The bottom line:
First Tech’s personal loans are a sound option for members who want a customizable debt consolidation loan with fast funding.
Pros & Cons
- No origination or prepayment fees.
- Offers co-sign, joint and secure loan options.
- Able to fund loans within one business day.
- Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.
- Offers wide range of loan amounts and repayment terms.
- Exclusive to credit union members.
- Reports payments to only one of the three major credit bureaus.
- No rate discount for autopay.
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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 range from $500 to $50,000 with repayment terms between two and seven years, leaving room for you to customize the loan to your budget. 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 tech or telecom company.
Work for the state of Oregon or live in Lane County, Oregon.
Be an immediate family member of a First Tech member.
Be a member of the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association.
» MORE: Benefits of credit union loans
First Tech is best for borrowers who:
Are credit union members.
Want to choose from a variety of repayment terms and loan amounts.
Want to add a co-signer, co-borrower or collateral.
First Tech at a glance
Key terms to know about personal loans
» COMPARE: Best bank loans
Where First Tech stands 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 day you’re approved. If you’re a new member, you may not receive funds until the next business day.
Where First Tech falls 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: Like many banks and credit unions, 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.
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 loan
First Tech doesn’t make many of its borrower requirements public, but the lender says applicants need a minimum credit score of 660.
Loan example: A four-year, $13,000 loan with a 15.5% APR would cost $365 in monthly payments. You’d pay $4,524 in total interest on that loan.
How to get a First Tech loan
Apply on First Tech
To apply for a First Tech loan, you need to be a member. Members can apply online.
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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.