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CU24 real-time P2P added to CU Mobile Apps

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., and FRANKLIN, Tenn. (7/25/14)--CU Mobile Apps and CU24 Thursday announced a strategic alliance to bring POCKET2POCKET, CU24's mobile person-to person (P2P) money transfer service, to CU Mobile Apps' client credit unions.
 
Rick Hargis, managing partner of CU Mobile Apps, cited research findings that growing numbers of potential credit union members are seeking mobile P2P solutions. "Real-time is the critical advantage they're looking for, and that's what CU24 enables us to offer our client credit unions and their members," Hargis said.

POCKET2POCKET is a real-time electronic funds solution, rather than a traditional automated clearing house-based method that can delay funds transfer by anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, said Joe Woods, CU24 vice president of sales and relationship management. "P2P offers a new level of efficiency," he added.
 
The new POCKET2POCKET feature will be added as a tab to the app that existing CU Mobile Apps credit union clients are already accessing, explained CU Mobile Apps partner Tom Gray. 
 
"It works like PayPal within the credit union and financial industry," Gray explained. "Just open your credit union app, click on 'P2P,' identify the person you wish to pay, their cell number and the dollar amount--then hit 'send' and it's done automatically, instantaneously. Our partnership with CU24 has provided us with this quick, easy way for people to pay other people, whether on a one-time or recurring basis, directly from their debit card accounts."

CUNA Mutual adds GoHealth health insurance to TruStage

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MADISON, Wis. (7/24/14)--CUNA Mutual Group announced Wednesday it will launch a health insurance program through a partnership with GoHealth, a private health insurance marketplace.

Through the TruStage health insurance program credit unions will be able to offer their members health insurance from a variety of health plans. GoHealth provides consumers access to all of the plans available on healthcare.gov as well as other carriers.

Using GoHealth's Web-based platform, members will be able to compare health insurance plans, get quotes and estimate available federal tax subsidies--applying them directly to their health plan to receive lower monthly premiums. They can also shop over the phone with the guidance of licensed insurance advisers and apply for coverage.

"As the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S., medical bills continue to be a significant stress on many families' finances," said Corrin Maier, director of the MemberCONNECT program at TruStage. "There's also confusion about the changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act. Credit unions are in a unique position to respond--they can help members understand the requirements, give them access to affordable health insurance options and help them protect what matters most." 

To date, Chicago-based GoHealth has helped more than 30 million consumers shop for coverage online with its private health insurance marketplace.

During the next open enrollment period beginning in November, an estimated 8 million credit union members will seek health insurance coverage through an exchange.

TruStage currently protects more than 14.8 million credit union members with insurance products and programs for life, auto, homeowners, and accidental death and dismemberment. The addition of health insurance options advances the company's mission to build financial security for their families.

Credit unions enrolled in the MemberCONNECT program--the conduit for credit unions to make TruStage products available--will receive an invitation to a webinar to learn more about the TruStage health insurance program.

SHAZAM, MasterCard match up for EMV debit

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DES MOINES, Iowa (7/23/14)--The SHAZAM Network Tuesday announced an agreement to make the Europay-MasterCard-Visa (EMV) debit solution available to all of its participants.
 
The EMV chip card adoption is designed to decrease card fraud and increase transaction security. The agreement provides all SHAZAM Network participants with EMV licenses for MasterCard products, helping to achieve the goal of a more secure U.S. payments environment.
 
"The objective of our collaboration with MasterCard was to provide merchants and issuers routing choice for contact and contactless payments supporting PIN, signature or no cardholder authentication," said Terry Dooley, SHAZAM chief information officer. "We're confident this objective has been accomplished through the agreement we've reached with MasterCard."
 
Carolyn Balfany, MasterCard senior vice president of product delivery--EMV, said "Through this agreement the SHAZAM Network and MasterCard have taken another step to advance the U.S. migration to EMV. By streamlining the complexity of EMV implementation, we can advance greater debit card security."

CUNA calculator microsites updated for mobile, customization

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MADISON, Wis. (7/22/14)--The Credit Union National Association has updated its financial decision-making microsite, Credit Union Calculators.
 
The tool is used by credit unions to help their members to experiment with financial variables, showing them rather than telling them why the credit union difference matters.
 
