Personal Loans

MCU Personal Loan Review

New York residents who need cash for sudden expenses or to consolidate their debt might consider turning to New York Municipal Credit Union (MCU). Members will find competitive APRs, long repayment terms and a simple application process for an MCU personal loan. If you’re not already a member, MCU membership is easy to get, but it may be a deterrent if you don’t want to take an extra step when getting a loan.

MCU personal loan highlights

  • Competitively low APRs: With APRs starting at 4.95% and capping out at 12.95%, MCU’s personal loan can be a low-cost option. However, these low APRs signal that only borrowers with strong credit will qualify.
  • No restrictions on how funds are used: You can use a personal loan for debt consolidation or to cover household and other expenses.
  • APR discount for using autopay: Borrowers get a 0.50% APR reduction when they sign up for automatic payments.
MCU personal loan terms
Terms Fees and penalties
  • Term lengths: 12 to 72 months
  • APR: 4.95% to 12.95%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Time to funding: Not specified
  • Credit check: Yes
  • Origination fee: Not specified
  • Prepayment fee: Not specified
  • Late payment fee: $25

MCU personal loan details

Taking a loan from a credit union can be more affordable than borrowing from a bank, and that holds true with MCU. However, MCU’s personal loan minimum APR and maximum loan term will vary based on how much you’re borrowing.

Borrowing amount Maximum loan term Minimum APR (with autopay)
$1,000 – $15,000 60 months 4.95%
$15,001 – $50,000 60 months 5.95%
$15,001 – $50,000 72 months 6.55%

Despite this, MCU’s APRs are more competitive than those at many other credit unions, and they come with a more generous autopay discount of 0.50 percentage points, compared to the usual 0.25 percentage-point discount.

Eligibility requirements

Criteria for MCU personal loan applications are not listed on the credit union’s website, though you’ll need to be a member to apply. Personal loans are generally unsecured, though, meaning they don’t require collateral and that lenders rely heavily on your finances to determine eligibility. With a low range of offered APRs and flexible repayment terms, it’s a safe bet that MCU is likely seeking top-notch borrowers who are at low risk of default.

As a general rule, strong personal loan candidates have a credit score of 670 or higher and a credit history with minimal late payments and delinquencies. You’ll also want to keep your debt-to-income ratio below 36% when applying for a personal loan. A track record of on-time payments and low credit utilization will boost your MCU loan approval odds. If you doubt you’d qualify due to damaged credit, you can seek out a bad credit loan instead. However, you can contact MCU directly to potentially learn about eligibility requirements.

Membership requirements

You must be an MCU member to take out a loan with the credit union. The list of people who can join MCU is long, but it’s largely restricted to New York state, with special emphasis given to organizations in the New York City metropolitan area.

  • Eligible categories include:
  • Employees who work for New York City
  • State and federal government employees who work in the five boroughs of New York City
  • Hospital and nursing home employees in New York State
  • Workers for insurance companies operating in New York State
  • Archdiocese employees in Brooklyn and New York
  • Relatives of current MCU members

To see the full eligibility list, visit MCU’s website.

Applying for a personal loan from MCU

  1. Fill out the initial application: If you’re already a member of MCU, you can apply for a personal loan online by logging into your account. Prospective members can submit an application at their local branch or over the phone. Although you can apply for a loan before becoming a member, you must open an MCU member account before you receive any funds.
  2. Submit requested documents: If you receive initial approval, MCU may ask for additional documents to finalize the loan. At minimum you’d need a photo ID, proof of income and a balance of at least $5 in an MCU Share account. Depending on how you intend to use the loan, you may need to provide additional documents — for instance, you may be asked for bill statements if you plan to consolidate your debts with the funds.
  3. Accept the loan, if approved: You have 30 days from initial approval to accept the loan terms. Your interest rate, and thus your APR, can change during that time. Plus, if your credit score drops, you could end up paying more on the loan, as well. MCU can also pull the offer altogether, so it’s best to lock in the terms as soon as you’re ready.

