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WASHINGTON – Speculation that mortgage rates will rise didn’t stop members from taking out first mortgages from their credit unions. Callahan & Associates data show credit unions’ total loans increased by $4.2 billion in the first quarter to $388 billion – of this first mortgages increased to $122 billion. The company said the majority of this – 85% – can be attributed to the $3.6 billion increase in real estate loans. First mortgages currently make up almost 70% of all CUs’ real estate loans. Most first mortgages are fixed rate loans which make up 44% of all real estate transactions. Another 25% of CUs’ loan portfolios come from alternative mortgage lending products such as adjustable rate and hybrid loans.

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