Answers to all kinds of questions, even the un-frequent ones.
We’ve got answers to common and uncommon questions to help you better understand things like online banking, routing numbers, and more.
|Traditional IRA||Tax-deferred retirement account
Contributions go in pre-tax and earnings grow tax-deferred
Pay taxes when money is withdrawn in retirement
|Roth IRA||Money goes in after tax
Earnings grow tax-free
Do not pay taxes when money is withdrawn in retirement
|SEP IRA||Designed for self-employed individuals or small business owners
Pay taxes when money is withdrawn in retirement
A routing number is a nine-digit code used in the United States to identify and authorize the electronic transfer of funds into and out of your account. They are also known as banking routing numbers, routing transit numbers, RTNs, and ABA numbers.
The A+FCU routing number can also be found in A+ Online Banking on a checking or savings Account Details page.
You will use the routing number for services including:
- Payroll Direct Deposit
- Federal Payments (Government Payroll, Pension Checks, or Social Security)
- IRS tax refunds
- Wire Transfers into your A+FCU accounts
- Electronic Funds Transfer to pay bills such as gym membership, insurance, and cable service
To enroll in A+ Online Banking:
- Click on Enroll (you can also enroll by clicking “Enroll” on the A+ Mobile app)
- If you have a Personal Account, fill out the information on the form using the Primary account holder’s information
- If you have a Business Account, click on the Business tab at the top and fill in the form using any Authorized Signer’s information
- Notate the Login ID and Password > click Here
- Enter in the Login ID and Password from previous step > click Log In
- Select how you’d like to receive your Secure Access Code > click Submit
- Type in your five digit Secure Access Code > click Submit
- Read the Online Banking Agreement > click I Accept
- Verify the information displayed, but do not change anything > click Submit
- Create and confirm a new password > click Submit
- Click OK to change password
The Secure Access Code allows your browser to save a cookie to show that you have registered the browser as a secure browser to access your online account.
If it requires you to receive a code every time you want to access your account, it means your browser is deleting this cookie. This is typically caused by a setting on your browser.
Follow the Optimal Browser Settings for your browser to set up your browser to save the cookie for registration.
Go to Preferences > Account Preferences and click on the account you wish to rename. The option for Online Display Name will pop up under Details.
Click on Nickname Account and it will allow you to enter a new display name for the account.
Note: the nicknames only show up on your A+ Online Banking page and your A+ Mobile app. A+FCU Staff do not have access to see what you have named your account.
You can print checks written on the account from the Transaction History or eStatements (under the Services drop down) by clicking on the specific check transaction.
View checks deposited via mobile deposit from the main page under Deposit Check History (upper right side of page) or by going to Transactions > Online Activity > Deposited Checks.
To export your account history, click on the specific share. Once the transaction history shows, click on the download icon in the top right hand corner. It will provide you with different formats to download.
If you wish to export a certain timeframe or certain transactions, filter out the transaction you wish to export first before clicking on the download icon.
When setting up direct deposit, payroll deductions, electronic transfers, ACH payments, etc. you may be asked for specific information about your account.
- A+FCU’s Routing Number – 314977104
- Your 13-digit A+FCU account number
- Share type (such as checking or saving)
Your 13-digit account number and share type can be found by logging in to Online Banking.
Online Banking > Click into specific share (such as checking) > Find MICR/Account Number (top right)
You can also find the routing number and account number on your checks (see below).
On the left side menu, click on Transactions > Member to Member Xfer. From here, you can choose to make a single transfer or to link another member’s account.
To Make a Single Transfer:
- From Account – select account to transfer from and enter the amount to transfer
- To Account – enter the member number of person receiving the funds, share/loan ID, account type, and first three letters of their last name
- The member number is the 3-8 digit number on the account paperwork (ex. 123456), or after the zeros on a full account number (ex. 1120000123456) or under an account name on A+ Online Banking (ex. 123456-S12).
- The share ID is the two digit number that follows the S on an account number displayed online (ex. 123456-S12) or the two numbers before the zeros start on a full account number (ex. 1120000123456).
- The loan ID is the two digit number that follows the L on your account number displayed online (ex. 123456-L65).
To Link Accounts:
- Enter the recipient’s member information including account number, share/loan ID, account type, and first three letters of their last name
- This account information will now show in the “To” drop down whenever you select Funds Transfer
How can I transfer funds electronically out of A+ to my account at another financial institution? Is there a fee to use this service?
If eligible, you can easily set up your account at another financial institution through the Add External Account feature under the Transaction menu.
It’s free to transfer money into your A+FCU account (does not include fees from the other financial institution), but there is a $3.50 fee to transfer funds out of A+FCU to your other financial institution account.
After you receive the micro deposits in your external account, log back into your A+ Online Banking account and go to Verify External Account under the Transaction menu. There, you will enter the two deposit amounts for verification.
After the verification process is complete, the account number will show up in the Funds Transfer and Loan Payment options. If you do not see your account after verifying the deposits, log out and back into your account to refresh. If you continue to have issues, please contact our Member Support Team at 512.302.6800.
All incoming external transfers are deposited the following business day after the transfer date that was selected during the creation of the transfer.
All outgoing external transfers are processed at 4:00 pm CDT on the date that was selected for transfer and should be deposited no later than the following business day. The exact time is dependent on when the receiving financial institution processes their incoming ACH deposits.
You can sign up for eAlerts to be sent via text and/or email through A+ Online Banking on your desktop computer or through the A+ Mobile app on a tablet/iPad (set up is not available through the A+ Mobile app on a smartphone).
To set up, go to Services menu > eAlerts > Add New eAlert. You will first be prompted to set up your Default Delivery Options. This is required so that when setting up new alerts your information is automatically filled in based on your preferences.