Is an MCU personal loan right for you?

If you live in New York and are eligible for membership, an MCU personal loan is a solid option. Strong credit borrowers may be able to access low-cost personal loans with a wide range of repayment terms and borrowing amounts. That said, this lender likely isn’t an option if your credit is damaged.

In addition, the approval process can take longer than with some other lenders. You might have to wait two business days for a decision from MCU, whereas other lenders like Discover Bank offer same-day approval and funding. And while MCU offers a great range of APRs, it isn’t clear whether you’ll pay an origination fee, which can reduce the amount of money you receive upon loan disbursement.

MCU personal loans
Pros Cons
  • Low balance requirement: Members need only $5 in their MCU Share accounts to apply for a personal loan.
  • Competitive interest rates: MCU personal loan rates start lower than several other credit unions.
  • Minimal documentation requirements: Though this varies by case, the basic requirements for receiving loan funds are a photo ID and proof of income.
  • Two-day approval time: MCU personal loan approval can take up to two business days, compared with other lenders that offer same-day decisions and funding.
  • Geographic restrictions: MCU membership is largely restricted to New Yorkers, particularly those in New York City.

MCU FAQ

How do I become a member?

You can sign up online or in person at an MCU branch. In either case, you’ll need to provide proof of eligibility and open a Share account with a minimum $5 deposit.

What other types of MCU loans are available?

MCU offers a Share Secured Loan tied to your Share account, as well as a personal loan from Share Certificate accounts. Unlike the MCU personal loan, the Share Secured Loan does not require a credit check, and the minimum loan amounts for the Share Secured and Share Secured Certificate options are $500 instead of $1,000. MCU members can also take out mortgages and auto loans through MCU.

How can I access MCU’s online banking app?

The app is available via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Does MCU offer a consolidation loan?

No, but you can use an MCU personal loan for debt consolidation.

Can I apply for an MCU loan over the phone?

Yes, the MCU personal loan phone number is 800-562-6628.

How long does MCU take to approve personal loans?

MCU approval decisions are made within two business days.

How do I make online payments on my MCU personal loan?

You can pay MCU loans through the MCU website.

Alternative loan options

Alliant Credit Union

  • APR: Starting at 6.24%–10.24%, depending on your repayment terms
  • Terms: 12 to 60 months
  • Origination fee: None

Alliant advertises same-day funding for its personal loans, which is critical when you need money fast. You can also get same-day approval, in contrast with MCU’s two-day approval period. Alliant’s lowest APR is higher than MCU’s, but its rates are competitive overall among credit unions.

Membership is also more easily accessible than at MCU and is open to employees (and their family members) of partner companies, as well as members of affiliated organizations. Chicago metro area residents are also eligible. If you don’t meet those criteria, you can become a member of Alliant’s partner charity and sign up that way.

Navy Federal Credit Union

  • APR: 7.49%–18.00% for Personal Expense Loan
  • Terms: Up to 60 months
  • Origination fee: None

MCU’s APRs are lower than Navy Federal Credit Union’s and it offers longer repayment terms. Navy Federal Credit Union does have an advantage over MCU in closing times, however, as it offers same-day funding. Its minimum loan amount is substantially lower as well, at $250, and the lender is confirmed to have no origination fee.

Like MCU, Navy Federal Credit Union funds personal loans up to $50,000. However, Navy Federal Credit Union’s membership is restricted to individuals who are part of the armed forces, National Guard or Department of Defense, along with their family members and roommates.

PenFed Credit Union

  • APR: 6.49%–17.99%
  • Terms: Up to 60 months
  • Origination fee: None

PenFed Credit Union personal loans have a higher minimum and maximum APR, and you can only borrow up to $20,000. As with MCU, non-members can apply for a PenFed Credit Union loan, but you’ll have to become a member before you can close.

PenFed’s membership is open to both military and non-military borrowers, provided the latter are associated with select volunteer organizations. Even if you are not currently involved with a partner organization, you could still apply.

 

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