Westmark Credit Union
We are a full-service financial institution, owned by our members & committed to the development of their financial future. We have 12 convenient locations.

FAQs About Second Mortgages

One of the benefits of homeownership is building equity in your own property. It’s like a nest egg that you can borrow from in the future, should the need arise, with a second mortgage or home equity loan. Some financial institutions use these terms interchangeably, while some credit unions may offer two distinct products. For example, the second mortgage option could have a fixed rate, while a home equity loan might have a variable interest rate. To get the specifics on the options available to you, talk to a loan officer at your credit union.

What can I use a second mortgage for?

Some financial institutions do place limits on what borrowers can use the money for. It isn’t advisable to use a second mortgage to finance a trip around the world, as failing to repay the loan can result in the loss of your collateral (your home). Most people who take out a second mortgage do so in order to pay for their children’s education, do major home renovations, or finance a new business venture. You might also use a second mortgage to pay off a major debt that has a higher interest rate than the home loan.

How much can I borrow?

This varies from credit union to credit union, but in general, lenders avoid loaning more than 85% of your home’s value. This figure will be reduced by the amount you still owe on your first mortgage. Additionally, your credit score and history can influence your loan offer.

I bought my home recently. Do I have to wait before applying for a second mortgage?

There’s no set waiting period, although your financial institution may have established one. The most pressing issue is the amount of equity you’ve built up in your home. If you just took out your first mortgage within the last year or so, you haven’t had much time to build up your borrowing power. Another consideration is your financial stability. Taking out a second mortgage very soon after the initial purchase could indicate financial problems, and a lender may hesitate to extend a loan offer if you’ll likely have trouble repaying it.

You’ll find complete home loan services and products at the online Mortgage Center at Westmark Credit Union. Here, you can check our current rates, or apply for a first or second mortgage, construction loan, or home equity loan. Questions? Call (208) 523-1071 to learn about our mortgage options in Idaho.

Taking a Closer Look at Our RV Loans

Are you dreaming of life on the open road? At Westmark Credit Union, our RV loans can help you get there. Like all of our loans, our RV financing program offers competitive rates that typically beat what you can find anywhere else. Additionally, you get the financial advice of our representatives, who put your needs first.

We offer loans for both new and used RVs, including travel trailers and motor homes. The terms depend on the size of your loan, but they start with borrowing as little as $5,000 for a 60-month period. Extended term loans are also available for qualified borrowers, up to $25,000 and over for up to 180 months. To find the right loan for you, sit down with one of our member representatives for assistance.

Get the financing you need for every big purchase, from your car to your home, with Westmark Credit Union. Contact our credit union for financial advice in Idaho or find out how to become a member by calling (208) 523-1071.

Tips for Keeping Your Holiday Spending Under Control

When you are trying to manage your finances, the holidays don’t always feel so happy. Fortunately, you can enjoy the season without facing a new year full of debt, as long as you are careful about how you handle your spending. Use these tips for keeping tabs on your holiday spending.

Set a Limit

The biggest finance mistake that most people make with their holiday spending is that they don’t budget for it. Heading out to do your shopping without any limits in mind is a surefire way to overspend mindlessly. Instead, set yourself some parameters to keep your spending under control. You may want to set a holiday spending limit for each week of the season, if you like to go out and shop multiple times, or you may simply wish to create one budget for all of the expenses you expect to have. Stick to your rules so that you can actually enjoy the shopping and celebrations without wondering what your spending is doing to your financial situation.

Look for Ways to Save

If you want to spend big at during the holidays, look for ways you can cut other expenses. For example, maybe you can commit to making your lunch and coffee at home every day during the holidays, so that the money you would have spent can go towards gifts and other expenses. Look over your usual spending and target things that you can do without to make the holidays easier on your wallet.

Start Saving

Now is the perfect time to start saving for next year’s holiday season. If you put a little aside every month, you won’t have to be so concerned when the season comes. Check with your credit union to learn about various saving account options to make your money work for you.

Westmark Credit Union has the tools you need to get through the season with your personal finances intact, from high-interest savings accounts to low-interest credit cards. To learn more, contact our credit union in Idaho at (208) 523-1071.

Should You Buy or Lease Your New Car?

When you’re in the market for a new car, you face a big question: should you buy or lease? There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, but your credit union can help you make the right choice for your personal finance needs.

Watch this video to learn more about the pros and cons of buying and leasing. Since your credit union can offer competitive rates on car loans—usually lower than a bank or dealership—they should be your first stop for financing.

At Westmark Credit Union, we take the confusion out of getting a new car, with financial advice to help you make the right choice for you. You can find out more about our credit union in Idaho by calling (208) 523-1071.

Maxed Out Your Credit Card? Here's How to Tackle Your Debt

Even when you manage your credit carefully, getting into debt can happen. Sometimes, a medical emergency, unexpected car repair, or plumbing failure can cause you to reach for your credit cards to cover the costs. If you’re facing maxed out credit cards and feel trapped in a cycle of debt, it is easier than you may think to get out from under the burden of your debt and get a fresh start. Stop sticking the bills in your drawer and tackle your debt once and for all with this advice.

Take It One Card at a Time

Trying to pay more than your minimum balance on a more than one card at a time can make you feel like you’re not making any progress. Instead, turn your attention to one card. Pay as much as you can on that card, while making minimum payments on the others. You’ll see that balance come down fast, which will encourage you to keep going. Once that card is paid off, turn your attention to your other cards. Start with the card that has the highest interest rate, and work your way down from there.

Transfer Your Balances

If you have a credit card with a high interest rate, consider transferring the balances to another card with a lower rate. Credit unions often have interest rates that are lower than other lenders, so start with your union if your card is not from there. You can also contact your lender to see if a lower interest rate is available to you. The lower the interest, the faster you will be able to pay off your card.

Consider Two Minimum Payments

If you don’t have enough free cash flow to make larger payments, consider splitting up the payment you would make into two minimum payments per month. Since interest is compounded daily, reducing your balance as often as you can will help you save money.

At Westmark Credit Union, we’re here to help our members get through all of life’s ups and downs, from your first home loan to your credit card debt. Get the financial help in Idaho you need by becoming one of our members. Dial (208) 523-1071 for more information about all of our credit union services.

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2520 Channing Way
Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Hours of Operation:

  • Closed Sunday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Tuesday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Wednesday
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Thursday
  • 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM Friday
  • 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday