Originally founded in 1934 as a credit union for teachers in Hillsborough County, Suncoast Credit Union has since expanded its territory and membership eligibility requirements while remaining a regional lender. Headquartered in the city of Tampa, Suncoast is now the largest credit union in Florida and provides mortgages to its many members in the Sunshine State.
Suncoast Credit Union History
Suncoast began as the Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, a small organization founded by a handful of local educators in 1934. Membership was extended to teachers in five other nearby counties in 1953. By 1959, the credit union had expanded to four more counties, and membership had been opened up to all school employees.
In 1975, the name of the organization was changed to Suncoast Schools Credit Union to reflect these changes. Suncoast received a federal charter and a corresponding name change in 1978.
In 2013, members voted in favor of a state charter conversion, which paved the way for a new name and an expansion of products and services offered. Today, Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union headquartered in Florida, with over $9 billion in assets and more than 800,000 members.
Despite its considerable growth and expansion, Suncoast remains headquartered in Tampa and highly regional in its scope, offering membership to immediate family members of current members, alumni of Florida College.
Suncoast also primarily originates mortgages in the state of Florida, but also provides certain adjustable-rate mortgages in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.
Applicants can speak with a loan officer over the phone or in-person at one of the credit union’s many branches. Potential borrowers can also receive a free online quote, and for a $20 credit report fee, complete an online mortgage application.
Suncoast provides 3/3, 5/5, and 7/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, as well as a special 10/1 ARM for first-time homebuyers. The lender also offers 10, 15, 20, and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for both conventional and jumbo loans.
Certain individuals, such as educators and firefighters, can qualify for a Suncoast Community Heroes Mortgage, which features up to 100 percent financing and no down payment, origination fee, or Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) requirement.
Suncoast Credit Union Mortgage Rates
Suncoast Credit Union Mortgage Options
Suncoast Credit Union does not offer FHA, VA or USDA loans, but does extend a comprehensive selection of conventional and jumbo loans with fixed and adjustable rates.
Suncoast Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loans
Ideal for borrowers who want steady monthly payments over an extended period, fixed-rate mortgages come with a set interest rate and a monthly principal that remains the same over the life of the loan. Suncoast Credit Union offers 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, giving borrowers the ability to pay off the loan over a period of 10 to 30 years.
Also available to qualifying school employees, military members, veterans, law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and nurses are Suncoast Community Heroes fixed-rate mortgages. These mortgages feature the same fixed-rate lengths and rates but require no origination fee, no down payment, no Private Mortgage Insurance, and up to 100 percent financing.
Suncoast Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Loans
Borrowers who can afford to pay off a loan relatively quickly or expect to relocate or refinance before the end of the loan may prefer an adjustable-rate mortgage. ARMs carry a lower initial interest rate at the beginning of the loan term which remains fixed for a certain number of years, but then begin adjusting periodically to match prevailing interest rates.
Suncoast Credit Union offers a 3/3 ARM, which remains fixed for the first three years and then adjusts every three years after that, a 5/5 ARM, which remains fixed for five and adjusts every five, and 7/1 and 10/1 ARMs, which are fixed for the first seven or ten years of the loan, respectively, and then adjust annually.
The Suncoast Community Heroes mortgage is available with 3/3 and 7/1 ARMs, and certain borrowers could be eligible for a First Time Homebuyer 10/1 ARM. All Suncoast ARMs are based on a 30-year term.
Suncoast Jumbo Loans
For 2019, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set the limit on the maximum value that can be assigned to a conventional loan at $453,100. Any loan which exceeds that amount is classified as a jumbo loan. Suncoast Credit Union offers 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year jumbo fixed-rate mortgages. Jumbo loans are usually required for large or especially pricey homes.
Suncoast Credit Union Customer Service
Suncoast Credit Union primarily originates mortgages in the state of Florida. However, the lender is also able to offer its 3/3, 5/5 and 7/1 adjustable-rate mortgages in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. The first-time homebuyer 10/1 adjustable-rate mortgage is the only ARM product exclusive to Florida.
Potential borrowers can receive a free online quote from Suncoast without having to provide their Social Security Number. However, to complete an online application, both a Social Security Number and a $20 credit report fee are required.
Suncoast’s website is relatively easy to navigate and includes helpful descriptions of each loan type offered, a display of current home loan rates, an ARM versus fixed-rate mortgage calculator, and information on the mortgage process for first-time homebuyers.
Suncoast Credit Union was not one of the lenders ranked in the most recent J.D. Power U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study.
Suncoast Credit Union Lender Grades
Suncoast Credit Union Bank is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, though its Tampa headquarters has an A+ rating from the nonprofit consumer protection organization. Suncoast’s BBB customer rating is a mere one out of five stars, though that is based on an average of only 6 reviews. There have been 70 customer complaints closed in the last three years, 25 of which were closed in the last 12 months.
- Information collected on Jan. 22, 2019
Suncoast Credit Union Mortgage Qualifications
|Loan Type||Down Payment Requirement||Minimum Credit Score||Debt-to-Income Requirement||Can you use gift funds or down payment assistance programs to make a down payment?|
|Fixed-Rate Loans||5 to 20 percent||No||45 to 50 percent||Yes|
|Adjustable-Rate Loans||5 to 20 percent||No||45 percent||Yes|
|Jumbo Loans||5 to 20 percent||No||45 percent||Yes|
Down payment requirements also vary depending on circumstance, but typically fall between 5 and 20 percent, while a debt-to-income ratio of less than 45 percent is needed for most loans. Suncoast Credit Union is relatively flexible when it comes to approving loan applications.
This lender has no minimum credit score requirements, preferring instead to examine an applicant’s creditworthiness, and occasionally considers non-traditional credit history, depending on the underwriters for a particular loan product.
Suncoast also accepts gift funds and works with some down payment assistance programs.
Suncoast Credit Union Phone Number & Additional Details
- Homepage URL: https://www.suncoastcreditunion.com/
- Company Phone: 1-800-999-5887
- Headquarters Address: P.O. Box 11904 Tampa, FL 33680