It’s A Wonderful Life

by Washington Federal Team on May 17, 2011

its a wonderful life“If Potter gets hold of this Building and Loan, there’ll never be another decent house built in this town.”  –George Bailey, It’s a Wonderful Life

If you pooled all of your neighbor’s savings, you could loan that money back out to people who wanted to buy a home. That is the main idea behind savings and loans – originally called building and loans – which developed in America back in the 1800s and 1900s. And it’s the premise behind the classic holiday movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. Most commercial banks at the time were more focused on serving businesses and few offered mortgage loans, so community members joined forces to create associations that helped everyone reach the goal of home ownership.

You’ve worked hard for your savings, so why not invest them where they benefit your local community?

Since our founding as a savings and loan in 1917, Washington Federal has focused on helping our neighbors save and buy homes.  At our core, we perform a simple function. We accept your savings deposits and use those funds to make loans to families in your neighborhood who dream of buying a home. The very nature of our business model helps the people and neighborhoods we serve to grow strong and flourish.

We operate with a long-term perspective and a simple business model, offering both 15- and 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans which we keep on our books for the life of the loan.  You’ll make your payment directly to us, which gives our clients peace of mind. Other banks may offer fixed-rate loans, but most of these loans are sold to Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC) in the secondary market. These loans are then bundled into mortgage-backed securities and traded on Wall Street.

While it might seem like you’re sending your payment to the original lender, the reality is that they have sold the underlying asset. This means that your loan now belongs to anonymous investors.

We do things differently. You don’t have to fit into the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac box to get approved at Washington Federal. We also make sure our borrowers will be able to afford their payments.  Putting you in a home you can’t afford doesn’t do you any good, and it certainly won’t do us any good since we’re keeping your loan.  That’s why we focus on offering low-risk mortgages with either fixed rates or payment protection features. It’s not only a safer, more secure way to buy a home, but it means those clients who save with us can trust that their money is going to good use. Like the building and loans from days gone by, our success relies on the strength and vibrancy of the communities we serve.

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