First Tech Federal Credit Union Student Loan Refinancing Review

First Tech has a team of student loan specialists and lets borrowers choose to make lower monthly payments starting out.
Jan 18, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Our Take


NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

First Tech Federal Credit Union primarily serves the technology industry. Its refinancing loan is an an option for borrowers who work in that industry or those who want to make lower monthly payments starting out.

First Tech Federal Credit Union Student Loan Refinance
First Tech Federal Credit Union Student Loan Refinance
Min. credit score
Fixed APR

Pros & Cons


  • Three repayment options: Fixed, interest-only or balloon.

  • Greater-than-minimum payments allowed via autopay.


  • No option to temporarily pause payments through forbearance.

  • No death or disability discharge.

  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.

Full Review

First Tech Federal Credit Union primarily serves the technology industry — people who work at places like Amazon, Intel and Microsoft.

But with repayment options that allow lower monthly payments starting out, its student loan refinancing product could be a fit for other professionals whose incomes are expected to grow over time.

You must be — or become — a member of First Tech to be eligible for its student loan refinance product. You qualify for membership if you work for one of the hundreds of technology and telecom companies First Tech partners with. There are also other relatively easy ways to qualify for membership, such as joining the Financial Fitness Association.

First Tech at a glance

  • Three repayment options: Fixed, interest-only or balloon.

  • Student loan specialists to walk you through the process.

  • No option to temporarily pause payments through forbearance.

How First Tech could improve

First Tech could improve by:

  • Offering forbearance to let borrowers temporarily pause payments during financial hardship.

  • Having a co-signer release.

  • Allowing borrowers to refinance their parents' PLUS loans.

How much can refinancing save?

First Tech student loan refinancing details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: No.

  • Loan terms: 5, 7, 10 or 15 years.

  • Loan amounts: $5,000 minimum. N/A maximum.

  • Can transfer a parent loan to the child : No.

  • Application or origination fee: No.

  • Prepayment penalty: No.

  • Late fees: Yes; $15.

Compare First Tech Federal Credit Union's range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate First Tech Federal will offer you, apply on its website.


  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Minimum income: Did not disclose.

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.

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

  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Did not disclose.


  • Citizenship: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Resident Aliens.

  • Location: All 50 U.S. states.

  • Must have graduated: Did not disclose.

  • Must have attended a school authorized to receive federal aid: Yes.

  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: Did not disclose.


You must become a member of First Tech Federal Credit Union. You'll qualify for membership if you meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Work for the state of Oregon.

  • Work for a technology or telecom sponsor company.

  • Live or work in Lane County, Oregon.

  • Are a member of the Financial Fitness Association or the Computer History Museum.

  • Are an immediate family member of a First Tech Federal Credit Union member.

Many lenders are offering relief related to COVID-19. Check this list of private loan relief options to see what this lender offers.

First Tech Federal Credit Union offers three types of loans with different repayment options:

  • Fixed: Make equal monthly payments throughout the life of the loan. You'll get a lower interest rate if you choose this option.

  • Balloon: Make smaller monthly payments throughout the life of the loan, but owe one large payment of 40% or 50% of the original loan amount at the end of your loan term. The 15-year repayment schedule is the only term length available with this option.

  • Interest-only: Pay just the interest for the first 10 years, then larger monthly payments for the remaining five years. The 15-year repayment schedule is the only term length available with this option.

Repayment preferences

  • Academic deferment: Not available.

  • Military deferment: Did not disclose.

  • Disability deferment: Payment protection is available.

  • Reduced payments for medical and dental residents: No.

  • Forbearance: Not available.

  • Co-signer release available: No.

  • Death or disability discharge available: No.

  • Loan discharge if co-signer dies or becomes disabled: No.

repayment preferences:

  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

  • Loan servicer: First Tech Federal Credit Union.

  • In-house customer service team: Yes.

  • Process for escalating concerns: No.

  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.

  • Average time from approval to payoff: 24 hours from application to approval, but did not disclose approval to payoff.

If you refinance student loans with First Tech Federal Credit Union, you'll get the following perks:

  • 0.25% off auto loan rates at First Tech.

  • 10,000 bonus reward points with a new First Tech Choice Rewards Credit Card.

Before refinancing with First Tech

You can apply for a First Tech refinanced student loan on its website. Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you aren’t eligible to refinance with First Tech

If First Tech denies your refinance application, the lender will let you know why. Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders or need a co-signer.

NerdWallet recommends prequalifying with multiple refinance lenders before you apply. This will let you know which lenders you may be eligible with, without affecting your credit.


Our survey of more than 29 banks, credit unions and online lenders offering student loans and student loan refinancing includes the top 10 lenders by market share and the top 10 lenders by online search volume, as well as lenders that serve specialty or nontraditional markets.

We consider 41 features and data points for each financial institution. Depending on the category, these include the availability of biweekly payments through autopay, minimum credit score and income requirement disclosures, availability to borrowers in all states, extended grace periods and in-house customer service.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

Frequently asked questions