Mountain America Credit Union

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Mountain America Credit Union loans

A one-stop-shop for borrowing with flexible terms in the Mountain States.

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Mountain America Credit Union (MACU) offers a wide range of loans for personal and business funding, from unsecured general-use loans to dirt bike financing. Many of its loans allow you to skip up to two repayments a year, making it one of the more flexible borrowing options out there.

But its loans don’t always have the most competitive rates. And you’ll have to meet its narrow membership requirements to qualify.

What types of loans does MACU offer?

You can find the following types of loans at MACU:

  • Personal loans. MACU offers unsecured personal loans up to $20,000 starting at 8.99% APR with terms up to five years. You can also borrow against your MACU CD or savings account.
  • Auto loans. New and used car loans as well as refinancing with fixed APRs starting at 3.24% and terms from three to six years.
  • RV, travel trailer and boat loans. Finance a new or used vehicle or apply for refinancing with fixed APRs starting at 5.49% and terms of 10 or 12 years.
  • ATV, utility, dirt bike, watercraft and snowmobile loans. New and used vehicle financing as well as refinancing with fixed APRs starting at 5.24% and terms from three to six years.
  • Student loans. Borrow between $10,000 and $40,000 to supplement federal aid, go to trade school or cover continuing education classes with variable APRs starting at 6%. Or refinance private loans with fixed APRs starting at 7.75%.
  • Short-term loans. A payday alternative loan (PAL) from $350 to $1,000 with a six-month term and rates fixed at 28% APR.
  • Business loans. Borrow between $10,000 and $50,000 with variable rates of 6% to 6.5% plus the prime rate. Business lines of credit and equipment financing are also available at different amounts and rates.
  • Home loans. MACU provides a wide range of mortgages, from FHA to lot and land loans. You can also apply for a home equity loan through this credit union.

Why should I consider taking out a loan with MACU

From its skip-a-pay program to its loyalty discount, here are a few perks of borrowing from MACU:

  • Skip-a-pay program. Most personal and auto loans come with the option to skip a payment up to two times every year for a $25 fee.
  • Coapplicants welcome. You can apply with a parent, spouse or another applicant to strengthen your application and share the responsibility.
  • Loyalty discount. You can get a 0.25% rate discount if you make repayments from your MACU MyStyle Checking Account.
  • Join after approval. You don’t have to become a member until after you get approved for your loan — most credit unions require you to apply for membership before or during the application.
  • Live-chat available. You can get answers to most questions without picking up the phone from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT through its live-chat feature on its website.

Where does MACU fall short?

Consider these potential drawbacks before taking out a loan from MACU:

  • High starting rates. While MACU might not charge fees, its starting rates are higher than average — even compared to some online lenders. Rates are even less competitive if you don’t have a MACU checking account.
  • Limited availability. You won’t qualify for a loan with MACU if you don’t live in Idaho, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada or Arizona.
  • Few customer reviews. Only a handful of customers have left online reviews about their MACU experience — and what’s there isn’t inspiring.
  • Limited information available online. You won’t find much information about rates and eligibility requirements on MACU’s website — making it difficult to compare the credit union to other lenders out there.

How much will it cost me to borrow with MACU?

It depends on the type of loan you get. Most loans come with APRs that start slightly higher than average. The one exception is its short-term loan, which is much less expensive than a payday or installment loan.

MACU doesn’t charge any application or origination fees on most of its loans. The only fee you might end up paying is a $15 late fee if you miss a repayment. You can avoid this by signing up for the skip-a-pay program for a $25 fee — which won’t damage your credit.

What do borrowers say about MACU?

Barely anything, as of November 2019. It gets a C- rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on its failure to respond to a complaint against the business. It’s also not accredited by the BBB. But no customers have left reviews, and only four customers have left complaints. It only has one negative review on Trustpilot, giving it a meaningless rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars.

The details of most complaints aren’t available. One customer complained about the lack of bank account security, and another said they’d been charged more fees than expected on their credit card. None of the reviews mentioned loans.

Are MACU loans safe?

Generally, yes. MACU uses multiple layers of security features to protect your online information, such as encrypted online forms and security questions — though one customer complained that their account had been repeatedly hacked. It also has a page on its website with tips on how to make sure your information stays protected, such as avoiding free Wi-Fi networks and keeping your devices updated.

How to apply for a loan with MACU

MACU offers several different ways to apply for a loan. You can use its app, apply online, visit a branch or call its customer service line to get started.

Here are the steps you might follow online:

  1. Go to the MACU website.
  2. Click Loans in the main menu and select the type of loan you’d like to apply for.
  3. Click Apply online.
  4. Enter your email address and click Get Started.
  5. Answer questions about your membership eligibility and the type of loan you’d like to borrow. Click Continue.
  6. Review your answers and the disclosures. Click Submit.

Typically, a MACU representative will reach out to you in one to two business days with a decision. If approved, they’ll let you know the rates and terms you qualify for and provide instructions for completing the application. Depending on the loan, you might receive your funds as soon as the same day you sign your loan documents.

Eligibility requirements

Eligibility requirements vary depending on the type of loan you’re interested in. However, for all loans you’ll need to qualify for membership by meeting at least one of the following criteria:

  • Resident of an eligible county. You must live in Salt Lake, Duchesne or parts of Wasatch or Uintah counties to be eligible based on your residence.
  • Family member of a MACU member. This includes parents, children, siblings, spouses (including surviving spouses), siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, stepchildren, step-siblings, stepparents and any adoptive relationship.
  • Live with a MACU member. You can also qualify if you share an address with a MACU member, even if they’re not your relative.
  • Work or volunteer with an eligible organization. Find out if your employer qualifies on the MACU website.

You likely won’t meet these criteria unless you live in Arizona., Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico or Utah.

More about MACU

This Utah-based credit union first opened in 1936 during the height of the Great Depression. Since then, it’s grown to serve customers across the Mountain States. It’s also consistently given back to its community by supporting nonprofit and educational organizations.

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Bottom line

MACU could be a good option if you’d like to keep all of your money in one place or are looking for flexible repayments. But its limited availability and high starting rates might make you want to look elsewhere.

You can find out how it compares to other providers by reading our guide to personal loans.

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