PORTLAND, Maine (9/12/11)--Since its launch in early 2010, CU Promise, a loan program from CUSO Mortgage, has provided $40 million in home ownership loans to 234 Maine families. CUSO Mortgage is owned by the Maine Credit Union League and eight Maine credit unions. “CU Promise was created to bring awareness in the market place that credit unions are competitive in the purchase money arena, and to increase purchase money market share,” Karen Reed, CUSO Mortgage vice president told the league. “We’ve created our own secondary market, so to speak, by putting these loans in the portfolios of participating credit unions. The participation diversifies and reduces the risks to the credit unions, Reed said. “With this product we’ve also been able to expand the guidelines by offering up to 90% loan to value with no mortgage insurance and allowing funds to close to come from any source,” she added. The program offers three guarantees: a same-day loan decision, a closing date, and local servicing, Reed said. “If one of the promises is not met, we pay the member $500,” she added. “We have never missed a promise.” Another factor that led to the creation of CU Promise was that historically 80% of CUSO Mortgage’s business had been refinance transactions, Reed said. “With the changing marketplace, CUSO recognized the need to create a product that was unique in the industry to draw the interest of the real estate professionals and provide a product that was beneficial and unique for the credit union members,” she added.