BECU Personal Loans Review

BECU offers personal loans up to $15,000, with terms as long as 72 months

We recommend the best products through an independent review process, and advertisers do not influence our picks. We may receive compensation if you visit partners we recommend. Read our advertiser disclosure for more info.

BECU Bank

BECU

Investopedia’s Rating
3.7

Boeing Employees’ Credit Union, or BECU, offers a variety of financial products and services to qualifying members. Its personal loans are limited to just $30,000, so borrowers with big expenses or a lot of debt to consolidate might be better off elsewhere. With loan terms up to 72 months, though, this credit union may be worth considering if you're seeking a smaller loan and a more personal membership experience.

  • Pros & Cons
  • specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Repayment terms up to 72 months

  • No loan origination or application fees

Cons
  • Relatively low loan maximum

  • Only available to BECU members

  • Higher interest rates than some other lenders

specifications
APR Range
7.49% - 18.00%
Loan Amount
$1,000 - $15,000
Loan Terms
24 Months or 72 Months
Recommended Minimum Credit Score
N/A
Average Origination Fee
0.00% - 0.00%
Late Fee
$0.00 - $0.00
Why Trust Us Investopedia collected key data points from several lenders to identify the most important factors to borrowers. We used this data to review each lender for fees, accessibility, repayment terms, and other features to provide unbiased, comprehensive reviews to ensure our readers make the right borrowing decision for their needs. Read our Full Methodology
38 Lenders reviewed
40 Loan features considered
1,520 Data points analyzed
112 Primary data sources used

Pros Explained

  • Repayment terms up to 72 months: You’ll have up to six years to repay your BECU personal loan at a fixed interest rate.
  • No loan origination or application fees: There are no fees for applying for or taking out a personal loan through BECU.

Cons Explained

  • Low loan maximum limit: Personal loans through BECU are only available for up to $30,000. If you need a larger loan amount, you’ll need to consider another lender.
  • Only available to BECU members: BECU products, including personal loans, are only offered to current members. Membership criteria include living in Washington state or select counties in Oregon or Idaho, being a Boeing employee, being an employee of another credit union, and more.
  • Higher interest rates than some other lenders: APRs for BECU personal loans range from 7.49% to 18.0% APR, depending on your terms and creditworthiness. Creditworthy borrowers may be able to find much lower rates through other lenders.

Introduction

BECU was originally created to be a credit union for Boeing employees and their families. Today, this banking institution offers a variety of financial products and services to its members, who may be associated with Boeing, from the Pacific Northwest, or involved with certain organizations and associations.

One of the many products offered by BECU is a personal loan. BECU offers personal loans up to $30,000 with repayment terms as long as 72 months, and APRs start at 7.49%—which is higher than you may find with other lenders. However, BECU personal loans can be used for several purposes, including debt consolidation (such as credit card balances), covering unexpected expenses, paying for medical procedures, making home improvements, and more.

If your credit score improves over time, your personal loan’s interest rate may drop. That’s because BECU periodically monitors customers’ credit ratings for changes and may adjust rates accordingly.

Company Overview

The Boeing Employees’ Credit Union, or BECU, was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Washington state. It primarily serves residents of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho and their families, though membership is offered to a wide range of groups.

BECU memberships are available if you:

  • Live, work, attend school, or worship in WA, OR, or ID, or have family members who do
  • Work for Boeing, BECU, or another credit union
  • Are part of certain associations and alumni groups
  • Have a business or organization that meets certain criteria

However, even if you don’t live in one of these areas or qualify through your employer, you can still become a BECU member; you’ll just need to take a few extra steps.

For instance, donors, members, and volunteers of KEXP, a Seattle-based non-profit radio station, are eligible to join BECU. So by donating to KEXP, you could unlock BECU membership eligibility.

Types of Personal Loans Offered by BECU

BECU offers personal loans that can be used for any number of purposes. Depending on your situation, this could mean using the money to:

  • Consolidate existing debt
  • Cover a large purchase or expense
  • Make home repairs
  • Pay for moving expenses

Though BECU does not specify any loan purpose exclusions, lenders typically won’t allow you to use personal loan funds for illegal purposes, to gamble, or to pay for post-secondary educational expenses.

If you’re considering a personal loan to consolidate and pay off existing debt, be sure to calculate the cost of all options first. A personal loan can be one good option, as can a 0% APR balance transfer offer or even a secured, lower-interest rate product like a home equity line of credit (HELOC.)

Time to Receive Funds

BECU does not offer a specific timeframe for personal loan funding, though borrowers can typically expect the process to take anywhere from a couple of business days to a week. The amount of time it will take depends on certain underwriting factors, such as your credit history and credit score, or whether you’re applying with a co-borrower. 

Once approved, your personal loan funds will be electronically deposited directly into your existing BECU account.

BECU Personal Loan Features

Co-Borrowers and Co-Applicants Accepted

Whether you are looking to share the responsibility of your new loan with your spouse, or want to add a creditworthy co-borrower to potentially access better loan terms, BECU will allow it. Both joint applicants and co-signers are welcome.

