As you compare lenders, credit unions may not be your top choice. But many credit unions are easy to join and have plenty to offer—including a range of products, strong customer service, and competitive interest rates.
Oregon-based First Tech Federal Credit Union was founded in 1952 by technology execs. It was the first credit union to offer a mobile banking app and provides financial services to companies like Amazon.com, Microsoft, Google, and more.
Although First Tech has multiple loan options, this review will focus on the unsecured personal loan option. It’s a flexible, competitive loan with stand-out features. Our in-depth review can help you decide if First Tech Federal Credit Union’s personal loan is right for you.
- Product Specifications
- Pros & Cons
- APR Range 7.70% to 18%
- Loan Amounts $500 to $50,000
- Loan Terms 24 to 84 months
- Recommended Minimum Credit Score 580
Allows joint application
More competitive APR elsewhere
Must be a member
No ability to prequalify
Late payment fees
- Origination fee: None
- Prepayment penalty: None
- Late fee: $25
- Quick decision: First Tech offers a quick online application and decision.
- Minimal fees: There is no application fee, origination fee, prepayment penalty, or refinance fee.
- Allows joint application: If you’re not able to qualify on your own, you can apply with another applicant.
- More competitive APRs elsewhere: The most creditworthy borrowers may find lower annual percentage rates (APRs) with other lenders.
- Must be a member: You must join First Tech Federal Credit Union to qualify.
- No ability to prequalify: First Tech doesn’t allow you to check rates with a soft inquiry on your credit.
- Late payment fees: Borrowers are charged a $25 fee for late payments.
Types of Personal Loans Offered By First Tech Federal Credit Union
- Personal loan
- Personal line of credit
- Stock secured loan
- Stock secured line of credit
- Certificate secured loan
- Savings secured loan
In an unsecured loan, the lender will loan funds based on borrower qualifying factors—such as credit history, income, work status, and other existing debts. Secured loans require collateral to back them.
Time to Receive Funds
If you have an existing bank account, or a linked account from another bank, you can receive the funds by the following business day, according to a representative.
First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loan Features
Personal loans have a number of features including:
- Unemployment protection: If you lose your job, First Tech Federal Credit Union offers a couple of options. According to a representative, you can pause payments for up to three months or temporarily reduce them.
- 45 days before your first payment: Your first payment is due 45 days after the personal loan approval.
- Change the payment due date: You can change the payment due date one time, according to a representative.
- Flexibility: You may use the money for a variety of purposes including debt consolidation, home improvement, large purchases, and more.
- Mobile app: You can manage your personal loan through First Tech's mobile banking app. The app is available on Google Play (4.6 stars, 7,145 ratings) and the App Store (4.7 stars, 35,351 ratings).
Apply for a First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loan
To qualify for a personal loan, you must be a member. Luckily, the process to join is easy and takes less than 10 minutes. You can join the credit union before or after completing the application, according to a representative.
Membership is also available nationwide by joining the Financial Fitness Association or Computer History Museum. First Tech covers the membership fee, according to a representative. To qualify for a personal loan, you will have to open a savings account with $5.
You can apply for a personal loan online, by phone, or in-person at a local branch. Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to check rates without a hard inquiry on your credit—which temporarily lowers your credit score.
The online application asks for the following details:
- Your name
- Date of birth
- Social Security number or Tax ID number
- Email address
- Phone number
- Monthly rent or mortgage payment
- Employment status
- Gross income
- Residence status
- Identification (driver’s license, state ID, or passport)
- Loan amount
- Loan purpose
- Loan term
To submit the online application, you will have to accept disclosures and sign. Once approved, you can receive the funds via direct deposit by the next business day if you have an existing bank account.
Can I Refinance a Personal Loan with First Tech?
Yes, you may refinance any of First Tech Federal Credit Union’s personal loans, according to a representative.
First Tech Federal Credit Union’s personal loan is an attractive option if your credit score is less than perfect and you’re looking to borrow a smaller amount. Few lenders offer loan amounts as low as $500 with an APR capped at 18% and minimal fees. At the same time, depending on your creditworthiness, you might find better rates elsewhere. Borrowers will also need to become a member of the credit union to be eligible for a loan, though their membership requirements aren't as strict compared to others.
First Tech also offers borrowers flexibility with the ability to apply jointly, change the payment due date, and refinance the loan later. Plus, the credit union’s unemployment protection may offer some comfort if you’re worried about job stability.
Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. We collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their needs.
First Tech Federal Credit Union. “About Us.” Accessed July 31, 2020.
First Tech Federal Credit Union. “Loan FAQs.” Accessed July 31, 2020.
First Tech Federal Credit Union. “Unsecured Personal Loans.” Accessed July 31, 2020.
Google Play. "First Tech Federal CU." Accessed Aug. 14, 2020.
App Store. "First Tech Federal CU." Accessed Aug. 14, 2020.