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SAVING FOR COLLEGE

Are credit union student loans better than banks?

College tuition is high, and sometimes you need a student loan. Credit union college loans can be better than banks.

Are Credit Union College Loans Better Than Banks?

Once you’ve exhausted your options for scholarships, grants, and federal student loans, private student loans can make a difference when you need a little more help. Credit union college loans might be a better option for you than going through a bank or online lender.


What are your financial aid options?

Before applying for loans, it’s important to consider all your financial aid options. Types of financial aid include grants, scholarships, work-study jobs, and loans. Grants and scholarships most often do not need to be repaid so these should be considered as your first options.


How do you find the right private student loan for you?

If you’ve exhausted your federal student loan options, you might consider a private student loan from a credit union, bank, or other lender. When comparing loans, you should consider these factors:

  • Interest rate
  • Origination fees, if any
  • Repayment terms - how long do you have to repay?
  • Monthly payments – when do you have to start paying it back? Can you defer while in school?

Are credit union college loans better than banks?

A credit union student loan can be a good choice. As member-owned institutions, credit unions can usually offer lower rates and better terms than you will see with loans from major banks. In fact, many major banks such as Bank of America and Chase do not even offer private student loans.

But as always, you should compare many different options including private online lenders to find the best rate and repayment options for you and your needs.

SF Fire Credit Union’s Student Loans in partnership with Credit Union Student Choice are available for both undergraduate and graduate studies:

 

Undergraduate Studies:

 

SF Fire Credit Union

SoFi

PNC Bank

Interest Rate*

6.25% - 7.25% variable rate. No Fixed Rate. Discount for autopay may apply.

0.99% - 11.22% variable rate. Fixed rate also available. Discount for autopay may apply.

1.9% - 8.96% variable rate. Fixed rate also available. Discount for autopay may apply.

Origination Fees

None

None

None

Repayment Terms

20 or 25 year terms

5,7,10,15 year terms

5, 10, 15 year terms

Monthly Payments Begin?

Options to pay during school or defer

Options to pay during school or defer

Options to pay during school or defer

 

Graduate Studies:

 

SF Fire Credit Union

SoFi

PNC Bank

Interest Rate*

6.25% - 7.25% variable rate. No Fixed Rate. Discount for autopay may apply.

1.05% - 11.29% variable rate. Fixed rate also available. Discount for autopay may apply.

1.96% - 8.96% variable rate. Fixed rate also available. Discount for autopay may apply.

Origination Fees

None

None

None

Repayment Terms

20 or 25 year terms

5,7,10,15 year terms

5, 10, 15 year terms

Monthly Payments Begin?

Options to pay during school or defer

Options to pay during school or defer

Options to pay during school or defer

 

Paying for college can be a major expense. When savings and other financial aid such as scholarships, grants, and federal student loans aren’t enough, a private student loan can help fill in the gaps to help you focus on your studies without taking on an extreme financial burden. And because a credit union can often offer lower rates and better terms than a bank, you might find that a credit union student loan is better for you than a bank’s loan.

*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Rate information current as of 11/22/21. Rates subject to change at any time without notice. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for our undergraduate and graduate private education lines of credit is variable and is based on the Prime index plus a margin.

The Annual Percentage Rate is subject to increase after consummation. The interest rate will be adjusted quarterly, based on changes to the Index. The APR will not exceed 18.00%, or fall below the Floor rate regardless of the Index or any additional rate discount. Any increase in the Index may increase the APR and the amount of your monthly payment.

The "Index" for the quarter beginning October 1st, 2021, is 3.25%, which was the Prime Index published in the Wall Street Journal on the first business day of September 2021. 

Current offered rate(s) are calculated by using the Index, Margin and Floor value(s) in effect. Your specific Interest Rate, Margin, Floor, and/or credit approval depends upon the credit qualifications of the student borrower and co-borrower (if applicable). Margin will be disclosed at account opening. Student borrowers may apply with a creditworthy co-borrower which may result in a better chance of approval and/or lower interest rate.

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