Kinecta Mortgage Review 2020
Editor’s note: The overall conclusions, recommendations and opinions are the author’s alone. The information in this article is accurate as of the date of publishing.
Kinecta Federal Credit Union is based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., and primarily serves customers in the cities of Anaheim, Lancaster, Rialto, Santa Ana and the greater Los Angeles area.
Originally founded by employees of the Hughes Aircraft Company in 1940, Kinecta has evolved into a full-service financial institution offering deposit accounts, mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, wealth management and other financial products.
Working with Kinecta
Kinecta is a nationally licensed mortgage company with 30 mortgage loan officers who focus on southern California. The company operates two mortgage loan centers, in Newport Beach and El Segundo. The credit union originated more than $540 million in mortgage loans in 2018.
Kinecta offers purchase and refinance mortgages with fixed or adjustable rates (ARM) up to $4 million.
Kinecta may require you to be a member of the credit union to qualify for a mortgage. Membership qualifications are broad: Anyone who lives in ZIP codes served by the credit union can become a member, as well as people who work for companies that partner with Kinecta. You can also qualify by joining the Innovision Society – a Manhattan Beach, Calif., community organization affiliated with the credit union – for $10.
Kinecta borrowing requirements
Kinecta does not publish minimum credit score requirements on its website. However, the credit union takes part in loan programs that do have minimum credit scores to qualify.
FHA loans require a credit score of 580 to qualify for the lowest down payment of 3.5%, or a score of 500 if you can put 10% down. Conventional loans typically require a credit score of 620.
Kinecta will finance:
- Single-family homes
- Multifamily homes, up to four units
The credit union does not finance manufactured homes, co-ops or non-warrantable condos.
Kinecta mortgage products
- Fixed rates for 10, 15 or 30 years
5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)
- 5/1 and 7/1 adjustable-rate jumbo mortgages
- Cash-out refinance
- FHA streamline
- Fixed rates for 10, 15 or 30 years
- 5/1 and 7/1 adjustable-rate jumbo mortgage refinances
Kinecta special mortgage programs
Kinecta’s Smart Move Homebuyer Program is geared toward first-time buyers and offers educational videos or in-person workshops.
Kinecta also offers a homebuying program called HomeAdvantage® that bills itself as an easy way to buy and sell a home. The program is free to join and offers connections to real estate professionals, listing alerts and fast answers to homebuying questions. If you use a real estate agent in the program, you can get cash rewards equal to 20% of the agent’s commission. On a $300,000 mortgage, Kinecta estimates this is a cash reward of $1,800.
If you’re building a home, Kinecta offers a construction-to-permanent loan program with a one-time close that allows you to get a construction loan with a single mortgage that funds both the construction and home purchase costs.
The mortgage application process
- How to apply. Potential borrowers can start the mortgage application process with Kinecta online, by phone (at 800-854-4501) or in person at a branch. Online, you can either fill out a mortgage application or submit details and have a mortgage specialist contact you directly.
- Disclosure process. Kinecta’s digital application process allows customers to upload documents electronically needed for loan approval.
- Submitting loan for approval. Once the application is complete, documents are verified and the loan package is assembled by your loan officer, it will be sent to Kinecta’s underwriting department for approval. Kinecta completes its underwriting and processing in-house.
- Closing. Kinecta’s mortgage loan consultants will talk you through what you’ll need to bring to the closing table.
Kinecta’s homebuyer kit lays out their mortgage process as follows:
- Loan selection. Your mortgage loan consultant will help you navigate your options.
- Application. After selecting your loan and desired property, Kinecta will pull your credit and walk you through the application process.
- Processing. A Kinecta loan processor will verify your financial documents and put together a loan package for underwriting.
- Underwriting. A Kinecta underwriter will order an appraisal of the property and review your loan package for approval.
- Documentation. Once approved, Kinecta will prepare documents for closing and help collect all the necessary signatures.
- Funding. At closing, Kinecta will send the funds to escrow, and you’ll get the keys to your new home.
Communication during the process
When you’re interested in applying for a loan, you’ll be matched up with a Kinecta mortgage loan consultant who will walk you through the process. Your consultant will be your point of contact throughout the process and can help you with everything from putting together a monthly budget to locking a mortgage rate to navigating closing.
Pros and cons of a Kinecta mortgage
- Cash-back program. Kinecta’s HomeAdvantage® program offers cash rewards if you use real estate agents in their program.
- Homebuyer education. The credit union’s Smart Move Homebuyer Program offers homebuyer education workshops and detailed videos walking you through the process.
- Home maintenance reminders. Once you move into your new home, Kinecta offers the Househappy® app that will keep you up to date on what maintenance you need to do.
- Limited service area. Kinecta serves southern California, so if you’re not buying in this area, you’ll likely want to look elsewhere.
- Membership required. You’ll need to join Kinecta Federal Credit Union for most services. However, this is pretty easy to do if you’re in their service area.