After submitting your default alert options, you can click on Add New Alert again and select the alert you want to create.
Click to go to the correct app store to download the A+ Mobile app.
Before downloading, make sure your device meets these requirements:
- Android Compatibility: Android 4.0.3 and later is recommended
- Apple iOS Compatibility: iOS 8 or higher is recommended, iOS 7 is compatible but may create a slightly different appearance or behavior, iPhone 4 and newer models are recommended.
- Mobile Connectivity: 4G LTE/Wi-Fi recommended, 3G may cause connectivity issues.
- Camera Resolution (important for Mobile Deposit): 5 megapixels or higher, 1.9-4.9 megapixels will allow caption, however quality of image can vary
- Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Kindle Fire are not compatible with A+ Mobile
Touch ID is currently available on iOS 8, 9.X, and 10.X with Touch ID capability.
To turn it on with your device, you must set it up from within the iOS. On the device, go to Settings > Touch ID > New Touch ID.
Please note that only one Touch ID is permitted per device. Multiple users cannot use Touch ID on the same device even if they have different logins/accounts.GET STARTED
Fingerprint ID is currently available on Android 4.2.X and later with touch capability.
To turn it on with your device, you must set it up from within the operating system. On the device, go to Settings > Security/Lock Screen and Security > Fingerprints/Add Fingerprint.
Please note that only one Fingerprint ID is permitted per device. Multiple users cannot use Fingerprint ID on the same device even if they have different logins/accounts.GET STARTED
If you plan to make the payment with a credit or debit card, make sure the payoff quote is for the day you will make the payment. You can generate a payoff quote by going to Loan Services > Loan Payoff.
If you plan to make a payment with an external transfer, you’ll want your payoff quote for the following business day to allow for processing. If it’s after 4:00 pm, you will want your payoff quote to be for the second business day.
Log into your A+ Online Banking account. Under the Services menu, click on Block a Debit Card and select the card number to block. You will be required to provide a reason for blocking the card.
With the A+ Card Guard app, you can suspend your debit card in the event you think it may be lost or stolen and reactivate when you’re ready.
To set up Touch ID for use with the A+ Mobile app:
- Launch the A+ Mobile app. Click on Touch ID.
- Review the Touch ID Login description and click on Enroll Now.
- Enter login ID and password. Click Authorize.
- Place finger on Home button to verify fingerprint.
- Touch ID Enabled screen will display. Continue through the login process.
I have Fingerprint ID set up on my Android device, how do I set it up for use within the A+ Mobile App?
To set up Fingerprint ID for use with the A+ Mobile app:
- Launch the A+ Mobile app. Click on Fingerprint Login.
- Review the Fingerprint Login description and click on Enroll Now.
- Enter login ID and password. Click Authorize.
- Touch sensor to verify fingerprint.
- Fingerprint Verified screen will display. Continue through the login process.
If you’re not able to use your Touch ID/Fingerprint ID to access the A+ Mobile app, make sure your password hasn’t been changed recently and that Touch ID/Fingerprint ID is set up on your device. You can always access your account by entering your login ID and password.
If you continue to have issues, please contact us at 512.302.6800.
A passcode is a four-digit code that allows you to log in to your account on the A+ Mobile app without needing to enter your password.
To set up a passcode:
- Launch the A+ Mobile app.
- Click on Passcode.
- Review Passcode description and click on Enroll Now (iOS) or Create Passcode (Android).
- Enter login ID, then password, and click Authorize.
- Enter four-digit passcode. Confirm passcode on next screen.
- Passcode Enabled screen will display. Continue through the login process.
Text Banking allows members age 13 and older who have a mobile phone with texting capabilities to opt-in to receive information from A+ Federal Credit Union Text Banking.
To learn more and enroll, log in to A+ Online Banking and click the Services menu > Text Banking Enrollment.
Once you’re enrolled, you’ll receive a welcome text message. Text LIST and hit send to get a list of commands with abbreviations on obtaining balances, conducting transfers, and more.
myFinance is a money management tool, integrated into A+ Online Banking, that empowers you to take control of your finances and simplify your life.
With the myFinance account aggregation feature, you’ll be able to combine all your financial account balances and transactions from various financial institutions into one place to get a complete financial picture.
Android: you need an Android phone running Kit Kat (4.4) or higher and your phone needs to support NFC (Near Field Communication) and HCE (Host Card Emulation). Find out how to check your phone here.
Apple Pay: compatible with iPhone, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, Apple Watch (paired with iPhone 5 or later), iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3.
Samsung: compatible with Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 active, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 active, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge+.
- Look for the app on your phone as several devices already have Google Pay preloaded. If yours doesn’t, visit the Google Play store and download the app
- Add your A+FCU Debit card — it’s as simple as snapping a photo
- Unlock your phone and pay confidently at over a million locations in the U.S. that accept contactless payments.
Need more details on getting set up? Visit the Google Pay Help Center if you have any further questions.
Enjoy the convenience of making your purchases with your A+FCU debit card securely with a single touch at thousands of stores and in participating apps.
- Confirm your compatible device has the latest version of iOS
- To pair your A+FCU debit card, open Settings > Wallet > Apple Pay > Add Credit or Debit Card
Need more details on getting set up? Visit here.
- Make sure your compatible* Samsung device is updated with Samsung Pay
- Take a picture of your A+FCU debit card with your device’s camera
- Secure it with your fingerprint and backup PIN and you’ll be ready to go
Visit the Samsung Pay Support page if you have any further questions.
Find your payee on the Payee list. Click on the three horizontal dots to the right of your payee and choose Delete Payee.
Note: deleting a payee will remove the payee name as an option to sort through Payment History. If you wish to keep the payee active to make this sorting process easier, we recommend changing the payee nickname.
