personal lines of credit. America First is also known for its home loan offerings, ranging from mortgage loans and refinances to home equity loans and reverse mortgages.
It is dedicated to offering exceptional service to its members, thereby improving their financial prosperity and creating lifelong connections. In addition, the credit union’s philanthropic efforts reflect its mission of service.
America First’s volunteer efforts include mentoring local students and assisting the homeless and impoverished on a regional and national level.
America First Loan Specifics
This credit union offers a variety of home loan options to homebuyers who are seeking a mortgage or refinance.
Fixed rate loans offer consistent monthly payments over the life of the loan. These types of mortgages are ideal for homebuyers who plan on staying in their home for several years and would prefer predictable rates to prepare for long-term budgeting.
America First offers affordable fixed-rate mortgages with term lengths of 10, 15, 20, and 30 years.
Unlike fixed-rate loans, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) do not have consistent costs. At the beginning of this loan, borrowers can expect to pay a typically low, fixed amount for a designated amount of years.
After this initial term is over, the monthly rates will rise and fall annually based on market trends, though most mortgage lenders have limits on these monthly costs to ensure they remain affordable.
These types of home loans are best for homebuyers who plan on selling their home or refinancing their mortgage in the next near future, as the initial fixed term is usually for three, five, seven, or ten years.
America First gives borrowers the option to purchase jumbo mortgages if they need a loan that exceeds the limits typically set by traditional lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In 2019, the mortgage and refinancing limit is set at $454,350 for most states, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Loans
The FHA and America First work together to assist homebuyers who cannot put down 20 percent on their home. America First offers FHA loans to individuals on fixed-rate, monthly payment schedules.
Veterans Administration (VA) Loans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs strives to help veterans, military spouses, and current service members find home loans with low down payments. America First provides VA loans at fixed rates, as the VA does not itself offer these mortgages.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Loans
America First offers USDA loans to rural homebuyers who otherwise may not have the funding to secure a home loan. The Rural Housing Service approves individuals for these types of mortgages. Once qualified, homebuyers can be accepted for a loan even if they have bad credit scores or poor debt-to-income ratios.
With this type of mortgage, homebuyers can build or renovate their dream house. America First provides borrowers terms of six to nine months, then offers an opportunity to convert this loan into a permanent mortgage once the construction ends.
America First Mortgage Customer Experience
America First provides customers with some helpful online tools that can simplify the mortgage process and teach them about the different components of home loans. The credit union provides interest rate estimations and descriptions of its various home loan offerings on its website.
America First offers prospective borrowers an intuitive online form to apply for home loans, in just 15 to 20 minutes.
It also discloses other information with borrowers based on their circumstances, such as the amount they should borrow, the lowest monthly payments available, and the right home loan to fit their financial goals.
America First requires that borrowers share certain documentation when applying for a home loan:
- Valid identification, (passport, license, voter ID, Social Security number, tax identification number, or birth certificate)
- Information related to income, via pay stubs or Social Security income records
- Proof of homeowners insurance
- Credit score
- W-2 forms from the past two years
America First is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ score. The credit union currently has 15 customer reviews, 31 complaints, and a rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars.
America First Lender Reputation
America First is a credit union founded in March 1939 in Salt Lake City, Utah. It currently provides services to borrowers in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah, operating 130 branches in these four states.
America First has been accredited on BBB since 1985, with an A+ score, though it has an overall rating of 1.5 out of 5 stars, based on 15 customer reviews and 31 customer complaints.
- Information collected on Jan. 7, 2019
America First Mortgage Qualifications
When borrowers apply for a mortgage or refinance through America First, they typically need to meet the credit union’s minimum requirements for each type of loan. For conventional loans, borrowers should expect to put 20 percent down on the home.
However, if they qualify for government-assisted loans, borrowers can anticipate making smaller down payments.
America First offers its best rates on home loans to borrowers with high credit scores. Although an individual with a credit score in the “good” range should have no trouble securing a loan with America First, one in the “excellent” range should expect to pay lower monthly rates.
Although it is difficult to get a mortgage with a low credit score or no credit history, it is possible, particularly when the borrower qualifies for government-assisted loans. The typical credit score ranges in the U.S. include:
|Credit score||Quality||Ease of approval|
America First Phone Number & Additional Details
- Homepage URL: https://www.americafirst.com/
- Company Phone: 1-800-999-3961
- Headquarters Address: PO Box 9199, Ogden, Utah 84409