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If you are a borrower with fair credit and are looking for a personal loan, both Achieve and Municipal Credit Union (MCU) may be worth considering. Achieve accepts borrowers with fair credit — although your rates may be higher. MCU doesn’t disclose its minimum requirements, but credit unions are generally known to be more flexible with borrowers who already have an account.

Achieve vs. Municipal Credit Union at a glance

Achieve and Municipal Credit Union offer similar loans but Achieve is likely more accessible for most borrowers.

Achieve Municipal Credit Union
Bankrate score 4.7 4.4
Better for Quick funding Current members
Loan amounts $5,000-$50,000 $1,000-$50,000
APRs 8.99%-35.99% 8.20%-15.70% (with autopay)
Loan term lengths 24-60 months 12-72 months
Fees Origination fee up to 6.99% $25.00 late payment fee
Minimum credit score 620 Not disclosed
Time to funding Within 24 to 72 hours Not disclosed

Achieve personal loans

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Pros

  • Loans fund within 72 hours.
  • Joint applications available.
  • Accepts fair credit.
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Cons

  • Origination fee.
  • High minimum loan amount.
  • High maximum APR.

Achieve personal loans are relatively competitive for borrowers with fair credit. While it does have a high maximum annual percentage rate (APR), its starting APR is just 8.99 percent — much lower than other lenders that work with fair credit.

Its origination fee ranges from 1.99 to 6.99 percent, which is lower than what some lenders charge but still isn’t the best scenario. Ideally, you should try to find a lender that doesn’t charge an origination fee.

If you have limited options due to your credit score, Achieve’s fee is competitive when considering what other fair-credit lenders charge.

And unlike Municipal Credit Union, Achieve is upfront about its minimum credit qualifications and how long it will take to receive a loan. What’s more, its eligibility criteria is also less strict when compared to MCU.

However, a major downside to the lender is that it isn’t available in all states, but due to the eligibility criteria, it can serve a wider range of borrowers.

Municipal Credit Union personal loans

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Pros

  • No origination fee.
  • Low maximum APR.
  • Loan terms up to 72 months.
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Cons

  • MCU membership required.
  • Eligibility criteria not disclosed.
  • Funding speed not listed.

Municipal Credit Union has a better product overall if you qualify for membership. Its membership is restricted to people employed in New York State and employees of companies that offer health insurance or hospital supplies in New York.

If you are eligible, then an MCU personal loan is a good deal. Its maximum APR is set at just 15.7 percent, which is significantly lower than the maximum APR for a loan from Achieve.

You are also able to borrow less and for longer, which can help reduce the overall cost of borrowing. Plus, MCU doesn’t charge an origination fee, so you could end up paying less overall than if you borrowed a similar loan with Achieve.

How to choose between Achieve and Municipal Credit Union

Both Achieve and Municipal Credit Union have personal loans up to $50,000. However, Achieve has a high minimum loan amount of $5,000 compared to MCU’s $1,000 minimum.

Overall, Achieve could be the better choice if you are unable to open an account with Municipal Credit Union. But if you are able to open an account — or are already a member — MCU may be the less expensive option.

Achieve has fast funding

Achieve is best for borrowers who have fair credit and need quick funding. Its turnaround is between one to three business days, which is about average for an online lender. Its other fees and the cost to borrow is also on par with many other personal loans on the market.

That being said, a personal loan from Achieve can be more expensive than one from MCU. If you are able to, prequalify with both lenders to compare rates and choose the one that offers the best deal.

Municipal Credit Union has better benefits for members

Despite similar loan sizes, MCU offers much lower rates and doesn’t have an origination fee. But while this means you may be able to qualify for a much less expensive loan, MCU isn’t for everybody. Its membership requirements are strict — and if you don’t qualify, you won’t be able to borrow.

Compare lenders before applying

Achieve and Municipal Credit Union offer standard personal loans that can suit a variety of borrowers. Both are affordable loan options that could suit a variety of budgets. However, you should always compare them to other lenders to determine what option is best for your budget and needs.