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- Pros & Cons
Personal loans can be refinanced
First payment can be deferred for 45 days
Same day funding is sometimes available
Must be a credit union member to apply
Credit score requirements aren’t disclosed
Customer satisfaction is relatively low
- Personal loans can be refinanced: Unlike many of its competitors, First Tech Federal Credit Union allows you to apply for a new personal loan and use it to pay off an existing First Tech Federal personal loan. You’ll need to apply and qualify for the refinancing loan just like you would if it were new to you.
- First payment can be deferred for 45 days: If you don’t want to make a payment on your loan right away, First Tech Federal Credit Union allows you to defer your first payment for 45 days. This unique feature sets this lender apart from the competition.
- Same-day funding is sometimes available: Depending on your situation, you could get approved and receive funding the day you apply for the loan. This loan approval and funding time is exceptional compared to other lenders in the industry.
- Must be a credit union member to apply: To get a personal loan from First Tech Federal Credit Union, you must be a credit union member. However, membership is open to many different people throughout the United States.
- Credit score requirements aren’t disclosed: The company doesn’t disclose its specific credit score requirements. This is a potential drawback since it’s not easy to know for sure if you’ll qualify. However, it could also be a positive since the company evaluates more than just your credit score.
- Customer satisfaction is relatively low: Reviews suggest that many customers aren’t pleased with the level of service provided by First Tech. Notably, most reviews focused on the company rather than its personal loan product. Even so, reviewers report that it’s not always easy to contact First Tech by phone and its internal systems might be somewhat outdated.
First Tech Federal is an established credit union offering personal loans and a full suite of other banking products to its members. Not only is First Tech’s maximum loan amount of $50,000 competitive, but you can also get a personal loan as small as $500, an amount that’s much smaller than many of its competitors.
Personal loans from First Tech Federal Credit Union are a good option for eligible borrowers who need funding for various personal expenditures. This includes things like debt consolidation, paying for wedding or funeral costs, funding emergency expenses, or even covering the cost of a vacation.
However, you need to be a member to apply for a personal loan with First Tech Federal Credit Union. If you aren’t a member or aren’t eligible for membership, you’ll need to choose a different provider.
First Tech Federal Credit Union was founded in 1952 and is a not-for-profit credit union. It offers financial services for businesses and employees associated with its select employer partner groups, including Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Nike, Google, Amazon, the State of Oregon, and many more in all 50 states. Plus, anyone who works or lives in Lane County, Oregon (where it’s headquartered) can become a credit union member.
You can find out if you’re eligible for membership by filling out a membership application online (it takes about 5 minutes to complete the process). If you’re approved, you’ll be able to use all of First Tech Federal Credit Union’s available products and services. Not only does this include unsecured personal loans, but it also includes a full suite of traditional banking and credit union products, like deposit accounts, investment products, and other types of loans.
Types of Personal Loans Offered By First Tech Federal Credit Union
First Tech Federal Credit Union offers an unsecured personal loan that can be used for such purposes as:
- Consolidating high-interest rate loans and credit cards
- Paying for weddings and funerals
- Covering emergency expenses (e.g., medical or vet bills)
- Paying for vacations
Unsecured personal loans from First Tech Federal Credit Union cannot be used to pay for post-secondary educational expenses. The loan proceeds also can’t be used for any type of business or commercial use. Furthermore, you can’t use the funds to make a down payment on a house, purchase securities, gamble, or engage in any illegal activities.
First Tech Federal Credit Union doesn’t disclose the specific criteria it uses to approve applicants for a loan. However, First Tech will review your credit score and credit history, though it says you don’t need perfect credit to qualify.
Time to Receive Funds
Depending on your financial situation and the nature of your application, you may be able to get approved right away or within one business day. Once your loan is approved, funds may be deposited into your bank account the same day. However, funding could take as long as two to three days.
First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loan Features
First Tech Federal Credit Union offers several unique personal loan features not standard in the industry, including the following.
Defer Your First Payment for 45 Days
First Tech Federal Credit Union allows new borrowers to defer their first loan payments for 45 days after the loan is funded. This is an optional deferral and isn’t something you’re required to do. It can be a great option if you want a little more time to make your first payment after getting your loan.
By deferring your first payment, you’ll be paying more interest on the outstanding balance than if you made your payment on its regular due date. As a result, your APR and overall interest costs will be slightly higher than if you didn’t accept the deferral.
Co-Signers and Co-Borrowers Can Be Used
Suppose you can’t qualify for a personal loan on your own or want to apply for a personal loan jointly with another person. In that case, First Tech Federal Credit Union allows co-signers and co-borrowers. Personal loan providers don’t always offer this feature.
DebtSafe® Optional Payment Protection
First Tech Federal Credit Union offers a unique payment protection option (called DebtSafe®) that can help you cover your loan payments and finances in the event of death, disability, or the involuntary loss of your job. With this program, your loan balances or payments may be canceled if you experience a qualifying life event.
If you want this type of protection, you can speak with a loan representative about purchasing coverage. Choosing to purchase this plan doesn’t affect your loan approval or terms and is voluntary. Plus, you can cancel your enrollment in the program at any time. If you cancel within the first 30 days of buying the plan, you’ll receive a full refund.
