Alliant Credit Union Auto Purchase and Refinance Loans: 2023 Review

Alliant Credit Union is a digital credit union that makes auto loans for its members. It’s easy to join and offers attractive rate discounts.
By Benjamin Din 

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Auto loan reviews

Alliant Credit Union
  • New auto purchase loan

  • Used auto purchase loan

  • Auto loan refinancing

The bottom line:

Best for applicants who want to take advantage of Alliant’s online car-buying service for discounted rates and vehicle pricing.

New auto purchase loan review

Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union – New car purchase loan

Not yet rated

Est. APR
4.10-21.95%
Loan amount
$4,000-No max.
Min. credit score
Did not disclose

Pros

  • Offers rate discount with automatic payment.

  • Provides online car-buying service with discounted pricing and rates.

  • Application process can be completed 100% online.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • Credit union membership required to get a loan.

Best for applicants who want credit union membership and plan to use Alliant’s car-buying tool to maximize their rate discount.

Full Review

Alliant Credit Union offers new- and used-car purchase loans and refinance loans. Credit union membership is required, although you can get your loan decision before joining. The Chicago-headquartered credit union also offers some flexibility with its qualifying criteria, such as no minimum income restriction and no maximum vehicle age or mileage restrictions.

There is no pre-qualification with a soft credit check option at Alliant, meaning submitting a loan application will result in a hard credit pull that could temporarily affect your credit score. Those on the fence about taking out a loan may want to wait before they apply for an Alliant auto loan.

Alliant offers its members a 0.40-percentage-point rate discount if automatic loan payments are set up. The discount increases to 0.50 percentage point when members also purchase their vehicle through Alliant’s online car-buying service, powered by TrueCar. Car buyers can get special member pricing on new and pre-owned vehicles.

Rates on the Alliant website are “as low as” rates that already factor in the 0.50-percentage-point rate discount and are reserved for applicants with excellent credit. Although Alliant does not offer a rate estimator with a soft credit check, its website includes a car payment calculator that estimates your potential savings when taking out an Alliant auto loan.

Alliant does offer lease buyout loans for its members, but it’s done through Lease Maturity Services, a third-party partner based in Schaumburg, Illinois. Alliant’s advertised rates and discounts do not apply to lease buyouts.

Alliant Credit Union may be a good fit for those who:

  • Find a car to buy using Alliant’s online car-buying service: Borrowers can receive discounted vehicle pricing as well as an additional rate discount when automatic payments are set up.

  • Want an entirely digital experience: Alliant is a digital credit union and does not have in-person branches. Its application can be completed 100% online, including document upload.

  • Want the benefits of credit union membership: Applicants must be Alliant members, but joining is simple and unlocks access to other credit-union services, such as online banking and a mobile app.

Alliant Credit Union at a glance

Application process
  • Origination fee: None.

  • Personal information needed: Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number, address, time at address, phone, email, birth date, employment status, employer name, housing status, housing payment amount and basic vehicle information.

  • Pre-qualification available: No.

  • Online, in-person or both: The loan application can be completed entirely online or over the phone. Alliant does not have in-person branches.

  • Approval speed: Within one business day. Offers are good for 45 days.

  • Funding speed: One to two days for purchase loans.

  • Minimum FICO credit score: Did not disclose.

  • Minimum credit history: Did not disclose.

  • Minimum annual gross income: None.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 60%.

  • Bankruptcy-related restrictions: Yes, but did not elaborate.

  • States covered: All 50 states.

  • Membership: Anyone can apply for membership as long as they have a Social Security number or an unexpired ITIN. There are additional eligibility requirements; if you don’t meet any of them, you can also become eligible by joining Foster Care to Success, an organization partnered with Alliant.

  • New vehicle definition: Vehicles that have never been titled, are the current model year and have less than 4,000 miles.

  • Maximum used vehicle age: None, although higher rates apply for vehicles 10 years or older.

  • Maximum used vehicle mileage: None.

  • Other vehicle restrictions: No commercial vehicles, such as large pickup trucks or similar vehicles intended for commercial use, such as a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Ford Transit. Vehicle purchases must be made from franchised dealerships if applicant has been an Alliant member for less than six months; after that independent dealership and private-party purchases are allowed. Used vehicles cannot have a salvage or branded title.

  • Loan amount minimum: $4,000.

