Municipal Credit Union features
Here's a breakdown of some of the benefits and drawbacks of Municipal Credit Union personal loans.
- In-person branch presence for those who like in-person options
- Few fees
- Low APRs
- Membership requirements
- Slower approval process
Municipal Credit Union, the largest credit union in metropolitan New York, was founded in 1916 to help city workers avoid loan sharks. It now has 16 branches, more than 500,000 members and more than $4.2 billion in assets.
You must be an MCU member to qualify for a loan. Membership is restricted to certain employees within the state of New York or employees of companies that offer health-related insurance or hospital supplies in the state of New York. You may also be eligible if you have a family member who qualifies for membership.
Because MCU is a not-for-profit financial institution, it’s able to offer highly favorable rates on personal loans. Unlike banks and other types of lenders, credit unions may not look to maximize their profits by charging higher interest rates and other fees typical of most loans.
Municipal Credit Union is best for borrowers looking to consolidate debt
When looking to consolidate debt, it is best to find a lender with the lowest possible costs and associated fees. Municipal Credit Union offers low APRs starting at 6.95 percent for personal loans and 2.99 percent for share secured loans. According to Bankrate, the average APR for borrowers with excellent credit is 10.3 percent as of December 2021. This lender also has low fees, only charging a $25 late payment fee. These factors along with its low minimum loan amount of $1,000 make Municipal Credit Union a favorable option for borrowers looking to consolidate their debt.
Municipal Credit Union might not be right for you if you are looking to get money fast. Many online-only lenders offer same-day application approval. Municipal Credit Union does not specify on its website how long the process takes. Members may have to either call or complete the online application for more information.
Unlike many online lending platforms, MCU is a direct lender, meaning your personal loan comes from the credit union, not from a partner institution. Many personal loan companies make money by tacking on an origination fee, typically based on a percentage of your loan amount. MCU doesn’t charge an origination fee.
It offers loans that range from $1,000 to $50,000 for terms from 12 to 72 months. Its personal loans carry a fixed annual percentage rate, meaning it will never adjust up or down throughout the life of the loan. The quote you receive is based on your loan amount and creditworthiness.
MCU rates also incorporate discounts from automatic loan payments through either payroll deduction or biweekly direct deposit.
Fees and penalties
MCU does not charge origination fees or prepayment penalties, but there is a $25 late fee if a payment is more than 30 days late. Additionally, your APR will increase by 0.5 percent if you cancel automatic payroll deduction or direct deposit.
How to apply for a loan with Municipal Credit Union
To borrow from MCU, you must have an account in good standing with MCU — meaning at least $5 in your account without any unpaid charge-offs or outstanding bankruptcies.
The application process is straightforward and can be done at a branch, over the phone, through the MCU online banking platform or through the credit union’s mobile app.
The application will ask for the loan amount, terms you’re seeking and the general purpose of the loan. You also have to provide employment and monthly income information, which MCU will verify. The site has a loan payment estimator so you can get a rough estimate of what your monthly payments will be.
If you’re set up with direct deposit at MCU, you can choose autopay, which gives you the lowest rates and automatically deducts loan payments biweekly.
Online applicants can electronically sign and finalize their documents. MCU will contact you if you need to upload any supporting documentation.
How Bankrate rates Municipal Credit Union
|Bankrate Score||4.4||Scoring factors|
|Availability||3.6||Low minimum loan amount but many details are not available|
|Affordability||4.8||The minimum and maximum APRs are low and the only fee is a late fee|
|Customer experience||4.7||Online and in-person options as well as 24/7 customer support and mobile apps|
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com 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.