Shelter from the Mortgage Storm? Try Your Credit Union

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you are probably very aware by now of the issues around mortgage lending. If not, go take a look at your brokerage account and try to come up with another explanation the balance number is so much lower than it was before. As painful as it is for those of us who are investors, it is probably even worse for those who are trying to get a mortgage in this hostile environment.

So what’s a buyer to do to take shelter from this mortgage storm? Apparently, the answer is to head down to the credit union. According to this Marketwatch article, borrowers are turning to credit unions to get mortgage loans after encountering difficulties borrowing from banks and other lenders. Why? Because most credit unions hold their mortgage loans in their own portfolios rather than trying to sell them in the secondary market. That means they don’t really have to care if they can resell the loan or if it meets investment grade standards.

Although it may vary, credit unions often provide better loan rates and deposit products with fewer fees since they are non-profit organizations. There are disadvantages, but for savvy consumers credit unions are typically great places to do business. And membership restrictions have loosened at many credit unions in the last several years, meaning it is easier than ever to qualify for membership. Check out the Credit Union locator for a credit union in your area.


August 28, 2007 Posted by | Debt, Home Ownership | Leave a comment

Online Personal Finance Tutorials from the LDS (Mormon) Church

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

It isn’t my intention to make my religion part of my personal finance blog, but I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more popularly known as the Mormon Church. One of the topics that has been mentioned on several occasions by the leaders of our church is prudent resource management, including prudent management of financial resources (money). Understandable considering that the rate of bankruptcy filings in Utah (home of a large percentage of the membership of the LDS Church) is one of the highest in the country. The Church has published various guides and pamphlets on the topic, and has even started a website dedicated to resource management called ProvidentLiving.org.

One of the newest resources on this website is an online tutorial discussing the basics of personal finance. The tutorial does have an LDS flavor to it (as would be expected), discussing concepts like tithing and including quotes from various LDS Church leaders. However, the tutorial has a lot of great information for members and non-members alike. The tutorial can be found online at:


April 2, 2007 Posted by | Basics, Debt, Education, Religion, Savings | Leave a comment