Costco Mortgage Review 2021

By Mitch Strohm

Please note: In response to the coronavirus pandemic, lenders are changing their requirements continuously. Although we strive for accuracy at the time of publication, please be sure to check with the lender for updated details on down payments, credit scores, etc.

At a glance

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4.4

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Loans offered

Conventional, VA, FHA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate (ARM), jumbo; refinancing options include rate-and-term refinancing and cash-out refinancing
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Nationwide availability

Available in all U.S. states and the District of Columbia
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Min. credit score required

Costco Mortgage is a marketplace; minimum credit score requirements vary by lender

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Discounted lender fees
  • Online marketplace allows you to compare products and rates from multiple lenders
  • Often funds loans in less time than the industry average

Cons

  • Program only available to Costco members
  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOC)
  • Doesn't offer government-insured USDA loans

Costco Mortgage overview

Costco Mortgage, the lending arm of Costco Wholesale, is a marketplace that offers Costco members the ability to compare loan options and mortgage rates from several participating lenders. The Mortgage Program of Costco Members, as it’s officially known, was established in 2009. Costco is headquartered in Issaquah, Washington. "Having multiple licensed mortgage lenders who are dedicated to supporting Costco members creates a unique opportunity for Costco members to receive committed service and values rarely experienced anywhere else in the mortgage industry," says John Alexander, president and CEO of Affinity Partnerships, which designed and manages the platform under the oversight of CrossCountry Mortgage. Costco itself is not a lender. To start the process, Costco members first visit www.costcofinance.com, where they can review live rates and fees from participating lenders. After reviewing, members can submit an application with a lender through the platform to lock in their rate.

Loan types

  • Conventional
  • VA
  • FHA
  • Fixed-rate
  • Adjustable-rate (ARM)
  • Jumbo
  • Rate-and-term refinancing
  • Cash-out refinancing

Lender fees

Executive-level Costco members pay lender fees of $250 or less, while Gold-Star members pay lender fees of $550 or less. Lender fees include the application cost, underwriting, commitment and processing. Third-party fees, such as appraisal and title insurance, are not included.

The Costco Mortgage marketplace provides a fee estimate from each lender according to your loan details. You’ll get a full fee quote once you choose a lender and request a loan estimate.

In addition to its standard discount for members, Costco sometimes offers additional discounts.

Minimum borrower requirements

The Costco Mortgage multi-lender marketplace is open to borrowers with various credit scores, debt-to-income (DTI) ratios and down payment amounts.

In general, it follows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s underwriting guidelines, which means that on a conventional fixed-rate loan, you can put as little as 3 percent down and have a minimum credit score of 620. For adjustable-rate loans, the down payment requirements increase to 5 percent.

Typically, you’ll need a debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent or lower to qualify for a conventional loan. That means that your total monthly debts cannot exceed 43 percent of your gross income, although there are some exceptions.

The Costco Mortgage marketplace follows government-issued guidelines for FHA loans. That means you may be able to qualify for a loan with a credit score as low as 500 and a debt-to-income ratio as high as 50 percent. It also follows government guidelines for VA loans. For a VA loan, you’ll generally need a credit score of 620 or higher and be able to show that you have low debt relative to your income.

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