Alliant Credit Union Review

Joseph Meyer
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A Quick Background of Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union (also known as Alliant CU or Alliant) is an Iowa-based financial services company with an A+ rating with the BBB. As of December 2017, Alliant Credit Union has over 157,000 members from over 43 states. It has received numerous awards from the financial sector, including the April 2017 Bank Technology News Digital Banking Award.

To become a member, you first need to join the Alliant Center Federal Credit Union (ACFCU). Membership eligibility is based on these criteria:

  • You must be a member of one the participating corporations or organizations.
  • You must be a family member, residing at the same address, of someone who is a member.
  • You may join if you live or work within one of the counties that Alliant Credit Union serves.

The credit union is a member of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), which means that it’s federally insured and follows regulatory standards.

Banking with Alliant

Alliant Credit Union is a neighborly bank that is located in the Sauk Valley region, primarily in Illinois. This credit union has a strong backing with its members. In fact, you’re not just a customer here, you’re a member.

As one of the largest credit unions in the U.S., Alliant Credit Union can provide many services for you. From loans to checking and savings accounts, from home loans to retail services, you’ll find it all under one roof at this Alliant branch.

The following is a quick overview of some of the products and services you’ll find here. You’ll also learn whether or not it’s worth joining this particular credit union. We’ll keep it brief so you can easily decide.

Borrowing with Alliant

Beyond becoming a great financial partner, Alliant wants you to join to get an opportunity to save money and earn a higher interest rate on your deposits. With Alliant, you can save money on a wide range of products including home loans, auto loans, credit cards, etc., and more often than not, their rates beat those of the larger banks that are hard to deal with.

Because of their smaller size, most people are either not interested or make the mistake of thinking Alliant must not be a relevant player in the financial market. Although they don’t have the size and scope of the big banks, they do have all the financial options and services.

Things you can do with Alliant Credit Union:

Part of the reason Alliant Credit Union is not as well known as banks like Chase, Wells Fargo, etc., is because they don’t spend much money on advertising. Because of this, many people don’t realize that Alliant has a full-service branch that’s located conveniently near the Chicago Loop. Their branch’s exposure to the public is greater than their “metropolitan” branches, so they have more people who are on the main street. These branches are important because convenience is a key priority for many people when it comes to choosing a bank.

Investing

Credit unions are democratic financial institutions owned by their members. Before 1970, credit unions were mainly found in Europe, where more than five-sixths of the world’s 4,000 worldwide credit unions still operate today.

American credit unions were first established in 1908 in Manchester, New Hampshire. In the 1930s, they reached the height of popularity and influenced the construction of the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934.

Today, debit cards have replaced credit cards in the everyday economy. But credit unions are still, by far, the most popular alternative to the large, distant banks. With a credit union, your money stays local and stays financially strong. Due to the cooperative structure and financial size, credit unions provide low rates to consumers and competitive rates to business owners.

Joining Alliant Credit Union

Sign up for membership at the Alliant CU Member Center and use your social security number.

Make sure you have necessary documentation, like proof of address or proof of identity.

Areas where Alliant Falls Behind

Alliant is a pretty typical bank. When compared to Ally or Discover, it covers the basics well enough but lacks some of the perks they bring to the table.

The interest rate is the only big drawback, and it’s actually very understandable. This is a great high interest savings account for people with cash to spare or for very young savers who’ll have an opportunity to put their savings to work for them. The rate is actually very similar to competitors in the online savings world.

Aside from the rather low interest rates, Alliant isn’t particularly weak in any other area. Alliant has decent terms, mobile banking, and a slew of online services that are easy to use. You usually don’t have to worry about the details and coverage is pretty average. It’s a safe bank to put your money into if you don’t want to jump onto the more complicated online saving sites.

My Final Verdict

Disclaimer: This blog post is an editorial, written for use with our Alliant credit card review. We did not receive compensation for writing it, however we are a member of the Alliant Credit Union and receive a portion of the proceeds from people who do business with Alliant using our links. This is all disclosed in the Blog post.

We recently opened an Alliant credit card. It was our first experience with a credit card like this (a card where the deposit of money you need to put in to use the credit card is at all times held at the credit union) and we were a little concerned about the experience.

The good news is that the whole process was an amazing experience that we plan to repeat many times. The process couldn’t have gone more smoothly.

I apologize for the late review. Things have been getting hectic with the holidays and extra credit card applications.