Alliant Credit Union Auto Purchase and Refinance Loans: 2024 Review

Alliant Credit Union is a digital credit union that offers auto purchase and refinance loans to its members. It offers attractive rate discounts and is easy to join.
Funto Omojola
By
Last updated on January 12, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Julie Myhre-Nunes
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Auto loan reviews

Alliant Credit Union
New auto purchase loan
The Nerdy headline:

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

New auto purchase loan review

Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union – New car purchase loan

4.0
NerdWallet rating
Est. APR
5.50-23.25%
Loan amount
No min.-No max.
Min. credit score
Did not disclose
on Alliant Credit Union's website

Pros

  • Offers rate discount with automatic payment.

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

  • Application process can be completed 100% online, including document upload.

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.

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Used auto purchase loan review

Alliant Credit Union

4.0
NerdWallet rating
Est. APR
6.37-26.25%
Loan amount
No min.-No max.
Min. credit score
Did not disclose
on Alliant Credit Union's website

Pros

  • Offers rate discount with automatic payment.

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

  • No restrictions on vehicle 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 a rate discount.

Auto loan refinancing review

Alliant Credit Union

4.0
NerdWallet rating
Est. APR
6.37-26.25%
Loan amount
No min.-No max.
Min. credit score
Did not disclose
on Alliant Credit Union's website

Pros

  • Will refinance an auto loan already with the lender.

  • Will refinance as soon as title can be transferred.

  • No balance requirement to refinance.

  • No age or mileage restrictions.

Cons

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

  • Credit union membership required to get a loan.

Best for applicants who want to refinance without balance restrictions or restrictions on the type, age or mileage of the vehicle.

Full Review of Alliant Credit Union

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 weigh their options 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.

Note: Alliant also offers cash-out refinancing, which allows applicants to borrow extra money against the equity in your vehicle and roll that amount into your refinance loan. Borrowers should weigh the pros and cons of cash-out auto refinancing. The credit union offers private party loans as well, which are used to finance a car purchase from an individual rather than a dealership. Rates for private party loans through Alliant differ from regular used car purchase loans. 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.

Table of contents

Alliant Credit Union at a glance

Minimum credit score

Did not disclose.

Minimum credit history

None.

Minimum annual gross income

None.

Maximum debt-to-income ratio

Did not disclose.

Maximum loan-to-value ratio

Did not disclose.

Loan terms

12-84 months for new car purchase, used car purchase and auto refinance loans.

Co-applicants allowed?

Co-borrowers are allowed. Does not allow co-signers.

Pre-qualification or preapproval offered?

Offers preapproval with a hard credit check. Does not offer pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

Origination/processing fee?

None.

Rate discount offered?

0.40% APR discount for automatic payments. 0.50% APR discount for members who purchase a vehicle through the Alliant Car Buying Service powered by TrueCar.

States covered

Available in all states.

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

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

    • Maximum 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. Used vehicles cannot have a salvage or branded title. Vehicle purchases must be made from franchised dealerships if the applicant has been an Alliant member for less than six months; after that independent dealership and private-party purchases are allowed. Additionally, vehicles purchased through brokers cannot be financed.

    • Loan amount minimum: No minimum.

    • Loan amount maximum: No maximum.

    • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: Did not disclose.

    • Refinance time restrictions: Borrowers can refinance as soon as the previous loan's paperwork is complete and the title can be transferred.

    • Bankruptcy restrictions: None.

    • Approval speed: Within one business day. Approved loan offer is good for 45 days.

    • Initial deferred payment: Does not offer.

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

    • Selected payment due date: Borrower can select their payment due date at any time.

    • Late payment grace period and fee: Grace period of 10 or more days. Charges late payment fee of $25.

    • Hardship plans: Yes. It may include deferred payments and an extended loan term.

    • Contact options: Phone, email, website form. Alliant provides Spanish-speaking agents by phone, email and text.

    • Availability: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m CST.

    • Mobile app to manage account: Yes.

    • Online resources: Alliant’s website includes a car payment calculator that estimates your potential savings when taking out an Alliant auto loan.

    • Related services: The credit union offers an online car buying service through TrueCar. When using the car buying service, an applicant can compare different models and features to find the right car for them online, contact a dealer for member pricing, apply for the loan online and get approval before heading to a dealership.

    • 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.

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

  • Want to 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.

  • Are seeking 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.

Do you qualify for a Alliant Credit Union auto loan?

