3.5 NerdWallet rating

If you prefer to refinance student loans with a credit union, Alliant makes it easy to pay off your loan quickly, but it also has fewer flexible repayment options for struggling borrowers.

Alliant helps you save money and become debt-free faster by offering weekly and biweekly payments via autopay. Its 0.4% interest rate discount for enrolling in autopay is also greater than the 0.25% autopay discount that most other lenders offer.

But if you refinance with Alliant and run into financial trouble, you can’t switch to interest-only payments or other less-expensive options that some lenders offer for short-term relief. Also, Alliant provides only six months of forbearance — half as much as many other refinance lenders.

Alliant Credit Union refinances student loans only for its members. But joining is easy: You can qualify for membership by donating $5 to the national nonprofit Foster Care to Success through Alliant’s website.

Alliant Credit Union student loan refinancing at a glance:

  • Available only to Alliant Credit Union members.
  • Above-average interest rate discount for enrolling in autopay.
  • Borrowers cannot refinance PLUS loans or a parent’s loan in their own name.

How much can refinancing save?

How Alliant scores

NerdWallet student loan experts evaluated more than 50 data points across five categories to see whether Alliant Credit Union ranks below average, average or above average compared with other student loan refinance lenders.

Enables faster repayment:
Above Average
Lenders score highly if they offer a variety of term lengths and make extra payments easy.

Discloses requirements, limits costs:
Average
Lenders score highly if they limit fees and interest rates, are transparent about their underwriting criteria and allow borrowers to get personalized rate estimates before applying.

Serves range of borrowers:
Below Average
Lenders score highly if they cater to customers in varying locations, in different financial situations, and with varying citizenship statuses.

Offers payment flexibility:
Below Average
Lenders score highly if they offer longer than 12-month forbearance periods, in-school and military deferment, and any other flexible policies that help borrowers during tough times.

Supports customers:
Below average
Lenders score highly if they assign borrowers an advisor, offer multiple ways to get in touch, and have in-house customer service. Websites should display full APR ranges, fees and forbearance policies.

How Alliant student loan refinancing could improve

Alliant Credit Union could improve by offering additional programs, such as:

  • Additional repayment or deferment options.
  • Refinancing for borrowers with an associate degree or no degree.
  • A dedicated individual to handle borrower complaints and disputes.

» MORE: Top credit union student loan refinance lenders

Alliant student loan refinancing details

  • Get a personalized rate before applying: No.
  • Application or origination fee: No.
  • Prepayment penalty: No.
  • Late fees: Yes, $25 after 10 days past due.

Compare Alliant’s range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders, including other credit unions that refinance student loans. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Alliant will offer you, apply on its website.

Alliant Credit Union refinances student loans only for its members. To join Alliant, you must live in certain Illinois communities or be affiliated with specific organizations, employers or current Alliant members. If you don’t meet those criteria, you can qualify for membership by donating $5 to the national nonprofit Foster Care to Success through Alliant’s website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: 680.
  • Minimum income: $40,000 annually.
  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: 780.
  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 48%.
  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes, after 10 years have passed.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Location: Available in all U.S. states except New York.
  • Must have graduated: Yes, with at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • Must have attended a Title IV-accredited school: Eligible schools must be four-year, degree-granting institutions offering undergrad or graduate degrees and have a published cohort default rate.
  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: 23%.
  • Forbearance: If you have difficulty making payments, Alliant offers up to six months of forbearance in three-month increments.
  • In-school deferment: No.
  • Military deferment: Yes.
  • Death or disability discharge: Reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.
  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: Yes, also allows weekly payments.
  • Loan servicer: University Accounting Service (UAS).
  • In-house customer service team: Yes, for general questions. Servicer handles servicing-related questions.
  • Process for escalating concerns: No.
  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.
  • Average time from approval to payoff of the refinanced loans: 11 business days.

How to refinance with Alliant

Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple student loan refinance options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you’re ready to refinance with Alliant Credit Union, you can apply on its website.

STUDENT LOANS RATINGS METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s private student loans ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best for consumer-friendly features

4.5 stars out of 5 — Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features

4 stars out of 5 — Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features

3.5 stars out of 5 — Good; may not offer something important to you

3 stars out of 5 — Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features

2.5 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution

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