The chip card is more secure for in-store purchases than traditional cards and is more difficult for fraud organizations to target card holders and businesses. A unique one-time code is generated for each transaction and makes it virtually impossible to replicate – giving you greater security and peace of mind when making store purchases. Of course, you’re still protected against unauthorized use with Visa’s Zero Liability policy.
Due to the cost and design limitations, individual card selection is not available.
We do offer debit cards that support specific schools and school districts at the specified branches.
Here are some tips:
- Check all the available account types listed under an institution when you search. Sometimes mortgage, savings, credit card, etc. accounts are listed separately. You might also have to search for the specific account (i.e., “Bank of America mortgage,” as opposed to just “Bank of America”).
- Verify your username and password with your institution to ensure your credentials haven’t expired. Sometimes signing in can unlock a frozen account connection.
- Turn off complicated security preferences (such as CAPTCHA and picture passwords) on your institution’s site.
- Allow your institution to accept third-party access by changing the preferences on their site.
- Make sure you aren’t simultaneously logged in to your institution’s site on another tab or browser.
- Make sure the software isn’t waiting for your response to a security question.
- If a connection breaks, you may have to enter your credentials again.
Broken accounts have a red or yellow exclamation mark in the top right corner of the account card.
To fix the connection:
- Click the broken account
- Click the red or yellow warning message in the Link Status section
- Re-enter your login credentials
If the account continues to fail:
- Log in to your financial institution’s online banking to verify that your credentials are correct and that there are no holds on the account.
- Add the account again, and pay special attention to the institution name to make sure you are attempting to add the correct account. Many institutions have similar names.
You may occasionally see duplicate accounts from an automated feed. You can fix this problem by either merging the duplicate accounts or by deleting one of the duplicates.
- Click the duplicate account
- Click Mark as Duplicate
To merge an account:
- Click Merge
- Type MERGE into the appropriate box
Note: You can only merge accounts that come through the same automated feed.
Here are a few reasons you might be seeing duplicate transactions:
- Your accounts have been added twice. If you see two of the same account, click one of them and then select Delete.
- You’re seeing both the debit and the credit side of a single transfer. Transactions categorized as transfers don’t show up in the spending wheel or in your budgets because they don’t represent an increase or decrease in assets.
- Your institution is duplicating certain transactions when it passes the data to us. Contact us at 512.302.6800 and we’ll see how we can help resolve this issue.
There could be a few different reasons for this, including:
- A transaction might be so recent that it’s still pending and hasn’t shown up yet.
- You just logged in for the first time. Only 90 days of transactions are pulled on the first log in.
- You haven’t logged in for over 30 days. In most cases each new log in only pulls 30 to 45 days’ worth of transactions. To be sure all your transactions are included, we recommend logging in at least once every 30 days.
For your security, the myFinance mobile app requires that you link it to your web app (you will only have to do this once).
- From the desktop version, click Settings
- Click Mobile Devices
- Click Generate Access Codeto see your 8-digit access code
- Download the app from the iOS or Android App Store
- Enter your access code into your mobile device
- Now you’re connected
The state of Texas has set parameters to calculate how much you can borrow.
The first parameter will allow you to borrow up to 80% of the Fair Market Value (FMV) of the home, less any liens you may already have on the home. This means the amount of your combined mortgage and your new HELOC cannot be more than 80% of the value of your home.
The second parameter specifies that the loan amount on a Home Equity Line of Credit cannot exceed 50% of the Fair Market Value of your home.
Fair Market Value = $100,000
(FMV) x 80% = $100,000 x .80 = $80,000
Less any lien = $80,000 – $40,000 = $40,000
Potential Credit Line = $40,000
HELOC < (FMV) x 50% = $40,000 < $50,000
With the Traditional IRA, funds go in before tax and grow tax-deferred until withdrawn. They are more attractive than ever because expanded income limits mean more people will be able to make tax-deductible contributions. In addition, penalty-free withdrawals are allowed for qualified higher-education expenses and for a first-time home purchase.
With the Roth IRA, the money you contribute goes in after tax and the earnings grow tax-free. Not only can funds be used for retirement, but there are certain exceptions to withdraw earnings without penalty such as a first-time home purchase. This flexibility makes the Roth IRA appealing to many different age and income groups with an easy and safe way to plan for the future.
With a traditional IRA, your contributions may be tax-deductible and earnings are tax-deferred, meaning you pay taxes on most traditional funds upon withdrawal. In contrast, Roth IRA contributions are always made with after-tax dollars, but qualified withdrawals are tax-free – including your earnings.
- Earnings grow tax-free
- Regular contributions can be withdrawn tax and government-penalty free at any time
- After the account has been open five tax years, earnings can be withdrawn tax and penalty-free for any of these reasons: age 59 1/2, disability, death, or a first-time home purchase (lifetime limit for exemption on first-time home purchase is $10,000)
For the most accurate contribution limits, visit the IRA contribution limits from the IRS.
Traditional IRA – must have earned compensation and be under age 70 ½.
Roth IRA – must fall within certain modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) limits to make the full contribution limit. See how much you can contribute here.
“Catch-up” contributions are specifically designed to help those who are getting closer to retirement catch up on their retirement savings.
You are eligible as long as you’re at least 50 years old during the year the contribution is for and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for Traditional or Roth IRAs.
Texas law requires a minimum 12 calendar day waiting period from the time the written application and the Texas Home Equity Loan Disclosures are received to the day you can close.
There is also an additional three business day Right of Rescission period before the loan can be funded, which is required by both state and federal laws. With the required waiting periods, the minimum time it will take to receive your money is 15 days, but this will depend on processing time and weekend or holiday schedules.
A simplified employee pension (SEP) plan is a way for small businesses to offer a retirement plan to their employees. An SEP plan allows the employer to make contributions to their own traditional IRA and those of their employees instead of establishing a complex retirement plan.
