Lower initial payments can free up money for other exciting things in life.

These ARMs can give your finances a lift

Special initial rate

Depending on which loan you choose, our Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs) offer lower rates for the first 3, 5 or 7 years.

Things can change

After the initial period, your rates may be adjusted–upward or downward–each year depending on economic factors.

There's a limit

Loan caps limit how much rates can go up in any one year and over the life of the loan.

Let us explain

Partner Colorado Credit Union's experienced lending team can discuss added benefits of ARMs and whether they might be a good fit for you.

Let's boil this down to the real benefits

Here's why ARMs are a winner for many homebuyers–those lower initial rates mean smaller monthly payments. That might put you in position to afford a nicer house. It can also provide you with extra cash for remodeling or give you an opportunity to rebuild your savings. And if you plan to move again before the lower rates run out, you'll never have to deal with the prospect of higher mortgage payments.

At first glance, getting approved for a home loan may seem like a long
list of never-ending questions. In reality, it’s pretty simple. The lender
simply needs to confirm a few items regarding employment, your finances
and the home you’re hoping to buy. At Partner Colorado, we streamline
the process, so it’s hassle-free and easy. Here’s a convenient pre-approval
checklist to get you started.

  • Completed application 
  • Estimated annual household income (be sure to include Social Security, child support, government assistance, etc., in addition to your salaries)
  • Estimated monthly household debt (auto and/or student loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc.), including outstanding balance, account number and minimum monthly payment on each
  • Past two years of residential history including landlord name and
    contact (if applicable)
  • Current employment/proof of income (two most current paycheck stubs showing year-to-date earnings or, if self-employed, the last two year’s tax returns, including all pages and schedules)
  • Two years of W-2 or I-9 tax forms
  • Proof of personal assets (cars, property, 401k, retirement plans, or life insurance policies that include a cash value, etc.)
  • Two most recent bank statements for all checking/savings, CDs, IRAs, stocks, bonds, etc.
  • Disclose and explain any past credit problems including bankruptcies, foreclosures, etc.

Credit, income, down payment and assets all figure into a lender’s decision on your eligibility for a home loan. A general rule of thumb is that your payment, consisting of principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI) should not exceed 28% of your household gross income. Different circumstances (e.g., excellent credit), however, can take that number up to 40%. And remember, even if you fall short in one of these four areas, typically, Partner Colorado has the expertise and loan you need to help you achieve your goal of home ownership.


Your credit score (known as FICO), as well as the information on your credit report, are key considerations for loan approvals. Your FICO score, based on the data in your credit report, predicts how likely you are to pay off your bills in a timely fashion. Typically, the higher the FICO, the lower the interest rate. Ideally, you’ll have a score of 740 or higher, but a minimum FICO score of 620-640 or above is necessary to qualify for a home loan.

After considering your FICO score, a lender looks at your actual credit report. Large amounts of outstanding debt and high monthly payments are a red flag, limiting your ability to get approved. In addition, your credit report demonstrates payment history, longevity of credit and if you have any defaults or outstanding judgments against you. Be sure you know what is on your report that might impact your ability to qualify for a loan before applying. And take heart, there are ways to improve your FICO score and credit report should that prove necessary...some as simple as identifying and correcting errors.

You’re entitled to an annual free credit report from each of the three nationwide
reporting agencies. Visit the authorized website annualcreditreport.com or simply call 1.877.322.8228. You’ll need to verify your identity to acquire the reports.

The good news is that today’s buyer can qualify with a much lower down payment than in the past. In fact, many loans allow as low as 3%-5% down. That means you can stop renting sooner, or buy more home with the money you’ve saved. Just keep in mind, the disadvantage of having less than 20% down is PMI. Even if you choose a low-down FHA loan, typically 3.5% of the sales price, you’ll be required to pay mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.

If you’re in the market for a home, chances are you’ve been saving up for a down payment. Lenders will need to verify that you have the necessary funds available. In addition to your own personal savings, the following are acceptable ways of coming up with cash for a down.

  • Gifts: Current tax laws allow gifts of up to $12,000 annually.
  • Repurpose your IRA: If you’ve never owned a home, the IRS allows you to use up to $10,000 in IRA funds as a down payment (up to $20,000 if you’re married). Consult your tax adviser for more information.

Your Debt-to-Income ratio (DTI) compares how much you earn (gross income) to the amount of money that you owe. When evaluating you, lenders will include the estimated mortgage expenses along with other monthly bills (utilities are not used for this calculation) to determine your DTI. A low DTI, 43% of your gross monthly income or less, is considered favorable. Use our calculator to see where you stand.

Quick Look: The Pros and Cons of Your Mortgage Options
Loan Type Pros Cons Ideal For:
Thirty-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

Currently not much more expensive than an ARM

Predictable payments

Lower monthly payments

Ultimately the home costs significantly more due to greater interest paid over the life of the loanBuyers who plan to stay in the home for 7+ years
Fifteen-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

Rates remain constant

Currently similarly priced to an ARM

Pays off in half the time of traditional 30-year fixed

Builds equity quicker

Higher monthly payments

Buyers interested in owning as soon as possible

Buyers seeking to eliminate a mortgage prior to another big expense (e.g., tuition, retirement, etc.)

ARMS (3/1 ARM, 5/1 ARM, 7/1 ARM)Lower initial interest rates locked for multiple yearsAfter initial period, adjustment could lead to considerably higher monthly paymentsBuyers who plan to sell the home prior to the end of the loan’s fixed-rate period
FHA Mortgage

As low as 3.5% down payment

Easier approval with less emphasis on credit history

1.75% upfront insurance payment

Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) for life of loan

Buyers unable to save enough money for a traditional down payment

First-time home buyers

People with bankruptcy or foreclosures may still qualify

VA Mortgage

Zero down payment

No mortgage insurance

Flexible underwriting

Sellers pay closing costs

Conventional offers maybe more attractive to sellers

Mandatory VA funding fee

Primary residences only

Buyers with 90 days of active wartime service or 181 days of active peacetime service

Buyers with 6+ years in the National Guard or Reserves

Spouses of a service member who has died in the line of duty

Online Banking

Take control of your personal finances through Online Banking.

  • Real-time information
  • Transfer money easily
  • Track what's important to you

Online Bill Pay

Managing and paying your bills is more efficient when you move the process online.

  • Instant payments
  • Set it up on your time
  • Better organization

Resources to move you ahead.

Resources to move you ahead.
How Much Should You Save Before Buying A House

Make sure you save enough for your dream home.

Learn More: How Much Should You Save Before Buying A House
Extra Costs To Consider When Owning A Home

Discover which costs you may have forgotten about.

Learn More: Extra Costs To Consider When Owning A Home
Compare Two Mortgage Loans

Discover which home loan works for you.

Learn More: Compare Two Mortgage Loans
Calculate A Mortgage Payment

See how much you could pay monthly.

Learn More: Calculate A Mortgage Payment