When you think about getting a loan for your home renovation, there’s a good chance you automatically assume you’ll need to talk to a bank. Most people never even consider a credit union, often because they don’t know anything about them or what they can offer.
But the truth is, they’re able to offer some game-changing benefits along with their home loans that a big bank can’t.
In this guide, we’ll share why RenoFi partners with Credit Unions to provide RenoFi Loans, and why we think they’re a great alternative to big banks.
How Credit Unions Work
Just like banks, credit unions accept deposits, originate loans, and provide a number of financial products and services. You can use them in all the same ways you would any traditional bank. And federally-insured credit unions are just as safe as your bank. Like the FDIC insures banks, credit unions are insured by the NCUA, backed by the U.S. Treasury.
Credit Unions vs. Banks
The main difference between banks and credit unions is that a credit union is a non-profit organization, owned by its members, whereas banks, as you know, are owned by investors and operate with the primary goal of making these shareholders more profits.
There’s no need for credit unions to make money for their members at your expense, and since they are owned and controlled by people within the community who use the same services and programs, they care about their customers. And this mentality translates into great benefits for you.
Here’s a table comparing the differences between banks and credit unions:
|Owned by members||Owned by investors|
|Lower interest rates and fees||Higher interest rates and fees|
|Members get a say in decision-making||Decisions are made to drive profit|
|More forgiveness and flexibility||More rigid with rules and policies|
|Likely local institutions with fewer ATMs and branches||Many nationwide, larger options|
|Less resources to devote to advanced online services||Better online banking options|
The Benefits of a Credit Union
- They Offer Better Interest Rates - Credit unions have the same financial products as banks (mortgage loans, construction loans, personal loans, savings accounts, etc) — plus a variety of specialty loan options that banks don’t offer — but they’re a lot cheaper. Big banks are focused on making money, and this goal often contradicts the objectives of its customers; ie. low interest rates, low fees, and great customer service for their borrowers. Since credit unions aren’t focused on profit, they’re able to better balance these numbers to offer higher savings rates and lower interest rates on loans to their customers.
- They Have Lower Fees - Lofty fees, including loan origination fees, are one of the primary ways banks make their money. As a non-profit, credit unions focus on covering operating costs, so instead use their profits to give back to their customers in the form of savings. As a result, they have lower fees on all their services and fewer of them compared to national banks.
- They’re Customer-Focused - The unique membership structure of credit unions works to serve its community with the best care and support possible. Credit unions are owned and controlled by the people and exist to promote the well-being of their members who use their services every day. So your loan isn't going to some faceless underwriter — it’s being reviewed by someone who lives and works in your community, just like you.
- More Flexibility - For this same reason, credit unions are also more willing to work with you during specific financial challenges that arise. And whether you’ve had a less-than-perfect credit history or issues with employment or income, they’re much less likely to deny you a loan than most major banks.
Why RenoFi Partners with Credit Unions
1. Lower Fees and Interest Rates for RenoFi Loans
You make such a huge financial and emotional investment in your home, so you should love where you live. For all the reasons listed above, RenoFi works with credit unions, so that we can build our community together - offering our homeowners the best experience and most competitive rates out there to help them achieve their renovation goals and live a better life in a home they love.
2. We Put Homeowners First
Our credit union partners share our vision for the future of renovation finance and how this solution can benefit everyone involved.
Aligning with the credit union movement has been one of the many pleasant surprises since starting RenoFi. We like to call the opportunities we’re creating with the help of our network of credit unions a “Win-Win-Win.” And that’s because with RenoFi Loan, everyone wins.
Homeowners are able to make their renovation dreams come true without having to make a suboptimal financial decision (check out some testimonials on our reviews page).
At the same time, our Credit Union partners acquire new members and gain exclusive access to high-quality assets that they otherwise couldn’t. And just as importantly, other stakeholders in the renovation environment, such as general contractors & realtors, close more deals with less hassle and in record time.
Why Homeowners Prefer Working with Credit Unions
From the moment when Joanne and David bought their split-level in Malvern, PA, there was no question they were going to eventually going to make a big investment into it to make it fit their growing family’s needs. Their biggest decision was the right way to pay for it.
So when they began searching for financing for their renovation project, Joanne’s top priority was finding loans without a huge interest rate. Her search started with “poking around” online before she came across a post from RenoFi in a Facebook group for remodeling and decorating in the Main Line area.
“I found it interesting… RenoFi’s linking with Credit Unions. That was a source of funding I didn’t even consider, and it turned out to be a pretty cheap source of funding in terms of interest rates. And so it just made sense for us to go that way with such a large price tag of a renovation; that we would take it out of the equity of this home which has appreciated so much in the three years that we’ve been here.”
“Justin [from RenoFi] was so helpful in making the connection for us with a Credit Union,” Joanne stressed. “This is our first big renovation and RenoFi made the actuality of it easier because we were able to get less expensive funding to do the renovation from a source we didn’t even know existed.”
Check out their full story, plus before and after photos here.
Working with Credit Unions for Renovation Financing
Which RenoFi credit union partners service your area?
Speak to a RenoFi Advisor today to talk through your options.
So many borrowers are starting to discover the benefits of working with a credit union to get the funding they need at rates they love — not to mention an overall more enjoyable experience. To learn more about working with credit unions or the best loan options for your renovation project, contact RenoFi to discuss your home improvement goals today!