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Credit union personal loans

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These nonprofit lenders often offer competitive rates — but you’ll have to join to qualify.

Both local and national credit unions offer personal loans for people of all credit profiles. Best of all? A credit union may be able to save you more money by offering some of the most competitive rates out there.

However, it can take longer to get your funds. And loans are only available to members.

What is a credit union?

Credit unions are nonprofit organizations owned by its members, not a small group of owners. Despite this, they still offer many of the same products as traditional banks, but their rates are usually lower and their application criteria is less stringent.

Compare personal loans from some of the largest credit unions

Credit unionEligibilityAPRMax loan amountOther loan types offered
Navy Federal Credit UnionMust be affiliated or have family affiliated with the Armed Forces, Department of Defense Coast Guard or National Guard.7.99%–18.00%$50,000
  • Mortgages,
  • Home equity loans
  • Car loans
  • Leisure vehicle loans
  • Student loans
PenFed Credit UnionMust have been in any branch of the US Military or an employee of the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security or be affiliated with an eligible military association.6.49%–20%$25,000
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity loans
  • Car loans
  • Leisure vehicle loans
  • Student loans
Alliant Credit UnionMust work for, be a member or donate to an Alliance partner or charity.6.49% to 10.49%$50,000
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity loans
  • Car loans,
  • Commercial real estate loans
  • Student loans
Consumers Credit UnionMust open a share savnings account with a valid ID. Noncitizens welcome.11.99% (starting at)$40,000
  • Mortgages
  • Car loans
  • Business loans
San Diego County Credit UnionYou must be 18 years or older, have a photo ID, provide income verification and show proof of residency in San Diego, Riverside or Orange County in California. If you don’t live in these areas, you can still apply through the Financial Fitness Association.5%$20,000
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity loans
  • Car loans
Teachers Federal Credit UnionMust show proof of residency in Nassau County or Suffolk County in New York.As low as 10.45$20,000
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity loans
  • Car loans
  • Leisure vehicle loans
  • Student loans
State Employees Federal Credit UnionMust show proof of residency in select areas of New York5.24%$30,000
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity loans
  • Car loans
  • Leisure vehicle loans
  • Student loans

What sets personal loans from a credit union apart?

Unlike many other lending institutions, credit union are nonprofits. This means their end game isn’t making profits for its shareholders, but instead providing its members with more competitive services.

Because of this, you’ll need to become a member before you can qualify for a personal loan from a credit union. Some credit unions offer membership to limited groups of people, so be sure to check if you qualify.

How can credit unions offer low rates?

Credit unions can offer low rates because of the way they’re structured.

Credit unions have a strong focus on their community of members and use a democratic approach when electing a board of directors. This board provides general oversight of the credit union’s functions and keeps the best interest for the credit union’s members in mind when making decisions.

Because credit unions are nonprofit, their earnings are put back into the members’ pockets — usually in the form of lower interest rates, reduced fees and better terms. This means that you may end up paying less for a personal loan from a credit union than you would from a bank or online lender.

What types of personal loans can I get from a credit union?

While the exact type of personal loan you can get from a credit union will depend on what the credit union offers and your credit, most usually have a combination of three different personal loan types:

  • Unsecured personal loans. With an unsecured loan you won’t have to put up any collateral, and if you have good credit and a regular source of income, you may qualify for a low interest rate.
  • Secured personal loans. Secured personal loans are less common, but they allow you to put up collateral — usually a certificate of deposit or a savings account — that acts as collateral should you default. This lowers your potential interest rate and makes it easier for people with less-than-perfect credit to qualify.
  • Payday alternative loans (PALS). Available at some federal credit unions, PALS are short-term loans $200 to $1,000 with interest rates capped at 28%.

Not a member of a credit union? Compare these online personal loan options

Rates last updated December 10th, 2018

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Name Product Product Description Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Even Financial Personal Loans
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
550
$100,000
3.84% to 35.99% (fixed)
Credible Personal Loans
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
Good to excellent credit
$100,000
4.99% to 36% (fixed)
NetCredit Personal Loan
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
550
$10,000
34% to 155% (Varies by state) (fixed)
Monevo Personal Loans
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit score.
550
$100,000
3.34% to 35.99% (fixed)
LendingClub Personal Loan
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
660
$40,000
6.95% to 35.89% (fixed)
SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)
No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.
680
$100,000
7.24% to 15.24% (fixed)
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans
Consolidate your debt or pay off large expenses with competitive rates and no fees.
Good to excellent credit
$40,000
6.99% to 24.99% (fixed)
Avant
Conveniently check your loan options without affecting your credit score.
580
$35,000
9.95% to 35.99% (fixed)
OneMain Financial Personal and Auto Loans
An established online and in-store lender with quick turnaround times. Poor credit is OK.
Varies
$30,000
16.05%–35.99%* (fixed)

Compare up to 4 providers

Pros and cons of credit union personal loans

  • Competitive rates. Because credit unions are nonprofits, they are able to offer competitive interest rates to their members.
  • Bad credit loans. Some credit loans offer personal loans to individuals with poor credit. However, you may be required to apply with an eligible coapplicant or provide collateral.
  • Nonprofit institution. Unlike banks, any earnings a credit union sees are redistributed to its members in the form of small dividends, low interest rates, smaller fees and other perks.
  • Must be a member. In order to qualify for a loan from a credit union, you must first be a member. This means you may have to pay a nominal minimum deposit along with a membership fee.
  • Slow turnaround. It can take a few weeks — or even longer — to receive your funds.
  • Limited services. Many local credit unions only have a handful of ATMs and locations. While this might not affect your loan, you could have trouble accessing your checking or savings account if you move.