- Employer picks the plan that they want to use (Pro Rata Allocation or Social Security Integration)
- Employees receiving SEP contributions can also make regular IRA contributions under the normal contribution rules
- SEP contributions are cheaper for the employer to pay to employees than wages
- A+FCU handles contributions, tax reporting, withdrawals, etc.
Call our IRA Counselors at 512.302.6800 for more information on how to secure the financial future for you and your employees.
How do I apply for a mortgage loan?
You can easily apply online for any of our mortgages. Completing the application is quick and should take you 15 minutes. You will receive a call from one of our Mortgage Lending experts within 24 hours to discuss options.
Can I apply for a loan before I find a property I want to purchase?
Yes. Applying for a mortgage before you find a home is beneficial and recommended. When you apply in advance, we issue a pre-qualification letter that assures your real estate broker and seller that you are a qualified buyer. It also helps guide you to the right price range to fit your budget.
What documents will you need to process my loan?
The Checklist of Documents for Mortgage Application provides a list of documents that will most likely be requested. A Mortgage Loan expert will advise you on what to submit and the different methods to submit.
How is income considered?
|Type of Income||Proof Required||How it’s Considered/Things to Know|
|Self-Employed||Personal (and business, if applicable) federal tax returns for past two years and Year to Date Profit and Loss Statement||Average the net income that is reported on your tax returns|
|Commission||W-2 statements for past two years and recent pay stub||Average the amounts received over past two years to determine amount considered as part of regular income|
|Overtime and Bonus||W-2 statements for past two years and recent pay stub||Will not be considered if not received for at least one year|
|Second Job||W-2 statements||Considered if a one-year history can be verified|
|Retirement||Recent pension check stubs or bank statements (if direct deposited) and award letter||Award letter may be requested to verify income will continue for at least three years|
|Rental||Most recent year’s federal tax return||Review Schedule E to verify your rental income after all expenses except depreciation|
|Dividend/Interest||Two years tax returns and copies of statements from your financial institutions and brokerage accounts, stock certificates, or promissory notes||Calculate an average amount to include as income|
|Child Support/Alimony||24 months history of payments||Only considered if you want it considered|
Are student loans that are not yet in repayment considered as debt?
All student loans, regardless of deferment, are now considered on all loans. If a payment has not been established, a 5% rule is applied as a payment.
If I have co-signed a loan for another person, does that affect my ability to get a mortgage?
Generally, a co-signed debt is considered when determining your qualifications for a mortgage. If the co-signed debt does not affect your ability to obtain a new mortgage we leave it at that. However, if it does make a difference, we can ignore the monthly payment of the co-signed debt if you can provide verification that the other person responsible for the debt has made the required payments by obtaining copies of their personal cancelled checks for the last 12 months.
Will a past bankruptcy or foreclosure affect my ability to obtain a new mortgage?
If you have had a bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past, it will affect your ability to get a new mortgage. Unless the bankruptcy or foreclosure was caused by situations beyond your control, we generally require four years to pass after the bankruptcy or foreclosure. It’s also important to see that you re-established an acceptable credit history with new loans or credit cards.
Does having multiple employers within the last few years affect my ability to get a new mortgage?
Generally, changing employers frequently will not hinder you from obtaining a new mortgage loan, especially if you didn’t have periods without employment. We will also look at your income advancements with your changes.
If you are paid on a commission basis, a recent job change may be an issue since we may have a difficult time predicting your earnings without a history with your new employer.
If you are newly receiving commission, and were previously W2’d, that will be an issue, as we are required to document a two year history of receiving commission income to be able to consider it.
I was in school before obtaining my current job, how do I complete the application?
Enter the name of the school you attended and the length of time you were in school in the Length of Employment field. You can enter a position of student and income of 0. Be prepared to provide transcripts to support course curriculum that can be linked to current employment.
What should I enter on my application if I am relocating for a new job but haven’t started yet?
If you will be working for the same employer, complete the application as such but enter the income you anticipate receiving at your new location.
If you will be working for a new employer, complete the application as if your new employer is your current employer and indicate that you have been there for one month. Enter the information about the employment you are leaving as a previous employer. It’s recommended that you also discuss with your mortgage expert.
You will need to provide one month of paystubs from your new employment before we can close.
Visa recommends that you register your card to protect your rights if your Visa Gift Card is ever lost or stolen. By registering your card, it makes the process of refunding your money for unauthorized purchases easier.
In addition, if you wish to make purchases on the internet, through mail-order, or plan to use a PIN for point-of-sale transactions, you will need to register your card prior to performing these transactions or the transaction may be declined.
Your card can be registered by calling 888.373.2884 or online.
Yes, you can use your Visa Gift Card at a gas station. However, if you have a low balance on your card, you may not be able to use it because of the required “pre-authorization” amount set by your financial institution. Some financial institutions place a higher pre-authorization amount on gas pump purchases to ensure you have enough money on the card for a full tank of gas. If you wish to use your Gift Card, pay inside with the cashier instead.
Yes, you can still use your card even though your name doesn’t appear on the card. Your identity is verified by a retailer by checking your signature on the back of your card to your signature on the receipt or electronic receipt.
For this reason, you will want to sign the back of your card as soon as you receive it.
How does my credit score affect my application?
Your credit score is one piece of information that we use to evaluate your application. Credit scores used for mortgage decisions range from approximately 300 to 900. Credit scores help our mortgage experts quickly and objectively evaluate your credit history when reviewing your loan application.
Does the credit inquiry from the application affect my credit score?
Numerous credit inquiries can sometimes affect your credit scores since it may indicate that your use of credit is increasing. However, data used to calculate your credit score does not include any mortgage or auto loan credit inquiries that are made within the 30 days prior to the score being calculated. Additionally, all mortgage inquiries made in any 14-day period are considered as one inquiry.
