Personal Loans

Personal Loans in Austin, Texas

University Federal Credit Union Velocity Credit Union Frost Bank
APR 11.90% to 17.90% As low as 9.49% 10.00% to 15.50%
Borrowing limits Not specified $500 to $40,000 $2,000 and up
Terms Up to 60 months Up to 60 months 36 months
Origination fee None None None
Minimum credit requirement Poor/no credit Not specified Not specified

University Federal Credit Union

If you’re looking for personal loans in Austin, Texas, one option to consider is University Federal Credit Union (UFCU).  Headquartered in Austin, UFCU is the city’s largest locally owned financial institution, with over 100 financial centers and shared branches.

What makes the UFCU stand out from the other lenders on this list is its willingness to work with borrowers with poor credit or no credit history at all. While you’ll pay a higher interest rate on a personal loan if you have bad or no credit, finding a lender that will approve you for a loan at least gives you the option.

UFCU personal loans are unsecured, so you don’t need to put down property as collateral. You can use your money to pay for a one-time expense, such as a medical bill or car repair, and you’ll have up to 60 months to repay it. The loans have no origination fees or prepayment penalties, which will save you money on the loan.

However, there are two fees that you should know about:

  • Late fee: If you miss a payment, you’ll be charged 25% of the interest due ($5 minimum charge).
  • Skip a Pay fee: If you want to skip a payment, you can do so. However, UFCU will charge you a $25 fee.

How to qualify

UFCU is a credit union, so its personal loans are only available to credit union members. However, becoming a UFCU member is easier than joining many other credit unions.

To join, you must:

  • Be employed by a company within its membership, be enrolled in a partnering school, belong to a membership organization or be the immediate family member of a UFCU member.
  • Alternatively, join The University of Texas Longhorn Foundation and make a one-time $20 donation to The University of Texas, which makes you instantly eligible to join.

When you apply for a loan, UFCU will ask for your Social Security number and date of birth to confirm your identity, and it will perform a hard credit inquiry. UFCU does not state how long approval and time to finding, if approved, typically takes.

Velocity Credit Union

Based in Austin, Velocity Credit Union serves over 88,000 members. It operates six branches, but also has shared branches and ATMs throughout the Austin area.

Compared with the other lenders on this list, Velocity Credit Union has a low loan minimum. While other lenders require you to borrow thousands, Velocity’s minimum is just $500. Though this means it won’t be a match for those who need to borrow larger amounts, the lower minimum can prevent you from ending up in more debt, since you can take out only what you need.

If you use Velocity Credit Union for your other banking needs — such as setting up direct deposit into a checking account or setting aside money in a savings or money market account — you can qualify for up to 0.50% in member rewards discounts.

There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties, which will decrease your overall cost of borrowing. If you are 15 days late with a payment, you will be charged a late fee of 5% of your monthly payment amount.

How to qualify

Like UFCU, Velocity Credit Union is a credit union and its personal loans are limited to its members. To join, you must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Live or work within a 10-mile radius of any Velocity branch or ATM
  • Live or work in Travis, Williamson, Hays, Bastrop or Caldwell counties
  • Be related to a current Velocity Credit Union member
  • Work for or belong to a sponsoring employer or organizationfill

You do have to enter your Social Security number and date of birth to apply for a loan. Like UFCU, Velocity Credit Union does not publicly disclose the typical time to approval and funding, if approved.

Frost Bank

Unlike UFCU and Velocity Credit Union, Frost Bank is not a nonprofit credit union. Instead, it’s a traditional bank. It is based in San Antonio, but it operates five branches within Austin.  When you’re shopping around for personal loan companies in Austin, it’s a good idea to look at both banks and credit unions to get an idea of what rates lenders are listing.

Frost Bank offers personal loans of $2,000 and up, with repayment terms as long as 36 months. That’s much shorter than the other lenders offer, as both UFCU and Velocity Credit Union offer loan terms as long as 60 months. With a shorter loan term, you’ll have higher monthly payments. However, you’ll likely pay less in interest charges over the life of your loan.

With Frost Bank personal loans, there are no application fees, annual fees or prepayment penalties associated with the bank’s loans. And, there’s no need to make a donation or pay a fee to join the bank.

If you have a Frost Bank savings or checking account and sign up for automatic payments, you can qualify for a 0.25% interest rate discount. You can reduce your interest rate even more by opting for a secured loan. If you have a CD, money market, savings, stocks, bonds, brokerage, annuities or trust accounts with Frost Bank, you can use that account as collateral and take out a loan. By doing so, you can qualify for a lower interest rate on the loan. If you fall behind on your payments, however, you risk your investment, but that trade-off may be worth it to save money on interest charges.

How to qualify

To qualify for a personal loan from Frost Bank, you can apply in person at one of its branches. The bank has several branches in Austin, including downtown and in East Austin, Tarrytown, Rosedale and Mueller. You can also apply for a personal loan with Frost Bank over the phone, by calling 866-376-7889. You cannot complete the application process online, though.

