Apply for an affordable personal loan in-store on online with this local bank serving New York counties.
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Most providers don’t offer what MCU does: loans of less than $1,000 with interest that’s capped at 7.99% APR with autopay. Watch out for those eligibility requirements, though — not just any New Yorker can join.
|Product Name||Municipal Credit Union|
|Min Loan Amount||$500|
|Max. Loan Amount||$50,000|
|Maximum Loan Term||7 years|
- Be enrolled in school or be employed at an eligible location in New York
- Be a member of MCU
- Minimum $5 in an MCU account
What makes New York Municipal Credit Union unique?
Like all credit unions, MCU is a not-for-profit financial institution, prioritizing service to its members rather than filling the pockets of shareholders. This allows it to offer loans to people of all levels of credit at competitive interest rates.
More about MCU
New York Municipal Credit Union (MCU) is a financial institution for qualified employees and students working or studying in and around New York City. It operates 17 branches throughout Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, Mount Vernon and Yonkers.
MCU was originally founded in 1916 as a place for city employees to get loans with reasonable rates and as an alternative to loan sharks. Today, it’s extended its membership beyond city employees, though the typical MCU member is either a government employee or works for organizations that help the government provide basic services like health care.
Despite these restrictions, MCU boasts more than 400,000 members and $2.4 billion in assets. To put this into perspective, 90% of federally insured credit unions had assets below $451 million in 2017.
What types of personal loans can I get from MCU?
Qualified members of MCU can apply for personal loans, mortgages and car loans.
Here’s what its personal loan offerings look like:
|Loan type||What is it?||How much can I borrow?||Starting APR||Maximum term|
|Personal loan||An unsecured term loan for personal expenses or to consolidate debt.||$1,000–$50,000||5.95%–7.55% with autopay discount. Rates jump 2% if you cancel autopay.||84 months, based on amount borrowed|
|Share secured loan||A personal loan secured by your MCU Share Account with no credit requirements. Designed to help build credit.||$500+||3.50% with autopay||84 months|
|CD secured loan||A personal loan secured by your MCU CD account, similar to a share secured loan.||$500+||Share certificate rate plus 3%||60 months|
|Overdraft checking line of credit||Credit whereby you withdraw money from your checking account even if your balance is $0 to pay for recurring bills or emergency expenses.||No set limit||17.90%||None|
What are the benefits of borrowing from MCU?
- Low, fixed interest rates. The highest rate you can get on an MCU loan is 9.55%, which drops to 7.55% when you sign up for autopay. With other lenders, borrowers with poor credit typically see APRs in the ballpark of 30% or higher — if they’re accepted at all.
- Autopay discount. Knock 2% off your interest for enrolling in autopay.
- Build your credit. MCU offers opportunities for people with poor credit to boost their credit score with small, secured loans.
What to watch out for
One main drawback is restricted eligibility. MCU is a local credit union, but not everyone in the area is able to join — it depends on where you or your family are employed or enrolled as a student.
While MCU several some shining points, keeping its technology up to par and its ability to deal with customer complaints are not two of them based on online customer reviews.
Compare more personal loan options
What do members say about Municipal Credit Union online?
MCU’s online reputation is mixed. The BBB gives it a D- rating, possibly based on a high number of customer complaints — many of which were resolved but not to the customer’s satisfaction. It’s not BBB accredited and only five reviews on BBB’s site, all negative.
It has no Trustpilot page, but reviews on other online forums are relatively positive. Several customers reported that MCU helped them rebuild their credit by giving them access to affordable financing. However, others mention recently tightened application requirements for membership and loan approvals. Most customers criticize its customer service, though some find it excellent.
Am I eligible?
Getting a loan from MCU
To apply for a loan, you must be a primary MCU member with at least $5 in an MCU account. Your credit score, salary and other financial information — like your debt-to-income ratio — come into play when MCU determines your loan amount, interest rate and terms.
If approved, you’ll typically qualify for a loan amount equal to 25% of your gross annual salary.
Eligibility to join MCU depends on where you’re employed or enrolled as a student. You’re eligible to join if you’re a student at any CUNY institution or any St. John’s University campus in New York State.
You’re also eligible to join if you or a direct family member work or receive a pension or annuity from:
- New York City, Yonkers or Mount Vernon.
- A hospital, nursing home, health facility or affiliates in New York State.
- The federal or state government in the five boroughs.
- An agency at least partly funded by the city or state of New York.
- An health-related insurance company that offers insurance in New York State.
- A company providing medical supplies to hospitals in New York State.
- A private college in New York City.
- A private or public college in Nassau, Suffolk or Westchester counties.
- The Archdiocese of New York or Brooklyn.
To find out if other businesses are eligible, contact MCU’s Business Development Department.
How do I apply for a loan?
MCU members with at least $5 in an MCU account are eligible to apply for an MCU loan. To apply online:
Once logged in, follow the directions to complete your loan application. If approved, carefully read your loan agreement before signing it. Your loan should be disbursed within one business day after agreeing to the terms.
I’m not a member of MCU yet. How do I register?
To register as a member, make sure you have the following documents ready:
- Government-issued ID.
- Work ID or pay stub.
- Utility bill or credit card statement issued in the past 30 days.
Once you have your documentation, you’re ready to apply for membership with MCU. Becoming a member involves opening an account — usually a savings account — with at least $5. You can either apply online, in person at your local branch or by calling 866-JOIN-MCU. Here’s how to apply online:
Follow the directions to complete the information by filling out your personal, employment and financial information. This whole process should take around 15 minutes.
I got a personal loan from MCU. Now what?
Now that you have your loan, it’s important to set up autopay to get the discount on your loan’s APR. Keep track of your account and loan balance to make sure there aren’t any technical glitches — like getting charged twice for a repayment. If you have any questions, contact customer service by visiting your local branch or calling 212- 693-4900.
I didn’t get the loan. Is there anything I can do?
Yes. First, find out why your loan was denied. One common reason is that you applied for a loan amount larger than 25% of your annual income.
If you believe you were wrongly denied, you can submit an appeal by explaining in writing why you should be reconsidered. Appeals can be submitted in person at your local branch, by mail at Attention to Loan Appeals or by faxing it to 212-416-7066.
If you don’t want to file an appeal, you can reapply after 90 days.
As long as you meet Municipal Credit Union’s membership requirements, its personal loan rates are hard to beat. It’s also an affordable way to rebuild your credit if it’s taken a hit recently. Just don’t expect the same level of technological savvy you might find at a new online lender.
You may want to check out other credit unions in New York that offer personal loans before applying for a loan with MCU. You might also find a better fit at a competing online lender.