You might think that the Massachusetts-based Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) is only an option for customers in that region. But DCU serves more than 700,000 customers across all 50 states.
DCU offers various products, including credit union personal loans. Find out in this DCU personal loans review what the one-stop shop has to offer and if it’s the right lender for you.
DCU personal loans review
DCU has many offerings, including bank accounts, credit cards, insurance plans, and loans for anything from your education to your home.
For its unsecured personal loan, DCU features repayment terms of up to 60 months and competitive fixed interest rates (more on that below). The credit union also offers a 0.50% rate discount for making your monthly payment from a DCU checking account.
Other pros of the product include:
- No application, origination, or prepayment fees
- Option of applying with a co-borrower
On the personal loan front, DCU has three options to consider beyond its traditional personal loan, which can be borrowed for any purpose. The options include:
- Credit Builder: To improve your credit and build an emergency fund, you could borrow between $500 and $3,000 and repay it over 12 or 24 months. The borrowing amount would be deposited into a savings account, and you wouldn’t be able to access it until you’ve paid it off.
- Debt Consolidation: Consolidate your credit card debt or other debt into one new loan, and repay it over a maximum term of five years.
- Savings-Secured: Borrow against your existing DCU bank account to score the lowest possible interest rate on a personal loan. You could select a repayment term of up to 10 years. Unlike the unsecured personal loan options above, you put your savings at risk of being seized if your loan repayment goes south.
Like the Savings-Secured option, DCU offers other secured loan products where you put up collateral to guarantee lower interest rates.
For example, you could borrow from the equity you have in your car (via an auto loan) or your home (via a mortgage loan or home equity loan). The downside with these DCU products — and secured personal loans in general — is that you could lose your property if you default during repayment.
An important note: You have to become a member of the credit union to receive a loan. But if you don’t live near a branch, you could apply for a personal loan online or over the phone 24 hours a day. You might even receive an approval while you’re on the line.
Applying for DCU personal loans
You could apply for a personal loan before or after joining DCU, but the credit union won’t fund the loan until you become a member, according to a customer service representative that I chatted with online.
The online loan application includes three easy steps:
- Request your loan: Input your borrowing purpose, loan amount, and repayment term.
- Provide personal information: Enter your gross monthly income, occupation, and other financial information.
- Review and submit: You agree to allow DCU to pull your credit report to determine your eligibility for a loan.
Like with other lenders, DCU determines your borrowing amount, interest rate, and repayment term options based on your credit score. The better your credit, the more options at your disposal.
Aside from being creditworthy, you’re also required to have a Social Security number and prove your income to be eligible for a personal loan, according to the customer service representative.
How to join and use DCU’s online platform
To join DCU, you can open a new DCU account online. If you’re a new user, you’ll be required to open a primary savings account. You could also choose to open other types of bank accounts at this stage.
You’ll then provide personal information and prove your eligibility. Finally, you’ll fund your account with a minimum $5 deposit and pay your membership fee with a debit or credit card. Membership fees vary depending on your association with DCU.
Within seven days of joining DCU, you’ll receive your personal identification number (PIN) in the mail. Within two weeks, you’ll receive your ATM or debit card, depending on your initial account selection. The PIN will come in handy when you log into your account online.
DCU personal loans review: Interest rates and fees
As of May 4, 2018, DCU advertises a 9.00% APR on its standard personal loan product. For the latest available rates, contact DCU (more information below). You can borrow between $200 and $25,000, according to the customer service representative.
Your actual rate would depend on your credit history and other factors, such as whether you enroll in autopay from a DCU checking account. Plus, DCU doesn’t charge origination and other loan fees, so the interest rate you’ll be quoted also acts as your APR.
The credit union doesn’t provide its range of rates like other lenders. SoFi, for example, advertised its rate range as between 6.28% and 14.87%.
DCU’s three other personal loan products also had fixed interest rates as of May 4, 2018:
- Credit Builder: Starting at 5.00%.
- Debt Consolidation: Starting at 9.00%.
- Savings-Secured: Starting at 3.50%.
If you’re worried about late payment fees, consider that DCU gives you the ability to skip a monthly payment for a $25 processing fee.
You might find lower interest rates from top personal loan companies. When you’re shopping around, make sure to compare offers based on APR. Other lenders charge fees that increase their effective interest rates, or APRs.
If you prefer borrowing from a credit union for more personable service, DCU is an option. It would also allow you to do all your banking and borrowing in one place.
DCU personal loans eligibility requirements
DCU doesn’t provide the minimum credit score or income you need to qualify for its personal loans. The credit union does make it clear that you must be a member to borrow.
You could be eligible to join DCU in one of four ways:
- Be a family member of an existing DCU member
- Be an employee (or retiree) of an eligible company
- Belong to an eligible organization
- “Live, work, worship, or attend school” in an eligible community
DCU personal loans customer service
Here’s some customer feedback we found during our DCU personal loans review research.
The reviews tab on DCU’s personal loan page shows that 100-plus customers recommend the product, giving it about a 4 out of 5 score. Customers tend to offer mixed reviews of DCU’s service on other websites such as WalletHub.
The credit union provides email, phone and live online support for customers. You could even mail or fax documents to DCU’s hub. Customer service operates from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Saturdays.
Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to Digital Federal Credit Union personal loans. Digital Federal Credit Union has neither provided nor reviewed the information shared in this article.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Rates (APR)||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
|7.73% – 29.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|6.28% – 14.87%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|6.87% – 35.97%*||$1,000 - $50,000||Visit Upgrade|
|8.00% – 25.00%||$5,000 - $35,000|
|4.99% – 29.99%||$10,000 - $35,000||Visit FreedomPlus|
|5.99% – 18.99%2||$5,000 - $50,000||Visit Citizens|
|15.49% – 34.49%||$2,000 - $25,000||Visit LendingPoint|
|5.99% – 35.89%||$1,000 - $40,000||Visit LendingClub|
|5.49% – 18.24%||$5,000 - $75,000||Visit Earnest|
|9.95% – 35.99%||$2,000 - $35,000||Visit Avant|