First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loans: 2023 Review
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The bottom line:
First Tech’s personal loans are a sound option for members who want a customizable loan with fast funding.
Pros & Cons
- Co-sign and joint loan options.
- Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
- Options to choose and change your payment date.
- Fast funding.
- Exclusive to credit union members.
- Reports payments to only one of the three major credit bureaus.
- No rate discount.
Compare to Other Lenders
2 to 7 years
3 to 5 years
Min. credit score
Min. credit score
Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders
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Full Review of First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan
First Tech is a federally insured credit union that serves certain tech companies and their employees.
Its personal loans come in a wide range of amounts and repayment terms. Borrowers can pre-qualify to see their potential rates, though you have to meet membership criteria to be eligible for a loan.
One of the following is required for First Tech membership:
Work for a qualifying technology-oriented company.
Work for the state of Oregon or live in Lane County, Oregon.
Are a family or household member of a First Tech member.
Are a member of the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association.
» MORE: Benefits of credit union loans
Table of Contents
First Tech personal loans at a glance
Minimum credit score
8.99% - 18.00%.
$500 to $50,000.
2 to 7 years.
Time to fund after approval
Funds can be sent the same or next business day after approval.
Loans available in 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Where First Tech personal loans stand out
Option to pre-qualify: You can pre-qualify for a First Tech loan, which lets you see potential loan offers without affecting your credit score. Pre-qualification is common with online lenders, but rarer among banks and credit unions.
Joint, co-signed and secured loans: First Tech lets borrowers add a co-signer or co-borrower to their loan application. Borrowers can also secure a loan with a CD, savings account or stocks. Any of these options can help increase your chances of qualifying for a loan or getting a lower rate.
Direct payment to creditors: For debt consolidation loans, this lender will directly pay off any credit cards or other unsecured debt once you sign the loan agreement, leaving you with just one monthly payment. This feature isn’t uncommon, but it’s a perk you won’t find with all lenders.
» COMPARE: Best debt consolidation loans
Fast funding: First Tech says borrowers should receive an approval decision on the same day they apply. Then, the lender can typically fund the loan the same or next business day after you’re approved.
Where First Tech personal loans fall short
Reports to only one credit bureau: First Tech does not report payments to the three major credit bureaus, which is rare among lenders. It reports payments only to Experian. This means if your credit report were pulled from TransUnion or Equifax, it wouldn't show a history of on-time payments on your personal loan, which could have helped build your score.
No rate discount for automatic payments: Unlike other lenders, First Tech doesn’t offer a rate discount for setting up automatic payments. This rate discount is usually between 0.25 and 0.5 percentage points and encourages on-time payments, while helping you save money on interest.
However, members with a qualifying checking account at First Tech could receive 0.25% cash back on their minimum loan payments, up to $15 per month.
How to qualify for a First Tech personal loan
To apply for a personal loan from First Tech, you must meet the following requirements:
Must be a member of First Tech Federal Credit Union.
Must provide Social Security number and driver's license or other state-issued ID.
Must provide contact information.
Minimum credit score: 660.
Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50%.
Minimum monthly income: $700 if living with others; $1,000 if renting or if you provide no housing status; $1,500 if you own your home.
Minimum credit history: Two established accounts.
Before you apply
Check your credit. You can get your free credit report on NerdWallet or at AnnualCreditReport.com. Doing so will help you spot and fix any errors before you apply.
Calculate your monthly payments. Use a personal loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you’d need to get a loan with affordable monthly payments.
Make a plan to repay the loan. Review your budget to see how the loan’s monthly payments impact your cash flow. If you have to cut other expenses in order to repay the loan, it’s better to know that before you borrow.
Gather your documents. First Tech may request proof of income, which can be a W-2 or paystub, as well as photo identification, like a driver’s license or passport. Having these documents handy can speed the application process.
How to apply for a First Tech personal loan
Pre-qualify on First Tech’s website. First Tech allows prospective borrowers to pre-qualify online. You’ll be asked to provide basic personal information, including your Social Security number. You can then preview potential loan offers. There’s no hard credit pull at this stage.
Preview offers and formally apply. After viewing your loan options, you can submit a formal personal loan application. This could require more documents, like W-2s, pay stubs and bank statements to confirm the information you gave during pre-qualification. First Tech will also do a hard credit check when you apply, so your credit score could temporarily dip.
Make a plan to repay the loan. First Tech reports payment to one of the three major credit bureaus, so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments and keeping an eye on your budget are two ways to manage your loan payments.
Compare First Tech with other lenders
Personal loan lenders offer different rates, loan amounts and special features, so it pays to weigh your options. The best personal loan is usually the one with the lowest APR.
Achieve is a similar lender that offers flexible loan amounts and multiple choices of repayment terms, so you can customize the loan to fit your needs.
First Tech vs. Achieve
Achieve personal loans are available to borrowers with a minimum credit score of 600. It charges an origination fee of up to 4.99%, but it also offers multiple rate discounts which can lower the amount you pay in interest.
» MORE: Read our review of Achieve
How we rate First Tech personal loans
NerdWallet writers rate lenders against a rubric that changes each year based on how personal loan products evolve. Here’s what we prioritized this year:
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NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.
Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.
This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.