Learning Center

Hi, I'm Mark, the host of SAFE Cents! Welcome to our Learning Center, a place where you can improve your financial health.

Rent vs. Buy Calculator

Should you rent or should you buy your home?  

It takes more than looking at your potential mortgage payment to answer this question. Our Rent vs. Buy calculator helps you understand the difference in cost between renting and buying over 1 month, 1 year, 7 years, and 15 years. 

Aside from comparing a monthly mortgage payment vs. a rent payment, consider the extra costs that accompany both options. For instance, a mortgage comes with property tax, insurance, and potential home repairs, while renting can mean dealing with rent increases or moving costs.



Current Mortgage Rates

30-Year Fixed
Annual Percentage Rate as low as
10-Year Fixed
Annual Percentage Rate as low as
30-Year Construction
Annual Percentage Rate as low as

Mortgage FAQs

Buying, remodeling, refinancing, or building a home is a big decision. We’re here to help you learn about the process, research your options, and weigh your decision.

First, ask yourself how much you can spend. Look at all your financial obligations to get a better picture of what you can put into a down payment as well as monthly payments.
You also want to consider the other costs of home-buying and ownership, like Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and property tax.  
Need a little help with the numbers? Use our handy mortgage calculators to determine if it’s time to buy, calculate your monthly mortgage payments, or decide between mortgage types. 

After you’ve gathered your financial information, you’re all set for the next step—talking to one of our loan officers. They can help you explore your loan options and answer any questions you may have.

Contact Us

Applying for mortgage preapproval with SAFE is quick and easy. The application takes only about 15 minutes, and you can expect a quick response. 

By the way, no official documents (such as ID or proof of income) are required until after you’re pre-approved.

Apply Now

Refinancing can be a great option when your interest rate is above the current market rate. You may wish to refinance in order to: 

  • Lower your monthly mortgage payment 
  • Build equity 
  • Pay off your mortgage loan faster 
  • Get rid of mortgage insurance 
  • Switch from an adjustable to fixed-rate loan

However, when weighing the decision to refinance, it’s important to consider the impact of fees, prepayment penalties, or long-term costs. Those expenses could wipe out your potential savings.

Before you decide, let us help you get a customized rate quote based on your loan details. You can also estimate costs using our mortgage refinance calculator. As always, you can talk to one of our loan officers who will help you weigh your options.  

Contact Us

To get started, simply visit our secure application portal. You can first receive a customized rate quote based on information such as: 

  • Type of refinance (Existing Balance or Cash Out) 
  • Estimated home value/purchase price 
  • Loan amount you’re requesting 
  • Location of the property 
  • Property type 
  • Credit score

When you’re ready to apply, it’s quick and easy. It takes only about 15 minutes to complete your application, and you can expect to quickly hear back from one of our Mortgage Loan Originators.

Apply Now

When you’re ready to apply, it’s quick and easy. It takes only about 15 minutes to complete your application, and you can expect to quickly hear back from one of our Mortgage Loan Originators.

Just like there are benefits to banking with a credit union, there are benefits to borrowing from one, too. As a not-for-profit credit union, we can offer: 

  • Lower interest rates 
  • Fewer fees 
  • Friendly, personalized assistance from local loan officers 

Even when you apply online, a SAFE team member will connect with you to provide one-on-one service throughout the entire mortgage process. You won’t be passed around—your loan will be assigned to a specific loan officer who will guide you from start to finish. 

Not yet a SAFE member? You may qualify for membership based on your location or your membership in one of our partner organizations (including your employer). Learn more about joining safe on our Membership page.

South Carolina Mortgage Loans

Work with our mortgage specialists at SAFE to purchase, remodel, refinance, or build your home. They can help you weigh your options and answer key questions, like: Should I refinance? What can I afford? What interest rate can I expect?

More Mortgage Calculators
Is it the right time to buy a house? What kind of mortgage do you need? Use our calculators to help with decisions about mortgage rates, terms, and refinancing.

Home Affordability Calculator

How much house can you afford based on your financial situation?

VA Loan Calculator

Are you eligible for a VA home loan? Estimate your total monthly payment.

15-Year vs. 30-Year Mortgage Calculator

See how the length of your mortgage term can affect interest and monthly payment amounts.

Tools to help you budget and plan.