Alliant Credit Union covers the basics — buying a car, refinancing your student loans or covering any other personal cost that you can’t fund right away. Its rates are generally competitive, though its personal loan APR starts a bit high with a range of 6.24% to 27.24%.
What types of loans does Alliant Credit Union offer?
Alliant credit offers several types of loans, including personal loans, car loans, RV loans and student loan refinancing. Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect:
|Loan type||What it’s for||Loan amounts||Loan terms|
Unsecured personal loan
Any legitimate personal expense
$1,000 to $50,000
Up to 5 years
Car and RV loans
Buying a car or a recreational vehicle
$5,000 – $1,000,000
Up to 7 years
Replacing your current student debt with a new loan that has more favorable rates or terms
$3,000 – $60,000
Up to 12 years
Although it previously offered student loans and business loans, these options are no longer available.
Why should I consider taking out a loan with Alliant Credit Union?
Here are some reasons why you might want to consider borrowing with Alliant:
- Competitive rates and low fees. Alliant’s highest rates are generally lower than what you’d find with the competition. And you won’t have to pay any application, origination or prepayment fees when you borrow.
- Rate discounts. Nearly all of Alliant’s loans come with a 0.4% interest rate discount for signing up for automatic payments. Its car loans also come with a 0.5% rate discount if you use Alliant’s car buying service.
- Easy to join. All you have to do is make a $10 donation to a nonprofit that works with kids who have been through the foster care system to be eligible for membership.
- Helpful customer service. Our experience with Alliant’s customer service team was topnotch. Representatives were eager to answer our questions and even gave us their personal extensions so we could call back if we had any more.
- All of your financial services in one place. If you don’t like crossing between banks or giving out your information to different companies, Alliant offers a slew of financial products on top of its loans — including a high-rate savings account.
Where does Alliant Credit Union fall short?
Consider these potential drawbacks before borrowing with Alliant:
- You have to be a member to borrow. Like with any credit union, you have to become an Alliant member before you can apply for a loan. Fortunately, it’s a relatively easy process.
- Low maximum borrowing amounts. Alliant might not be the best choice if you need to borrow more than $50,000 for a personal loan or refinance a large amount of student loan debt.
- Limited loan options. Alliant used to offer more loan types — specifically business and student loans — but now has a much more limited selection. Explore other business loan providers or compare private student loan providers for other options not offered by Alliant.
How much will it cost me to borrow?
Alliant Credit Union doesn’t charge any fees related to applying for a loan — no application or origination fees. The main cost you need to worry about is the interest rate.
Fixed rates from 6.24% to 27.24%
Car and RV loans
Fixed rates 3.95% (as low as)
Student loan refinancing
Variable rates Starting at 4.56%
Alliant charges a late fee of 5% of the amount owed on personal loans and a $35 late fee on car loans. If a payment bounces, you’ll pay a returned check fee of $25 on its personal loans.
Is Alliant Credit Union safe to borrow from?
Generally, yes. While some if its web pages don’t have an SSL-encrypted connection, all applications and forms where you might enter your personal information do. And after it has your information, Alliant restricts access to employees who’ve received confidentiality training and absolutely need it for business purposes.
If you choose to use your Alliant account as your main account, your funds are federally insured for up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). This means that if anything goes wrong — say Alliant folds — you’ll be eligible to get up to $250,000 of your funds back.
What customers say about Alliant Credit Union
There aren’t enough online reviews to get a good sense of customer experiences, though the few that are out there aren’t great. As of this writing, all but one of the 13 comments on its Better Business Bureau (BBB) page are negative. However, Alliant gets an A+ rating based on factors like advertising and transparency. It also has over 30 customer complaints filed against it.
Most negative reviews involved issues with its car loan — specifically involving gap insurance. Customers either had trouble getting approved because of the gap insurance or had trouble filing a claim. Others had trouble figuring out how to make repayments. To Alliant’s credit, its customer service team wrote personal responses to all BBB reviews trying to resolve the issues.
How to apply for a loan with Alliant Credit Union
You can apply for any Alliant Credit Union online or by visiting one of its physical locations. While the application process differs on the type of loan you want, you can apply for all of them online.
To get started on any loan application, go to Alliant’s website, click or hover over Borrow to select which type of loan you’d like from the drop-down menu. Then, click the green and white Apply Now button.
Alliant handles its personal and car loans applications on its own. If you aren’t a member, you’ll have an option to join before starting the application. You can reach out to Alliant’s customer service to help you with your application at any time.
For student loan refinancing, Alliant uses loan processor cuLearn to handle its applications. You’ll need to set up a cuLearn profile before you can continue with your application. If you have any questions, you’ll be put in touch with a cuLearn representative.
Eligibility requirements differ depending on the type of loan you need. However, you’ll generally need to meet the following criteria to qualify for an Alliant Credit Union loan:
- Be an Alliant Credit Union member
- Have a strong personal credit score
- Have a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of 50% or lower
- Be a US citizen or permanent resident
- Be over 18 years old
For student loan refinancing, Alliant allows borrowers to apply with a cosigner to help them meet income and credit requirements.
To become an Alliant Credit Union member you must:
- Be employees of companies that partner with Alliant
- Be members of organizations that partner with Alliant
- Live in a neighborhood near Alliant’s corporate headquarters in Chicago
- Be immediate family members of an Alliant member
- Makes a $10 donation to Forster Care to Success, a nonprofit that helps foster children transition to independent adulthood
Compare other lenders to Alliant Credit Union
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More about Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in the country. As a credit union, it’s a nonprofit financial institution that’s owned by its members. A group of United Airlines employees founded it in 1935 with the aim of creating a safe place for other employees to get a fair deal on interest rates — its original name was United Airlines Employees’ Credit Union.
Alliant’s been recognized at national conferences for consistently offering competitive rates to its members.
Today it boasts over 335,000 members, has $9.3 billion in assets and has funded a total of $5 billion in loans.
If you’re looking for a credit union to handle all of your financial needs, Alliant might be the one you’re looking for. Through Alliant, you can have your bank account, personal loans, student loans and car loans all with one company. Rates are generally competitive and straightforward — there’s only a 0.5% difference between the lowest and highest personal loan rate.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get an estimate of my rates without hurting my credit score?
Unfortunately, Alliant runs a hard credit check after you submit your application, so any rate offers you get will affect your credit score.
Do I need collateral for an Alliant loan?
Alliant’s personal loans and student loans are unsecured, so they don’t require collateral. However, its car and RV loans are secured by the vehicle you’re purchasing, meaning if you default on your loan, Alliant could seize your vehicle to recover the cost of your loan.
Can I apply for an Alliant loan in person?
You can by visiting one of its branches. You can find an Alliant branch near you by visiting its site and clicking Branches & ATMs on the top navigation bar. Then, enter your ZIP code, city or state, or click Near Me to find a map of branches in your area.
Does Alliant offer a debt protection plan?
Yes. You can purchase insurance to protect you against unemployment or temporary disability on its personal and car loans. However, choosing this option may mean that your monthly payment increases.