Alliant Credit Union has a lovely combination of personalized service that comes with a smaller lender, along with high-tech tools to easily manage your loan. This not-for-profit financial cooperative is the leading “digital-first credit union” in the country, according to the company. You’ll have to be a member of the credit union in order to apply, but anyone can be eligible in just a few easy steps.
In a Nutshell
- 0% down for well qualified first-time homebuyers
- At least 3% down for non-first-time home buyers
- Loan amounts up to $2 million
- Origination fee as low as $995
- Cashback rebate program for buying and selling homes
- Nationwide coverage
Alliant Credit Union offers a variety of mortgage products with low rates to meet your homeownership needs. However, the lender does not offer any government-backed loans. That means no FHA, VA or USDA mortgages. You’ll need to look to other lenders for those.
Fixed-rate home mortgage. Lock in a rate and monthly payment for a period of 15 or 30 years. This is a good option if you’ve found your forever home with no plans to move in the future.
Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). Lower initial rate subject to adjustments after the introductory fixed term (3, 5, 7, or 10 years). Homebuyers choose this option if they want flexibility for future life changes.
Low down payment mortgage. As low as 3% down, or as low as 0% for first-time homebuyers. Great if you never owned a home and prefer a lower down payment. Various terms are available.
Jumbo mortgage. Loan amounts over $453,100, up to $2 million for home buyers that want a mortgage that lives as large as they do. Various terms are available.
Current loan rates are published directly on Alliant’s website.
Alliant charges origination fees: $995 for jumbo loans and $1,795 for fixed-rate conforming mortgages. These fees are included in your closing costs.
With Alliant Home Rewards, you can get a cashback rebate in participating cities when you partner with one of its preferred real estate agents. You can earn as much as $6,500 for each side of the transaction (buying or selling), so up to a total of $13,000.
Alliant also offers a 60-day rate lock for existing home loans and a 120-day rate lock for new construction loans. With Alliant’s float down protection, you can access a better APR if rates drop after you lock yours in.
Alliant is infamous for its exceptional customer service. Reviewers on Zillow rate the lender five out of five stars, while the company averages four stars based on reviews from the Alliant website.
Alliant is available nationwide and has twelve brick-and-mortar locations in five states: California, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Virginia. However, people complete most of their mortgage process online, which is not the norm for credit unions.
Before you can apply for a mortgage with Alliant, you’ll need to become a credit union member. There are five different ways you can be eligible:
- Make a minimum donation of $10 to Foster Care to Success, a non-profit organization (easiest)
- Serve as an employee or retiree of a qualifying company (check Alliant for a full list)
- Become a member of a qualifying organization (many different ones – professional, personal, religions – across the country)
- Be related to any existing Alliant Credit Union member
- Live or work in a Chicagoland Community
In recent years, Alliant has put more of a focus on its digital platform, ahead of its brick-and-mortar offices. This method makes it easier for borrowers across the country to apply instead of limiting itself to those in close proximity to the credit union’s branches.
Once your membership is approved, you can begin your online mortgage application, which takes just 10 to 15 minutes to complete. After that, you’ll have to schedule a call with a loan officer to discuss your application and the required documents you’ll need to supply. This takes another 10 to 30 minutes.
You will then receive your loan disclosures. When you confirm that you wish to proceed, your application goes to an underwriter and Alliant will order an appraisal.
Throughout the process, Alliant gives you weekly status updates, so you know what’s going on behind the scenes on a week-to-week basis. When everything is complete, you can schedule your closing anywhere you choose, like your home or at the title company’s office.
If you’re eligible to join Alliant Credit Union, it’s a good choice for a mortgage lender thanks to the personalized service you’d expect from a credit union, and the technology you’re used to from a major bank.
However, the credit union does not deal with government-backed loans. If you want to explore FHA, VA or USDA loans, you will have to look elsewhere.