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First New York Federal Credit Union personal loans review
Anna Serio is a staff writer untangling everything you need to know about personal loans, including student, car and business loans. She spent five years living in Beirut, where she was a news editor for The Daily Star and hung out with a lot of cats. She loves to eat, travel and save money.
What makes First New York personal loans unique?
Variety and low cost is where First New York personal loans shine the most. While its standard term loans already come with competitive rates compared to other types of financial institutions, it offers several types of secured loans with even lower potential rates. It also welcomes all credit types and has less strict debt-to-income ratio (DTI) requirements than most lenders. It also offers credit building loans specifically designed to help borrowers improve their scores.
First New York personal loans come in smaller amounts than you typically find with other lenders — its personal loans start at $500, and its credit building loans are capped at $1,000. You might want to look somewhere else if you’re looking to finance a large project costing more than $25,000 — the maximum you can borrow is $50,000 unless you borrow against stocks valued at $100,000 or more.
What kinds of personal loans does First New York offer?
First New York offers several types of personal loans, including your standard multi-use term loan, a credit builder loan and a variety of secured personal loans.
What is it
Who it’s for
A fixed-term loan that you can use for almost any legitimate purpose
First New York members
$500 to $25,000
Fixed rate: 6.74% to 8.49%
24 to 60 months
A personal loan designed to help you build your credit score
Members in good standing with First New York who have been employed for the past 12 months and aren’t in bankruptcy
Up to $1,000
Up to 12 months
Cashline overdraft protection
Allows you to withdraw more than you have in your First New York account. It works similarly to a line of credit
First New York members
Up to $5,000
Fixed rate: 11.50%
Variable rate: Prime + 7%
Share secured loans
A personal loan backed by your savings account
First New York members with a savings account
Your savings account balance
3% above your bank account’s APY (share dividend rate)
Up to 10 years
Share certificate secured loans
A personal loan backed by your First New York share certificate account (the credit union equivalent of a CD)
First New York members with a share certificate
3% above certificate rate
Stock secured loans
A personal loan backed by your investments, where you borrow against the value of the stocks you own
First New York members who own stocks
Up to 50% of your stock value or $50,000
6.95% to 9.95%
12 to 60 months
What are the benefits of getting a personal loan with First New York?
Competitive interest rates. Like most credit unions, First New York offers loans with interest rates lower than you might find with banks or online lenders
Low minimum amounts. Many lenders require borrowers to take out at least $2,000, but First New York lets members take out as little as $500 on their standard loans — and potentially even less with its other secured options.
Lots of secured options. You have the option of securing your loan with your personal savings or investments to get even lower interest rates or make your application stronger.
No credit or income requirements. While your credit score and income impacts the terms of your loan, First New York considers applicants of all credit types.
What to watch out for
Low maximum amounts. While your borrowing limit on some of the secured loans might be higher if you have over $50,000 tucked away in a savings account, you’re generally capped at that amount.
Secured loans capped by your account balance. You need to have a substantial amount put away to qualify for a substantial secured loan.
Not as fast as online loans. Expect to wait at least a few business days to receive your funds, which is longer than most online lenders. Look somewhere else if speed is your top priority.
Limited number of branches. Some customers complained that the limited number of First New York branches made it difficult to go to the bank in person.
Compare more personal loan options
Updated October 16th, 2019
What do customers have to say about First New York?
Very little, which isn’t uncommon for such a small financial institution. Its Better Business Bureau (BBB) page doesn’t have any complaints or reviews as of March 2019, nor is it rated or accredited with the agency. It also doesn’t have a Trustpilot page and only a few customer reviews on other sites.
However, the few reviews that exist are generally positive. Customers seem pleased with the quality of customer service and ease of managing online accounts. There were a few complaints about having trouble getting a straight answer to specific questions. And one customer mentioned the rates were merely on par with other credit unions — not particularly competitive for the type of financial institution.
Am I eligible?
To qualify for a First New York personal loan, you need to meet the following criteria:
Member of First New York Federal Credit Union
First New York savings account holder with a balance of at least $5
Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 50% or less.
First New York Federal Credit Union eligibility
You may be eligible for membership if you live, work, attend a school or worship in one of the following New York State counties:
You can also qualify for membership if you have an immediate relative who is eligible. First New York defines immediate family members as spouses, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, stepparents, stepchildren, stepsiblings and adopted children.
How do I apply?
This step should take take anywhere between five and 10 minutes, though you can save your application and come back to it later.
Read all of the disclosures before submitting your application. First New York will contact you within 24 hours to help you complete your application. If you’re a new member or have a credit score under 639, First New York will ask you to submit two paystubs to verify your employment and income.
The credit union will then perform a hard credit pull — which can cause your score to temporarily decrease — and either approve or deny your application. If approved, carefully read your loan offer and sign your loan documents if you agree to the terms.
I got a personal loan through First New York. Now what?
How First New York disburses your funds depends on your application. For example, it might deposit them directly into your account or write a check to your creditors if you’re using your loan for debt consolidation.
Once you receive your funds it’s time to start thinking about making repayments. Consider signing up for autopay, as First New York offers a 0.25% autopay discount on interest rates. Using autopay eliminates the need to manually make repayments each month.
Whatever repayment method you choose, be sure to check in on your account on a regular basis. Reach out to First New York’s customer service by calling, using its live chat feature or visiting a branch if you notice something off or have any questions.
First New York personal loans are most useful to New York residents who only need a small amount of financing and want to avoid the high interest rates charged by most small-dollar lenders. But be prepared to sign up for the long haul. You’ll need to be a member with a savings account that has a balance over $5 to qualify.
First New York also offers auto loans, RV loans, home equity lines of credit, mortgages, solar loans and private student loans.
No, First New York doesn’t have a prequalification option. After you submit your application, First New York performs a hard credit inquiry, which can cause your credit to dip.
First New York has eight branches across Niskayuna, Cobleskill, Glenville, Albany, Rotterdam and Saratoga Springs, New York.
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