Home loans from your hometown lender!
See us for all your mortgage needs
We offer mortgages, equity loans and refinances, the same as the big banks and mortgage lenders. But we’re not-for-profit, so our rates are better.

Plus, we’re local, so you can count on a more personalized experience.

How can we help you?

When buying a home
First Trust Deeds
15- and 30-year terms, fixed, conforming or jumbo, and zero-point options.

Extendable mortgages
A low fixed rate at the beginning for a term of 5, 7 or 10 years, then refinance to a fixed or adjustable rate for the remainder of your term.

Alternative mortgages
Conforming and jumbo loans with 10- or 20-year terms.

Want to refinance?
Today’s low rates give you a great opportunity to lower your payments and save thousands of dollars in interest by refinancing for a shorter term. But hurry as rates will likely rise.

Using your equity
Second Trust Deed
A fixed rate for 10 or 15 years. This loan is ideal for home improvement or other single-purpose needs.

Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit
Use as much or as little of your equity as you need, whenever you need it.

Ready to apply? It’s a snap!
Apply to build your personalized, reusable loan application.

All loans are subject to change without notice and are not guaranteed until locked. Call 805/ 477-4000 or visit for current rates. Rates for these products are determined by the applicant’s credit history, payment history, income, loan-to-value (LTV), occupancy, property type, loan amount and loan purpose. Loans are subject to credit approval and secured by lien on owner-occupied home. Other restrictions apply.

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Joe SchroederFrom the president
Before I was married I bought a mobile home. The plan was to live in the mobile home for three years while I saved for a down payment on a house and took advantage of the tax benefits of ownership. My wife and I got married and in 1983, we had enough to purchase our first ranch style home. I also took my first job at a Credit Union. Our home cost $130,000 and we worried about making the $1,000 a month mortgage payment. Interest rates were double and triple what they are now and this crazy new product called an “adjustable rate mortgage” was introduced. Over the next five years our rate continued to decrease.

While times have obviously changed since 1983, it’s still a sacrifice to purchase a home. This issue of Financial Horizons is all about how we can help you become a homeowner.

We have home loans for practically any need, including our new FHA loans, which are ideal for first-time buyers. Not sure how they work? That’s what we’re here for; our home loan experts will make sure you understand the terms, qualifications and options.

Have other questions on what home loan is right for you? Stop by or call one of our home loan representatives. Our team has over 100 combined years of lending experience! You can meet them on page 2 of this issue.

If you’re hesitant to buy because of the economy, there are hopeful signs; California Lutheran University’s annual economic forecast predicts Ventura County’s economy will grow by 1.5% this year and 2.4% in 2012. And DataQuick Information Systems reports that home sales in Ventura County increased from 579 in November 2010 to 761 in December, a sign of growing confidence.

Some of those homebuyers are VCCU members, and I’d like to see you join them. As you’ll see throughout this newsletter, applying for a loan is a snap. Your first move should be to create your own personalized and reusable loan application online. Remember, we’re a local lender that is as committed to our community as you are. After all, we live here too, and want to see our part of California continue to thrive.

If you can attend our Annual Meeting April 26, feel free to say hello and tell me about your home buying plans. I’ll introduce you to the team that can make you a homeowner. Know anyone who’s looking for a home loan? Share your newsletter and let them know what VCCU can do for them.

See you there.

Joe Schroeder

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The steps to homeownership
Buying a home can seem like a daunting task to the first-time buyer, but learning about the process can make it feel less overwhelming. Many people have done it before, and you can do it too!

Save for down payment and other home-related costs. Make saving a regular habit. The earlier you start, the more cash you will have for a home.

Build credit score. Many lenders require a score of at least 640 to get a mortgage, and those with scores above 720 usually get the best interest rates. If you had credit problems in the past, making payments on time in the future, lowering your balances, and paying off collection accounts can boost your score and make it easier to get a mortgage.

Get pre-approved for loan. While you can apply for a mortgage after you make an offer on a house, consider getting pre-approved for one beforehand. Being pre-approved helps you determine what you can afford and strengthens your offer.

Search for and choose a property. Think about what features you want in a house, and keep your budget in mind. A real estate agent can be a valuable asset in your home search. Once you find the home you want, you can make an offer.

Enter the pre-closing period. If your offer is accepted, you can have a home inspection done and notify your lender that you found a home. Make sure to remain in contact with your lender and promptly provide them with anything they need.

Closing. Closing is the day that the mortgage is finalized, and the title of the home is transferred to you. There is a lot of paperwork to sign, but take the time to read and understand everything. After you sign all of the documents, you will receive the keys to your new home!

You do not need to go through the process alone. As a benefit of your credit union membership, you have access to BALANCE, a free financial education and counseling service. Their certified counselors can answer your questions, review your credit report, and help you create a budget. You can also visit their website for homeownership articles and mortgage calculators. Call 888/ 456-2227 or visit for more information.


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Our home loan team: Greg Uttal, Chris Barrick, Sandra Tolks, Christine Vasquez and Amber Hahn

Meet the VCCU home loan team
Chris Barrick has the notable distinction of being one of the first Direct Endorsement underwriters to be approved by the federal government to underwrite FHA loans. She currently underwrites all types of loans offered by VCCU including conventional mortgages, Home Equity Lines of Credit as well as FHA and VA government loans.

