Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) was founded in 1935 by employees of Boeing Company with the goal of helping fellow workers purchase tools needed on the job.
Headquartered in Tukwila, Washington, the financial institution now provides member services for everyday banking, business banking, loans, mortgages, and investing and has an A+ BBB rating.
States Serviced: Washington and South Carolina.
BECU Mortgage Facts
- Provides toolkits, calculators, and helpful online tools for members to use when interested in buying, building, or remodeling their homes, as well as refinancing their mortgages
- Offers popular home loan options like fixed-rate, adjustable-rate (ARM), home equity, first-time homebuyer, jumbo, military & special, and construction
- Extends unique mortgage loan options including FHA, land loan, VA home loan, and 30-year fixed high-balance loans, among others
- Periodically reviews members’ accounts for money-saving opportunities by assessing increases in credit scores and whether members would then be eligible for lower rates
- The BECU Home Rewards program pairs house hunters with member advocates and hand-picked real estate agents with local expertise, resulting in rebates on agent commissions, no origination fee, and cashback after closing, among other benefits
- BECU mortgages may include home buying grants and down payment assistance
BECU has been in business 83 years and by 1989 had begun installing ATMs around the country, expanding its reach to 150,000 members and 200 employees. To this day, BECU continues to grow, with recent locations opened in South Carolina and Spokane, Washington.
As a credit union devoted exclusively to its members and their families, BECU’s services are dependent on eligibility requirements. Those include geographical location, as members must live or work in Washington, or select counties in Oregon and Idaho.
Furthermore, anyone looking to sign up with BECU must also be either employees or family members of those employed at BECU, Boeing Company, or a credit union. Association with various other local institutions – CUSOs, University of Washington Alumni Association, etc. – can also secure membership.
Compared to industry standards, BECU’s mortgage options and qualifications are in line with what is expected at other financial institutions. Where it stands out is in its exceptional customer service and reputation among members.
The multitude of free resources, specialist consultations, user-friendly web options, and organizational transparency policies provide members with a more personalized banking experience.
Current Mortgage Rates
BECU Loan Specifics
The mortgage loan products offered by BECU are divided into seven categories. Based on the differing structures of credit unions versus banks, BECU specifically caters to consumers interested in becoming not just customers but members of a financial institution.
As a not-for-profit cooperative, BECU returns profits to its members in the form of fewer fees, better rates, and additional personal services such as free financial education, to ensure that its members make smart financial decisions.
The mortgage loans available to BECU members include:
BECU fixed-rate loans
For prospective homebuyers expecting their income levels to remain roughly the same in the future, don’t plan on moving anytime soon, and prefer the stability and assurance of steady, predictable monthly payments, a fixed-rate mortgage may be the best choice.
Conventional fixed-rate loans are available in 10-, 12-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year terms, and no origination fee applies on the original purchase or on a potential refinance.
BECU adjustable-rate loans
Homebuyers who are unsure whether they will live in the same home 10, 20, or even 30 years from now may be better suited with an adjustable-rate mortgage. Payments are typically lower during the loan’s early years, and borrowers may qualify for a more substantial home loan amount, granting them more buying power. ARMs are available in 3/1, 5/5, 5/1, 7/1, and 10/1 term arrangements. The first number in each of those pairings represent the period during which the ARM rate remains fixed, and the second number is the term during which it changes. So, a 5/5 ARM keeps a fixed rate for the first five years and then changes every subsequent five year period.
BECU jumbo loans
Jumbo loans through BECU are offered as both fixed- and adjustable-rate loans and afford borrowers the ability to finance homes that are more expensive than a conventional purchase.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency sets the minimum jumbo loan amount at $453,100, though this may be slightly higher in some states with base expensive real estate costs. Buyers interested in high-value properties can opt for a 15- or 30-year fixed jumbo loan or for 5/5, 5/1, 10/1, or 7/1 ARMs.
BECU first-time home buyer loans
As the name suggests, this loan is geared toward first-time homebuyers and, through the First-time Home Buyer Grant Program, loans can be fixed, conventional or 5/5 ARM. Eligible BECU members need only to make down payments of 1%, and BECU pays the rest.
Another $6,500 may be granted by BECU to help fund a down payment, and borrowers benefit from not having to pay origination fees. The design of this loan makes it ideal for younger borrowers unable to afford upfront down payments, who can benefit specifically from additional real estate agent support.
BECU VA loans
VA loans provide qualified veterans, reservists, active-duty servicemen and women, and eligible family members with financing in the form of fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgages with low or no down payment options.
