True Partnership: Realizing the Benefits of the MPF® Program
By: Russ Bernardo, Chief Lending Officer, OCCU
At OCCU, our vision is to enrich our members’ lives by partnering with them on every step of their financial journey, including homeownership—a goal many credit unions share. We’re always looking for ways to reduce fees and loan rates, increase savings rates, and enhance our products and services to better meet the needs of the 260,000+ members we serve across Oregon, Washington, and the United States as a whole. Since we began selling conventional loans into the Mortgage Partnership Finance® (MPF) Program four years ago, it has become an indispensable tool to help us fulfill that mission. By partnering with the MPF Program, we’ve been able to:
Maintain servicing relationships. With the MPF Program, we retain servicing of the loans, which equals staying in touch with our member through their entire homeownership journey. Mortgage loans provide our greatest opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of our members’ financial needs and partner with them over the long term, and the life span of a 30-year mortgage represents 360 additional opportunities to engage with the member beyond loan origination. In today’s environment, broker shops are not typically providing in-house servicing opportunities to credit unions.
Respond to market conditions and prepare for what’s ahead. We appreciate the flexibility to either hold loans on our balance sheet until an opportune time or sell them immediately, with best efforts or mandatory lock execution—whatever market conditions require. In the current high-rate environment, having the ability to quickly move loans off the balance sheet in moments of market improvement has been especially helpful. Our Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Mortgage Relationship Manager also keeps in touch with us regularly to answer our questions and anticipate our needs as the market changes, helping us stay well-positioned for whatever’s coming next. This is not a typical vendor-credit union relationship; it’s a true partnership.
Expand product offerings. The liquidity provided by the MPF Program allows OCCU to devote funds in our balance sheet to additional portfolio products beyond conforming loans. For example, we’ve been able to offer a 100% financing program that has been popular with our members and lets us help first-time homebuyers gain access to homeownership.
Ready to benefit from the MPF Program?
For OCCU, onboarding with the MPF Program was fairly straightforward—in fact, we were able to complete the process within 90 days—because we already had the necessary staff and the Program integrated smoothly with our existing operating system and servicing platform. If your credit union is interested in partnering with the MPF Program, I would encourage you to reach out to your local FHLBank or visit fhlbmpf.com to learn more.
OCCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative with over $3 billion in assets. Founded in Eugene, OR, in 1956, the credit union offers an expanding network of branches and web tools to provide its 260,000 member-owners with a full suite of financial services. Membership is open to almost anyone living or working in Oregon or Washington. Learn more at MyOCCU.org.