With four new calculators, the update also provides additional options for customization and access to new features. Credit unions can now add their logo and website colors, and can link multiple times to the entire calculator suite, as well as to each individual calculator.
 
The redesigned calculators also are built in a responsive design, making them easy to use with smart phones, tablets and computers, CUNA said.
 
"This easy-to-install but powerful update is all about minimizing the distance between the credit union and its members," said Joanne Sepich, CUNA's director of consumer education. "With mobile access, customization opportunities and automatic updates, credit unions can now demonstrate to their members their ability to respond to changing technology needs."
 
Its tools and features allow members to not only anticipate the impact of their actions, but also to acquire important financial education, including:
  • Multidimensional financial projections;
  • What-if scenario planning;
  • Step-by-step member walkthroughs;
  • Printable reports and detailed graphs; and
  • The ability to toggle variables and observe their effects.
For more information, use the link.

CU Wallet reports 65 signings

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LOS ANGELES (7/21/14)--CU Wallet, a collaborative, credit union owned and directed mobile payments technology provider, reported the signing of 65 credit unions, representing more than 7 million members, since the company's launch nine months ago.
 
CU Wallet is the industry's first mobile payments initiative designed specifically for credit unions, by credit unions. Since the company's inception, CU Wallet has forged alliances with several core, online and mobile banking providers, to facilitate integration and communication among member-facing channels.
 
CU Wallet credit union members can now deploy a mobile payments, mobile wallet product offering to attract a new generation of members, generate new, sustainable streams of revenue and meet the demands of mobile membership.
 
"Collaboration among credit unions continues to be one of our industry's greatest strengths," said Keith Sultemeier, president/CEO of Kinecta FCU, Manhattan Beach, Calif., with $3.3 billion in assets. "The CU Wallet platform makes collaboration easy and efficient, but still allows credit unions to tailor the member experience. Having a singular platform is advantageous to merchants, giving them the opportunity to reach a large pool of consumers through a trusted, secure channel."

LEVERAGE now offering ID theft services to member CUs

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla., (7/18/14)--LEVERAGE, an affiliate of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU), has introduced identity theft coverage through Member Security Center, allowing credit unions to provide a cost-effective added level of security to their members.

"With more consumers doing their financial transactions and buying online, identity theft is a major concern for credit unions," said Patrick La Pine president/CEO of LEVERAGE and LSCU. "The Member Security Center is a great way for credit unions to strengthen their relationship with their members, as well as offer them peace of mind while conducting their business online."

Member Security Center offers credit union members a proactive approach to identity theft prevention. The service monitors if the member's information has been exposed before a data breach occurs. Prevention of a breach saves the credit union any costs associated with the breach and protects credit union members from the difficulties following an incident of identity theft.

Member Security Center coverage offers members three tiers of service ranging from $1.95 per month to $12.95 per month, depending on the level of coverage.

"This product is a solution for all credit unions, regardless of size, to increase their non-interest income as well as offer members a much needed and valuable service," La Pine said.

Newtek hits $1B milestone in SBA 7(a) loans

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NEW YORK (7/17/14)--Newtek Business Services Inc., The Small Business Authority, announced its lending subsidiary, Newtek Small Business Finance, has approved more than $1 billion in SBA 7(a) loans since 2003. 
 
Newtek Business Services is a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.
 
The financings have created or preserved more than 29,000 jobs as reported by each borrower with their application to Newtek Small Business Finance and The Small Business Administration for the loan being requested, according the U.S. Small Business Administration.
 
"Over the past 11 years, we have systematically built our lending platform with strict adherence to our stringent underwriting guidelines, intense focus on the credit quality of our loans and our signature top-notch customer service," said Barry Sloane, Newtek Business Services Inc. chairman and president and CEO.
 
"This winning formula has enabled us to withstand multiple lending cycles and emerge as the largest non-bank lender in the U.S.  In fact, it is with this industry-recognized experience and expertise that we have been able to accomplish continued robust growth in our lending platform, with even further improvement in the credit quality of the loans we originate," Sloane added.

