Skip to Main Content

Municipal Credit Union personal loans: 2024 Review

Updated on May 8, 2024

At a glance

Find my best rate
Get offers from top lenders
Info
4.4
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
Caret Down
Availability
Rating: 3.9 stars out of 5
3.9
Affordability
Rating: 4.9 stars out of 5
4.9
Customer Experience
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7
Transparency
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
4.0

About Bankrate Score

Bankrate's Take: Municipal Credit Union offers impressive member benefits for those looking to improve their financial wellness — but only if you live or work in New York City or for New York’s government. 

Lender Details

Moneybag

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Rates

APR from

7.99%-17.99% (with autopay)

Clock Wait

Term lengths

12-72 months

Municipal Credit Union is best for consolidating debt 

When looking to consolidate debt, it is best to find a lender with the lowest possible costs and associated fees. Municipal Credit Union (MCU) offers personal loan annual percentage rates starting at a competitive 7.99 percent. Rates start at just 2.99 percent for share-secured loans. This lender also has low fees, only charging a $25 late payment fee.

These factors and 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 personal loan purposes 

MCU states its loans can be used for any legal purpose, which is a rarity among personal loan lenders. In many states, for example, you cannot use their loans to fund higher education and business expenses.

Funds cannot be used for any illegal transactions. This includes, but isn't limited to, gambling, embezzlement and identity theft. 

Where Municipal Credit Union personal loans stands out 

  • Physical branches: If you prefer face-to-face interaction with a loan officer and live in New York City, Municipal Credit Union could be an ideal lender for you. There are 14 brick-and-mortar locations you can visit if you need assistance with your application or lending process. 
  • Few fees: Unlike some lenders, MCU doesn't charge origination fees or prepayment penalties. This could help you save money, because fees like those can decrease your loan value or increase what you owe.
  • Low APRs: While not the lowest rates on the market, MCU's minimum annual percentage rate (APR) is low compared to most industry lenders at 7.99 percent. 

Where Municipal Credit Union personal loans falls short 

  • Membership requirements: To apply for a personal loan, you must become a member. Individuals who live, work, worship or attend school in New York City, those who work for New York state or federal employers and immediate family members of existing members can qualify. 
  • Eligibility criteria not disclosed: MCU doesn’t list the minimum credit score or income to qualify for its personal loans. However, it offers a share secured loan option geared toward helping individuals build and improve their credit. 
  • Unclear funding timeline: Municipal Credit Union might not be right for you if you need the funds within a few business days. Unlike many institutions, MCU doesn't state how long it will take you to receive your funds. However, personal loan approvals can take as little as a few minutes.

Municipal Credit Union customer experience

Customer support 

If you're a member and have questions about the loan application or lending process,  you can call 844-628-6969. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET. 

You can also schedule an online appointment with a representative through the company's online portal. Be sure to specify that you're scheduling an appointment for loans assistance. 

Digital experience 

The credit union's digital resources are many and useful. You can apply for preapproval online, though you will have to visit a branch or call to finalize the loan. MCU’s website hosts a variety of financial resources and tools on its website. It also has a highly rated, free mobile app for both Android and Apple users. 

What's more, members have exclusive access to the BALANCE program, which includes confidential, no-cost financial counseling services. Users can take advantage of the program's personalized financial guidance, like debt counseling services and credit report reviews, as well as tools to improve financial literacy and debt management skills. 

What people are saying about Municipal Credit Union 

MCU's online reviews are mostly negative, though few comment specifically on their personal loan products. 

Reviewers comment on the customer service wait times both online and at many of the in-person locations. Its 58 reviews with the Better Business Bureau average 1.24 out of five stars. One referenced a wait time of three hours and early close times at in-person locations. 

This lender has fewer reviews than many others that Bankrate features. While online reviews often skew negative, the high proportion of poor reviews is a flag that deserves extra attention — especially for those borrowing a high amount.

How this lender compares

logo
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
4.4
Bankrate Score
APR from
7.99%-17.99% (with autopay)
Loan Amount
$1,000-$50,000
Term Length
12-72 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed
logo
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7
Bankrate Score
APR from
8.99% to 35.99%
Loan Amount
$5,000 to $50,000
Term Length
24 to 60 months
Min Credit Score
620
logo
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7
Bankrate Score
APR from
7.99%-17.99%
Loan Amount
$600 to $50,000
Term Length
Up to 60 months
Min Credit Score
700

Municipal Credit Union vs. Achieve Personal Loans

Achieve lets you borrow up to $50,000 to consolidate debt, make a big-ticket purchase or meet other financial goals. A major upside is the rapid approval process and funding times — some borrowers receive loan proceeds as soon as 24 hours following approval.

However, Achieve charges an origination fee of up to 6.99 percent. MCU does not charge an origination fee. Its maximum APR is also significantly higher than what Municipal Credit Union charges, meaning MCU may be better if you have a less-than-stellar credit rating.

Read a full comparison of Municipal Credit Union vs. Achieve Personal Loans

Municipal Credit Union vs. PenFed Credit Union

PenFed Credit Union offers loans with the same APR range as MCU, but PenFed has a lower loan minimum amount of $600. Unlike MCU, PenFed advertises financial assistance for borrowers who face temporary or permanent hardship. 

However, PenFed’s loan terms only go up to 60 months. That makes MCU a better choice if you need the smaller monthly payment a longer loan term offers.

Do you qualify for a Municipal Credit Union personal loan? 

MCU's qualifications are a bit different than with a traditional bank or online personal loan lender. For one, you'll need to become a member first, which will require you to meet a specific set of guidelines, including living in New York.  You'll also need to have an account in good standing with MCU — meaning you have a balance of at least $5 without any unpaid charge-offs or outstanding bankruptcies.

The credit union doesn't list what requirements your finances must meet for approval. However, members with a steady stream of income and a good credit score are most likely to qualify. You will need to provide a Social Security number or taxpayer identification number.

How to apply for a personal loan with Municipal Credit union 

How Bankrate rates Municipal Credit Union

Score Explanation
Overall 4.4
Availability 3.9 MCU offers a low minimum loan amount, but many eligibility and funding timeline details are missing.
Affordability 4.9 The minimum and maximum APRs are low and the only fee is a late fee.
Customer experience 4.7 You can get online, in-person or phone-based customer support six days a week.
Transparency 4.0 Municipal Credit has all fees and rates listed, but none of its credit requirements.

Methodology

Bankrate's trusted personal loans industry expertise

57

years in business

30

lenders reviewed

20

loan features weighed

665

data points collected

Bankrate considers 20 factors when reviewing lenders. Credit requirements, APR ranges, fees, loan amounts and flexibility are all taken into account so that ratings are representative of how competitive lenders are for a wide range of credit profiles and budgets. The Bankrate Score for personal loans consists of four categories:

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.