As one of the country’s largest credit unions, Alliant has become a leader in offering online mortgages for various borrowers. Alliant Credit Union is based in Chicago, IL. They offer various mortgage products, making it as easy as possible to get approved. While you have to be a credit union member to apply, anyone can obtain eligibility with just a few simple steps.
We’ll tell you who can apply for a mortgage through Alliant Credit Union, what kind of mortgages they offer, and how the process works from start to finish.
Alliant Credit Union: Company Background
Alliant Credit Union has been in operation since 1935 and has grown to become one of the largest credit unions in the United States. Membership is open to anyone who meets specific eligibility criteria, such as being an employee or member of a qualifying organization or living in a qualifying area. Alliant has a strong online presence, making it accessible to borrowers nationwide.
How to Qualify for an Alliant Credit Union Mortgage
Before you can start an application with Alliant, you need to become a credit union member. There are five different ways you can gain eligibility. The easiest way is to donate to the non-profit organization Foster Care to Success. It just takes a minimum donation of $10.
Here are the four other ways to become a member:
- Serve as an employee or retiree of a qualifying company (check out Alliant for a full list)
- Become a member of a qualifying organization (there are tons of professional, personal, and religious organizations across the country)
- Be related to any existing Alliant Credit Union member
- Live or work in a Chicagoland Community
Mortgage Application Criteria
To apply for a mortgage with Alliant Credit Union, you must have a minimum credit score of 620 for conventional loans and 580 for FHA loans. Stable employment and a steady income are also essential, and you’ll need to provide documentation to verify your financial history.
Down payment requirements vary by loan type, typically ranging from 3% for conventional loans to 3.5% for FHA loans. Alliant generally prefers a debt-to-income ratio below 43%, but exceptions may apply. A licensed appraiser must conduct a property appraisal, and homeowners insurance is necessary before closing on your mortgage.
Start Your Application
You can start the application process online. Then, you get to have a call with a loan officer, which helps you talk out your options and see what kind of mortgage you may qualify for. Each different mortgage type comes with varying requirements for the borrower.
Alliant Credit Union’s Mortgage Offerings
Alliant Credit Union offers a wide range of mortgages, with a few notable omissions. Here is what they offer — and what they don’t.
First and foremost, you can choose a conventional fixed-rate mortgage from Alliant. There are two different loan terms to pick from, lasting either 15 years or 30 years. A 15-year mortgage gets you a lower interest rate, but you’ll have higher monthly payments since the repayment period is so much shorter.
A 30-year mortgage, on the other hand, has a slightly higher interest rate but can allow for more affordable payments since they’re spread over a longer time frame.
Low Down Payment Loans
If you don’t have a lot of cash on hand for a down payment, there are several options through Alliant. First, consider either Freddie Mac’s Home Possible program or Fannie Mae’s HomeReady program. You need just a 3% to 5% down payment for either one.
Another option is the Alliant Advantage mortgage program for first-time buyers. It requires a 0% down payment and doesn’t charge private mortgage insurance despite having less than 20% equity in the property. You can also pick and choose your loan term.
For borrowers looking for non-conforming loans, there are several options. You can pick from a wide range of adjustable-rate mortgages, including 3/1, 5/1, 7/1, 10/1 ARMs.
If you’re looking for a mortgage in a higher amount, Alliant also offers jumbo loans as high as $2 million. Additionally, Alliant also provides mortgages for non-warrantable condos.
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is similar to a credit card. It allows you to borrow up to 90% of your home’s equity, as you need it, until you reach your credit limit. With a HELOC from Alliant, you can borrow up to $250,000. There are no application fees, appraisal fees, or closing costs.
The downside to starting your home loan search with Alliant Credit Union is that they don’t offer any government-backed loans. Unfortunately, that means no FHA, VA, and USDA loans; you’ll need to look elsewhere for those.
Alliant Credit Union’s Mortgage Rates and Fees
Alliant Credit Union offers excellent interest rates for traditional and jumbo loans. They even offer 0% down for well-qualified first-time home buyers. Interest rates vary based on risk factors, which include but are not limited to LTV, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio.
While there are no prepayment penalties once you receive your mortgage with Alliant, you will have to pay an origination fee. The cost is $995 for jumbo mortgages and $1,795 for 15 and 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgages.
These are paid as part of your closing costs and should be considered together with the best mortgage rate you can get from Alliant. Looking at the loan’s APR can help you compare it with other options to see which is the most cost-effective one for you.
Another fee you’ll encounter during the loan application is the cost of the appraisal. Some lenders roll this fee into your closing costs.
Alliant, however, requires that you pay it with a debit or credit card when the appraisal occurs. This usually costs between $300 and $400 depending on where you live and the size of the home you’re buying.
