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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.

Our top pick: PenFed Credit Union Personal Loans

  • Min. Loan Amount: $500
  • Max. Loan Amount: $25,000
  • APR: 6.49% to 17.99%
  • Requirements: At least 18 years old, US citizen or permanent resident, good credit standing and PenFed member
  • Low APR
  • Online application and quick approval
  • Monthly payment calculator

Our top pick: PenFed Credit Union Personal Loans

With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.

  • Min. Loan Amount: $500
  • Max. Loan Amount: $25,000
  • APR: 6.49% to 17.99%
  • Requirements: At least 18 years old, US citizen or permanent resident, good credit standing and PenFed member
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    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.8.19% to 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% to 17.99%$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

    Updated June 25th, 2019
    Name Product Filter Values Minimum Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
    550
    $100,000
    3.99% to 35.99%
    Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
    680
    $100,000
    5.99% to 16.24%
    No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.
    640
    $40,000
    6.95% to 35.89%
    A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
    Good to excellent credit
    $100,000
    5.34% to 35.99%
    Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
    620
    $50,000
    7.98 to 35.99%
    This service looks beyond your credit score to get you a competitive-rate personal loan.
    550
    $100,000
    3.84% to 35.99%
    Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
    550
    $10,000
    34% to 155% (Varies by state)
    Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
    640 FICO®
    $35,000
    5.99% to 29.99%
    A prime lender with multiple repayment methods.

    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

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    Credible Personal Loans

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    Logo for Even Financial Personal Loans
    Even Financial Personal Loans

    Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.

    Logo for LendingClub Personal Loan
    LendingClub Personal Loan

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

    Logo for SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)
    SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

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

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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?

      • Avatarfinder 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

      • Avatarfinder 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 .

      • Avatarfinder 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?

      • Avatarfinder 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*
    Logo for Credible Personal Loans
    Credible Personal Loans

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

    Logo for Even Financial Personal Loans
    Even Financial Personal Loans

    Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.

    Logo for LendingClub Personal Loan
    LendingClub Personal Loan

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

    Logo for SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)
    SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

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

    Go to site