Sandra Tolks is like VCCU Google for the Home Loan Services department. After 19 years with VCCU she has a wealth of lending and credit union knowledge. If you’re heading to the Ventura office you might just see Sandra riding her bike to work. Sandra is an avid outdoors person with a passion for the environment.

Amber Hahn is the go-to person of the department. Prior to joining VCCU last year, she developed a home loan delivery system for over $300 million dollars in home loans. Amber is a consummate sports fan, supporting her favorite teams both inside and outside the office.

Christine Vasquez is always smiling and it’s easy to understand why. She loves assisting members with their home financing needs. For nearly 20 years Christine has worked with people to achieve the American dream of homeownership. Christine’s success lies in her desire to do whatever it takes to satisfy our members.

Greg Uttal is a third generation lending executive who came to VCCU with the goal of making the Home Loan Services department second to none. Greg developed a passion for real estate as a teenager and for the last 37 years has been on the front line of lending service and technology. As much as he loves his work, raising a family in the Conejo Valley has been his utmost accomplishment.

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FHA loansWe make FHA loans
As low as 3.5% down, fixed
and adjustable rates, refinances

If coming up with a down payment has stalled your homebuying plans, overcoming that obstacle is now a snap at VCCU!

Our new FHA loans are ideal for anyone who can’t make a traditional 20% down payment, has a low-to-moderate income or has had credit issues. FHA loans are also available for refinances.

Our home loans staff can help you learn if you qualify — call 805/ 477-4000 or e-mail today.

Maximum loan amounts may apply. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Program, rate, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Terms and conditions apply.

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We don’t sell lumber or appliances...
But we can save you money when you borrow for a home improvement project!

Compare our Signature Loan to credit cards from the two big home improvement centers when borrowing $5,000 for 60 months:

Compare your existing loan
  APR as low as
VCCU Signature Loan 11.5%
Home Depot 17.99%
Lowes 24.99%
Annual Percentage Rates listed effective 3/1/11. Home Depot and Lowes information gathered from their web sites 2/28/11 and subject to change.

Apply for a VCCU Signature Loan anytime.

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Team our low rate with ENERGY STAR rebates for even greater savings.
Help the environment and your wallet at the same time with these current federal rebates for energy-efficient improvements. To learn about these rebates visit

Not all ENERGY STAR qualified products qualify for a tax credit.

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Increasing your home’s value can pay off
Remodeling can increase both your family’s comfort and your home’s value.

Whatever improvements your home needs, our Second Trust Deed or Home Equity Loan is the sensible and affordable way to make them happen. It’s easy too; apply anytime online.

Project Job cost Added value Cost recouped  
Entry door replacement $1,464 $1,641 112%  
Garage door replacement $1,514 $1,461 96%  
Minor kitchen remodel $23,603 $19,854 84%  
Window replacement $13,401 $10,760 84%  
Bathroom remodel $19,460 $15,514 80%  
Major kitchen remodel $65,686 $50,556 77%  
Family room addition $105,369 $74,944 71%  
Master suite addition $131,566 $89,058 68%  
Bathroom addition $49,508 $31,302 63%  
Home office $32,428 $17,641 54%  
Source: Remodeling Magazine, 2011

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Meet your new financial advisor
At VCCU we are committed and privileged to serve our members. In doing so, it is with great enthusiasm we introduce you to David Kanongataa our new Financial Advisor for our new Investment Services Program and our new relationship with CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS), an Independent Broker-Dealer and SEC Registered Investment Advisor formed for the express purpose of serving Credit Union members’ investment needs.

We are confident that this service will be beneficial to you as a member and are working hard to keep up with the changing times. Whether you are considering retiring or contemplating other equally complex life stage events, we can help make financial planning easier.

In order to accomplish this and to reevaluate or establish such goals, we would like to extend an invitation for you to come in for a complimentary financial consultation with David, please call 805/ 477-4032 to set up a mutually convenient appointment.
Our team at VCCU is excited to offer our members this service and hope to continue to earn your business by providing you exceptional investment consulting for many years to come.

Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. ("CFS"), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Ventura County Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.

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Oxnard Branch Manager Jessica Reynoso with iPad winner Ashley S.

iPad winner announced
Ashley S. of Oxnard was very excited to win an iPad for using faster, more convenient eStatements. Ashley’s name was chosen at random from all the VCCU members who signed up for or were using eStatements by December 31, 2010.

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60th Annual Meeting
We invite all members to our Annual Meeting Tuesday, April 26 at 5:30 pm in our Ventura office. We hope to see you there.

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Money Rocks at my Credit UnionMoney Rocks at my Credit Union
National Credit Union Youth Week, April 17–23, 2011
Roll into any VCCU office, open an account and start building your fortune! Make regular deposits and put in extra money when you can. By the time you’re ready for your first car (great!), college (highly recommended!) or a new electric guitar (maybe this can wait), you won’t have to depend entirely on mom and dad and that really rocks!

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Shred Days are back!
Bring your personal and financial papers in for free shredding, courtesy of Iron Mountain.

Shred Days

Simi Valley office Monday, April 18 • 11 am–1 pm
Ventura office Tuesday, April 19 • 11 am–1 pm

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Keep your VCCU accounts active
If your VCCU account has been dormant for three years, regulations require that we transfer those funds to the state. We prefer not to do this, so please, make a deposit or withdrawal to indicate you want to keep the account, or write us a note. That’s all it takes.

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