Pending transactions are authorized transactions, and a hold is placed on your card for the purchase amount. Posted transactions are purchases that have cleared on your card and the funds have been deducted.
There might be some pending transactions that are more or less than the amount you actually spent. This is because some retailers place a pre-authorization amount on your card for more or less than the total of the purchase. For example, gas stations might make a pre-authorization for a smaller amount, such as $1.00, to ensure the account is active.
Once you have completed your purchase, an actual authorization is sent in the amount of your purchase.
Typically, your available balance is less than your actual balance because your available balance reflects purchases you have made that have been authorized, but may not have cleared your account. There are some cases, such as when you have returned merchandise purchased with your gift card, that your available balance will be more than your actual balance.
Can I borrow funds to use towards my down payment?
Yes, however, any loan you take out for a down payment must be secured by an asset that you own such as a car or another home. If you plan on obtaining a loan, make sure to include the loan details in the expenses section of your application.
Can I use a monetary gift towards my down payment?
Gifts are an acceptable source to use towards a down payment if the gift giver is related to you or the co-borrower on the mortgage. A letter signed by the giver and yourself is required to confirm that the funds are a true gift and not a loan.
If the appraised value of my property is more than the purchase price, can I use the difference towards my down payment?
No. We will use the lower of the appraised value or the sales price to determine your down payment requirement.
What are points?
A point is a form of interest. Each point is equal to 1% of the loan amount you are borrowing. You pay points at your loan closing in exchange for a lower interest rate over the life of your loan. This means you will be required to bring more at closing. By paying points, you will lower monthly payments over the term of your loan.
Should I pay points to lower my interest rate?
To determine whether it makes sense for you to pay points/origination, compare the cost of the points/origination to the monthly payment savings created by the lower interest rate. Divide the total cost of the points/origination by the savings in each monthly payment. This calculation provides the number of payments you must make before you actually begin to save money by paying points/origination. If the number of months it takes to recoup the points/origination is longer than you plan to have the mortgage, you should consider the loan program option that does not require points/origination to be paid.
Is comparing APRs the best way to decide which lender has the lowest rates and fees?
The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is designed to present the actual cost of obtaining financing, by requiring that some, but not all, closing fees are included in the calculation.
These fees, in addition to the interest rate, determine the estimated cost of financing over the full term of the loan. However, it’s important to remember that most people do not keep the mortgage for the entire loan term and the added costs are usually paid upfront – not over the life of the loan.
Also, the APR is an effective interest rate—not the actual interest rate. Your monthly payments will be based on the actual interest rate, the amount you borrow, and the term of your loan.
How do I know if it’s best to lock in my interest rate or to let it float?
Mortgage interest rates are as hard to predict as the stock market and no one knows for certain whether they will go up or down. If you have a hunch that rates are on an upward trend then you may want to consider locking the rate as soon as you can. Before you decide to lock, make sure that your loan can close within the lock period.
When can I lock in my interest rate and points/origination?
In order to lock in an interest rate, we need a full and complete loan application (along with credit report and all income and asset information), a signed “Intent to Proceed”, and signed initial disclosures.
Once our Mortgage Loan Officers have reviewed your documentation and credit package, we will notify you when you are able to request the rate lock.
What is the Rate Lock Policy?
- General Statement. The interest rate market is subject to movements without advance notice. Locking in a rate protects you from the time that your lock is confirmed to the day that your lock period expires.
- Lock-In Agreement. A lock is an agreement between the borrower and the lender that specifies the number of days for which a loan’s interest rate and points/origination are guaranteed. Should interest rates rise during that period, A+FCU is obligated to honor the committed rate. Should interest rates fall during this period, the borrower must honor the lock.
- Fees. A+FCU does not charge a fee for locking in your interest rate.
- Lock Period. A+FCU currently has a 60 day lock-in price for our online application. Additional lock periods can be discussed with your mortgage professional after completing the application.
- Lock Confirmation. When you submit your online application, the loan rate agreement will show that you are floating. When you lock your loan with your mortgage professional, a loan rate agreement will be provided.
What is a fixed-rate mortgage?
A fixed-rate mortgage is a mortgage with an interest rate that stays the same for the entire term of the loan. Monthly mortgage payments (principal and interest) remain the same for the life of your loan.
How much money will I save by choosing a 15-year rather than a 30-year fixed rate loan?
A 15-year fixed rate mortgage gives you the ability to own your home free and clear in 15 years. And, while the monthly payments are somewhat higher than a 30-year loan, the interest rate on the 15-year mortgage is usually a little lower, and more importantly, you pay less than half the total interest cost of the traditional 30-year mortgage.
What is an adjustable-rate mortgage?
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a loan type that offers a lower initial interest rate than most fixed-rate loans. The tradeoff is that the interest rate can change periodically, usually in relation to an index, and the monthly payment will go up or down accordingly.
Against the advantage of the lower payment at the beginning of the loan, you should weigh the risk that an increase in interest rates will lead to higher monthly payments in the future. In short, you get a lower rate with an ARM in exchange for assuming more risk.
What is an appraisal and who completes it?
The appraisal is a required report that determines the value of the property you are purchasing or refinancing.
National standards govern the appraisal’s format and specify an appraiser’s qualifications and credentials. Additionally, Texas has specific licensing requirements for appraisers evaluating properties within the state. The appraiser is not an employee of the credit union and it is an independent evaluation.
Do I get a copy of the appraisal?
As soon as we receive your appraisal, we update your loan with the estimated value of the home. As a standard practice, we provide a copy of your appraisal at closing.
Do I need a home inspection AND an appraisal?