TMG launches point-of-sale See2Pay app for Google Glass

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LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (7/16/14)--No hocus-pocus. Just a swipe of a finger across the temple, and voila: You've just spent $13.91 on ice cream.
 
Payments processor The Members Group (TMG) demonstrated Tuesday how the combination of its new See2Pay app, the Dwolla payment platform and Google Glass gives consumers the ability to make point-of-sale transactions without currency, card or phone.
 
Ryan Anderson, vice president of product for The Members Group, pays for ice cream using Google Glass, Dwolla and TMG's new app, See2Pay. (TMG Photo)
"It was a 'wow' moment when our clients saw the video and realized that you can make a hard-currency-based transaction with a wearable device," Ryan Anderson, TMG vice president of product, told News Now.
 
Global sales of wearable technology are expected to reach $19 billion by 2018, according to an October 2013 Juniper Research report. "Consumers will be spending money on them," Anderson said. Names in the wearable market include Google Glass, Samsung Galaxy Gear and Apple iWatch.
 
"Consumers are looking to financial institutions to lead them through the landscape of payments technologies," he told News Now, adding, "Using cash or plastic isn't painful, but the next generation has to be simple."
 
TMG released the app's code on GitHub, a web-based hosting service for software development projects. "This gives it to the developer community for them to build on it, and anyone can improve it," Anderson said, adding, "It will further promulgate payments on Google Glass and the Dwolla networks."
 
The app is the first to make money transactions between Dwolla merchant and consumer users.

Ongoing Operations, Digital FCU, Xand form partnership

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (7/15/14)--Ongoing Operations, a provider of business continuity solutions for credit unions, has formed a partnership with Digital FCU, Marlborough, Mass., and Xand, a data center provider, to help credit unions in the northeast United States ensure uninterrupted member service.
 
Ongoing Operations is a CUNA Strategic Solutions alliance provider.
 
"Even with the latest technological advances, having alternate data center space within driving distance can be critical for credit unions during a crisis situation," said Kirk Drake, Ongoing Operations CEO.
 
The Xand data center, located in Westchester County, safely outside major threat zones but close to New York City, was designed to provide the ideal environment for mission-critical business applications. The Xand facility will also feature a direct connection to Ongoing Operations' network. This will allow credit unions to leverage Ongoing Operations' connectivity solutions to ensure that critical third-party applications such as debit card processing, online banking and ATMs remain online in the event of a crisis.
 
"We are a firm believer in collaboration and have used Ongoing Operations for our own business continuity planning efforts for several years," said Dave DeWitt, vice president of risk management at the $5.5 billion-asset credit union. "This CUSO partnership further enhances disaster recovery capabilities for the benefit of more credit unions within our region."

MoneyGram official check program helps Members 1st mitigate fraud

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DALLAS (7/14/14)--MoneyGram, a global money transfer and payment services company, announced a five-year renewal of its agreement with $2.6 billion-asset Members 1st FCU, Mechanicsburg, Pa., to provide check services through its PrimeLink Official Check outsourcing program.

MoneyGram is a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.
 
"MoneyGram has been a strong ally assisting us in mitigating fraud losses," said Stephen Murray, Members 1st FCU executive vice president. "Beyond fraud prevention, we've also found MoneyGram's effective and reliable web-based platform, customer care and reliability to be critical to the success of our continued relationship."
 
MoneyGram has supported Members 1st FCU with its PrimeLink Official Check service since 2004. The company also helps prevent fraud losses by identifying fraudulent checks and provides support to credit union personnel who use the program.
The program offers financial institutions a cost-efficient way to manage clients' checks, including daily balancing and reconciliation, inventory management and real-time updates through an online platform.
 
MoneyGram provides check processing programs to more than 1,000 financial institutions nationwide.

CU Companies joins Minn. housing approved lender network

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NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. (7/11/14)--CU Companies has been approved as a Minnesota Housing lender, a designation which allows the company--on behalf of its partner credit unions and community banks--to assist low- and moderate-income Minnesotans with loan programs that deliver affordable financing options.
 
"There is a great need amongst our partner credit unions and community banks to have the ability to serve first-time homebuyers and homebuyers needing down payment assistance," said Andrew Panagos, CU Companies chief strategy officer. "As an approved lender, we can now help those individuals obtain a home they can afford."
 
