Municipal Credit Union (MCU) was founded in 1916 by and for city employees in New York City as a loan alternative to predatory lenders who operated in the area and charged city workers excessive fees for suspect loan products.
By 2018, the credit union held $2.68 billion in assets and served 425,000 members throughout New York State at 18 different branches. MCU’s mortgages offer a variety of options, including jumbo, large balance, and traditional fixed-rate and refinance loans.
MCU was started in 1916 for city employees working in New York, New York. At that time, many employees were getting loans from suspect sources, causing harm to their own finances and overpaying for their loans.
The mayor of NYC at that time, John Purroy Mitchel, thought these workers would be better served by their own credit union. He supported the move to start MCU and encouraged city employees to become charter members.
That first year, nineteen charter members joined and had a total of $570 in deposits. The ledger was handwritten and the credit union operated out of a single location.
Over the next 100 years, the credit union grew to reach over 400,000 members, over $2 billion in assets, and over 400 employees across 18 branches.
MCU has a variety of different mortgage loan options, although they seem to offer fewer loan types than some larger lenders do.
Borrowers who want a loan with MCU will need to prepare their documentation thoroughly and may need to provide a credit explanation letter with their application for any derogatory marks or potential disadvantages present in their credit histories.
Applicants can learn about possible loan costs using online calculators and references on the MCU website but will need to provide personal information about their credit in order to receive a complete quote.
MCU generally has a good reputation, although the credit union has had a few struggles in the past that may impact how it is seen by consumers today. At one point, the State of New York even stepped in during the 1970s to run the institution due to corruption issues, according to a 1977 article by the New York Times.
Currently, MCU is not on Trustpilot. The credit union as a whole is not rated by the Better Business Bureau, but there is a BBB profile for the headquarters location, and an average of 13 member reviews give the institution just over one star.
MCU Mortgage Rates
MCU Mortgage Options
With a fixed-rate loan from MCU, borrowers can count on a single monthly payment because the rate stays exactly the same for the duration of the entire loan.
Monthly payments are not subject to market fluctuations, which may be ideal for homeowners who plan to live in their properties for several years or who want to lock-in low mortgage rates that won’t go up later. MCU offers 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
Adjustable-rate mortgages from MCU may go up or down depending on market conditions. As such, borrowers should be aware of the possibility that their loan payments could dramatically increase or decrease over time. Usually, though, rates start with a low monthly payment at a fixed rate.
For borrowers who plan to refinance later or sell their homes, adjustable mortgages may be the best option.
Designed for high-value homes, jumbo loans allow you to finance the cost of your home more affordably. Typically, these loans are higher than $450,000 and borrowers must meet the qualifications for a bigger loan. Applicants may need to make a significantly larger down payment and bigger monthly payments.
High Balance Loans
Similar to a jumbo loan, a high balance mortgage from MCU allows borrowers to purchase and finance a more expensive home than a traditional loan may enable. High balance loans are generally for high home value areas where it is expected that neighborhoods will be expensive for homebuyers.
MCU Mortgage Customer Service
MCU has several different options for potential borrowers looking to finance a home purchase or refinance. Their standards are generally flexible, although they may require more documentation for loans made to purchase condos or co-op homes, such as the co-op’s financial statements and homeowner guidelines.
Prospective borrowers can learn more about MCU’s standards online or by communicating with a loan origination officer from the credit union. Applicants can apply online or through a local branch in-person.
MCU’s online calculators can be used to determine approximate monthly payments and borrowing maximums. Their online rate schedules provide more information about available loan rates.
Applicants can meet with a loan specialist at a local branch, ask questions directly, or even complete an online application and receive a decision as soon as a few minutes later.
MCU has a mixed reputation online, with some positive member reviews and some negative experiences reported as well. The credit union does not appear on Trustpilot and is not rated by the BBB.
To apply for an MCU mortgage, applicants will need to provide personal information such as income, credit history, and asset documentation. Depending on the loan type and the applicant’s own credit history, additional documentation may be needed, such as a credit explanation letter.
MCU does not have a Trustpilot score and is unrated by the BBB.
The lender has had a negative reputation in the past. As reported by the New York Times, MCU was taken over by the State of New York in 1977 in order to manage what the state believed was substantial corruption.
While probably not MCU’s fault, millions of dollars were stolen by members after a glitch caused by the September 11th attacks in MCU ATMs, according to the New York Times. This caused losses to the organization and lead to 118 members being charged with theft.
- Information collected on Feb. 15, 2019
MCU Mortgage Qualifications
|Credit Score||Quality||Ease of approval|
|620 and below||Poor||Difficult|
|No credit score||N/A||Difficult|
For applicants with credit scores between 621 and 699, it may be more difficult to find a great offer from MCU. When applying with a score below 620 or with no credit score at all, it may be challenging to qualify for any mortgage from MCU.
For the best offers and mortgage options from MCU, applicants will need credit scores at or above 760. Borrowers with scores in the 700 to 759 range may not qualify for the best loan offers but will probably have a few different loan choices available to them.
In order to have the best chances of a great mortgage option from MCU, applicants should have plenty of documentation available and provide a credit explanation letter for any possible weaknesses in the application.
|Debt-to-income ratio||Quality||Likelihood to get approved by lender|
|35% or less||Manageable||Likely|
|50% or more||Poor||Unlikely|
MCU Phone Number & Additional Details
At MCU, borrowers with debt-to-income ratios (DTI) at or under 30 percent are the most likely to qualify for the best terms. The credit union has few options available for applicants with higher DTIs, so applicants should consider paying down debts before applying if possible.
Homepage URL: http://www.mymcu.org/
Company Phone: 1-212-238-3521
Headquarters Address: 22 Cortlandt Street New York City, New York 10007