Alliant Credit Union: 2022 Home Equity Review

This credit union offers only a home equity line of credit, but its low minimum is ideal for homeowners who don't need to take out a large sum of money.

Alliant Credit Union is headquartered in Chicago and was founded in 1935 by employees of United Airlines. Although it only has one physical branch in the "Windy City," it offers home equity loans in 25 states and the District of Columbia and provides 24/7 phone support for more than 600,000 customers across the country. 

Alliant Credit Union logo
Alliant Credit Union

The credit union offers home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, starting with minimum loan amounts of $10,000. Alliant, however, doesn't have a fixed rate option because it doesn't offer a home equity loan option. If you're looking for a HELOC that you can repeatedly withdraw from over time, and you're comfortable with a variable interest rate, Alliant has minimal fees and can have flexible requirements for loan approval. 

Alliant Credit Union: At a glance

Types of loans offered HELOC
APR range 7.25% to 16%
Loan amounts Minimum $10,000 (minimum $25,001 in Wisconsin and the District of Columbia)
Credit score requirements N/A
Repayment terms 10-year draw period, 20-year repayment
Average time for approval N/A

Alliant Credit Union is a good fit for people who don't need a high loan amount and are completing a smaller home project. You can borrow up to 90% of your loan-to-value ratio, which is on the high-end of borrowing limits. But you must be willing to be a member of Alliant Credit Union. Keep in mind, the credit union offers interest-only HELOCs, but doesn't offer home equity loans, so if you're someone who needs a lump of cash upfront, or looking for a fixed interest rate, you may want to consider other options.

While Alliant doesn't provide a minimum credit score requirement, most lenders prefer to see a credit score of at least 700, but will sometimes accept a score in the mid-600 range depending on your other personal financial factors, such as how much equity you've built up in your home.

What we like

  • Refinancing available: You can refinance your HELOC, which is an option not all lenders offer, but could be beneficial down the line if interest rates start to drop depending on what happens with such economic factors as inflation.
  • Minimal fees: There are no application fees or closing costs for HELOCs up to $250,000 and the annual fee of $50 is waived the first year.
  • Low minimum loan amount: The minimum loan amount is only $10,000 which is beneficial for homeowners who don't need huge sums of money. It also helps you save on interest payments because you don't need to withdraw more money than you need. 

What we don't like

  • Rate increase without auto-pay: If you don't sign up for auto-pay you'll be penalized with an increase to your interest rate and margin of 0.4%, which can add thousands of dollars over the course of your loan.
  • No home equity loans: If you're looking for a home loan with a fixed interest rate you won't be able get one with Alliant, which may be detrimental to homeowners in today's rising interest rate environment. You also can't take out a lump sum of cash. 
  • One physical branch: There's only one brick and mortar location in Chicago, so most customers only have access to online and phone customer support.

Home equity loan option

Alliant offers an interest-only HELOC, but it doesn't offer a home equity loan. However, you can refinance your HELOC, which is something not all lenders and banks provide. Alliant also originates traditional and jumbo mortgages, as well as refinancing options for both.

Fees

Although Alliant has minimal fees overall, if you choose to refinance your HELOC you'll be charged a $250 fee if you don't increase your credit limit by at least $10,000. 

Closing your HELOC early may result in a $200 termination fee if you cancel your loan or close your account within one year of opening. 

Although most applications will have the cost of their new home appraisal covered, you'll have to pay out of pocket for your own appraisal if Alliant's automated value system isn't available where you live. 

How to qualify

To qualify for an Alliant HELOC, you must open an account with the credit union. Once you've become a member, you must gather all of the necessary financial documentation to prove you can responsibly pay back your loan.

You'll need documents such as your most recent Form W-2, tax returns and pay stubs to prove that you have sufficient income, as well as any paperwork related to your existing mortgage, such as monthly mortgage statements showing you consistently pay your bill on-time.

You'll also need to have current homeowners insurance and flood insurance where applicable. 

Getting started

The first step in your HELOC application is to sign up as a member of the credit union. Once you create an account, you can apply online and the process should only take a few minutes, according to Alliant. If your application is "conditionally approved" you'll be asked to provide the rest of the documents needed to officially apply for the loan. 

Once you've submitted all of your paperwork, you'll have to sign your loan documents. As soon as Alliant receives your signed paperwork, you can start accessing your HELOC funds, the credit union says. 

Customer service

The main customer service phone line at Allilant is available 24/7. You can manage your HELOC through your online account, as well as Alliant's mobile app. 

Live phone support:

  • HELOC inquires: 800-328-1935 ext. 2570
  • General inquiries: 800-328-1935