Pros and Cons of Choosing Alliant Credit Union for Your Mortgage
- Competitive interest rates
- Wide range of mortgage products, including the Alliant Advantage Mortgage Program for first-time homebuyers
- Streamlined application process with knowledgeable loan officers
- Member-centric approach with personalized service
- Limited physical branch locations
- Membership eligibility requirements
- No government-backed mortgages
- No home equity loans available for investment properties
Alliant Credit Union’s Mortgage Process
Over the last several years, Alliant Credit Union has placed its digital efforts ahead of its brick and mortar branches. This makes it easy for members across the country to apply for a mortgage in a fast, streamlined manner.
Here’s how it works.
Once your membership is approved, you can begin your online mortgage application. The first form takes just 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Then you can schedule a call with a loan officer to discuss your application and the required documents you’ll need. This typically takes another 10 to 30 minutes.
After that, you’ll receive your loan disclosures. Once you confirm your intent to proceed, your application goes to underwriting, and they will order your appraisal.
Alliant provides weekly updates on the status of your home loan, so you always know what’s going on. Then, when everything is ready, you can schedule your closing at the location of your choice, such as your home or at the title company’s office.
Alliant Credit Union Mortgage Perks and Special Offers
Alliant Credit Union is known for its exceptional customer service; customer complaints are few and far between. The credit union also has a few standout programs that borrowers can benefit from.
The first is called Alliant Home Rewards. You can get a cashback rebate in select cities when you partner with one of their preferred real estate agents.
You get money for either buying or selling (or both) through this referral program. You can earn as much as $6,500 for each side of the transaction — or $13,000 in total. It’s worth looking into if you live in a participating area.
Alliant Credit Union also offers a 60-day rate lock for existing home loans and a 120-day rate lock for new construction loans. As a borrower, you also have access to Alliant’s float-down protection, which lets you access a better APR if rates drop after your lock-in begins.
Customer Service and Support
Alliant Credit Union provides various online resources and tools, such as mortgage calculators and educational articles, to assist borrowers in making informed decisions. Customer service is available through multiple channels, including phone, email, and live chat. Customer reviews and ratings reflect satisfaction with the level of service and support provided by Alliant Credit Union’s mortgage team.
Alliant Credit Union Mortgage Reviews
Alliant Credit Union has earned a strong reputation for its mortgage services based on numerous customer reviews. Borrowers have praised Alliant’s streamlined mortgage application process, which includes an easy-to-use online application and access to mortgage specialists for guidance.
Alliant’s customer service is also highly regarded, with mortgage specialists providing prompt, professional assistance and personalized attention throughout the loan process.
While the majority of customer reviews are positive, some borrowers have reported occasional communication lapses and delays in the underwriting process. Nevertheless, these instances seem to be rare exceptions.
Alliant Credit Union currently has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A+, indicating excellent customer service. They also have very few complaints. You can find more Alliant Credit Union reviews at other review sites as well.
Comparing Alliant Credit Union to Other Mortgage Lenders
When evaluating mortgage options, it’s essential to consider various lenders to make an informed decision. Here are some alternatives to Alliant Credit Union that you may want to explore:
Traditional banks, such as Bank of America, Chase, and U.S. Bank are popular choices for mortgages. These banks often have a large nationwide presence, with numerous branches and extensive online services.
They may offer a wider range of mortgage products, including special programs for first-time homebuyers and low down payment options. However, banks may have stricter lending criteria and potentially higher lender fees compared to credit unions.
Non-Bank Mortgage Lenders
Non-bank lenders, such as LoanDepot and Guaranteed Rate, specialize in providing mortgage loans without offering traditional banking services. These lenders often have competitive rates, flexible underwriting guidelines, and a streamlined online application process. However, they may not have physical branches for in-person consultations.
Other Credit Unions
Besides Alliant Credit Union, there are many other credit unions across the country that offer mortgage loans. Some examples include Navy Federal Credit Union, PenFed Credit Union, and BECU. Credit unions typically have lower fees and better interest rates due to their not-for-profit, member-owned structure. However, like Alliant Credit Union, they often have specific membership eligibility requirements and limited physical branch locations.
Online-Only Mortgage Lenders
Online-only lenders, such as LendingTree and SoFi, offer a fully digital mortgage experience. These lenders can provide lower rates and fees due to their lower overhead costs. The online application process is usually fast and convenient. However, the lack of physical branches may not suit borrowers who prefer face-to-face interactions with loan officers.
Mortgage brokers can help borrowers find the best mortgage options by comparing offers from various lenders. They have access to a wide range of loan products and can negotiate on your behalf for better rates and terms. However, they may charge a fee for their services, which can be a percentage of the loan amount or a flat fee.
Alliant Credit Union offers a wide range of both specialty and traditional mortgage products. It also provides a healthy blend of online convenience with personal phone support from your loan officer. However, the credit union does lack when it comes to government-backed loans, making this mortgage lender out of reach for many potential borrowers.
If you would like to explore unique mortgages beyond an FHA, Alliant is an excellent choice, especially for first-time homebuyers with little cash for a down payment.