Alliant Credit Union Review

With a close look, you’ll find that Alliant Credit Union offers a fee structure that might not suit your needs, but it does feature a full range of banking and loan products. Headquartered in Chicago and founded in 1935, Alliant Credit Union is a financial cooperative that is owned by its members. It’s the eighth largest credit union in the United States and serves members around the world.

In addition to consumer banking services like checking accounts and savings accounts, Alliant Credit Union also provides investment products like IRAs, as well as certificates of deposit (CD) accounts. Alliant Credit Union is separate from the Alliant Credit Union Foundation, which is a non-profit that promotes financial literacy in the communities of Alliant Credit Union members.

How Alliant Credit Union Stacks Up

Pros
  • High interest savings account
  • Checking and savings accounts for kids and teens
  • Large network of ATMs
Cons
  • No money market account
  • Limited number of branches
  • High overdraft fees

What’s Interesting About Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union offers a wide range of banking, lending and investment products when compared to other credit unions. In fact, it offers almost as many products as a large bank, except for money market accounts. You can even invest in your choice of three different types of IRAs.

Alliant makes it easy to become a member online, and their online banking features rival those of larger institutions. The credit union uses ATMs in the CO-OP network, so you can use ATMs at most other credit unions without worrying about fees.

Things to Consider

Unlike other credit unions, Alliant doesn’t participate in shared branching. This means that you can only use its participating ATMs, not the branches of other credit unions to do your in-person banking,

Alliant’s overdraft fees can get expensive, too. According to their listing of fees, non-sufficient funds (NSF) cost $25 each with no limit and you could be charged an additional $10 for “excessive losses.” If you overdraw your account multiple times in one day without realizing it, there’s almost no limit to how much you’d have to pay in fees.

Last, Alliant Credit Union does not offer a money market account product.

Checking and Savings Accounts

Alliant checking and savings accounts come in five different varieties. Its standard checking account comes with a relatively high interest rate and no monthly service fees. It even offers a checking account for teens.

On the savings side, Alliant offers a high-rate savings account as well as a supplemental Alliant savings account. Its rates on savings accounts are advertised as higher than 1.00%. You can also open a savings account for a child to teach them about financial responsibility. This too comes with a high interest rate.

Money Market Accounts

Alliant Credit Union does not offer any money market accounts. If you’re interested in obtaining a money market account from a credit union, your best bet is to check locally. Not all credit unions offer this product, and most credit unions only serve a specific area.

CDs

Alliant CDs require a minimum deposit of $1,000 and have no maximum. You can choose maturity dates between 12 to 60 months and you can expect interest rates that are about average. Alliant is currently advertising interest rates from 1.88% to 2.05%, depending on the term length.

Credit Cards

Alliant credit cards come in three varieties: the Visa Platinum Rewards Card, the Visa Platinum Card, and the Visa Signature Card. The Visa Platinum Card comes with an introductory rate as low as 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. If you have good credit, you may qualify for the Visa Signature Card, which offers 3% cash back in the first year.

Personal Loans

Alliant personal loans come with terms ranging from 12 months to 60 months. You can borrow up to $50,000 and there are no prepayment penalties if you want to pay early to save on interest.

Alliant also boasts no origination fees for personal loans, and you can obtain same-day funding in most cases.

Mortgage Loans

Alliant offers mortgage loans with a down payment as low as 3% for non-first-time home buyers. Meanwhile, first-time homebuyers can get a mortgage with a down payment as low as 0%. You can even avoid PMI payments with a 0% down payment if you’re a first-time homebuyer.

Alliant lends up to $2,000,000 for purchasing a home. At the lowest, their origination fee is just under $1,000. You can also lock in an interest rate if you take out a new construction loan.

Mortgage Refinancing

If you’re looking to refinance your mortgage, Alliant offers a surprisingly competitive rate. In fact, you can obtain a refinance loan with just 5% equity in your current home through the Alliant Advantage Mortgage Program.

Home Equity Loans and HELOCs

Alliant offers a home equity line of credit (HELOC) with terms from 15 to 30 years. There are no closing costs or appraisal fees and you can borrow up to 90% of the equity of your home. You also have the option to pay only interest for the first 10 years of your HELOC.

Car Loans

Alliant offers loans to purchase cars and RVs. You can obtain a loan term of up to 84 months for new or used cars and there are no prepayment penalties if you’d like to save on interest. Alliant’s RV loans can provide financing up to $300,000 with terms of up to 20 years.

Two of Alliant’s great features are its car buying service and its vehicle service program. The car buying service gives you access to discounted price offers on vehicles through a network of certified dealers. The vehicle service program, which is available at no cost to Alliant members, helps you schedule services for your car on your mobile device and save on vehicle maintenance and repairs.

The Final Word

Alliant provides most of the benefits you’d expect from a credit union, but it also provides some products that other credit unions don’t, like investment accounts. Its high-interest savings accounts are particularly attractive and Alliant members get to avoid many of the fees associated with loans and mortgages.

It’s a good choice if you don’t do much branch banking and you’re not worried that you might overdraw your account. However, there is no limit to the number of NSF fees it can charge you, and each one hits you for $25. You may want to look elsewhere if you need a money market account or if you prefer to go into a bank branch and there are no Alliant branches in your area.