Private mortgage insurance is not required, and closing costs and fees are minimal. Veterans can apply their VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) through a BECU VA loan, and flexible credit qualification guidelines make it easier for borrowers with suboptimal credit scores.
BECU construction loans
Borrowers building homes themselves can benefit from BECU’s interest-only terms during the construction phase. Once the home is completed, mortgage terms convert to a permanent mortgage without having to file additional paperwork or pay extra fees.
Borrowers who hire professional builders can use BECU’s Hired Builder program, whereby mortgages may be designed to account for up to 80% of loan-to-acquisition costs, or the appraised value of the to-be-built home.
Home equity line of credit (HELOC) loans enable borrowers to access and leverage the existing equity in their homes for various financial obligations such as consolidating debt, making a significant home improvement, or purchasing other sizable assets. Through BECU, HELOCs are offered with no fees for origination, appraisal, title insurance, pre-payment penalty, escrow, and document mailing.
Designed as an open-end loan, homeowners can continue to borrow against their equity as they go, rather than taking out a single sum upfront. For credit union members who are uncertain what their eventual project costs may be or who have multiple assets that require financing, a HELOC can be preferable.
BECU Mortgage Customer Experience
BECU offers a host of easy-to-find member resources throughout its website. In addition to mortgage calculators, a native “Ask a question” search bar, and helpful blog articles dedicated to each of their primary services, the financial institution’s “BECU & You” page is full of interactive resources like infographics, webinars, self-paced courses, and instructional guides. Parents can also use these to engage their children with financial-literacy tips.
BECU also conveniently provides methods with which to connect with financial advisors in a more personalized setting. One of those programs is the free Financial Health Check, which is a one-on-one, real-time consultation with a specialist who helps members take action on budgeting, savings, investing, and debt management. Appointments typically last between 40-50 minutes.
Free classroom presentations are also available to Western Washington residents and are led by BECU financial educators. Classes can be customized to high school, college, or adult audiences, with topics ranging from risk management and credit to budgeting and first-time homeownership.
These member-centric services complement intuitive appointment-booking features and simple online applications. Borrowers applying for home loans online must sign E-consent forms and be prepared for the process to take about 20 minutes. A sample checklist of items needed to apply online include:
- Social Security number
- Current address of the past two years
- Employment history of the past two years
- Income information of all kinds (salary, bonuses, commission, dividends, etc.)
- Price of the prospective home, as well as the requested loan amount
- Address of prospective property
- Bank and brokerage account information
- Basic information about existing real estate assets
- Basic information about existing debt obligations
Quotes are available via an appointment with a BECU mortgage advisor, and interested homebuyers can book online or call 206-439-5772.
BECU does not appear in annual J.D. Power Primary Mortgage Originator rankings, or in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s monthly complaint report.
BECU Lender Reputation
BECU enjoys an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, though the online directory shows that 43 members have filed complaints against BECU since 2015. Additionally, the credit union has a 1/5 rating from members who submitted reviews online through the BBB.
Based on internal quarterly surveys of BECU members’ satisfaction and loyalty, 70% of respondents indicated they would recommend BECU to a friend or colleague. According to BECU, the average score of other mortgage institutions is just 35%.
As a credit union founded in 1935 during the height of the Great Depression, BECU prides itself on a philosophy of “people helping people.” Notable associations and accreditations include being:
- Federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
- An equal housing opportunity lender
- An approved Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lender
- Certified by the Fair Mortgage Collaborative
- NMLS ID 490518
*Information collected on November 14, 2018
BECU Lender Qualifications
|Mortgage type||Down payment requirement||Minimum credit score needed||Down payment assistance programs available?||Median income or debt-to-income requirements|
|HELOC||NA||NA – equity required||NA||NA|
Mortgage qualifications are unique to the type of loan, the lender, and the borrowers, among other factors. While BECU mortgage rates most often list credit score requirements of 740 or higher, those are generalized guidelines that may not accurately represent the full scope or detail of each given mortgage.
Fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages typically require standard down payment amounts of 20-30%, although terms that include FHA assistance or mortgage insurance can bring that figure down.
Additionally, VA and first-time home buyer loans are designed to provide greater access to the real estate market to those unable to produce a 20% down payment.
BECU’s many home buying programs can defray some of the costs associated with homeownership, such as waived origination, appraisal, or refinance fees in some instances.
BECU Phone Number & Additional Details
- Homepage URL: https://www.becu.org/
- Company Phone: 800-233-2328
- Headquarters Address: 12770 Gateway Dr. S Tukwila, WA, 98168