VyStar is a credit union that has been based in Jacksonville, Florida since 1952. Today VyStar is the second-largest mortgage lender in Northern Florida, providing individuals throughout the Sunshine State with conventional, jumbo and cash-out refinance loans.
About VyStar Mortgage
In more than six decades since it was founded, the VyStar Credit Union has grown to become the second-largest mortgage lender in Northern Florida. The regional financial institution services the region with over 60 locations and provides mortgage options to members throughout the state.
To receive a loan, applicants must become a credit union member. Doing so requires opening a savings account with at least 5 dollars.
The state’s second-largest credit union and the nation’s eighteenth, VyStar currently has over 600,000 members.
As a lender, VyStar eschews government-backed mortgages such as FHA, VS and USDA loans, providing instead conventional and jumbo loans, as well as cash-out refinancing. Borrowers can choose from 3/1 adjustable-rate mortgages and 15-, 20-, and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for both conventional and jumbo loans that cover up to $3 million.
Requiring a minimum credit score of just 620 and as little as 3 percent down for first-time homebuyers, and acceptance of gift funds and the SHIP down payment assistance program, VyStar is a solid option for Floridians looking for help making their initial entrance into the housing market.
VyStar Mortgage Rates
VyStar Mortgage Loan Options
VyStar does not provide government-backed mortgages such as FHA, VA, or USDA loans, but the credit union does offer an otherwise reasonably comprehensive list of lending options.
With a fixed-rate mortgage, a borrower’s interest rate remains the same over the entire period of the loan, rather than adjusting periodically. The length of the loan goes a long way toward determining the rate, as shorter loans will carry higher monthly payments yet lower rates.
VyStar allows borrowers to choose between 15-, 20- and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Homeowners who can afford to pay off a loan quickly should opt for the shorter-term loan, while those looking to stay in one place for a significant period may be more comfortable with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) carries a lower interest rate to begin with, but then eventually adjusts to financial market rates, which makes it a tempting option for those who feel they are likely to pay off their loan or move before the rate rises.
VyStar offers a 3/1 ARM, in which the interest rate is fixed for the first three years of the loan, and then adjusts annually after that, with a 1 percent annual rate cap and a 4 percent lifetime rate cap.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have set the limit on the maximum value assigned to a conventional loan at $453,100. Any loan needed to cover a purchase that exceeds that maximum is known as a jumbo mortgage. Such loans are typically reserved for large homes or houses located in expensive real estate markets, meaning they are primarily designed for large apartments or houses located in pricey real estate locations.
VyStar will issue jumbo mortgages up to a maximum of $3 million per loan and provides a choice of 15-, 20- and 30-year fixed-rate jumbo loans.
Cash-Out Refinance Loans
A cash-out refinance is a way to refinance your mortgage for more money than you actually owe, which allows you to collect the difference in cash. The main reason to pursue such a loan is to free up cash. Many people take out such loans to pay for a home remodel, which should improve the home’s overall value.
VyStar Customer Service
VyStar is the largest credit union in Northeast Florida, with over 60 locations spread around the area. The lender’s website also lists phone and other contact information for multiple loan officers who will speak with you directly about your mortgage.
For those who prefer a more modern, less personable process, it is possible to fill out an online application for VyStar and to receive an online rate quote, which does not require a social security number.
Additionally, the VyStar website has multiple helpful features, including online mortgage calculators, explanations of various loan options and their corresponding rates, as well as the ability to check on the status of your mortgage loan.
Due to its relatively small, regional nature, VyStar has not received many national ratings. For example, the lender does not appear on the list of lenders ranked in J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study.
VyStar did make the news in 2016 when analysis showed that the credit union had received the sixth most complaints of any bank in Florida. However, the total number of complaints was still less than 20, and the report noted complaints were down considerably for all Florida financial institutions since the housing crisis of 2009.
VyStar Lender Grades
VyStar is a well-known lender in North Florida, having been headquartered in Jacksonville for more than half a century. The credit union’s Jacksonville headquarters has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. However, VyStar is not a BBB accredited business, and carries a customer rating of just one out of a possible five stars, based on an average of 7 customer reviews.
- Information collected on December 19, 2018
VyStar Mortgage Qualifications
|Non-traditional credit history considered?||Debt-to-income requirements?||Down payment requirements?||Gift funds or down payment programs accepted?||Minimum credit score|
|Yes, but rarely||Typically requires DTI under 50%||3% for first-time home-buyers, 5% for others||Gift funds and SHIP program accepted||620|
In the application process, VyStar does sometimes consider non-traditional credit history, though it is a relatively rare occurrence. The lender also is somewhat flexible on debt-to-income requirements, though typically requires that a borrower’s DTI be under 50 percent.VyStar does not make all of its mortgage loan qualifications known, but some information is available to prospective borrowers.
The down payment requirement varies depending on the type of borrower. For first-time home buyers, VyStar requires as little as 3 percent down, while 5 percent is needed for a conventional loan for those who already own a home.
The minimum credit score required for a loan is 620.
The credit union does accept gift funds for down payments. Currently, there is only one down payment assistance program that VyStar can accept, which is the State Housing Initiatives Partnership program, or SHIP, which serves low and moderate-income families.
VyStar Phone Number & Additional Details
- Homepage URL: http://www.VyStarcu.org/
- Company Phone: 1-(904) 777-6000
- Headquarters Address: VyStar Credit Union, 4949 Blanding Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32210