No. While both a home inspection and an appraisal are designed to protect you against potential issues with your new home, we do not require a home inspection. However, getting one is highly recommended.
How long does it take for the property appraisal to be completed?
We order the appraisal as soon as the credit report fee is paid. Licensed appraisers who are familiar with home values in your area perform appraisals and it generally takes 10-14 days before the written report is sent to us. We follow up with the appraiser to ensure it is completed as soon as possible. If you are refinancing and an interior inspection of the home is necessary, the appraiser should contact you to schedule a viewing appointment.
What is title insurance?
Title insurance assures that you have clear title to the home you’re purchasing. A title search is the primary component of “due diligence” and will determine whether the seller actually owns the property or if there are any claims against it.
What is mortgage insurance?
Mortgage insurance makes it possible for you to buy a home with less than a 20% down payment. It protects the lender against the additional risk associated with low down-payment lending.
What types of insurance are required when I purchase a home?
Selecting the right insurance for your home is important. All mortgage loans will require a new homeowner to acquire homeowners insurance to protect the home from damage and theft.
If your home lies within a flood zone, you will also be required to obtain flood insurance. Additionally, a Flood Elevation Certificate may be required to determine the appropriate coverage amount required.
We partner with TruStage Home Insurance as another way of looking out for you. They offer a number of plans to protect your house, apartment or condo, and since you’re an A+FCU member, you may qualify for special discounts.LEARN MORE
Who from A+FCU will be at the closing?
The closing agent acts as our agent and will represent A+FCU at the closing.
Will I need to have an attorney represent me at closing?
Attorneys are not common at a real estate closing in Texas.
Where does the closing take place?
We will schedule your closing to take place at the office of the title company. We deliver our loan documents and we wire transfer your loan funds to the closing agent prior to closing so that he or she has plenty of time to prepare for your closing.
What happens at the loan closing?
During the closing, you will review and sign several loan papers. The closing agent conducting the closing should be able to answer any questions you have. To ensure that there will be no surprises at closing, your mortgage expert will contact you to go over the final figures the day before closing.
If I am selling my current home to purchase a new home, what documentation is required before I close?
If you are selling your current home to purchase a new home, you need to provide a copy of the Closing Disclosure (CD) you receive at the sale of your current home to verify the mortgage has been paid in full and that you have sufficient funds for the closing on your new home. Often the closing of your current home is scheduled for the same day as the closing of your new home. If that is the case, bring your Closing Disclosure with you to your new mortgage closing.
What are closing fees and how are they determined?
A home loan often involves many fees, such as the appraisal fee, title charges, closing fees, and state or local taxes. These fees vary from lender to lender. A+FCU will provide you with a complete and accurate estimate.
What other costs might I have to pay at the closing?
Your mortgage expert will let you know what costs you will need to pay at closing.
- Origination fees
- Initial deposit into escrow account
- Up to two months of mortgage insurance
- First year’s homeowners insurance premium (paid prior to closing)
What is an escrow account?
An escrow account requires borrowers to make monthly payments toward real estate taxes and/or home-related insurance as part of the regular monthly mortgage payment. Bills for the taxes and/or insurance are sent directly to the lender (A+FCU) or investor who makes the required payments.
Can I have my monthly payment automatically debited from my checking account?
Automated monthly payments are available. At the loan closing, an automated payment application will be provided. Simply return it at your earliest convenience to enroll in the automated payment program. You can also schedule automatic payments online through A+ Online Banking.
Can I make mortgage payments online?
Yes. You can use the Loan Payment feature in A+ Online Banking to pay your mortgage or you can set up automatic drafts.
Can I manage my mortgage account online?
Yes. A+FCU offers all mortgage clients 24/7 secure access to their mortgage account through A+ Online Banking.
With A+ Online Banking you can:
- Make a payment
- Set up automatic payments
- Review loan activity
- Evaluate payoff information
- Review year-end statement
- View your escrow account
Your Visa Gift Card can only be used to make purchases up to the amount on the card. Most retailers send a pre-authorization for the amount of the purchase to ensure that your card has enough money for the purchase. If you attempt to make a purchase for more than the amount available on the card, the transaction will be declined.
Email Addresses, Cellular Phone Addresses, Notification Times, Detail Level, and Nickname can all be assigned default values by defining your account’s Default eAlert Settings. These default values will be pre-filled each time you add a new eAlert to your account, making the process even quicker and easier.
You can change your Default eAlert Settings at any time just like any other eAlert. Any changes made will not be automatically applied to eAlerts already defined on your account. You do have the option to overwrite all of your existing eAlerts with your new Default Settings. To do this, check the “Please overwrite all my existing eAlerts with these Defaults” box when editing your Default Settings.
The changes will not be applied to any of your existing eAlerts automatically. You do have the option to overwrite all of your existing eAlerts with your new Default Settings – you just need to check the “Please overwrite all my existing eAlerts with these Defaults” box when editing your Default Settings.
We do offer members who qualify an opportunity to skip a payment on certain loans.
- All loans must be current
- No share accounts may be negative
- Certain loans are ineligible for skip a pay
Other restrictions may apply. Please contact us at 512.302.6800 with questions.
If you are interested, you will need to complete the Skip-A-Payment form.
The email address is made up of the phone’s 10-digit phone number@service provider’s gateway. Some examples are listed below. You can check with your service provider if it is not listed.
- AT&T/Cingular: [10-digit phone number]@cingularme.com
- Cricket: [10-digit phone number]@mms.mycricket.com
- Nextel: [10-digit phone number]@messaging.nextel.com
- Sprint: [10-digit phone number]@messaging.sprintpcs.com
- T-Mobile: [10-digit phone number]@tmomail.net
- Verizon: [10-digit phone number]@vtext.com
- Virgin: [10-digit phone number]@vmobl.com
The A+ Card Guard app requires that you keep an email address listed at all times. Before you can remove the old email, you will need to add a new one.