Consider these factors before applying

The APRs on unsecured personal loans are often higher than secured loan rates. If you’re able to provide some kind of collateral you may want to consider getting a secured loan. Your creditworthiness affects the APR you are offered, so if you have a poor credit rating you may want to postpone your plan of getting a loan until you repair your credit.

If you feel you might have problems in making timely repayments, consider how a personal loan would fit into your budget. Making late payments will have you paying additional fees and can damage your credit.

What do I need to apply for a credit union personal loan?

To get a personal loan from a credit union, you first need to become a member. Each credit union has different stipulations for joining, this is called the field of membership. Eligibility can be determined by many factors – where you live, your employer, your family and any sort of activity within the community where the credit union operates. Once you’re a member, there will be certain requirements when applying for a personal loan, such as:

  • Personal identification. Driver’s license, state identification card, Social Security card or passport.
  • Personal details. Verification of address with either a copy of a lease or any recent utility or credit card bills. Also, proof of past or current income with W-2s, recent pay stubs or bank statements.

Bottom line

If you’re already a member of a credit union, than applying for a personal loan may be a good idea. If you’re looking into becoming a member, competitive loan interest rates may be the deciding factor.

However, you should still compare your other loan options. Credit unions may take longer to process your application, and you may not qualify for as much as you would with an online lender. Take your time, and remember: the best loan is the one that keeps your payments low while covering your financial needs.

Frequently asked questions

Aliyyah Camp

Aliyyah Camp is a publisher for finder.com helping folks compare personal, student, car and business loans. When she's not helping people with their personal finances, you can find her going for runs outdoors.

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KatonOctober 27, 2018

    I have a life line loan for $225. They usually take that out on the 3rd. My family deposited $175 on Monday. Will my bank take it?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniNovember 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Katon,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      To verify deposits in your account, it is best to double check that directly with your bank. If you’re inquiring about the direct debit with your life line loan, please note that your lender will only take out your monthly repayment on your agreed date which is the 3rd of each month.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other inquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    LisaAugust 14, 2018

    I was approved for a short term loan from my credit union the manager said the funds were in my account I didn’t check while I was there but when I got home later that day it was showing that the funds were not put in my account it was saying actual balance instead of available what did the credit union do wrong cannot contact them until the next business day

    • finder Customer Care
      johnbasanesAugust 14, 2018Staff

      HI Lisa,

      Thanks for leaving a question.

      Generally, the process of moving the funds into your account depends on a couple of things. 1. The mode of payment that the credit union would use. 2. If the funds would go through a bank before it reaches your account, you may also need to consider the bank’s processing time. You may want to directly contact your credit union for you to see where in the process your approved loan is and how long before it would reflect on your account. Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  3. Default Gravatar
    LilmaApril 2, 2018

    Will doctor bill that was sent to collection stop u from obtain a personal loan .

    • finder Customer Care
      MayApril 2, 2018Staff

      Hi Lilma,

      Thank you for your question.

      Even if you have a bill for collection, but you meet the all the eligibility criteria of the loan you’re applying, you should be okay. If you like to apply for a loan with a credit union, make sure you are member or part of that CU and also meet other eligibility requirements.

      In case you are looking for a other loans in the market, you can check this out.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  4. Default Gravatar
    Peedub47February 1, 2018

    If i pay off all my debt will i be able to qualify for a loan from a credit union?

    • Default Gravatar
      ArnoldFebruary 5, 2018

      Hi Peedub47,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      Qualifying for a personal loan from a credit union will depend on factors such as the state you are located at, your affiliation to organizations such as the Armed Forces, Department of Defense Coast Guard or National Guard. being debt free will definitely increase your chances of getting approved for a loan. On the page you have opened, please answer a few questions to filter the options suited for you. Of course, if you pay off your debt, you’ll have a bigger chance of approval since paying off your debt will add a good mark on your credit history.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  5. Default Gravatar
    DallasNovember 20, 2017

    How can I get a small loan with no bank account and work for cash but can have the people I work to verify for me just trying to get on my feet and pay back a small loan and build credit?

    • finder Customer Care
      RenchNovember 20, 2017Staff

      Hi Dallas,

      Thanks for reaching out to us. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      There are lenders that will still consider you without a bank account, meaning you can still get a short-term loan. Comparing these lenders is the best way to find a deal that matches your needs. You may go to this page.

      You can also have a look on this page for helpful tips on how to improve your credit score.

      Hope this information helped.

      Best regards,
      Rench

US Personal Loans Offers

Important Information*
Credible Personal Loans

Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.

Monevo Personal Loans

Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit score.

LendingClub Personal Loan

A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.

SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.

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