  • Loan amount maximum: None for new car purchase loans. $1 million for used car purchase loans and refinancing.

  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 140%.

  • Refinancing time restrictions: Borrowers must wait six months after closing on the previous loan and have a loan balance of at least $4,000 remaining to refinance.

  • Loan terms: 24-84 months.

  • Automatic payments: Yes.

  • Rate discount: Yes. Borrowers receive a 0.40-percentage-point rate discount when they set up autopay or a 0.50-percentage-point discount when they use Alliant’s car-buying service and have autopay set up.

  • Greater-than-minimum payments: Yes, and they can be made through automatic payment. Surplus is first applied to any accrued interest, then automatically to principal.

  • Biweekly payments: Yes, and they can be made through automatic payment.

  • Late payment fee: Yes, although there is a grace period.

  • Prepayment penalty: None.

  • Co-borrowers allowed: Yes.

  • Co-signers allowed: Yes.

  • Payment options: Mailed check, phone, online banking or portal, mobile app, ACH (electronic bank-to-bank).

  • Selected payment due date: Yes, borrowers can select the payment due date before signing the loan agreement or at any time during the loan term.

  • Offers cash-out refinancing: Yes, with no maximum amount.

  • Hardship plans: Yes.

  • Existing loan payoff: Funds are sent directly to the lender electronically, if possible, or mailed by check.

  • Assistance provided: Alliant team members offer assistance throughout the loan process.

  • Availability: Monday to Friday from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. CT.

  • Contact options: Phone, email, website form.

How does this loan compare?

Ally
LightStream
Est. APR

7.29-22.24%

Est. APR

6.99-14.74%

Loan amount

$5,000-$99,999

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

520

Min. credit score

660

Used auto purchase loan review

Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union – Used car purchase loan

Not yet rated

Est. APR
4.45-21.80%
Loan amount
$4,000-$1,000,000
Min. credit score
Did not disclose

Pros

  • Offers rate discount with automatic payment.

  • Provides online car-buying service with discounted pricing and rates.

  • No restrictions on vehicle age or mileage.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • Credit union membership required to get a loan.

Best for applicants who can benefit from credit union membership and use Alliant’s car-buying tool to get the best rate discount.

Auto loan refinancing review

Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union – Refinance loan

Not yet rated

Est. APR
4.45-21.80%
Loan amount
$4,000-$1,000,000
Min. credit score
Did not disclose

Pros

  • Offers rate discount with automatic payment.

  • No restrictions on vehicle age or mileage.

  • Application process can be completed 100% online.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • Credit union membership required to get a loan.

Best for applicants wanting to refinance to a lower loan rate and payment.

Alliant offers cash-out refinancing, meaning borrowers with vehicle equity may be able to receive cash with their refinance loan. Unlike most lenders, Alliant says it does not have a maximum amount for cash-out auto refinancing. Borrowers should weigh the pros and cons before proceeding.

More from Alliant Credit Union

Founded in 1935, Alliant Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in the country, with more than $17 billion in assets and more than 700,000 members nationwide. Alliant offers financial services ranging from savings and checking accounts to credit cards, loans and IRAs.

On the Alliant website, you can find the Money Mentor blog, which provides tips on personal finance, including how to manage your auto loan.

Alliant Credit Union auto loan rates

Credit requirements vary by auto lender, but Alliant Credit Union’s lowest rates are typically available only to borrowers with good or excellent credit (around a FICO score of 690 and above). With fair or bad credit, you won’t get the lowest interest rates, which means your monthly payment and total interest paid will be more.

You can check your credit score before applying for an auto loan.

Loan example: According to NerdWallet's auto loan calculator that uses the VantageScore credit model, a borrower with a credit score of 300-499 (considered deep subprime), a $20,000 used car loan, repayment term of 72 months, interest rate of 18% APR and $0 down payment would have monthly payments of $456. One year later, if all payments were made on time, the borrower will have paid the loan down to a balance of $17,963. If the borrower is able to then refinance at 12% APR for the remaining 60 months, the payment would drop to $399 and result in interest savings of $3,394 over the life of the loan.

To review Alliant Credit Union, NerdWallet sent a survey requesting more than 60 data points and followed up with company representatives. This information was compared with other lenders that seek the same customer or offer a similar product.

Frequently asked questions