OSWEGO, N.Y. (12/23/10)--Oswego (N.Y.) County FCU helped a family save more than $58,000 as part of “Good Morning America’s (GMA) Savings Makeover” on its ABC television show. GMA Consumer Correspondent Elisabeth Leamy--who last March was a guest on the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Home & Family Finance Radio show taped live at the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council’s annual conference--said she helped the Gunn family of Oswego, N.Y., save money using simple strategies. “Tom and Nancy Gunn had never tried to refinance their house and take advantage of today’s historically low interest rates because they didn’t have the cash for closing costs,” Leamy said. “I asked them if they belonged to a credit union. They do. But they had never approached their credit union about refinancing. So I took the Gunns to Oswego County FCU to see what we could cook up. Loan officer Aimee Johnson suggested taking the Gunns’ two mortgages-–a first at 6.75% and a second at 13.84%--and refinancing them both into a new loan at 5.35%. “Then she wowed me with a concept I had never heard of before: the loan would be a home equity loan rather than strictly a mortgage,” Leamy added. “It really is a mortgage, because you use it to finance your entire house, but Oswego County FCU calls it a ‘Home Equity Loan’ because it has zero closing costs. Perfect for the Gunns. Basically, to thank you for bringing in your loan business, the credit union pays the closing costs for you. “This is a concept unique to credit unions that other consumers can inquire about,” Leamy said. The $36 million-asset credit union also offered to combine the Gunns’ credit cards and car loans into a second, more traditional, home equity loan at an 8% interest rate for three years. Their current car loans are at 13% and 14.75%. “Do these offers seem over-the-top generous?” Leamy asked. “Oswego County FCU CEO Bill Carhart assured me that his people provide affordable products like these to their members all the time. It’s startling in an era when many people are frustrated with big banks, but it makes sense when you consider that credit unions are non-profit companies essentially owned by their members. “If you do not belong to a credit union you are missing out,” she added. “And contrary to popular belief, they are not hard to join.” To view the segment or read the transcript of it, use the link.