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Mortgage Learning Center

Your journey to homeownership starts here. Access tools and resources for first-time homebuyers.

The Mortgage Process

  • Determine Your Budget – Before house hunting, figure out how much you can truly afford to spend.
  • Choose Your Mortgage Option – Compare loan options and determine the best fit for your needs.
  • Get Prequalified – Getting  prequalified for a mortgage shows sellers that you’re a serious buyer. Our simple online application makes it easy.
  • Select a Home – With  prequalification in hand, work with your real estate agent to narrow your search. Once you find the right home, make a competitive offer.
  • Finalize Your Mortgage Application – Once your offer is accepted, submit documentation to finalize your loan approval. Our experienced  mortgage team will guide you through the process from application through appraisal.
  • Closing – Sign the final loan documents and complete the purchase of your home. Congratulations—you’re a homeowner!

Mortgage Resources and Tools

How Much Home Can you Afford?
How Much Home Can you Afford?

Buying a home may be one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make so it’s important to carefully consider your budget.

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Is It A Good Time to Buy A House?
Is It A Good Time to Buy A House?

How to evaluate trends in the housing market and assess your finances when considering buying a home.

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Buying A Home? Improve Your Credit Score First
Buying A Home? Improve Your Credit Score First

Improve your credit and get into great financial shape before applying for a mortgage.

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Items Needed to Apply for a Mortgage
Items Needed to Apply for a Mortgage

Ready to apply for a mortgage? Learn what to expect with our application checklist.

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How Important Are Mortgage Rates?
How Important Are Mortgage Rates?

Learn how interest rates impact mortgage payments—and how to assess the total cost of a mortgage.

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Your DTI & Why it Matters
Your DTI & Why it Matters

Understanding your debt-to-income ratio and how to calculate it will help you set a budget for buying a home.

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Mortgage Calculators

Home Affordability Calculator icon
Home Affordability Calculator

Determine your homebuying budget and estimate a monthly payment you can afford.

Mortgage Payment Calculator icon
Mortgage Payment Calculator

Estimate a monthly payment using on mortgage loan and property information.

Loan Comparison Calculator icon
Loan Comparison Calculator

Compare the total cost of up to three mortgages to see which may be the best option for you.

Mortgage FAQs

We offer many different programs. Our conventional programs require a minimum of 5% down + closing costs and pre-paid items.  We also have a program for eligible applications to pay only 3% down*. Schedule an appointment with one of our Mortgage Loan Originators for more information. 

Closing costs vary by state, property type and credit. They include taxes and government fees, legal services, fees to the lender for processing the mortgage and other fees. In addition to closing costs, the borrower must also pay for certain pre-paid items including daily interest, tax escrow deposit (when escrowing for property taxes) and homeowner’s insurance.

For a quote, use our Personalized Quote tool . Once an application is submitted, we’ll provide a Loan Estimate which will provide you with an estimate of the costs associated with your specific scenario.

Prequalifications and preapprovals are two ways to verify if a potential borrower can afford a mortgage. Borrowers apply for prequalification while they are searching for a home. Prequalification allows you and sellers to estimate how much you can afford. At DCU, prequalification is the initial step to applying for a mortgage for home purchase.

The actual cost of credit to the borrower including interest and certain other charges calculated over the life of the loan and expressed as a yearly rate. APR can be used as a guide to compare the true cost of loans, since costs can vary across loan options.

A Fixed Rate Mortgage is a loan with a set interest rate and equal monthly principal and interest payments for the entire term of the loan. An Adjustable-Rate Mortgage is a loan in which your principal and interest payment and rate will be fixed for the first 5, 7, or 10 years, depending on the term you choose, and then adjust to a new rate and payment that can change periodically after that.

DCU offers mortgages for the purchase of homes in all 50 states.

Once your application is submitted, DCU will order an appraisal on the property to ensure that its market value sufficiently exceeds the amount of the loan. If you have an appraisal that was already completed but was not done through DCU, it cannot be used for a new application. You may qualify for an appraisal waiver from the GSE that DCU underwrites to. They will make the determination and notify DCU if that option is available to you.

A rate lock is a process in which we “lock in” your interest rate, ensuring that it will not change through the closing of your loan. Rates may not be locked for prequalification/preapprovals. For Purchases, you may lock your interest rate within 60 days of your closing date. For all loan types, the rate must be locked at least 14 days prior to closing. If the rates go down, the interest rate effective for your rate lock still applies.  If your rate lock expires, and the market rates increase, your loan will be based on the new prevailing rates.

PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance and is a monthly insurance premium paid by the borrower for the cost of insurance that covers the lender in the event the borrower defaults on the loan. It is required when the borrower is putting less than 20% down.

Yes. One of the benefits of financing with DCU is that we will service your loan as long as you have it. No need to worry about making payments to a different lender or prepayment penalties.

Additional Resources

At DCU, we aim to empower members with information and tools to navigate their path toward homeownership.

EverFi: Owning a Home

Short, interactive learning modules to help you understand the basics of homebuying and mortgages.

Learn About EverFi
DCU Realty

House hunting in MA or NH? DCU Realty’s team of realtors can help make a house your home.

Learn About DCU Realty

Ready to Get Started?

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* Only available with Fixed-Rate Mortgages – 1-unit owner occupied purchase transaction of primary residences are eligible for this 30-year program with lender paid mortgage insurance. Borrowers cannot own additional residential property at closing. Not available for Jumbo Mortgages. Other terms and restrictions apply.  Back to Top ^