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First Tech Personal Loans: 2023 Review

Updated on July 6, 2023
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At a glance

Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

Established in 1952, First Tech is a federal credit union offering a variety of financial products to its members, such as mortgage loans, checking and savings accounts and personal loans. Plus, it offers exclusive financial services to many major tech corporations and their employees, like Google and HP.

Loan amount $500-$50,000
APR from 8.99%
Clock Wait
Term lengths 24-84 months

This lender is best for emergency loans.

Best for emergency loans

First Tech offers unsecured and secured personal loans that have no origination fees or prepayment fees. First Tech's unsecured personal loan amounts range from $500 to $50,000, while savings secured personal loan amounts range from $500 to $50,000. You can use loan funds for many purposes, including expensive car repairs and emergency home renovations. Once approved, you can receive your loan funds as soon as the same business day, which means First Tech could be a good match if you need funds fast. This combination of few fees, flexible loan amounts and fast funding makes First Tech federal credit union’s loans ideal to pay for unexpected expenses.

First Tech pros and cons


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    Minimal fees

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    Offers secured and unsecured personal loans

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    Wide range of loan amounts offered


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    Membership required

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    No autopay discount

Get Prequalified for a Personal Loan

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

Do you qualify?

First Tech doesn’t disclose any specific eligibility requirements other than a minimum credit score of 695 and that you must become a member before applying.

You can qualify for membership if:

  • One of your family members or a household member is already a First Tech member
  • You or a family member works for the State of Oregon or a First Tech partner
  • You work or live in Lane County, Oregon
  • You’re a member of the Financial Fitness Association or Computer History Museum
First Tech says you can join the Financial Fitness Association or Computer History museum by stopping by one of its physical locations or when submitting an online application. 

What First Tech doesn't allow loan funds to be used for

You can use a First Tech personal loan for nearly any purpose, except funding gambling or illegal activities, post-secondary education expenses or business expenses.

How this lender compares

Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
Loan Amount
Term Length
24-84 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
Loan Amount
Up to $50,000
Term Length
Up to 60 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed
Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
9.57% – 35.99%
Loan Amount
$1,000 – $40,000
Term Length
24 to 60 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed

First Tech vs. PenFed

PenFed offers unsecured personal loans of $600 to $50,000 to its members. Although PenFed has a higher credit score requirement than First Tech, it also offers a lower starting APR of 7.74 percent, making its loans more cost-effective. On the downside, the credit union’s maximum repayment term offered is 60 months, which is shorter than the 84-month repayment term offered by First Tech. This makes the latter a better option if you want to borrow a larger amount and need more wiggle room in your monthly budget.

First Tech vs. LendingClub

Unlike First Tech, LendingClub isn’t a credit union, so you don’t have to become a member to qualify for its personal loans. LendingClub’s minimum credit score required is 660, which is lower than First Tech’s minimum credit score of 695, making it a better option for those with less-than-perfect credit. On the downside, LendingClub does charge an origination fee on its loans — something First Tech doesn’t. LendingClub’s APRs are also higher compared to those of First Tech, so its loans are higher cost.

First Tech: in the details

What we like and what we don’t like

What we like

  • Minimal fees. First Tech doesn't charge origination fees or application fees, which can minimize your borrowing costs. Plus, if you want to repay your loan early, you can do so without worrying about prepayment fees.
  • Offers secured and unsecured personal loans. You can take out an unsecured loan or choose from one of three secured personal loan options: savings-secured, CD-secured and stock-secured. These secured options all have a lower minimum APR than First Tech's unsecured personal loan. But keep in mind that a potential downside of a secured personal loan is that any collateral you pledge — savings or stock, for example — can be seized by the lender if you fail to repay the loan.
  • Wide range of loan amounts offered. First Tech offers unsecured personal loans ranging from as low as $500 and or as high as $50,000. This means it could be a good option whether you need to pay for a small car repair bill or a major home improvement project.

What we don’t like

  • Membership required. To qualify for a First Tech personal loan, you have to already be a member or become one. If you don't want to become a member, you'll have to apply with another lender.
  • No autopay discount. You can get a discount for enrolling in autopay with many lenders, which could help you save some money on interest. Unfortunately, First Tech doesn't offer this common feature

How to contact First Tech

First Tech's customer support team can be reached 24 hours a day for general inquiries at 1-855-855-8805. You can also schedule a virtual or in-person appointment to speak with a representative. First Tech members can send secure messages by logging into their online accounts.

How to apply for a personal loan with First Tech

You can initiate the application process by prequalifying online to preview your estimated rates and terms without impacting your credit score. You'll be asked to provide information such as your name, address, email, Social Security number and date of birth.

If you prequalify, the next step is to submit a formal loan application, which involves agreeing to a hard credit inquiry that could temporarily ding your credit score. First Tech will ask you to provide additional information, like your annual income and housing payment.

Once you've submitted your loan, you'll have to wait for First Tech’s approval. 

Alternatively, you can apply for a First Tech personal loan over the phone by contacting its customer service team.

Features and additional perks

Once approved for a personal loan with First Tech, you can defer your first payment by up to 45 days. This could be a great benefit if you need extra time to make your first payment. But keep in mind that deferring your payment could result in paying more interest over the life of the loan.

Another feature First Tech offers is the ability to manage your loan and make payments via its mobile app, which is available for download on Google Play and the App store.

First Tech also offers a unique optional payment protection plan called DebtSafe. This payment protection plan can help you cover your loan payments in the event of death, disability, or involuntary unemployment.

Fees and penalties

If you miss a payment, you might have to pay a late fee. But there's a 10-day grace period, according to a First Tech customer service representative.

First Tech FAQs

Get Prequalified for a Personal Loan

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. The process is quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

How Bankrate rates First Tech

Score Explanation
Overall score 4.6
Affordability 5.0 First Tech’s minimum APR compares well to competitors and it charges only late fees.
Availability 4.8 First Tech has a low minimum loan amount, and customers may get same-day funding. An undisclosed minimum income slightly lowers this score.
Customer Experience 5.0 First Tech offers a highly rated app and 24-hour customer support by phone.
Transparency 3.8 First Tech outlines some fees and rates.


To select the top personal loan lenders, Bankrate considers 15 factors. These factors include credit requirements, APR ranges, fees, loan amounts and flexibility to account for a wide range of credit profiles and budgets. Bankrate reviewed 41 lenders and gave each a Bankrate rating, which consists of four categories:

  • Affordability: The interest rates, penalties and fees are measured in this section of the score. Lower rates and fees and fewer potential penalties result in a higher score.
  • Availability: What the minimum loan amounts are, its eligibility requirements and loan turnaround are considered in this category.
  • Customer experience: This category covers customer service hours, if online applications are available, online account access and mobile apps.
  • Transparency: This category is measured by how accessible credit requirements, rates and fees are on the lender's page. We also took into account whether prequalification was available, as all these factors are key for consumers to make an informed decision.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.