Couple with moving boxes

First-Time Home Buyer

Get home buying right the first time

Buying your first home is a big decision. CRCU is here to help. Our team of mortgage experts will guide you through the first-time homebuying process, ensuring you have an easy, worry-free experience. Best of all, you won't have to make a big down payment.

  • A down payment as little as 3%
  • Free 45 day Rate Lock*
  • Down payment may be 100% gifted
  • Reduced Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)^
  • A credit score of at least 680
  • Family gifts accepted for down payment or closing costs
  • Local decisioning by mortgage professionals
  • Bilingual loan officers

Resources to Get You Started

Image of CRCU Mortgage Guide

couple on ipad

Crunch the Numbers

The best way to start your home buying process is by determining your budget. And who wants to fall in love with something that’s unattainable? Visit our Mortgage calculators to find out which price range works best, so you can start looking for the home of your dreams. 

Step 1: 
Mortgage Loan Pre-Approval

The first step is easy.   Begin the process in person with a CRCU Mortgage Loan Officer, contact us by telephone, or start your application online. In just minutes, we can help you make an informed purchase and financing decision.

  • Find out how much you can borrow
  • Determine how much down payment is necessary
  • Understand credit requirements

Step 2:
Apply for the Loan

The mortgage application asks for detailed information about you, a co-applicant (if applicable) and the property you wish to buy.

  • Applicant Information:  Your name, address, and other pertinent information.
  • Property Information:  The basics about the property you want to finance.
  • Employment:  Your income and employment history for at least the previous two years.
  • Assets:  All checking and savings, retirement, gifts from family, stocks, bonds, or any other assets.
  • Personal Debt: Your monthly debt breakdown. We'll review information from three credit bureau's to confirm liabilities and can help you complete that section of the application.

Step 3:
Credit Approval

Very often we can give you a quick credit approval of your loan.  You’ll be approved for a precise loan amount based on your income and debts.  However, the approval is legally subject to underwriting the property you are financing and verification of the information you've provided on your application.

Step 4:
Processing Your Mortgage Loan Application

We will request documentation to verify assets and income.  The property will be reviewed by ordering a title report, appraisal, flood certification and other required items on the home.  We also establish an escrow account, and send out applicable disclosures so you have a chance to read through them.

Step 5:
Final Loan Approval

Final approval of your mortgage loan involves the underwriting of the property and loan application information. We will underwrite the information received and give final approval to prepare the loan for closing.

Step 6: 
Loan Closing

With final loan approval, we prepare the loan documents for both you and the title company to sign. Once we receive the signed documents, we'll transfer the money to the title company and they will disburse the loan and record the documents.

Mortgage pre-approval provides an estimate of the amount you may be able to borrow and an assessment whether your debt-to-income ratio fits mortgage guidelines.  You can also request a pre-approval letter, which you can give to your real estate agent to show you are a serious home buyer.

Residential History

  • Your residential address for the past two years
  • Landlord names and addresses for the last two years, if you rented during that time

Employment & Income History

  • Paycheck stubs from the last 30 days showing your year-to-date earnings
  • W-2 or I-9 tax forms (issued by your employer) for the past two years
  • Additional documents may be necessary based on your individual circumstances

Personal Assets

  • Account statements from the two most recent months for all checking and savings accounts
  • Other asset statements from the past two months for any CDs, IRAs, stocks, bonds or other securities 
  • Current real estate holdings, including property address, current market value, mortgage lender's name and address, loan account number, balance and monthly payment

Personal Debt

  • A list of any new monthly debts not listed on your credit report (auto loans, student loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, etc.), including creditor name, address, account number, minimum monthly payment amount and outstanding balance on each account

Other Items

  • Source of down payment, if applicable
  • 2 months consecutive bank statements
  • Name and contact info of desired homeowner’s insurance agency

Additional documents may be required at your mortgage closing. Your real estate agent and CRCU Mortgage Loan Officer will let you know which documents will be needed when you close on your new home and they'll work closely with you at each step of the mortgage process.

A credit score helps lenders determine their risk in lending you money. Your history of paying bills on time and your monthly debts determine your credit score, which can range from 300 (worst) to 850 (best).

There are three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) that maintain credit reports. Usually, the three scores are similar, but they may differ based on the different information collected by each credit bureau.

Your Credit Report

Debts such as credit cards, auto loans, student and personal loans automatically show up in your credit reports.  You can get one free copy of your credit reports from each credit bureau every 12 months via

Maintaining Your Credit Score

Paying your bills on time as a matter of habit is the best way to ensure your credit remains healthy. Many creditors report after 30 days past due, while others wait as long as 90 days.

  • How much house do you need?
  • Neighborhood/schools
  • Number of bedrooms/bathrooms
  • Style of home
  • How much maintenance will the home require/cost?
  • What will impact the resell of particular home positively or negatively?
  1. Talk to your experienced credit union loan officer
    • About mortgage options
    • Credit repair or paying down debt
    • Before making any changes that may impact your approval
  2. Gather all required documentation in a timely manner, including trailing conditions
  3. Ensure down payments are seasoned for at least 60 days, unless gifted
  4. Make sure your real estate agent sets contract dates that are reasonable to meet to protect your earnest money
  1. Withdraw large amounts from your asset account without talking to your loan officer
  2. Deposit large amounts of money (or be prepared to source them)
  3. Make any major purchases using credit cards
  4. Open any additional credit
  5. Make changes to employment during application/home buying process without advising your loan officer

Begin your journey to homeownership & Get Pre-Approved

Get started today by applying online or calling 800.238.3228. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment please email or call 832.926.7222.

Apply Now

*All loans subject to credit approval. ^Under certain circumstances, private mortgage insurance (PMI) and an escrow account for taxes and insurance may be required. Other eligibility includes a credit score of 680 or greater, no bankruptcy in the previous 36 months, debt-to-income ratio not to exceed 43%, and loan-to-value ratio not to exceed 97%. Other credit and income qualifications will apply. Minimum finance amount of $75,000. Investment properties and Jumbo Loans are not eligible for this offer. Verifiable employment required and time on job required of 2 year plus. Real estate promotions cannot be combined with any other offer. Certain other credit and income qualifications may apply. CRCU reserves the right to cancel or change these promotions at any time. Please contact a representative for more details. CRCU membership required.