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Home Buying, Mortgage & Home Buying

Enhanced 3% Down Payment Option

Homeownership may seem out of reach in this highly competitive real estate market, but Orange County's Credit Union wants to help with a new 3% Down Payment Home Loan.

Often, the biggest barrier to buying a home is the lack of funds for a sufficient down payment. Many would be homebuyers are unaware of options to purchase a home with less than a 20% down payment. With California real estate prices swiftly on the rise, a 20% down payment can amount to well over $100,000. With stagnant wage growth and significant year-over-year home price increases, the California Association of Realtors® First-Time Buyer Affordability Index (the index that measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home) has decreased year over year* in every county the Credit Union serves:

  • Orange County went from 41% down to 34%
  • Los Angeles County went from 47% to 42%
  • Riverside County dropped from 60% to 53%
  • San Bernardino County dipped from 69% to 62%

As of the first quarter in 2021, California's Traditional Affordability Index was at just 27% compared to the United States which has 54%*.

Orange County's Credit Union is committed to supporting the community by opening up loan approval opportunities for more potential buyers. This effort isn't brand new. Back in 2017, the Credit Union introduced its Zero Down Payment Mortgage in addition to enhancing its 97% LTV Mortgage Loan product to include jumbo loan amounts. These products have helped countless Members realize the dream of home ownership, but in this new environment, leadership wanted to do more. Enter the 3% Down Payment Home Loan.

Benefits of the New 3% Down Payment Home Loan:

  • Available for Conforming and Jumbo loan amounts¹
  • No maximum income limitations
  • First-time and seasoned buyers qualify
  • Lower mortgage insurance coverage required, which will lower monthly housing payments
  • No increased loan fees or higher loan rates that are typically associated with low down payment mortgages
  • A no-points option
  • Enhanced debt-to-income ratio requirements to help Members qualify for larger loan amounts
  • No pre-payment penalty or negative amortization
  • No upfront fees
  • Interest may be tax-deductible²

Orange County's Credit Union believes the new 3% Down Payment Home Loan will increase buying power. Homebuyers can now qualify for a home loan making 15 to 19 percent less in income compared with standard conventional financing. This will allow more Members the ability to find the right home - right where they want to be. Of course, there are a variety of home loan options to fit your unique needs. And Orange County's Credit Union offers its complimentary Total Cost Analysis to help you find the best mortgage for your situation.

If you've been waiting for the right time to start your home search, Orange County's Credit Union is here to help you every step of the way. Schedule an appointment with a Mortgage Loan Consultant to learn more.


  • California Association of Realtors® Q1 2021 Housing Affordability Index - First-Time Buyers
  • California Association of Realtors® Q1 2021 Housing Affordability Index - Traditional

¹Ask your Mortgage Loan Consultant about conforming loan limits in your area.

²For information regarding specific tax qualifications, please consult a tax advisor.

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