As one of the country’s largest credit unions, Alliant has become a leader in offering online mortgages for a variety of borrowers. Alliant Credit Union is based in Chicago, IL. They offer a variety of mortgage products, making it as easy as possible to get approved. While you do have to be a member of the credit union 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.
Mortgage Application Requirements
Become a Member
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 make a donation 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
Start Your Application
You can start the application process online. 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 different borrower requirements.
Types of Home Loans Available
Alliant 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 the equity of your home, 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 is that they don’t offer any government-backed loans. That means no FHA, VA, and USDA loans; you’ll need to look elsewhere for those.
Fees and Rates
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 in conjunction 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 just roll this fee into your closing costs.
Alliant, however, requires that you pay it with a debit or credit card when the appraisal actually occurs. This usually costs between $300 and $400 depending on where you live and the size of the home you’re buying.
Alliant’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 talk about your application and the required documents you’ll need. This usually 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 your appraisal will be ordered.
Alliant provides weekly updates on the status of your home loan so you always know what’s going on. 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 is known for its exceptional customer service; in fact, 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.
Basically, 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 definitely worth looking into if you live in a participating area.
Alliant 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.
Alliant Credit Union offers a wide range of both specialty and traditional mortgage products. It also offers 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 lender out of reach for many potential borrowers.
If you want to explore unique mortgages beyond an FHA, Alliant is a great choice, especially for first-time homebuyers with little cash for a down payment.