by Darlene Vigil, Assistant Vice President/Real Estate Manager, State Employees Credit Union
In lending, I have always found that relationships are the most critical part of any transaction. Even with close to a billion in assets and membership of over 50,000 across New Mexico, State Employees Credit Union’s (State ECU) members still count on us for personalized (and often face-to-face) support. Working with the FHLBanks’ Mortgage Partnership Finance® (MPF) Program has allowed us to access the secondary mortgage market while maintaining those relationships and ensuring that our members receive exceptional support throughout the life of their loan – even when it’s no longer on our balance sheet.
Competitive Fixed-Rate Mortgages
State ECU began participating in the MPF Program in 2017 because we wanted to offer 15-, 20-, and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at competitive rates. We like to keep fees minimal across the board, and the MPF Traditional products enable us to meet demand from current borrowers and attract new business without many of the added fees you typically see with secondary market products.
Servicing Retained Options
The choice to retain servicing on the loans we sell through the MPF Program is essential to us, because State ECU services 100 percent of the loans we originate. Whether members need to adjust their payment schedule, troubleshoot their taxes, switch insurance companies, or arrange a workout agreement, they can walk in and speak to us – there's no calling an 800 number to get their loan questions answered.
Especially during the pandemic, as many members have lost jobs or faced illness in their families, they’ve been able to come in and speak to someone who understands their circumstances. We’ve helped them stay on their feet by extending their payments and waiving late fees when necessary. Maintaining that level of service and connection to our members is what sets State ECU apart.
Phenomenal Support and Ease of Use
The MPF Program gives us the same kind of responsive, personalized support we provide to our members. No matter what questions we might have – underwriting, servicing, pricing, payoffs, new commitments – we know our account representatives will be there to walk us through the answers.
Overall, we’ve found the MPF Program to be a friendly introduction to the secondary market. The guidelines are exceptionally easy to follow, and gaining access to Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter® through the Program has made the process even smoother.
A Good Time to Partner with the MPF Program
With recent market conditions driving a surge in demand for new mortgages and refinancing, State ECU has seen loan volume growth and an accompanying rise in loans sold through the MPF Program, surpassing $30 million. If your CU is a Federal Home Loan Bank member (or exploring membership), this may be an ideal time to consider partnering with the MPF Program to expand your product offerings while keeping costs low, earning ongoing credit enhancement and servicing fee income, and preserving the experience your members have come to expect.