Here are Alliant's basic eligibility requirements to apply for an auto loan:

  • You can apply for a loan without being an Alliant Credit Union member. Once a borrower receives a loan decision, they can then apply to become an Alliant Credit Union member.

Here are Navy Federal's minimum borrower requirements to qualify for an auto loan. Note that meeting these requirements doesn’t guarantee approval. Also, many lenders are flexible with minimum requirements when considering an applicant's total financial picture.

  • Minimum credit score: Did not disclose.

  • Minimum credit history: None.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

  • Minimum annual income: None.

Before you apply

Check your credit. You can get your free credit report on NerdWallet or at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you find errors, file a credit dispute to correct them before you apply for an auto loan.

Figure what monthly payment you can afford. For purchase loans, use an auto loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you need to get monthly car payments that fit your budget. When you know your maximum car payment, a car affordability calculator can help you determine a realistic car price. For auto refinance loans, use an auto refinance calculator to see your monthly payment and determine what APR and term you need to make refinancing worthwhile.

Gather your documents. Alliant requires the following to submit an initial application: Social Security number or ITIN, address, time at address, phone, email, citizenship status, birthdate, employment status, employer name, income, housing status, housing payment amount and basic vehicle information.

How to apply for an Alliant Credit Union auto loan

  1. Submit your auto loan application. Alliant doesn’t let you pre-qualify, so your first step is to submit a formal auto loan application. You can apply for a loan by phone at 800-328-1935, or through Alliant’s mobile app or website — which allows applicants to upload documents. During the application process, you’ll be asked what type of auto loan you want, how much you want to borrow as well as some personal information. Alliant will do a hard credit check when you apply.

  2. Review your preapproved loan offer. If you qualify, Alliant will respond with a preapproved loan offer. Once you accept the preapproved offer, you may be asked for documents to confirm the information you provided when applying. For new and used car loans, Alliant will send funds within two business days by direct deposit into a borrower's checking or savings account, or by check. For used car loans, Alliant can also send funds directly to a dealership within two days. Funds for refinancing are sent directly to the lender via electronic transfer or check.

  3. Stay on top of your loan payments. Alliant reports car payments to all three major credit bureaus, so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments, if available, is a good way to make sure your payments arrive by the due date.

How auto loan rates work and how we collect them

The auto loan APR range NerdWallet displays is provided by the lender. We make every attempt to keep rates updated, by sending out bimonthly rate surveys and encouraging lenders to send us updates when rates change. We also compare these rates to APRs on the lender's website, if available. The accuracy of our rates depends on the information lenders provide to us. It’s always a good idea to check average auto loan interest rates, and compare to similar lenders, to determine if a lender’s provided rate seems realistic.

We ask lenders to provide their lowest rate that at least 10% of applicants applying for the lowest rate have qualified for in the previous three months, without including any potential rate discounts. The lowest rates shown are typically available only to borrowers with good or excellent credit (a FICO score of 690 and above).

We also ask lenders for their highest rates, which typically reflect rates available to borrowers with fair or bad credit (a FICO score in the mid-600s or below). The highest interest rates result in higher monthly payments and more total interest paid.

Actual rates received by this lender’s auto loan borrowers may be different from the rates shown in this review.

How do we review direct lenders for auto loans?

NerdWallet's review process surveys companies that offer any combination of new car purchase loans, used car purchase loans, auto refinance loans (traditional and/or cash-out) and lease buyout loans. These companies include direct lenders and aggregators; the latter group doesn't have in-house loan products but matches borrowers to third-party lenders within a network. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

Our survey for direct lenders has different questions than the survey for aggregators, but each includes more than 60 data points. NerdWallet independently confirms product details and, when necessary, follows up with company representatives. At least two writers and an editor verify the facts for every lender review to ensure data are accurate.

To receive a star rating, a lender must respond to NerdWallet’s annual auto loans survey. Star ratings are then assessed from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars).

For more details about the categories considered when rating direct lenders and our process, read our full methodology.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Yes. Alliant Credit Union was established in 1935 and is one of the largest credit unions in the country.

  • Alliant Credit Union initially started as the United Airlines Employees’ Credit Union. The credit union’s name changed in 2003, when it expanded its membership to include individuals not related to United Airlines.

  • Lease Maturity Services is a financial partner that Alliant Credit Union works with to provide lease buyout loans. Alliant does not process these loans, so you have to apply directly on the Lease Maturity website. Alliant’s advertised rates do not apply.

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