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Mountain America Credit Union private student loans review

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Its fully online application sets it apart from other community credit unions, but its rates and terms aren’t exactly competitive.

  • Best for credit union members attending a trade school, community college or continuing education classes.
  • Pick something else if you’re looking for low rates or terms longer than 10 years.

6% to 18%

APR

$40,000

Max. Loan Amount

Details

Product NameMountain America private student loans
Max. Loan Amount$40,000
APR6% to 18%
Interest Rate TypeVariable
Maximum Loan Term10 years

Expert review

Leah Fallon

Review by


Leah Fallon is an editor for Finder. With 10 years of teaching English under her belt, it was a natural progression to move into editorial. She's written feature pieces for regional print and digital media and today helps fix annoying apostrophes, elusive infinitives and the muddled em and en dash. When she's not helping people with their finances, you can find her exploring the trails of Loudoun County, Virginia and wrangling her two sprightly girls.

Expert review

Mountain America Credit Union (MACU) is a good option for students who are already members of the credit union and are attending a community college or trade school. It can be difficult to qualify for student loans to attend a two-year school or continuing education classes, but that’s where MACU shines. Its loans are specifically designed for students pursuing a two-year degree or certification.

If that’s not you, then you’ll likely have better luck going with another lender. Its rates and terms aren’t as competitive as other private student loan providers out there. And it only works with specific schools in five Mountain states.

Not sold on MACU? Explore other private student loan options below.

First, am I eligible? 

Pros

  • Funding available for trade school, community college and continuing education classes
  • Fully online application — rare for a credit union

Cons

  • Rates start higher than other lenders out there
  • Loan terms max out at just 10 years
  • Limited to residents of five states
  • Need to attend eligible school to qualify

To be eligible for the Mountain America undergraduate student loan, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Registered at an approved college, university or vocational school. Not every school works with Mountain America’s student loan program. Save time by calling MACU at 801-325-6130 to make sure your school is on the list.
  • Meet your school’s satisfactory academic progress requirement. This typically equates to a C average, though it varies by school.
  • Pass a credit and income check. You need to pass a credit check and have a debt-to-income ratio that’s less than 47% to qualify.
  • US citizen or permanent resident. You need to be a legal US resident or citizen and at least 18 years old to apply for a MACU loan.
  • Member of Mountain America Credit Union (MACU). You can qualify for membership if you live in an eligible Utah county, live with or are related to a MACU member, or work or volunteer for an eligible company.

Compare more student loans

Data indicated here is updated regularly

Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
SoFi Student Loans
680
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1.90% to 11.76% with autopay
Undergraduate financing with no late fees to US citizens with good credit.
Earnest Student Loans
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Undergrad and graduate financing with a nine-month grace period.
EDvestinU Private Student Loans
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$200,000
4.092% to 8.609% with autopay
Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
CommonBond Private Student Loans
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Finance your college education through this lender with a strong social mission and terms that fit your budget.
Edvisors Private Student Loan Marketplace
Varies by lender
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Quickly compare private lenders for your school and apply for the right student loan.
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How can I become a member of MACU?

You can join MACU if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Live in Utah’s Salt Lake, Duchesne, Wasatch or Uintah counties
  • Family member is a MACU member
  • Live with a MACU member
  • Employee or volunteer with a select employer group (SEG) or affiliated association

Do I need a cosigner?

A cosigner with a decent credit history and income in relation to their debts can help you qualify for better rates and higher loan amounts. Here are two reasons when you might want to consider applying with a cosigner:

  • You don’t have a job. Monthly interest-only payments are required while you’re still in school, so you’ll need some form of income to prove you can afford to make those repayments.
  • You haven’t built up your credit history. If you haven’t had a chance to build your credit history — or your debt-to-income ratio is higher than 47% — you might benefit from applying with a creditworthy cosigner.

What states are MACU private student loans available in?

MACU student loans are available to residents of the following states:

  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Utah

What makes Mountain America student loans unique?

MACU private student loans shine for one specific reason: They’re open to students attending community college, trade school or continuing education courses. Many other private lenders aren’t willing to fund degrees or certificates from these types of schools. MACU also sets itself apart from the crowd thanks to its fully online student loan application — rare for a community credit union.

What are my repayment options? 

Mountain America offers two repayment options while you’re in school: 

  • Interest-only repayments. Make interest-only payments while attending school and six months after you graduate or withdraw from school.
  • Full interest and principal repayments. To save on interest, you can begin making full repayments of both interest and principal immediately after your funds are disbursed. 

How do I apply? 

You can apply for a MACU student loan at a local branch, online or over the phone. Follow these steps to apply online:

  1. Go to the Mountain America Credit Union website and click Loans.
  2. Scroll down to Student Loans and click Learn more.
  3. Click Apply now.
  4. Enter your email address and click Get started.
  5. Add your member number if you’re a member of Mountain America Credit Union. Nonmembers need to pick one of the four qualification options and click Continue.
  6. Choose Education loan under Application type.
  7. Click Continue and enter your requested loan amount, academic year and your school’s name and address.
  8. Click Continue and enter your name, address, birthdate, Social Security number and driver’s license number.
  9. Click Continue and enter your financial details.

A cosigner can be added to your application by visiting your local branch or calling the loan service center at 801-325-6228. It takes approximately two weeks to find out about approval. If approved, funds are disbursed to your school’s financial aid office.

What information do I need to apply? 

Streamline the process by getting together these documents and information before starting the application:

  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of income
  • Copies of your most two most recent pay stubs, W-2s and tax returns
  • Verification of your monthly rent or mortgage payment
  • Documentation of any delinquent accounts over $2,000
  • School name
  • Estimated cost of attendance
  • Year in school and expected graduation date

Don’t live in an eligible state? School doesn’t qualify? Check out even more lenders with our guide to student loans.

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