Buying Your First House? Think Credit Unions

February 22, 2015

This is the fifth installment in our series about credit unions by contributing writer, Melissa. Over the past few We’ve taken a closer look at all the services that credit unions provide and whether or not they are the right fit for you.

You can read the first installments here:

In the last two years, I have been riding the fantasy of buying my first home! Like many young professionals, I have spent years saving every dollar I possibly can and have grown tired of paying rent. The idea of paying rent when I could be paying into my own mortgage pains me, so off to the financial institutions I went to hear about my options.


As someone who is learning and exploring more into credit unions and how they work, I decided to visit both my bank and the credit union that I recently joined to see how each institution plays (what I like to call) the “mortgage game.”

My first stop was my long-time bank branch. As I entered the branch that I have been banking with since I was a teenager, I was hopeful that they would have some great options for me. After the quick pre-approval process for my future mortgage, my financial advisor jumped right into my options.

My options were plentiful through the bank. However, I found the time spent educating and explaining my options thoroughly was lacking. As much as I love efficiency at my bank, this is one important factor that has always been an issue – rushing through the process without a detailed explanation to the client.

On the one hand, the bank did offer a lot of good options, but at the end of the day, I found the service to be about signing me up as fast as possible, instead of truly taking the time to educate me on what I was getting myself into.

My next stop was my credit union branch. Like my other experiences with my advisor at my credit union, the appointment times are always longer and I feel like I am valued. When I refer to being valued, I am referring to the amount of time and teaching my advisor puts into each of my appointments.

For the mortgage approval and review appointment, my advisor insisted on a certain time frame to ensure I knew my mortgage options, from top to bottom. It was a true co-operative banking experience! The mortgage options that the credit union presented to me were flexible, straight-forward, and offered competitive interest rates. I found my credit union representative also explained which plan would work best for me and my financial situation, which truly personalized the experience for me.

Becoming a homeowner is a huge decision and is something I am still debating about to this very day. When I am ready to take the plunge (which may be sooner than later), I actually feel confident and comfortable leaving it in the hands of my credit union and my trusty CU advisor.

Yes, the banks have good options too, but if you are a first-time homebuyer and you are looking for a fair deal and a lot of personal service and personalized advice, I would recommend a credit union. They will be there with you, step by step, from start to finish to homeownership!

Are you looking to become a home owner this year? Do you have family or friends looking to become home owners? Are you curious about your mortgage options? You can visit to find your closest credit union. For those who live outside of Ontario, find your closest credit union at

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