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A personal loan from Teachers Federal Credit Union (Teachers FCU) can be a good option for teachers or even those who are not in a teaching position. Teachers FCU’s interest rates are reasonable compared to other financial institutions’ personal loan options, and there’s no origination fee. However, Teachers FCU does not offer pre-qualification, so you’ll have to officially apply to see your offer.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
Anyone can join
Rate discount for autopay with a Teachers checking account
Competitive rate range
Loan eligibility requirements are not disclosed
- Teachers Federal Credit Union (Teachers FCU) offers personal loans as well as other types of loans for its members.
- Interest rates on Teachers FCU loans range from 9.99% to 17.99%.
- The application process for a Teachers FCU personal loan can be completed online.
- Borrowers can choose personal loan terms ranging from two to six years.
Teachers Federal Credit Union began 70 years ago, started by a few educators in Long Island, N.Y. Today, the credit union has more than 460,000 members.?
With 33 branch locations across Long Island and parts of New York City, it has a small regional footprint. However, you don’t have to be a teacher to join, and you can access 5,400 Credit Union Service Centers nationwide that are shared branches.
- Anyone can join: If you’re not a member of Teachers Federal Credit Union but are interested in its personal loans, you can join at the same time you apply. You don’t have to be a teacher, have some other professional affiliation, or live near a branch (as some other credit unions require). You simply have to open a bank account.?
- Rate discount for autopay with a Teachers checking account: If you set up a qualified loan with automatic payments from a Teachers checking account, you’ll get a 0.50% discount on your interest rate.
- Competitive rate range: The personal loan APR range of 9.99% to 17.99% is below the range of what many similar lenders offer.
- No pre-qualification: Pre-qualification allows you to get a rate quote without filling out a whole application and initiating a hard credit check. Teachers FCU does not offer pre-qualification, so you will not have an estimate before you officially apply. You will have to apply to learn the terms you qualify for.
- Loan eligibility requirements are not disclosed: Because you can’t pre-qualify, it would be nice to know if there are any minimum qualifications for personal loans. Unfortunately, Teachers FCU does not share details about loan qualification criteria on its site.
- Limited branches: Although Teachers FCU does have a shared branch network across the U.S., it has only 33 actual branches, all concentrated in the New York area. If you prefer in-person banking and you live outside of that area, that might be a deterrent.
Types of Personal Loans Offered by Teachers Federal Credit Union
Teachers Federal Credit Union personal loans are unsecured, fixed-rate installment loans in which you pay the same amount each month until the loan is paid off.?
Teachers FCU also offers secured loans in which you can borrow against your savings or certificates. This option is used as a tool to build credit rather than providing you with cash, however.
In addition to regular personal loans, Teachers FCU also offers:
- Education loans
- Teacher Advantage line of credit
- Energy assistance loans
- Holiday loans
- PV/solar loans
- Short-term, small-amount loans
- Vacation loans
Receiving Personal Loan Funds
Teachers Federal Credit Union does not provide details about its expected timeline for approval of a loan. Personal loans are typically funded within a couple of business days, but the exact time varies by lender. After you receive a decision, you can review and accept the loan offer and expect your funding soon after.?
- To get a loan from Teachers FCU, membership is required by opening a regular savings account with a minimum $1 deposit.?
- Income and credit requirements are not disclosed.
Teachers FCU Personal Loan Features
- Interest rate discount: If you set up your personal loan with an automatic internal transfer from a Teachers checking account, you can qualify for a 0.50% rate discount.
Co-Signers and Co-Applicants
You can apply for a Teachers Federal Credit Union loan with a joint applicant. This means that you both would share the loan ownership and responsibility equally.?
However, you don’t have the option to add a co-signer to your loan application with Teachers FCU. Co-signers can help you qualify if you have a limited or less-than-perfect credit history. Co-signers are responsible for paying if you cannot meet your debt obligation, but they do not have ownership over the loan.
Can You Refinance a Personal Loan With Teachers Federal Credit Union?
Teachers Federal Credit Union allows you to use a personal loan to refinance other debt along with many other purposes. The credit union doesn’t specify if you can refinance an existing Teachers FCU loan, however.?
You can contact Teachers Federal Credit Union in person, via phone, and through customer support chat six days a week. You can also book an appointment or visit a branch Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from? 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
|Telephone||800-341-4333||Weekdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
|Chat||Log into online banking and click “Chat Now”||Weekdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
|Send a Message||Contact form||24/7|
Teachers Federal Credit Union has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau. As a smaller federal credit union, Teachers Federal Credit Union has very few reviews on sites like Trustpilot, so it’s difficult to evaluate its reputation among customers.
It’s worth noting that credit unions are member-owned and not-for-profit, so members often enjoy perks and benefits as well as a more attentive customer service experience. The fact that Teachers FCU has been around for 70 years also indicates that it’s meeting customer needs.
