Low-cost personal loans are an excellent way to finance a large purchase, fund a wedding, or pay a medical bill. If you need to borrow money to consolidate debt or pay off an unexpected expense, it’s important to compare personal loan lenders, their qualifying criteria, and interest rates.
While large banks are the most popular financial institutions for personal loans, they aren’t necessarily the best value. Banks are responsible to shareholders and are for-profit institutions, so qualifying for a loan may be more challenging.
Credit unions, however, are member-owned and financed. They usually offer more beneficial terms and have less stringent eligibility requirements.
T&I Credit Union is a Michigan-based credit union committed to improving the financial lives of our members. As a credit union, we are a non-profit financial cooperative that offers our members excellent interest rates on various types of personal loans. With a T&I Credit Union personal loan, you can get back on track and improve your financial life.
What is a Personal Loan?
A personal loan is a sum of money you can borrow from a financial institution to cover a personal expense, like a vacation or moving into a new home. The total amount must be repaid over time with interest in fixed monthly payments or installments. Monthly payment totals and loan terms can vary depending on your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and credit history.
Personal loans are usually unsecured, so you don’t have to use collateral to secure funds. The amount of money you can borrow varies depending on the lender. At T&I Credit Union, our members can borrow up to $20,000 for certain unsecured loans, like debt consolidation and signature loans. We also offer share secured loans at very low-interest rates, allowing you to use your savings as collateral.
The length of a loan term typically ranges between three and five years. However, we can accommodate a variety of loan terms depending on a financial background check and the type of loan you seek.
Taking Out a Personal Loan: Credit Unions vs. Banks
Whether you need a personal loan to consolidate high-interest debt or a student loan to help with education costs, T&I Credit Union should be your first destination. Credit unions offer lower interest rates, flexible terms and are willing to work with borrowers with below-average credit scores.
While credit unions also use your credit score to determine if you qualify for a personal loan, we take a holistic approach and review your financial situation. Our loan offers often work with our members. We can help you improve your financial standing so you can obtain better rates.
Private credit unions, such as T&I, allow you to apply for membership as long as you live within the community. We are not just a lender; we offer a range of products and services such as checking and savings accounts, credit and debit cards, online banking, a mobile app, and several other member benefits.
As nonprofit organizations, we can pass savings on to our members. Personal loans from credit unions often have a more straightforward application process, flexible terms, a greater variety of terms, quicker loan approvals, and easier credit approval than banks. Even if you have a poor credit score, you may still be able to qualify for a loan from your credit union.
Banks are for-profit institutions that must make money for their investors. They typically charge more fees than credit unions and charge higher interest rates to customers with low credit scores.
Types of Loans and Their Uses
T&I Credit Union offers a wide variety of personal loans at very competitive rates to help you get through difficult times. From home improvement loans to debt consolidation loans, we can help you improve many areas of your life with affordable rates and realistic repayment periods.
Home improvement loan
Many people have put off home repairs during the pandemic because of a lack of cash. However, investing in your home is an excellent decision that helps you live a more comfortable life. If you have any repairs or home improvement projects in mind, we can provide the funds.
We offer home improvement loans from $500 to $10,000, and you can repay them over a 3-4 year term, with a 7% and 8% (current) interest rate, respectively.
There’s no reason you should suffer on your way to financial success. Sometimes, taking a break can help us get back to work with renewed energy. One of the special deals we currently offer is a holiday loan of $2,500 with 5.99% interest and 12 monthly payments.
With this T&I Credit Union loan, you’ll avoid the high rates offered by banks during the summer holiday season and give yourself the vacation you deserve.
Savings secured loan
With a savings secured loan, also called a share secured loan, you’ll receive a loan that matches the amount on your savings account. Since the loan is secured with your savings, a bad credit score won’t prevent you from qualifying.
This is an excellent way to build or rebuild your credit. It’s also a good way of accessing funds in a hurry if you need to make any big purchases.
Debt consolidation loan
We can offer you a debt consolidation loan with an upper limit loan amount of $20,000 and a minimum 6% interest rate. We currently offer 7% and 8% interest for longer timelines of 48 and 60 months.
Benefits of Credit Union Personal Loans
There are benefits and drawbacks to using a personal loan over other financing options. At T&I Credit Union, we can help you decide which type of loan is best for you based on your financial situation.
The benefits of choosing to take out a personal loan from a credit union include:
Personal loans can be used to fund virtually anything. Unlike a mortgage or auto loan, you’re not required to put up collateral against the money you borrow, making them easier to secure. Several types of personal loans have predictable repayment schedules and terms available to fit your financial needs.
At T&I Credit Union, we go above and beyond to help our members meet their financial goals. One benefit our members have access to is a Skip-A-Payment deal once a year. Every year, our members can choose to skip a payment to save money for a vacation, family gathering, or necessary purchase.
Competitive interest rates
Credit unions offer lower interest rates on personal loans than banks or online lenders. Since our primary goal is to improve the financial welfare of our members, we offer competitive rates, lower deposit balances, and fewer fees. Opting for a credit union personal loan can save you money, especially if your loan spans several years.
No need for collateral
With an unsecured loan, you don’t have to use your investments, home, car, or any other asset as a guarantee that you’ll pay back the borrowed amount. This can provide peace of mind when applying for a loan.