To apply for a personal loan, you’ll need to provide the following information and documentation:

  • A government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license
  • Your Social Security number

Frost Bank doesn’t specify if it has any age or citizenship restrictions for its loans. According to the bank, you can apply in just 15 minutes, and receive a decision in as little as two to four hours.

Explore lenders with LendingTree

Whether you need to pay for an unexpected veterinary bill or want to consolidate high-interest credit card debt, make sure you shop around with multiple lenders before submitting a loan application to see your best rates. With LendingTree, you may be able to get personalized rates from our partner lenders so you can find the best lender for you.

Note that qualification is not guaranteed and depends on your credit health.

Requirements for personal loans in Austin, Texas

Texas has limited laws on personal loans in the state. Interest rates on personal loans are generally capped at 30%. However, deferred presentment loans — often known as payday loans — are not subject to that cap. Typical interest rates on payday loans range from 152% to 309%.

City of Austin requirements

There are additional rules that apply to businesses that operate in the city of Austin, especially for payday and title loan lenders. Some key things to know include:

  • Loan limits for payday loans: Payday loans cannot exceed 20% of the consumer’s gross monthly income. For example, if you earn $2,000 per month, you can’t take out a payday loan for more than $400.
  • Loan limits for title loans: Auto title loans cannot exceed 3% of the consumer’s annual income or 70% of the retail value of the vehicle, whichever is less. For example, if your annual income is $25,000 and the retail value of your car is $5,000, the maximum you can borrow with a title loan is $750.
  • Renewal limits: Single lump-sum payment loans — like payday loans — cannot be refinanced or renewed more than three times.

If you are encountering any issues with a lender, you can submit a complaint by calling 3-1-1 or filling out a form online.

How to choose a personal loan in Austin, Texas

Personal loans provide flexible financing when you need it most. You can use medical loans for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Medical expenses: If you just got out of the ER and are facing serious medical bills, a personal loan can help you cover the deductible or your out-of-pocket costs.
  • Car repairs: The commute in Austin is notoriously terrible. If you were rear-ended while traffic was gridlocked on IH-35, you can use a personal loan to pay for your car repair so you can get to work.
  • Home renovations: The housing market in Austin is booming. If you managed to find a steal in the growing neighborhoods of South Lamar or Cherrywood, a personal loan can help you cover the costs of your home repairs and renovations.

If you’re shopping for personal loans, Austin has a lot of options from both banks and credit unions. When comparing loans, keep the following factors in mind:

  • APR: Your APR will affect how much interest will accrue on your loan. A lower APR will help you save money over time.
  • Loan terms: The length of your loan term will impact how affordable your loan payment will be. While a longer loan term may lower your monthly payments, it will also cause you to pay back more in interest over the life of the loan.
  • Fees: Some lenders charge added fees, such as origination fees and late fees, which can increase your total cost of borrowing.

How to find bad credit personal loans in Austin, Texas

If you have poor credit, finding loans in Austin can be more challenging. While UFCU is willing to work with borrowers with poor credit or no credit, not all lenders will.

There are alternative loan companies in Austin that work with applicants with bad credit, but they will charge you much higher interest rates and fees. You should only consider these lenders if you’ve exhausted all other financing options first, including asking friends and family for help, selling unused items you may have in your home and asking your employer for a cash advance.

Personal loans in Austin, Texas: FAQ

What are some options for online loans in Austin, Texas?

Many credit unions and banks in Austin allow you to apply for personal loans online. For example, both UFCU and Velocity Credit Union accept online personal loan applications. If you find a lender that offers competitive rates, check its website to see if it allows applicants to submit their information online.

Where can I find a payday loan in Austin, Texas?

If at all possible, avoid taking out a payday loan. They have sky-high interest rates and fees, and they can worsen your financial situation by pushing you into a debt cycle. But if you’re facing a real emergency and have no other option, read customer reviews to compare lenders.

Can I find no-credit-check payday loans in Austin, Texas?

Yes, there are some lenders that offer no-credit-check payday loans in Austin. However, these lenders charge extremely high interest rates and fees, and should be avoided if at all possible.

What are other options if I’m looking for quick money in Austin, Texas?

If you need money quickly, another option is an online emergency loan. This is essentially a personal loan for unexpected expenses that require fast funding. In many cases, you could get the money you need for an emergency root canal, car repair or veterinary bill in just one day.

How can I find a list of banks in Austin, Texas?

To find Austin-area banks, use the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) BankFind tool. It’s a searchable database of FDIC-insured banks, meaning that deposits are insured up to the legal limit per person at those banks are backed by the FDIC.

How can I find a list of credit unions in Austin, Texas?

To find credit unions in Austin, use the National Credit Union Association’s locator tool. It will tell you what credit unions are near you, and if there is an ATM nearby as well.

Methodology

To select personal loan lenders for this roundup, we used Google Maps to search for “personal loan lenders” with local branches in Austin, in March 2020. We then researched the first 20 unique lenders that appeared in our results, and selected three lenders to feature based on 1) lowest minimum APR, 2) lowest maximum APR, 3) lowest origination fee, 4) widest range of borrowing limits and 5) widest range of term length. Lenders that did not offer information on at least three of the five factors listed above were not considered.

 

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