Apply for a First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loan
You can apply for a personal loan from First Tech Federal Credit Union by following these steps:
- Gather basic personal information. Before you apply, make sure you have your Social Security number, driver’s license or state ID, and contact information readily available. You’ll need this to check your rate and complete the loan application.
- Check your rate and see if you qualify online. The next step is to complete a simple online application. At this point, First Tech will conduct a soft credit check, which won’t impact your credit score. This will allow you to see if you are likely to qualify for the loan, along with the rates and terms you might be able to receive.
- Review your rates and apply for the loan. Once this previous step is complete, you’ll be able to review the rates and terms you might be able to receive. You can then complete your application online, at which time a hard credit check and full underwriting will be performed to see if you qualify.
- Wait to see if you’re approved and review your offer. Once your application and loan underwriting are complete, you’ll receive an email letting you know if you’ve been approved for the loan and the rates and terms you’re being offered.
- Accept your loan and receive funding. If everything looks good, you’ll need to accept the loan, and then the lender will disburse the funds. In some cases, you might get funding the same day as loan approval, but it could take several days.
A soft credit check will not affect your credit. There’s only an impact on your credit score when there is a “hard” pull on your credit.
Can You Refinance a Personal Loan With First Tech Federal Credit Union?
You can refinance an existing personal loan with First Tech Federal Credit Union. To do so, you need to qualify for a new personal loan. If you’re approved, you can use the funds to pay off your existing loan. This can be beneficial if you want a lower interest rate, to extend your repayment term, or do both.
When you extend your repayment term, you could pay more interest over the entire life of your loan, even if you’re able to get a reduced interest rate. For this reason, make sure you understand your total borrowing costs before and after the refinance.
If you have a general inquiry, you can contact First Tech Federal Credit Union’s customer service team 24 hours a day by calling its toll-free number: 1-855-855-8805. You can also send a secure message with questions about your account by logging into your online banking portal and using First Tech’s online banking messaging center. Plus, you can schedule an appointment online to meet with a banker in-person or virtually.
The option to ask general questions 24 hours a day and schedule time to meet with a banker are advantages some smaller banks don't offer.
Reviews suggest customers aren’t overly satisfied with the products and services provided by First Tech Federal Credit Union.
Some of the critical concerns made by customers suggest that it’s sometimes difficult to contact First Tech by phone and its branch locations aren’t always easily accessible or well-staffed. Plus, several reviewers noted that the company’s systems are outdated or inefficient, resulting in frequent errors or issues.
Notably, most of the reviews we evaluated were focused on First Tech as a financial institution versus its personal loan product.
You can manage your account by logging into your online banking portal, accessed from First Tech’s website. Additionally, First Tech has apps available for iOS and Android, which you can also use to manage your account.
How First Tech Federal Credit Union Compares to Other Personal Loan Companies
First Tech Federal Credit Union’s unsecured personal loans feature relatively competitive APRs starting at 6.7%, average maximum loan amounts of $50,000, long repayment terms of up to 84 months, and no origination fees. However, you need to be a credit union member to apply. Even so, the other key features make it a solid personal loan worth considering.
First Tech Federal Credit Union vs. Discover
Discover is one of the biggest personal loan providers competing with First Tech Federal Credit Union. Both lenders offer loans in all 50 states with extended repayment terms of up to 84 months. Plus, neither lender charges an origination fee, and they both have reasonable APRs.
Some of the key differences between personal loans with First Tech Federal Credit Union vs. Discover are:
- You can only get funding of up to $35,000 with Discover, whereas First Tech Federal Credit Union offers loans up to $50,000.
- To apply for a personal loan with First Tech Federal Credit Union, you need to be a member, whereas there are no membership requirements to apply for a personal loan with Discover.
- Discover tied with American Express for overall customer satisfaction among personal loan lenders in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study. In contrast, reviews suggest that First Tech’s customers have a relatively low level of satisfaction, partly due to system and communication issues.
If you need to borrow up to $35,000, Discover is likely the better personal loan option when compared to First Tech Federal Union. Rates are similar for the two lenders, and customers seem to enjoy working with Discover. However, if you’re a First Tech Federal Credit Union member and need funding of up to $50,000, then it may be a solid option.
Read our full Discover personal loans review.
|First Tech Federal Credit Union||Discover|
|APR Range||6.7% to 18%||5.99% to 24.99%|
|Average Origination Fee||0%||0%|
|Loan Amounts||$500 to $50,000||$2,500 to $35,000|
|Loan Terms||24 to 84 months||36 to 84 months|
|Lending Footprint||50 states||50 states|
|Customer Satisfaction||Relatively Low||High|
If you’re eligible for First Tech Federal Credit Union membership, it offers a good personal loan option with a competitive rate. Plus, you may even be able to get same-day funding, something that’s not commonly available in the industry. Furthermore, since there aren’t strict credit score requirements, First Tech may even be able to approve those with less-than-perfect credit for a personal loan.
One of the main drawbacks to a First Tech personal loan is that this lender’s customer satisfaction ratings are relatively low. Issues seem to be primarily related to communication challenges and system problems. Even so, if you’re looking for an affordable rate and quick funding, First Tech offers a competitive personal loan product.
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.