Better money management
One type of personal loan people often use is a debt consolidation loan. This type of loan allows you to consolidate different debts into a single loan with a lower interest rate. For example, if you have several credit cards you are trying to repay, you can consolidate them into a single debt consolidation loan, so you make only one payment each month.
Additional Considerations of Personal Loans
Borrowers must also be aware of the potential drawbacks of personal loans. While instrumental in certain instances, they can be expensive if your credit rating is less than stellar.
Even though credit unions generally offer better rates than banks, personal loans tend to have high fees and penalties that can increase the cost of borrowing. Lenders usually charge origination fees, also known as processing, underwriting, or administrative fees. Some lenders may even charge a prepayment fee, penalizing you for paying off your balance before the end of the term.
At T&I, we charge minimal fees for our personal loans, ensuring you can take advantage of our competitive interest rates. We provide transparency throughout the loan process, so there are no hidden fees or surprises with your repayment terms.
Use a Personal Loan From T&I Credit Union to Rebuild Your Credit Score
When applying for a personal loan, your total credit card debt and credit score are critical to getting the lowest rate possible. You should check your credit reports regularly to make sure you are maintaining a good score.
Until December 2022, you can receive free weekly credit reports from the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). From 2022 through 2026, you are entitled to six free credit reports per year, which is a significant increase from the single free report you were previously granted.
Your credit score is a three-digit number that demonstrates your creditworthiness, or how likely you are to repay a loan in full and on time. If you rely on borrowed money for major purchases, it’s essential to work on your credit score. We offer our members a free credit score analysis, helping you to identify problematic areas and develop strategies to rebuild your creditworthiness.
Although we provide personal loans to members with below-average credit scores, your rating significantly impacts the interest rates and loan payment terms you are offered. Raising your score makes you a less risky borrower to the lender. This helps you qualify for the loan you want at the lowest possible rates. According to Experian, your credit score is weighted from poor to exceptional:
- Poor: 579 and under
- Fair: 580 to 669
- Good: 670 to 739
- Very good: 740 to 799
- Exceptional: 800 and higher
Our T&I Credit Union savings secured loan is another way to improve a low credit score quickly is with our T&I Credit Union savings secured loan. Collateral helps you qualify for lower interest repayments with a savings secured loan. This is an excellent option if you are working on your credit score. By making timely, affordable monthly payments, you can improve your credit and payment history, both of which contribute to your credit score.
Asking someone to cosign a loan with you is another way of qualifying with a bad credit score. In this case, both you and the co-signer are responsible for the debt. Co-signers are usually close family members or friends. You must carefully consider it because if you can’t pay the loan back, the obligation falls on your co-signer.
Why Choose T&I Credit Union?
T&I Credit Union is a Michigan-based credit union dedicated to improving our members’ lives through efficient and low-cost financial solutions. We have been operating in Clawson for many years, but we are now expanding to other Michigan counties such as St. Claire, Lapeer, Livingston, and Macomb. We want to help people across the state of Michigan gain better control over their finances and develop successful strategies for life.
Some of our members have been with us for more than 20 years, and they have profited from a wide variety of financial services and offers. Our customer-focused approach helps us empower you to take charge of your personal finances.
T&I Credit Union has an efficient and convenient online banking platform so that you can handle your finances remotely. We have also developed an easy-to-use T&I mobile banking app that allows you to check your credit score, deposit checks online, and manage your accounts from a smartphone or tablet.
We can help you manage your monthly bills, ensuring they are always paid on time. Allow us to set up automatic payments to pay off certain accounts. You can stay updated with electronic statements every month or quarter.
If you can’t find the time to set up a meeting with one of our loan officers, start the process online. This straightforward process only takes a few minutes; you’ll typically hear back from us in just one business day.
At T&I Credit Union, we offer a range of helpful member services, making it easy and convenient to manage your finances better. Our members can apply for a T&I Credit Union Mastercard (debit), which can be used to pay for goods or withdraw money at an ATM.
As a member, you have access to our online personal loan calculator. This provides an accurate method for determining your maximum loan amount and the interest rates you qualify for. Other member services we offer include wire transfers, notary services, and safety deposit boxes.
We partner with Love My Credit Union Rewards, a financial organization that works with credit unions to bring members excellent deals and offers. Our members have access to special deals from SimpliSafe, TurboTax, TruStage, Powersports, and the RV Buying Program through this partnership.
Our members can also earn up to 1.00% monthly interest on their savings account if they have a loan with T&I. This works for accounts up to $5,000. Accounts over $5,000 can earn 0.10% interest every month. There are different requirements, such as using our online banking platform.
Members also benefit from the uChoose Rewards program, which allows them to collect 1 point for every $1 spent on a credit card. With this system, you can collect points every time you make a purchase that you can later exchange for gift cards, discounts, and other options.
Have Additional Questions About Getting a Personal Loan or Line of Credit?
If you require a personal loan for an upcoming expense, reach out to T&I Credit Union. Our friendly and experienced staff are on-hand to provide you with any information you need, from credit score queries to the application process. We can help with your loan application, payment, or loan approval questions and discuss possible personal loan options.
If you have any questions about T&I Credit Union, call us at (248) 588-6688. We look forward to chatting with you and helping you get on the path to financial success.