New mortgage program available to all employees

Princeton University is offering a new mortgage program tailored specifically to help its employees purchase homes at reduced costs.

The program, which is available immediately to all faculty and staff, is made possible through a partnership between the University and Countrywide Home Loans, a leading U.S. home loan lender. It expands upon a program Princeton launched a year ago for low- to moderate-income employees and an older program available to other employees for home purchases within a nine-mile radius of the campus and in Trenton.

"During the past year, many faculty and staff members who are currently not eligible for either program have expressed interest in a mortgage program that fits their needs," said Alison Nelson, director of benefits in the Office of Human Resources. "This new program will better address the needs of our low- to moderate-income employees as well as respond to the diverse requirements of other employees who haven't before been eligible for this significant benefit."

Employees will be able to choose from many different programs at competitive interest rates based on their income, credit and funds available for down payment. The terms are exclusive to Princeton employees and include a considerable reduction in closing costs and additional discount points that could be applied to the further reduction of closing costs or the reduction of the interest rate. On a loan of $250,000, for example, the "street rate" closing costs would be reduced by an estimated $1,350 and an additional .75 percent in discount points would be available.

Last November, the University launched a mortgage program in partnership with PNC Bank for staff members whose gross family income was less than 80 percent of the median income for the county in which the property was located. The program was available only in New Jersey for property that was to be used as the buyer's primary residence. Some 100 employees participated in home buyer education classes, and 10 staff members purchased homes through the program.

The new program through Countrywide is available to employees of all income levels for property in all states. It includes options for purchases of primary and secondary (vacation) homes and investment properties, refinance transactions, home equity lines of credit and second mortgages.

Loans will be processed locally at Countrywide's Princeton office at 20 Nassau St. Mortgage representatives will be available to meet with employees at their homes or offices. The company is developing a Web site on the Princeton program that will go live in a few weeks.

One-hour information sessions on the new program are planned for 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, and Wednesday, Nov. 8, in 101 McCormick; 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10, in 101 McCormick; and 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, in 7 New South.

To learn about the program or to sign up for the next available session, employees should contact Mary Piteo in human resources at (609) 258-8543.