Alliant Student Loan Refinancing Review
Students often have to take out multiple student loans as their academic priorities change or they seek to extend their education. This leaves them with debt scattered across multiple loans and institutions.
This often leads to debt-holders losing track of their payments and falling behind, with the problem only compounding from there.
Student loan refinancing allows you to consolidate your debt into one loan with a single rate, simplifying the process and often reducing the overall cost. Alliant Credit Union is one of the financial institutions that offer this service and the following article details on how it works and how they compare to the competition.
What is Alliant Credit Union?
Alliant Credit Union is a member-only, nonprofit credit union that provides a range of financial services, including student loans and student loan refinancing for undergraduate and graduate students.
Alliant refinances student loans by consolidating all the various loans you’ve borrowed into a single loan, thereby reducing the number of annual payments, simplifying the repayment process, and offering more personalized terms on how to pay. This can be done with both federal and private loans. Alliant also offers private student loans at competitive rates.
Since Alliant Credit Union is a nonprofit credit union, money paid into the union goes to other union members rather than being pocketed by shareholders.
There are some ways you can qualify for membership with Alliant Credit Union, including:
- if you work in a qualifying area
- are employed by a business partnered with ACU
- have a relation who is employed by an ACU-partnered business.
If none of these conditions apply, ACU allows you to simply make a donation of $10 or more to Foster Care for Success to qualify for membership.
How Does Alliant Credit Union Work?
Once a borrower becomes a member of Alliant Credit Union, he or she must supply ACU with the loan and lender information for the debt to be consolidated or refinanced.
Alliant coordinates with the borrower to find the suitable refinancing rate and term length. Once these terms are agreed to Alliant pays off the debt, leaving the borrower with a single rate and timeframe for paying off their student loans. The borrower, then, only has to make one monthly payment to Alliant at the chosen rate, rather than multiple loans with multiple due dates. Alliant does not penalize borrowers for prepayment, allowing you to pay off your loans ahead of schedule and avoid the steeper costs that come with interest rates over time.
A cosigner is not necessary to qualify for loan refinancing with Alliant, though having a cosigner improves your chances of approval and can also help you qualify for lower interest rates. Alliant has two conditions that must be met to qualify for refinancing:
- The borrower must have been employed at their current position for at least six months
- The borrower or the cosigner must earn at least $40,000 a year
Once an application for student loan refinancing is submitted, it will receive a response within 12 days. Upfront application costs are minimal, with a $40 application fee payable upon submitting.
Alliant offers the resources and services of a large financial institution, including convenience banking from your smartphone or computer, 24/7 customer service, and a selection of ATM locations larger than most banks.
What are the Alliant Student Loan Refinancing Options?
Alliant offers fixed and variable rate loans; the rate is determined by the length of the term the applicant chooses:
- For 5-year terms, the variable rate is 3.50%, and the fixed rate is 4.0%
- For 10-year terms, the variable rate is 4.25%, and the fixed rate is 4.75%
- For 15-year terms, the variable rate is 5.00%, and the fixed rate is 5.50%
- For 20-year terms, the variable rate is 5.75%, and the fixed rate is 6.50%
These are highly competitive rates in the student loan refinancing market. Up to $100,000 in graduate or undergraduate student loans qualify for refinancing, and both federal and private loans can be refinanced.
What are the Alliant Credit Union Reviews Saying?
Members of Alliant Credit Union speak positively about various facets of the organization, including prompt customer service regardless of location, transparent practices, and competitive rates. Alliant is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating and a 92% customer service rating. There are a few negative reports regarding billing and customer service issues, but overall the feedback is positive.
This popularity is reflected in reviews of Alliant by major financial media. The popular financial management service Nerdwallet ranked Alliant as one of the “best banks and credit unions of 2018.” AdvisoryHQ, another well-known financial management service, described Alliant as one of the best student loan consolidation companies,” while Money magazine included Alliant on its list of the best banks for 2017-2018.
These reviews have solidified Alliant as one of the staples in the credit union industry, and a popular and well-established choice for student loan refinancing.
Is Alliant Student Loan Refinancing the Right Option for Me?
Borrowers seeking to refinance student loans should look for a financial institution that doesn’t have standards they can’t meet, and that offers the best rates and the most reliable and transparent service. It’s also very important to be aware of all the conditions and privileges involved in your existing loans before refinancing since your consolidated loan will have different conditions and any privileges associated, with the previous loan will be forfeited.
However, rates paid on consolidated loans are typically lower than rates from individual private loans. Though many go with one of the big banks, a financial institution like Alliant can provide advantages like more personalized service and terms, and a lower threshold to get approved for refinancing.
While Alliant doesn’t fixate on your debt-to-income ratio or your credit score, their income and employment requirements must be taken into account before applying. If you haven’t held your current job for six months or make less than $40,000 a year, you will likely require a cosigner. Since a cosigner isn’t necessary, though, you don’t need a financial anchor to qualify. The terms that they offer allow you to choose between variable or fixed rate, and are perfect for recent graduates seeking some runway as they begin their careers.
This, combined with the fact that Alliant doesn’t penalize prepayment, means that borrowers aren’t overly burdened at the beginning of the term but are able to pay off more substantial amounts when their earnings increase. These factors make Alliant a good choice in particular for students living independently with steady employment and strong future earning potential.
The flexible approach that Alliant offers means that — if you can meet their conditions — you have access to more favorable consolidation terms than you would likely get from banks, while still getting the full suite of financial services that comes with a large institution. This, along with their reputation for strong and responsive customer service, makes Alliant an excellent option for most seeking to refinance their student loans.