To add an email address, click on the plus sign (+) in the top left hand corner and go through the process of adding your new email address.
Once you have successfully added the new email address and designated it as your primary email, you can delete the old one. In the top left hand corner, click on the three horizontal lines > Settings > User Profile > Manage Email Address > Delete.
To remove a phone number from the Mobile section, just click on the number and then Delete when prompted.
You do have the option to turn off email/text notification for each alert without removing your email or phone number completely.
On most eAlert setup screens there are two fields called “Send eAlerts From” and “Send eAlerts Until”. Enter the time range you would like your eAlerts to be sent.
If an eAlert is triggered outside of your chosen time range, your eAlert will be sent the following day. The exception to this is the Daily Balance eAlert. For this eAlert type you need to choose a “Notify Me At” time to be notified once a day.
If you would like to receive all of your eAlerts at a specific time every day, simply set “Send eAlerts From” and “Send eAlerts Until” to the same time, making sure to choose a time during normal business hours.
The “No Hats, No Hoods, No Sunglasses” security policy is designed to keep our members and employees safe while deterring potential robbers. Most robbers don’t want to be identified so they hide behind hats, hoodies, and sunglasses. We need to be able to clearly identify anyone who walks into our branches.
ClickSWITCH makes it easy for you to quickly and securely switch your current online bill payments, automated payments and direct deposits from your existing financial institution accounts to your new account. ClickSWITCH removes the hassles of contacting all your billers to make changes and helps ensure you don’t miss a payment when you change financial institutions.
Default eAlert Settings
This eAlert works at the account level and is used to define some default settings that will be pre-filled each time you add a new eAlert. These default settings include Email Addresses, Cellular Phone, Addresses, Notification Times, Detail Level, and Nickname.
Low Balance eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and can be set to monitor either one individual share, or all shares on the account.
A minimum balance amount will be entered at the time of set up. You will be notified when a transaction causes the selected share balance to fall below that amount.
There are three options to choose from:
- Subtype 1 – Notify me only the first time.
- Subtype 2 – Notify me for each withdrawal.
- Subtype 3 – Notify me for any transaction.
Low Available Balance eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and can be set to monitor either one individual share, or all shares on the account.
A minimum available balance amount will be entered at the time of set up. You will be notified when a transaction causes the selected share’s available balance to fall below that amount.
There are three options to choose from:
- Subtype 1 – Notify me only the first time.
- Subtype 2 – Notify me for each withdrawal.
- Subtype 3 – Notify me for any transaction.
Daily Balance eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and can be set to monitor one individual share, all draft/checking shares, all savings shares, or all shares on the account.
You will be notified of the appropriate balance(s) once daily at a time you specify.
Insufficient Funds eAlert (combines NSF, PlusPay, & ODT)
This eAlert works at the share level and can be set to monitor either an individual share or all shares on the account.
This mimics a situation in which each of the NSF, Plus Pay, and Overdraw Transfer eAlerts have been created on the account. When this type is chosen, all three will be checked for and sent individually according to their descriptions above so instead of individually setting up each of the NSF, Plus Pay, and Overdraw Transfer eAlerts you can set up one Insufficient Funds eAlert.
Direct Deposit Received eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and can be set to monitor either one individual share, or all shares on the account. You will be notified of each Direct Deposit made to the selected share(s).
Automatic Withdrawal eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and can be set to monitor either one individual share, or all shares on the account. You will be notified whenever an Automatic Withdrawal posts to the selected share(s).
Large Withdrawal eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and can be set to monitor either one individual share, or all shares on the account.
A minimum withdrawal amount will be entered at the time of set up. You will be notified each time any withdrawal which equals or exceeds that amount is completed on the share(s).
Draft Withdrawal eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and can be set to monitor either one individual draft share, or all draft shares on the account. You will be notified each time a draft withdrawal is completed on the share(s).
Share Transfer eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and can be set to monitor either one individual share, or all shares on the account. You will be notified each time a transfer transaction is completed on the share(s).
Specific Check # Cleared eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and must be set to monitor one individual draft share. A check number must be entered at the time of set up and you will then be notified when it clears. This is a one time only eAlert and will be deleted from the active list once it is sent.
Maturing Certificate eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and must be set to monitor one individual Certificate share. You will select how many days in advance you want to be alerted to a Certificate maturing and will receive notification accordingly.
Interest Rate Change eAlert
This eAlert works at the loan level and can be set to monitor either one individual loan, or all loans on the account. You will be notified whenever the interest rate is changed on the selected loan(s).
Loan Payment Due eAlert
This eAlert works at the loan level and must be set to monitor one individual loan. You will select how many days in advance you want to be alerted to a loan payment being due and will receive notification accordingly.
Loan Payment Made eAlert
This eAlert works at the loan level and can be set to monitor either one individual loan, or all loans on the account. You will receive an eAlert each time a payment is made on the loan(s).
Loan Payment Change eAlert
This eAlert works at the loan level and can be set to monitor either one individual loan, or all loans on the account. You will receive an eAlert whenever the payment amount on the loan is changed.
Loan Past Due eAlert
This eAlert works at the loan level and must be set to monitor one individual loan. You will receive an eAlert if your loan’s due date passes without a payment being made. You may receive this eAlert again if a payment is not made in a timely manner.
Large Debit Card or ATM Transaction eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and must be set to monitor either one individual share, or all shares on the account.
A minimum purchase amount will be entered at the time of set up. You will be notified each time a transaction is completed (Credit/Debit Card, POS, or ATM) using that card which equals or exceeds that amount.
A+ Online Banking Access eAlert
This eAlert works on the account level. You will be notified any time your account is accessed via Online Banking.