Teachers Federal Credit Union Membership Requirements
Despite what its name implies, anyone can join Teachers Federal Credit Union even if they are not part of the teaching profession. In fact, Teachers FCU has an open charter that welcomes all applicants, which is different from some credit unions that require members to live in a specific geographic area or have some sort of job affiliation.
The only requirement is that you must open up an account with Teachers. The current “Join” page prompts you to open one of two checking accounts, but you can also open a savings account with a $1 minimum opening deposit.
Applying for a Teachers Federal Credit Union Personal Loan
Teachers Federal Credit Union promises a fast online application if you apply for its personal loan. If you’re not yet a member, you can join at the same time that you apply for your loan.
- Apply online: The application is straightforward, asking you to share your personal contact information, basic financial history, and income information, plus submit to a credit check.?
- Submit documentation: Expect to upload a photo of your identification, proof of address, and other documents related to your employment or income.
- Wait for approval: Teachers FCU states that the approval process is “quick,” so expect to receive a same-day decision.
- Review your offer: If you are offered a loan, look over the details carefully before you accept the terms.
- Receive your funding: Once you sign the loan document, your funds will be deposited into your bank account.?
Other Banking Services and Loans Offered by Teachers Federal Credit Union
In addition to personal loans, Teachers Federal Credit Union offers a number of other personal and business bank accounts and financial services. These include:
- Money market
- Credit cards
- Home loans
- Auto loans
- Investment services
Compare Teachers Federal Credit Union With Other Personal Loan Lenders
|Teachers Federal Credit Union||Patelco Credit Union||SoFi|
|Loan Terms||12–72 months||6–84 months||24–84 months|
|Recommended Minimum Credit Score||629||640||Not disclosed|
|Time to Receive Funds||2 days||Same day||Same day|
The Bottom Line
Many credit union benefits are best enjoyed if you live near a branch, so it makes the most sense to turn to Teachers Federal Credit Union if you live in or near Long Island, N.Y.?
That said, anyone can join Teachers FCU, so if you can access favorable rates and terms on its personal loan products, it can be worth considering. The credit union doesn’t charge an origination fee, and the rate range is on the lower side compared with other lenders. However, Teachers FCU does not disclose much information about loan qualifications nor does it offer rate quotes without a hard credit check, so you’ll have to do a full application to see your offer.
Is It a Good Idea to Get a Personal Loan from a Credit Union?
Whether to get a personal loan from a credit union is a personal decision that depends in part on your needs, whether you can meet qualifications, and the rate you are offered. Credit unions are known for offering competitive rates and less stringent eligibility requirements. If you’re already a credit union member, you can start your personal loans research there.
What Credit Score Do You Need for a Personal Loan From Teachers Federal Credit Union?
Teachers Federal Credit Union does not disclose a minimum credit score requirement for its personal loans. In general, lenders base their loan decisions on factors including credit history, income (or ability to repay), and the amount you are seeking.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Borrowing from a Credit Union?
Borrowing from a credit union can have advantages and disadvantages. Some credit unions provide members with discounted loan rates, easier loan qualifications, and more personalized customer service. The downside is that you could miss out on lower rates or a greater selection of loan options if you don’t research other lenders like national banks or online lenders.
Are You More Likely to Get a Loan From a Credit Union?
Credit unions are member-owned and not-for-profit so they tend to focus on building relationships and working closely with members to help them reach their financial goals. As such, you may find that credit unions are less stringent with their personal loan requirements. For example, a credit union might consider your whole financial situation instead of setting a minimum credit score.
How Do Personal Loans Affect Your Credit Score?
Personal loans can have an impact on your credit score in a couple of ways. First, when you apply, a hard inquiry on your credit will usually result in a slight, temporary drop in your score. From there, how you use the funds and handle your loan payoff matters as well. For example, if you use a loan to consolidate your debt, that can help improve your credit moving forward. Consistent, on-time repayment can also help increase your credit score. Of course, if you miss loan payments, then you can expect a negative effect on your credit score.
To evaluate and rank personal loan providers we collected hundreds of data points across 70 lenders, including traditional banks, credit unions, fintechs, and special interest finance companies. We researched and evaluated APRs, loan amounts and terms, fees, customer experience, and much more. To rank the lenders in our database and to generate star ratings, we weighted the data we collected, based in part on what consumers told us were the most important features of a personal loan and lender in a survey we conducted. We grouped those factors into four broad areas:
- Loan costs (advertised APR, fees, and six other factors): 29.25%
- Loan terms (loan amount, repayment term, and three other factors): 22.25%
- Borrowing requirements (credit score, membership requirement, and six other factors): 28.5%
- Additional features (online application, pre-qualification, and eight other factors): 20%
Learn more about how we evaluated personal loans in our complete methodology.