Mountain America Credit Union short-term loans review

An affordable alternative to payday loans for current MACU members.


Min. Amount


Max. Amount

Same day

Turnaround time


Product NameMACU instant short-term loans
Min. Amount$350
Max. Amount$1,000
Loan TermUp to 6 months
Loan SecurityUnsecured
Turnaround TimeSame day
RequirementsMACU member for at least one month, MACU checking or savings account, 6+ months at current job, $1,000+ monthly income, no open bankruptcies

Review by

Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.

Expert review

These short-term loans from Mountain America Credit Union (MACU) work a lot like a payday alternative loan (PAL). You can borrow up to $1,000 the same day you apply with rates capped at 28% — regardless of your credit history.

But its requirements are a little harder to meet than other short-term lenders. You need to be a MACU member for at least one month before you can qualify and must be employed at the same job for at least six months.

It could be a good option if you already have a MACU account, but otherwise you’ll need to explore your other options.

First, am I eligible?

You must meet the following requirements to qualify for a short-term loan:

  • MACU member for at least one month
  • MACU checking or savings account holder
  • At your current job for at least six months
  • No open bankruptcies

Can I qualify for MACU membership?

What states are MACU short-term loans available in?

You need to live in one of the following states to qualify for a short-term loan from MACU:

  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Utah

What makes MACU short-term loans unique?

MACU offers what you won’t find at many credit unions and payday lenders: same-day funding with lower rates than you might get with a bad-credit personal loan or credit card. Its short-term loans also come in a wider range of amounts than you might find from a payday lender, since it’s technically not a payday loan.


  • Rates capped at 28%
  • Loans from $350 to $1,000
  • Funding the same day you apply


  • Must be a MACU member for a month to qualify
  • $20 application fee
  • Overdraft suspended until you pay it back

Compare your other short-term loan options

Name Product Filter Values Loan amount Turnaround time Requirements
B9 pay advance app
Up to 100% of your salary
$500+ in monthly direct deposits into B9 account, checking account, ITIN or SSN, government-issued photo ID
Withdraw 100% of your paycheck with no extra fee for instant funding.
OppLoans Installment Loans
$500 to $4,000
1 business day
Direct deposit, Meet minimum income requirements, Live in eligible state
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
$1,000 to $25,000
2 to 3 business days
Be employed, have a US bank account, live in a state where Stilt operates, hold one of the following visas: F-1 and OPT, H-1B, H4, O-1, L-1, TN, J-1, DACA or be a US citizen.
Get a fair loan designed for immigrants and nonresidents.
CashNetUSA Loan
Varies by state
As fast as same business day
Regular source of income, bank account, US citizen or permanent resident, age of majority in your state
Sign up for its discount program to get access to coupons and deals on everything from dining out to tax services.
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
$100 to $35,000
As soon as the next business day
Regular source of income, Verifiable bank account, US citizen, Ages 18+
Get connected with multiple lenders you might qualify with — even if you have bad credit.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I apply?

You can apply through the MACU app, over the phone or in person at your local branch. You can download the app through the Apple App Store, Google Play or the MACU website. To apply, log in to your account and follow the directions to submit the application. If you’d prefer to apply over the phone, call 800-748-4302 to speak with a MACU loan specialist.

The application typically takes around 10 minutes to fill out. Funds should be deposited directly into your MACU account the same day.

MACU reviews and complaints

BBB accreditedYes
BBB ratingA+
BBB customer reviews1 out of 5 stars, based on 6 customer reviews
Trustpilot score3.1 out of 5, based on 3 customer reviews
AppStore score4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 18,203 customer reviews
Google Play score4.7 out of 5 stars, based on 8,910 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of16 October 2020

MACU only has a handful of mostly negative customer reviews. One customer complained that their information was stolen. A few were dissatisfied with the quality of customer service. The one positive review didn’t give any specifics on what made it stand out.

How do repayments work?

MACU short-term loans come with monthly repayments with a six-month term. How much you owe each month depends on the amount you borrowed. If you have any questions or concerns about your account, reach out to customer service as soon as possible.

Can’t qualify for membership with MACU? Explore your other options with our guide to payday loan alternatives.

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