Alliant Credit Union Mortgage Review 2021

Good for: first-time home buyers who want to avoid mortgage insurance and prefer a digital application process.
Kate Wood, Phil MetzgerNov 23, 2021

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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Alliant Credit Union offers a wide range of conventional purchase and refinance options, and lets you shop rates and apply online, but it doesn't offer government-backed loans.

Alliant

Alliant: NMLS#197185

National / Regional

National

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low- or no-down-payment options with no mortgage insurance.
  • Mortgages are available for non-warrantable condominiums.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer government-backed mortgages, like FHA or VA loans.
  • Doesn't offer renovation mortgages.

Compare to Other Lenders

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Credit Score

620

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA

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Full Review

The coronavirus pandemic introduced some new challenges to getting a mortgage. Many lenders facing high loan demand and staffing issues increased their fees, adjusted minimum required credit scores or temporarily suspended certain loan products. While some products and business practices have returned to pre-pandemic levels, you might still find delays and limited options. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Alliant Credit Union at a glance

Founded in 1935 and headquartered in Chicago, Alliant Credit Union says it has more than 600,000 members nationwide and manages more than $14 billion in assets, making it one of the largest credit unions in the country. A unique purchase loan option allows down payments as low as 0% with no mortgage insurance for well-qualified borrowers. You can shop customizable rates and apply online, but if you're looking for a government-backed loan, you're out of luck.

  • Variety of loan types: 5 of 5 stars

  • Ease of application: 4 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 5 of 5 stars

Alliant Credit Union mortgage loan types

In addition to offering fixed- and adjustable-rate loans for purchase and refinance, Alliant provides first-time home buyers with conventional loan options that require as little as 3% down.

With the Alliant Advantage Mortgage program, well-qualified first-time home buyers can get a mortgage with no down payment and no private mortgage insurance. Non-first-timers can take advantage of this program, too, with loans available with a 5% down payment and no PMI.

Loans are also available for non-warrantable condos. These mortgages can be hard to find because non-warrantable condos do not meet guidelines for purchase with government-backed loans, such as FHA and VA loans, or with conventional loans that are sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These extra offerings help expand homeownership opportunities to more of Alliant's members.

You'll need to become a member of Alliant after you're approved for a mortgage. Membership qualifications are broad, and if you aren't already eligible, you can become eligible by making a small donation to the credit union's partner charity.

Alliant Credit Union HELOC: The lender also offers a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. These second mortgages are one way for homeowners to access existing home equity without refinancing or selling their home. Funds obtained with a second mortgage can be used for expenses such as home improvements, education costs or debt consolidation. Alliant's HELOC allows a homeowner to borrow up to 90% of the equity in the home and the option to pay only the interest on funds borrowed for the first 10 years.

Alliant Credit Union ease of application

The bulk of Alliant's mortgage business is done online, including nearly all of its loan applications.

Alliant's mobile app provides only standard mobile banking functionality. But you can use a mobile browser to fill out its online application, which the lender says is optimized for use on mobile devices. You'll be able to upload documents and elect to electronically sign your loan disclosures. Plus, you'll receive automated email updates letting you keep track of your loan's progress.

Alliant Credit Union mortgage rates and fees

One of the most important considerations when choosing a mortgage lender is understanding what the loan will cost. In order to provide consumers with a general sense of what a lender might charge, NerdWallet scores lenders on two factors regarding fees and mortgage rates, according to the most recently available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data:

  • Alliant Credit Union earns 2 of 5 stars for average origination fee.

  • Alliant earns 3 of 5 stars for offered mortgage rates compared with the best available rates on comparable loans.

Borrowers should consider the balance between lender fees and mortgage rates. While it's not always the case, paying upfront fees can lower your mortgage interest rate. Some lenders will charge higher upfront fees to lower their advertised interest rate and make it more attractive. Some lenders just charge higher upfront fees.

You can decide to buy discount points — a fee paid with your closing costs — to reduce your mortgage rate.

Deciding whether to pay higher upfront fees is a matter of considering how long you plan to live in your home and how much cash you have to apply toward closing costs when you sign the loan paperwork.

Alliant Credit Union mortgage rate transparency

Alliant’s website displays sample rates for all of its mortgage products, and lays out the assumptions built into those rates. It also has an easy-to-use form that generates a customized rate quote based on details you input about the loan type, the property and your credit score.

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