CU Companies is a service organization that provides a mortgage lending platform for credit unions and community banks. By partnering with CU Companies, financial institutions can serve their marketplaces with a full-service mortgage program.
 
Minnesota Housing adds another level to the program by delivering Start Up, a first-time homebuyer loan offering fixed interest rates and three down-payment and closing-cost options for eligible borrowers. It also offers Step Up, which provides purchase and refinance loans for repeat homebuyers.
 
"This is an excellent way we can serve our community of financial institutions and for those partners to serve their individual communities; it's a home run for everyone," said Panagos. "Home ownership is a dream of many and we don't want the new regulatory burdens to keep credit unions and community banks from effectively serving their communities. Our internal loan officers and processors have been trained and are considered experts in the Minnesota Housing products, plus we have staff with experience in using the products. All of this adds up to giving our partners and their borrowers the confidence that these products will be delivered safely and efficiently."

CUNA Mutual loan generation webinar series kicks off July 16

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MADISON, Wis. (7/10/14)--CUNA Mutual Group's Summer Loan Generation Marketing webinar series begins July 16 at 2 p.m. (CT), with a session focused on recapturing auto loans and targeting new opportunities.
 
"Loan generation marketing campaigns help credit unions recapture loans lost to competitors, and acquire new loans, by identifying a credit union's best loan opportunities using credit pre-screens and then sending the right message at the right time," said Steve Hoke, CUNA Mutual Group director of loan growth products. "Campaigns feature a variety of loan types, including auto, mortgage, home equity, credit card and personal loans.
 
Webinars are conducted by CUNA Mutual Group loan generation marketing specialists and address top issues facing credit unions, including how to increase and stabilize loan portfolios, create deeper credit union member relationships and generate interest and member-friendly, non-interest income."
 
"Attendees will gain valuable insights into how to grow loan volume, increase share of wallet, retain and expand membership and grow credit union assets with a loan generation marketing campaign," said Hoke.
 
Webinars are free for all credit unions, run from 2  to 2:30 p.m. CT, and conclude with live question-and-answer sessions.
 
Other webinars in the series include:
  • July 22: Mortgage Recapture and First-Time Home Buyers: Increase Your Share of the Mortgage Market;
  • Aug. 5: Credit Card and Personal Loans: Growing Unsecured Loans; and
  • Aug. 14: Home Equity Recapture and Home Equity Acquisition: Grow and Diversify Your Loan Portfolio.
To register, use the link.

Sollievo partners with Everbridge on emergency communications

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MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (7/10/14)--Sollievo, the risk-management credit union service organization of Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU, Middletown, Pa., has partnered with Everbridge to bring emergency notification and critical communication services to credit unions.
 
"Whether it's a physical disaster or a service outage, getting the right information to the right people at the right time is critical," said Lori Gall, president/CEO of Sollievo. "In the case of a physical disaster, it could literally be a matter of life and death."
 
Instead of relying on old-school calling trees or phone lists, which can fail when they are needed most, Sollievo's partnership with Everbridge gives credit unions access to a comprehensive and intuitive platform for critical communications. During both emergency and operational incidents, employees can be quickly notified of important information via multiple channels, including email, home phone and cell phone.
 
For notifications only affecting specific sets of employees, the system can also be tailored to select groups. The software also monitors employees' responses, so credit unions can confirm when someone has been notified of an emergency.
 
"Our technology is designed to make it efficient and intuitive to communicate the right message, to the right person, at the right time," said Jaime Ellertson, Everbridge chairman/CEO. "Fast, reliable communication, whether in a time of crisis or in the regular course of business, can protect assets, minimize loss, provide operational continuity and save lives."
 
There is no need for credit unions to provide hardware, software or maintenance, Gall said. No matter how large or small a credit union is, all Sollievo clients can have access to the same communication features.
 
Everbridge's platform connects more than 50 million people worldwide. Earlier this year, the firm was recognized with the "Business Continuity Innovation of the Year" award by the BCI North America organization.

Silanis ties e-SignLive to MeridianLink

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MONTREAL and COSTA MESA, Calif. (7/9/14)--e-SignLive by Silanis has partnered with MeridianLink as the preferred e-signature solution for MeridianLink's account opening and loan origination platform.
 