A+ Online Banking Share Transaction eAlert
This eAlert works at the share level and can be set to monitor either one individual share, or all shares on the account. You will be notified of transactions conducted via A+ Online Banking. There are three options to choose from:
- Subtype 1 – Notify me for any deposit via Online Banking.
- Subtype 2 – Notify me for any withdrawal via Online Banking.
- Subtype 3 – Notify me for any transaction via Online Banking.
Mailing Address Change eAlert
This eAlert works at the account level. You will be notified any time a change is made to the Street, City, State, Zip Code, or Extra Address fields on your account.
E-mail Address Change eAlert
This eAlert works at the account level. You will be notified any time a change is made to either the E-mail Address or Alternate E-mail Address fields on your account.
Regulation D Transaction eAlert
This eAlert works at the account level and monitors each share independently. Regulation D is a government regulation which, among other things, differentiates between transaction shares and non-transaction shares. Regulation D places monthly limitations on non-transaction shares, such as savings and money market shares. Transaction shares, such as checking or draft shares, are not subject to Regulation D limitations.
This eAlert will be sent each time a transaction that qualifies under Regulation D is performed on a non-transaction share. If you choose the “Specific” detail level the eAlert will also inform you of how many such transactions have been performed thus far during the current month. Contact the credit union for more details and limitations on Regulation D transactions.
Scheduled Transfer eAlert
This eAlert works at the account level. You will be notified each time a scheduled transfer completes successfully on your account.
Scheduled Transfer Failed eAlert
This eAlert works at the account level. You will be notified each time a scheduled transfer fails to complete on your account.
There is absolutely no limit to the number of eAlerts you can sign up for. You can sign up for multiple types of eAlerts as well as sign up multiple times for each type of eAlert.
For example, you can set up a low balance eAlert that will notify you anytime your checking account balance drops below $200. You can also sign up for another low balance eAlert and have it emailed to your phone anytime your account balance drops below $50.
No. The types that are available to you depend on two things:
- The types of products you have. For example, if you have no loans then the Loan Payment Due eAlert will not be offered to you.
- The process that triggers some eAlerts will not always work correctly for everyone. If there are any that will not be sent properly 100% of the time then it will be disabled.
There are three different detail levels:
- Specific – Full Detail
- Moderate – Some Detail
- Generic – No Detail
Due to message length, you may receive an abbreviated version of a “Moderate” or “Specific” detail level eAlert when it is being sent to a cellular phone.
Let’s say you asked to be notified when a large withdrawal over $100 was made on your account:
Generic – No Detail
“An eAlert has been triggered on your account. Please log in to your account online to view more detail.”
Moderate – Some Detail
“A Large Withdrawal eAlert has been triggered on your account. Please log in to your account online to view more detail.”
Specific – Full Detail
A Large Withdrawal eAlert has been triggered on your account. You asked to be notified when a large withdrawal over $100 was made on your account:
Share 01 – Withdrawal Amount: 750.00, Withdrawal Time: 10:31
Post Date: 04/13/2006, Effective Date: 04/13/2006
New Balance: 980.00, New Available Balance: 975.00
Entering an account nickname is optional. It’s a way to identify an account in the eAlerts you receive.
If you have the same eAlerts set up on multiple accounts, an account nickname will allow you to know which one triggered an eAlert without logging in to A+ Online Banking immediately.
Important: We will not send any identifying information via email. You may NOT include your account number or user name in the account nickname.
ClickSWITCH takes the hassle out of moving your automated payments and direct deposits to your new account. You input your payment and direct deposit information in to our secure ClickSWITCH system and we’ll get to work contacting all the billers to switch your payments over to your new account. You can monitor progress and track status in the “Status” column.
To get started, call us at 512.302.6800 or visit any of our 22 branches. Your A+ representative will get you signed up and walk you through the process.
Timing for each payment switch can vary depending on the type of payment, biller, and the method needed to switch the payment.
Online banking bill payments are switched instantly. Automated payments and direct deposits typically take between 7- 10 days to switch, but can be faster with certain billers. It’s always a good idea to review your switch status page for the most current information regarding each switch.
Occasionally, after you have submitted a switch for processing, our research team determines that particular biller requires you to update your banking information with them online. When this happens, your switch will show an “Action Needed” status. To see the details of the action you need to take, you can click on the Edit icon in the Actions column.
A number of billers are included in our system. If we do not have a biller’s address, please use the address that is indicated on the payment confirmation or statement the biller sends you. You can also find most billers’ payment addresses displayed in the Help or Contact Us areas of their websites.
The time for each payment to switch varies depending on the type of payment, biller and the method needed to switch the payment. Online banking bill payments are switched instantly. Automated ACH payments and direct deposits typically take between 7-10 days to switch, but can be faster with certain billers. It’s always a good idea to check your switch status page for the most current information about each switch.
The easiest way to check the status of a switch is to look at the “Status” column of your ClickSWITCH account. Switches that have been completed and confirmed by your biller will display a “Completed” status. Switches that are still in process will display a “Mailed” status.
For switches that have a mailed status for 10 days or more, we recommend contacting your biller to confirm the switch is completed, as some billers may not update the status in our system.
You need at least some billing information to switch the payment, as billers require certain information to confirm your identity and complete the switch. Your name, biller’s name and account number are required. For some billers, an address and phone number will populate automatically; however, if the biller is not in our database we’ll need you to provide the biller’s address and phone number as well.
Monitoring your switch status is an important part of moving your account. It is advisable to keep enough money in your old account to cover each payment until the switch status for that payment has changed to “Completed,” or you’ve confirmed with your billers that your payment account information is updated in their systems.
To get started, call us at 512.302.6800 or visit any of our 22 branches.