First Tech Federal Credit Union Personal Loans: 2021 Review

First Tech personal loans offer flexible features and reasonable rates for credit union members.

Annie MillerberndJan 20, 2021
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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: First Tech’s personal loans are a sound option for members who want a customizable debt consolidation loan with fast funding.

First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan

First Tech Credit Union Personal Loan

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

6.70 - 11.70%

Loan Amount

$500 - $50,000

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify.

  • No rate discount for autopay.

  • No option to change your payment date.

  • Exclusive to credit union members.

Compare to Other Lenders

Upgrade
Lightstream
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Est. APR

5.94 - 35.97%

Est. APR

4.49 - 20.49%

Loan Term

3 to 5 years

Loan Term

2 to 7 years

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

Min. Credit Score

580

Min. Credit Score

660

Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders

Compare Rates

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Full Review

To review First Tech, NerdWallet collected more than 40 data points from the lender, confirmed details with customer service representatives and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.

First Tech is the largest federal credit union by assets and serves tech companies and their employees.

Its 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’t pre-qualify to see their potential rates, though, and 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.

  • Work 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.

First Tech is best for borrowers who:

  • Are credit union members.

  • Want to consolidate high-interest debt.

  • 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

Credit building

  • No pre-qualify option.

  • Reports payments to three credit bureaus.

Affordability

  • APRs are low among lenders targeting fair-credit borrowers.

  • No origination or prepayment fees.

  • No rate discount for autopayments.

Loan flexibility

  • Offers multiple loan types.

  • Allows borrowers to choose their payment date.

  • Funds loans within one business day.

  • Offers refinancing option.

  • Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Transparency

  • Rates and terms aren’t easily discoverable on website.

  • FAQ answers key borrower questions.

Customer experience

  • Offers multiple customer contact channels and 24/7 support.

  • Offers mobile app to manage loan.

Where First Tech stands out

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 certain investment accounts. Any of these options can help increase your chances of qualifying for a loan or getting a lower rate.

Customizable loans: The lender’s loan amounts and repayment terms are more flexible than the average personal loan. The minimum loan amount is $500, which is common among credit unions but rare for banks and online lenders. Borrowers can also choose from six repayment terms. The rates and available loan amounts vary by term. A longer repayment term can make monthly payments more manageable, while a shorter term reduces overall interest.

Direct payment to creditors: For debt consolidation loans, this lender will directly pay off any credit cards or other unsecured debt you have, leaving you with just one monthly payment. This feature isn’t uncommon, but it’s a perk you won’t find with all lenders.

Fast funding: First Tech says borrowers may be approved immediately, though in some cases it takes up to two days. From there, the lender can fund the loan the day you’re approved or take up to two business days.

Where First Tech falls short

No option to pre-qualify: You can’t pre-qualify for a First Tech loan. Pre-qualifying lets you see potential loan offers without affecting your credit score. Though a chart on First Tech’s website offers transparency about how loan amounts and terms affect rates, pre-qualification is a personalized feature you’ll find with online lenders and some banks.

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% and encourages on-time payments.

No option to change your payment date: Borrowers can choose their payment date when they sign a loan agreement, but it’s set in stone after that. Other lenders let you change your payment date one or more times while you repay the loan, which can help accommodate job and income changes.

How to qualify for a First Tech loan

First Tech doesn’t make many of its borrower requirements public. Credit unions tend to base at least part of a loan decision on your whole financial situation, including any history you have with the credit union. Having bank and credit accounts in good standing may help you qualify.

Loan example: A four-year, $13,000 loan with a 17.4% APR would cost $378 in monthly payments. You’d pay $5,144 in total interest on that loan.

How to get a First Tech loan

Apply on First Tech

To apply for a First Tech personal loan, you need to be a member. Members can apply online by logging in. The company says it takes about 15 minutes to fill out an application.

Pre-qualify on NerdWallet

NerdWallet recommends comparing loans to find the best rate for you. Pre-qualifying may get you personalized rates from multiple lenders that partner with us. Pre-qualifying will not impact your credit.

Personal Loans Rating Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus, and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.