Silanis is a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.
 
MeridianLink's financial institution clients will be able to originate, approve, sign and fund all of their transactions from within MeridianLink's workflow, eliminating paper, saving time and improving compliance.
 
"By integrating e-SignLive, MeridianLink is creating the kind of experience customers are demanding when they apply for a loan or open an account," said Silanis CEO/co-founder Tommy Petrogiannis.
 
MeridianLink's platform is an online application that instantly generates pre-qualified loan decisions for consumer and commercial loans and generates new accounts for consumer and commercial deposit accounts.
 
With the integration of Silanis' e-SignLive e-signature service, online transactions can be completed straight through, creating a completely paperless lending and account opening program for any financial institution and a seamless process for members and customers in branch, online or via call centers and kiosks.
 
"Our relationship with Silanis not only provides the benefits of completing transactions completely online and from within our workflows but Silanis' relationship with CUNA in the credit union world and their cost competitiveness provides MeridianLink the adoption incentives we're looking for in an electronic signature partner," said Edward Guerin, MeridianLink vice president of business development. "We expect significant adoption of e-SignLive."

Invest in America to become Love My Credit Union

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LIVONIA, Mich. (7/8/14)--Invest in America, a discount provider and loyalty program for credit union members, will become Love My Credit Union Rewards beginning Aug. 1.
 
Invest in America was originally created in 2008 during the financial crisis to support the U.S. auto industry, to provide meaningful auto discounts to credit union members and to help credit unions gain auto loans.
 
Six years later and now managed by CU Solutions Group, the program has grown to offer other exclusive discounts to credit union members, with new partners, enhanced technology and new marketing options.
 
On Aug. 1, Love My Credit Union Rewards will introduce:
  • A new consumer website;
  • Bundled shopping categories including auto, home, technology and entertainment, finance, shopping and Invest in America;
  • Love to Shop, which replaces Shop America, with a new platform that will provide exclusive daily offers to bring members back more often; and
  • New marketing materials to promote the overall rewards program, individual discounts and materials that support the bundled discount categories.
To continue to show credit union support for U.S.-based companies, Invest in America will still be displayed as a category on the website homepage, as well as the logo will appear on discounts that are from U.S.-based companies.

TMG white paper discusses HCE technology

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DES MOINES, Iowa (7/7/14)--A new white paper from The Members Group addresses the impact a new technology could have on the mobile payments marketplace.

The technology--known as host card emulation (HCE)--is poised to make it not only possible, but beneficial, for community financial institutions (FIs) to deploy consumer-centric mobile payments solutions. 

Writing for an audience of FI leaders, Brian Day The Members Group senior product manager, opens the paper with a call for collaboration. "To bring mobile payments to the inevitable (albeit long-awaited) ignition point, tech developers and issuers will have to link up," Day writes. "HCE technology may be just the innovation to grease the wheels for such a marriage."

Introduced by Google with its Android KitKat update, HCE was built in response to wireless carriers blocking Google Wallet's access to the secure near-field communication (NFC) chips in their devices. HCE was recently endorsed by both MasterCard and Visa, and according to Day, it will benefit community FIs and consumers in two major ways.  HCE will keep card issuers in play and allow for a seamless user experience.

Day outlines several of the technologies that have the greatest potential for eventual consumer adoption.  He writes: "A lack of agreement on one core technology to power mobile payments has complicated issuer, merchant and consumer adoption. Simply put, a plethora of choices for both providers and consumers exists today. Among these options, three main technologies stand out as leaders in the emerging payments landscape. They are barcode plus cloud, bluetooth low-energy (BLE) and near-field communication (NFC)."

Day walks through each of the three, addressing pro-and-con points from the end-user, or consumer, perspective. Ultimately, he concludes the greatest promise for both consumers and FIs lies in the combination of HCE and NFC: "Just as card issuers have long pursued top-of-wallet positioning, very soon it will be top-of-app positioning they most cherish. With HCE and NFC working together, long-standing cardholder relationships are not only safe; they are poised to take off."
 
To download the white paper, use the link.