BECU Membership

To take out a BECU personal loan, you’ll need to become a BECU member. Membership at BECU gives you access to free checking and savings accounts, community discounts, financial education resources, and money-saving opportunities on the accounts and services you use.

Loan Payment Protection program (LPP)

For an additional fee, you can register your personal loan in BECU’s Loan Payment Protection (LPP) program. This program will provide financial assistance in the form of minimum monthly payments if you involuntarily lose your job, are disabled, or a co-borrower passes away.

Apply for a BECU Loan

Before you can apply for a BECU personal loan, you’ll need to become a BECU member. You can do this online as long as you meet the credit union’s membership eligibility requirements, which include living, working, or attending school in Washington state or select counties in Idaho or Oregon. You can also become a member if you are an employee of Boeing, involved in certain organizations, or are an employee of another credit union.

Once you’re a BECU member, you are eligible to apply for one of its personal loans. The online application process is fairly simple, and involves the following:

  1. Log in to your online account. There, you’ll have access to available products and services, and you can click ‘Apply’ to begin your personal loan application.
  2. Choose your loan terms. BECU personal loans are offered up to $30,000 with terms as long as 72 months.
  3. Get approved. BECU will run your credit and determine whether or not you qualify for the personal loan you want. 
  4. Review and sign your loan agreement. After your personal loan application has been approved, you’ll be asked to review and sign a loan agreement. Be sure to review terms and conditions carefully.
  5. Funds are disbursed. After approval, your new personal loan funds will be electronically deposited directly into your existing BECU account for easy access and use.

Can You Refinance a Personal Loan with BECU?

Refinancing a personal loan can be one way to lower your interest rate, reduce monthly payments, get out of debt sooner, or all three. 

While BECU does not specify whether existing personal loan customers can refinance, it does periodically review members’ credit ratings. If your credit has improved since you took out your personal loan, you could potentially earn a better rate without having to formally refinance your personal loan.

Customer Service

Members in the U.S. and Canada can contact BECU by phone at 800-233-2328. Customer service representatives can be reached Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Pacific, and Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Pacific.

If you’re local to one of BECU’s brick-and-mortar branches, you can stop in to speak with a representative about your personal loan, membership, or any other product questions. BECU also has several social media channels you could use for general questions, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, all of which have the handle @BECU.

Customer Satisfaction

Overall, BECU receives average reviews from its customers. BECU members report that it can take a long time to process certain transactions, such as ordering checks or getting an email response from customer service. But overall, most customers seem satisfied with BECU’s financial products.

Account Management

Through the BECU online banking platform, BECU members and personal loan borrowers can track their accounts, apply for new products, communicate with customer service, and more. You can also manage your accounts in-person by visiting one of BECU’s local branches.

How BECU Compares to Other Personal Loan Companies

BECU and LightStream offer personal loans to eligible borrowers needing funds for nearly any purpose. Both lenders allow joint applicants and neither charges an origination or application fee to take out a personal loan. 

However, there are many important differences to note between BECU and LightStream:

  • While BECU only offers personal loans up to $15,000, LightStream allows borrowers to take out loans from $5,000 to $100,000.
  • Interest rates on BECU personal loans start at 7.49%, which is higher than many other top personal loan lenders. LightStream, in comparison, offers rates as low as 2.99%, which can save borrowers a lot of money over time.
  • LightStream offers personal loans to borrowers across the country and even internationally, BECU only allows its members to apply. 
  • Both lenders offer relatively long loan terms, but LightStream’s 12-year loan term option beats out BECU’s maximum term of six years.

BECU vs. LightStream

  BECU LightStream 
Membership required? Yes No
Loan amount  Up to $30,000  $5,000 to $100,000 
Term  Up to 72 months  2 to 12 years 
Interest rate range  7.49% to 18%  2.99% to 19.99% 
Origination or application fees  No  No
Online application process  Yes  Yes
Co-borrowers allowed?  Yes  Yes 

Read our full LightStream personal loans review.

Final Verdict

Typically, borrowers will find that credit unions may be more flexible in their underwriting criteria, and it may be easier to take out a personal loan from a credit union than it would another financial institution (like an online lender or bank). For this reason, if you have a lower credit score or poor credit history, it could be easier to get approved for a personal loan through BECU.

That said, you’ll need to apply for membership before you can open a BECU account or take out a personal loan. To become a member, you need to live in one of three states or meet other eligibility criteria. 

BECU personal loans don’t offer the best loan terms, either. Loan maximums are $30,000, and APRs start at 7.49%, which is relatively high compared to some competitors. Repayment terms up to 72 months are competitive, but may not be enough to make up for small loan limits and high APRs.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. To rate providers, we collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders, including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions for their borrowing needs.  

Our full personal loans methodology, including our data collection process and weighted data points, is available for review.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. BECU. "BECU Consumer Lending Rates and Related Disclosures."

  2. LightStream. "LightStream | Loans for Practically Anything."