Union Bank was founded in 1864 under its original name, The Bank of California, which provided in-state banking and loan services. Union Bank has merged with several financial institutions over the decades until it was finally acquired by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) in 2008. Since its acquisition, Union Bank has expanded its coverage to Texas, Illinois, and New York, where its headquarters is currently located.
Union Bank Quick Facts
- Considered the #1 Jumbo ARM lender on the West Coast
- Provides a range of low-to-medium income mortgage options, including FHA, EOM, and HomeReady loans
- Offers both interest-only and amortizing adjustable-rate mortgages
- Quick and easy pre-approval application process can be completed over the phone
- Qualifies borrowers with down payments as low as 3 percent for some loan options
- Some mortgage options include no closing costs
Union Bank is dedicated to providing affordable mortgage options for low-to-moderate income homebuyers on the West Coast. They specialize in loan programs with small down payment requirements and competitive interest rates, though many of its Affordable Housing Products feature strict eligibility rules. The most popular mortgage options offered by this lender include FHA, Economic Opportunity Mortgages (EOM), and HomeReady loans.
Despite a somewhat troubled past, Union Bank has faithfully served its customers for over 150 years; it is currently owned and operated by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the fifth-largest financial group in the world. While Union Bank is quite small compared to its nationwide competitors, it has remained a stable organization due to its customer-focused approach. Many of its most popular mortgage options featured down payments as low as 3 percent, making it a solid choice for first-time homeowners and borrowers with limited or no credit history.
Current Mortgage Rates
Union Bank Loan Specifics
Union Bank offers a diverse selection of mortgage options tailored to a wide range of consumer needs, including conventional fixed-rate and adjustable-rate, FHA, VA, and jumbo loans. This lender is dedicated to providing affordable housing products that help low-to-moderate income buyers secure favorable mortgages, with options such as its Economic Opportunity Mortgage (EOM) and HomeReady loan programs. If you’re a first-time homebuyer on the West Coast, Union Bank can work with you to find the best mortgage to suit your unique financial circumstances.
This conforming fixed-rate mortgage offers maximum stability over the full loan term. Loan amounts can range up to $453,100 on a single-family residence, but mortgage insurance is required for loans exceeding 80 percent LTV. Union Bank also provides a variety of loan terms for its fixed-rate products, with interest rates as low as 4.875 percent and an average 5.070 percent APR for its 30-year option. This mortgage is well-suited to homebuyers who want to invest in a single property and plan on settling down in one place.
Borrowers looking for a more flexible loan program may consider one of Union Bank’s adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), which feature amortizing or interest-only options. Both options come with an initial fixed-rate period that can span from one to 10 years, after which the payments and rates increase or decrease annually with market fluctuations. Adjustable-rate loans tend to have lower starting interest rates than their fixed-rate counterparts, with Union Bank featuring 4.250 percent interest on a 7/1 amortizing ARM. This mortgage option is great for homebuyers seeking low monthly costs upfront or who are unsure about their long-term property plans.
Economic Opportunity Mortgage Loans
This Economic Opportunity Mortgage (EOM) is one of Union Bank’s most popular affordable housing products, featuring competitive interest rates and no private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirements. EOM loans can be secured with down payments as low as 3 percent, as this lender offers 97 percent financing options depending on the property type. Union Bank takes alternative non-traditional credit items into consideration while determining your eligibility for EOM loans.
Much like the EOM offering, this mortgage program is designed to assist low-income, and moderate-income buyers obtain affordable loans and interest rates. The HomeReady® option is a fixed-rate mortgage with down payments as low as 3 percent for eligible applicants. This loan type offers flexible underwriting, though minimum credit scores may apply and could impact the interest rate/APR you’re offered. Unlike the EOM program, this loan requires a non-refundable $550 application fee and mortgage insurance is mandatory for loans exceeding an 80 percent LTV.
This government-backed mortgage option is for low-to-medium income households and first-time homebuyers and is available as both a fixed-rate and variable-rate loan. Down payments can go as low as 3.5 percent, a one-time up-front Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) fee of 1.75 percent the loan amount is required. Additionally, monthly mortgage insurance is mandatory for 11 years on all loans up to 90 percent LTV. This loan type offers more credit allowances than most mortgage programs. And maximum loan amounts are set by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) on a county-by-county basis.
For qualified service members, Union Bank offers VA mortgages guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. These loans require no down payments and no private mortgage insurance (PMI), making it an affordable option for first-time homebuyers. VA loans feature both fixed- and adjustable-rate options on loan amounts up to $1,500,000, but minimum credit scores may apply.
Union Bank provides Jumbo loan options for large property transactions that exceed the loan amounts of its other mortgage programs. Fixed-rate jumbo loans feature interest rates as low as 4.750 percent and 4.883 percent APR. Amortizing 7/1 ARM jumbo loans come with a 3.875 percent interest rate and 4.790 percent APR. This mortgage option is tailored to homebuyers looking to finance expensive properties or who have complex financial needs.
Union Bank Mortgage Customer Experience
J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study remarked that mortgage representatives play a key role in maintaining customer trust during the application and closing processes. The study found that representatives who called back when promised, stayed engaged with the process end-to-end, and provided consistent status updates contributed to high levels of borrower trust and satisfaction. Customer reviews for Union Bank are few and far between, but the lender does have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, though it’s not a BBB-accredited institution.
Union Bank has an extensive store of free online resources to help homebuyers understand the mortgage application process in detail. They also provide an online quote feature through their website, backed by a staff of qualified mortgage consultants. While the quoting process does have a quick turnaround, it requires borrowers to provide personal information like name, address, phone number, and even social security number (SNN). This information is used to obtain credit score and credit history information.
Union Bank Lender Reputation
Over the 150+ years of its operations, Union Bank has merged with, and been acquired by, a number of different parent companies with varying degrees of credibility. According to a 2007 article from Forbes, the organization agreed to pay $31.6 million in penalties and forfeitures after being accused of money-laundering while operating under the name UnionBanCal. Since the bank was acquired by MUFG in early 2008, no such activity has been reported. The bank’s California branches currently hold a uniform BBB rating of A+ but are not formally accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
- Information collected on December 10, 2018
Union Bank Mortgage Qualifications
Interest Rate Type
Down Payment Requirement
5% – 30%
5% – 30%
Economic Opportunity Mortgage
Fixed or Variable rate
3.5% – 5%
Fixed or Variable rate
Fixed or Variable rate
Although each loan type has different eligibility guidelines, Union Bank’s fast pre-qualification process can be completed over the phone in minutes. When determining whether a borrower is eligible for a specific mortgage program, Union Bank considers a wide range of information such as credit score, credit history, down payment amount, and even bank statements. One of the challenges with this lender is the difficulty of finding specific credit score requirements on its website, but they do offer a useful comparison chart to help borrowers narrow down their options.
Union Bank does include a lot of information about down payments on its website, demonstrating transparency about its up-front investment qualifications. Depending on the loan type and term, a homebuyer can expect to put down a minimum of 5 percent to 30 percent on conventional loans and 3 percent on Union Bank’s affordable housing products. While some top banks allow borrowers to use gift funds or payment assistance programs to cover the down payment, many of this lender’s offerings do not.
Union Bank Phone Number & Additional Details
- Homepage URL: https://www.unionbank.com/
- Company Phone: 1-866-825-6267
- Headquarters Address: 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY 10020