Diebold helps automate Bellco CU branch

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (7/3/14)--Diebold Inc., a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider, worked in tandem with Bellco CU, Greenwood Village, Colo., with $2.6 billion in assets, to design the credit union's new Stapleton branch in Denver.
 
The technology-based branch helps members conduct self-service transactions on one of three deposit automation-enabled Diebold in-lobby teller terminals, encouraging more personal interaction between members and branch staff.
 
When transforming its branch model, Bellco teamed with Diebold Advisory Services to strategically incorporate the right mix of technology and personalized service to best serve members, said Doug Kearbey, Bellco senior director of administrative services.

"Diebold's deposit automation technology allows us to transform our customary branch model to a self-service suite where members are free to manage deposits and withdrawals on their own," Kearney added. "At the same time, our Universal Bankers have more time to spend interacting with members for more detailed transactions or to meet with them about their financial goals."
 
Bellco's new branch also features an Opteva 760 ATM that serves as a NextGen ATM by CO-OP shared branching terminal. Introduced in December 2012, the ATM enables members of participating CO-OP Shared Branching credit unions to access their accounts, helping Bellco direct more non-member traffic to the ATM self-service channel and allowing branch staff to focus on more complex member transactions and lending.
 
"Self-service technology is enabling a more personalized branch strategy for Bellco," said Mychal D. Kempt, Diebold vice president of North America operations. "Our solutions are freeing up member representatives, giving them more opportunities to engage with members and grow business."

CSS providers highlight new offerings at ACUC

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SAN FRANCISCO (7/2/14)--CUNA Strategic Service (CSS) alliance providers highlighted new product and service offerings at the Credit Union National Association's 2014 America's Credit Union Conference this week in San Francisco.
 
Attendees visiting the exhibit hall through today may view a demo of TraceSecurity's TraceCSO solution that can help credit unions address critical components of a successful risk-based information security program. TraceCSO folds information technology governance, risk and compliance into one unified application.
 
SilverSky will focus on three new offerings:
  • PCI Essential combines payment card industry-specific procedures with network security technologies to address PCI compliance;
     
  • Targeted Attack Protection (TAP) uses static and dynamic analysis to discover advanced and targeted attacks on emails without relying on traditional anti-virus and anti-spam signatures; and
     
  • Office 365 packages are built on messaging, collaboration and productivity for the Microsoft software suite.
Ongoing Operations added four new pieces to its disaster recovery/business continuity services, including third-party connectivity, telecommunications, distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection and data backup.
 
Also, CSS is celebrating the 30th year of its relationship with ATM manufacturer Diebold. Diebold received a proclamation signed by the CSS board recognizing its years of support for credit unions.

Fannie Mae updates area median incomes

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WASHINGTON (7/1/14)--Fannie Mae, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider, has posted updated area median incomes (AMIs), which are the basis for the income limits for MyCommunityMortgage (MCM).
 
AMIs are established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and provided to Fannie Mae annually by Federal Housing Finance Association.
 
MCM is program was designed by Fannie Mae to provide low rates, minimal risk-based price adjustments, and reduced mortgage insurance costs to low- to moderate-income home buyers who meet certain requirements.
 
Under MCM, a borrower's income can be up to 100% of AMI, or 115% of AMI in non-metro areas, or higher limits in specified high-cost areas.
 
For one-unit transactions, no minimum contribution the borrower's own funds are required.
 
Minimum mortgage insurance coverage under the MCM program includes:
  • 16% for 90.01% to 95% loan-to-value (LTV);
  • 12% for 85.01% to 90% LTV; and
  • 6% for 80.01% to 85% LTV.
MCM loans are not subject to the loan-level price adjustment for minimum mortgage insurance coverage.
 
Mortgage insurance can be financed up to 95% LTV, including the financed mortgage insurance for fixed-rated mortgages (90% for adjustable-rate mortgages).
 
Acceptable sources of funds for down payment and closing costs include personal gifts, gifts or grants from a qualified entity, employer assistance, and Community Seconds mortgages.
 
The Community Seconds option combines a first mortgage that Fannie Mae purchases with a subordinate mortgage. The subordinate mortgage may be funded by a state, county or local housing agency, a nonprofit organization, or an employer; it may be used to finance the down payment or closing costs.