Helping Our Credit Union Military Members

The long Memorial Day weekend is more than just a break from work, it gives us a chance to reflect on the sacrifices that the men and women of our military make on our behalf.  I’m speaking not just of the sacrifice of those who have given their lives or were wounded in action, but also of others who put their lives on hold for military service, and to their families as well.

Whether deployed overseas or serving domestically, military families have a different set of needs than other credit union members. More than one-third of the U.S. military population is faced with relocating their families each year. Unlike the private sector, where any employee has a choice to make with regard to accommodating the wishes of their employer for relocation, military service members don’t get suggestions, they get orders. Especially in times of war, those orders can come on very short notice.

So what happens when a military member has a house, and can’t sell it (not an unlikely scenario in this economy) before they have to move?  The strain of maintaining one military household can be a challenge, much less the challenge of maintaining two. Renting can be an option, but unfortunately, pricing models for mortgage insurance and underwriting guidelines don’t take this into account when evaluating credit-worthiness for a second mortgage.

We recently did a podcast interview with Brian Doyle, Genworth’s Vice President of Commercial Operations on this topic.  Brian is a former Air Force C-17 pilot and experienced the relocation challenge first-hand, so he definitely understands the stresses and strains placed on military families.  In the podcast Brian offers more detail about a special program that Genworth has created that is expressly designed to meet the special needs of military members.

They not only offer a 5 basis point discount to military members, they also relax underwriting and documentation guidelines to make it easier for a military member to qualify for a mortgage when relocating due to a Permanent Change of Station (PCS).  Apologies for the modest commercial, but this program is so unique and timely that I wanted to bring it to your attention.

Brian says it all – “We don’t think that military members should be penalized for serving their country” – and we agree. If you have a high proportion of members in the military, I’d commend the podcast to your attention.

Post written by Dave Frankil, President, NAFCU Services Corporation.

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