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State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Mortgage Review

State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) has some notable perks, including no down payment or mortgage insurance requirement.

By Daria Uhlig
Daria Uhlig

Written by

Daria Uhlig


Daria Uhlig is a contributor to Credible who covers mortgage and real estate. Her work has appeared in publications like The Motley Fool, USA Today, MSN Money, CNBC, and Yahoo! Finance.


Updated April 6, 2023

Edited by Chris Jennings

Chris Jennings

Written by

Chris Jennings


Chris Jennings is a Credible authority on mortgages and personal finance. His work has been featured by Fox Business, MSN, AOL, Yahoo Finance, and more.

Editorial disclosure: Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances.

State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) is a full-service financial institution headquartered in North Carolina. Memberships are available to current and retired employees of the state of North Carolina, government employees working in North Carolina, and eligible spouses and immediate family members. You’ll need to visit a local branch or call customer service to apply for membership.

Once you join, you’ll have access to the SECU Fast Mortgage service, which allows you to apply online and receive up to 100% financing on your home loan — no down payment or private mortgage insurance required.

At a glance: SECU offers innovative loan programs with no private mortgage insurance required even for low-down-payment loans, but membership is restricted to North Carolina state employees and eligible family members.

In this review:

State Employees’ Credit Union mortgage purchase review

Best for:

  • Residents of North Carolina and surrounding states
  • First-time buyers
  • Buyers looking to finance a non-traditional home type

Standout feature: SECU has a variety of financing options and special mortgage programs.

SECU has several mortgage programs, but you won’t find jumbo loans or government-backed loans here. Conventional loans at SECU stand out — you can borrow up to 100% of the home’s value with a fixed-rate mortgage and an adjustable-rate mortgage, and you won’t have to pay mortgage insurance.

SECU home loans also include the credit union’s own low- and no-down-payment options as well as loans for first-time homebuyers are also available.

As long as you qualify for membership, SECU will consider loan applications from borrowers who live in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia, and/or borrowers who wish to purchase property in any of those states.

Mortgage programs

Conventional, special mortgage programs (e.g., manufactured home,

Fixed-rate loan terms
  • Conventional: 10, 15, 20, 30 years
  • Manufactured home: Up to 15 years
  • New construction: 15, 20, 30 years
  • Historic preservation: 10, 15, 20 years
Adjustable-rate loan terms
Rates and fees
Origination fee: 1% of loan amount (up to $2,500)
Min. credit score
Contact lender for credit requirements
Min. down payment
  • Conventional: 0% (up to $400,000)
  • Manufactured home: Contact lender
  • New construction: 10%
  • Historic preservation: 30%

Pros and cons of buying a home through SECU

Before you take out an SECU mortgage, review the pros and cons of financing your home with the credit union.


  • Up to 100% financing on fixed-rate loans and ARMs, plus no down payment or PMI
  • Assistance for first-time homebuyers, including help with closing costs
  • Special mortgage programs, such manufactured home loans and new construction loans


  • Limited loan types
  • Only available to borrowers in certain states
  • ARM terms limited to 5/1

Credible can be a big help when trying to find a great interest rate. While we’re not affiliated with SECU, you can easily compare our partner lenders and see prequalified rates in as little as three minutes — all without leaving our platform.

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State Employees’ Credit Union mortgage refinancing review

Best for:

  • Residents of North Carolina or other eligible states
  • Homeowners with enough equity for a cash-out refinance
  • Homeowners looking for a home-equity line of credit

Standout feature: SECU’s mortgage refinance loans include cash-out options.

The SECU home refinance selection is limited, but it’s also very straightforward, so you’ll know right away what your options are.

The fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loans are the same products as described above for purchases. You can take cash out in some instances and finance larger amounts depending on the interest rate and loan type you choose.

For example, while SECU lets you finance up to 100% of a conventional purchase loan, the lender also allows financing of up to 110% on adjustable-rate loans if you’re doing a no cash-out refinance.

Tip: If your primary reason for refinancing is to fund a major, ongoing expense, a home equity line of credit might be a better choice. SECU offers HELOCs for primary homes, second homes, and investment properties, and you’ll have a 15-year draw period during which you’ll only pay interest on the amount you’ve borrowed.

Mortgage refinance programs

Conventional, manufactured home

Fixed-rate loan terms
  • Conventional: 10, 15, 20, 30 years
  • Manufactured home: Up to 15 years
Adjustable-rate loan terms
Rates and fees
  • Origination fee: 1% of loan amount, up to $2,500
  • Refinance fee: 0.50% of loan amount
Min. credit score
Contact lender for credit requirements
Max loan-to-value ratio
  • 100% with no cash out; 110% for ARM (up to $400,000)
  • 90% with cash out for primary or second home
  • 80% with no cash out for investment property
  • 65% with cash out for investment property

Pros and cons of refinancing through SECU

SECU’s refinance loans have drawbacks, but there are a number of benefits that could make up for them.


  • Second homes and investment properties eligible for refinancing
  • No application fee or credit-report fee
  • 110% no-cash-out refinancing into an ARM


  • Refinance fee on top of origination fee
  • Limited loan types, especially for adjustable-rates
  • Relatively low maximum loan amount for investment properties

Find Out: How to Refinance Rental and Investment Properties

How does SECU stack up?

If you like SECU’s special loan programs but don’t live in one of the states SECU serves, Northpointe Bank might have what you’re looking for. Like SECU, Northpointe is a full-service financial institution with home loans for residential and investment properties. And it also caters to buyers with special financing needs with a large number of proprietary loan products.

Credible can help you compare mortgage rates from our partner lenders and potentially save you thousands of dollars on your loan. We also make it easy to upload your documents when you’re ready to apply for a mortgage loan.

All your loan processing happens right on our platform, but our dedicated support team has your back in the event you need assistance.

Check today’s mortgage rates:

Read More: What You Need to Know About Working With a Mortgage Broker

The company above is one of Credible’s approved partner lenders. Because they compete for your business through Credible, you can request rates from them by filling out a single form. Then, you can compare your available options side-by-side. Requesting rates is free, doesn’t affect your credit score, and your personal information is not shared with our partner lenders unless you see an option you like. Credible receives compensation if you close a loan with one of our partner lenders. The rates you receive and the fees you pay (if any) are not impacted by this compensation.

Meet the expert: Daria Uhlig

Daria Uhlig

Daria Uhlig is a contributor to Credible who covers mortgage and real estate. Her work has appeared in publications like The Motley Fool, USA Today, MSN Money, CNBC, and Yahoo! Finance.