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Loans FAQs

Applying for a loan

No, there is no fee to apply for most UNFCU loans.

All UNFCU loans are in US dollars (USD).

Unsecured loan rates are determined based on a number of risk factors, such as the stability of the currency you earn. These factors are important considerations because they can directly affect your ability to repay your loan. All loans are funded by member deposits, so it is our top priority to protect their money. 

Factors that help determine a member's rate include: 

  • Length of employment 
  • Income 
  • Existing loans 
  • Other expenses 
  • Loan payment history 
  • Length of UNFCU membership 
  • Country of employment 
  • Currency of income 
  • Term of the loan

For unsecured loans and secured auto loans, the term of your loan is one of several factors that determine the rate. The term of the loan does not impact the rate for a secured with deposit loan. For lines of credit, including credit cards, term is not applicable. 

You can select your term as part of the application process. Loans with shorter terms usually have lower interest costs but higher monthly payments than loans with longer terms. Term options range from six to 180 months, depending on the loan. The loan officer who reviews your application may contact you to discuss a different term than the one you selected. This will be based on our assessment of how much you can afford to pay each month.

The rate for your loan may differ from the rates offered by local lenders due to a number of factors. One factor could be if you are choosing between an unsecured and a secured loan. For example, UNFCU international home loans are unsecured loans, meaning that you do not have to provide an asset as collateral. A local lender may offer a secured loan where the home you purchase serves as collateral. When a home is used as collateral, it can be taken by the lender if payments are not made. Secured loans tend to have lower rates than unsecured loans for this reason.

The specific reason will be cited in the loan application status and loan declination notice that we send. View top reasons a loan or credit card application may be declined.

Please contact us as soon as possible to inform us of your future plans. If you receive a final entitlement, we may apply the full amount or a portion of it to cover the amount you owe. We will discuss your options with you.

We offer Credit Disability Debt Protection. If you become disabled and lose your income, you can continue making your UNFCU loan and credit card payments. 

To receive this protection, the primary borrower must enroll for it. A fee of $0.15 per $100 will then be added to the outstanding loan balance. For example, if at the end of the month your loan balance is $5,000, a $7.50 fee will be added. 

The application is quick and a physical exam is not required. Call or visit us in person to enroll. 

Except for mortgages and home equity loans, all other UNFCU loans and credit cards include Credit Life Protection coverage. In the unfortunate event of your passing, UNFCU will cover up to: 

  • $55,000 of your loan balance 
  • $20,000 of your credit card balance

The primary credit cardholder and the member whose signature appears first on the loan promissory note are automatically enrolled. This coverage is free. 

If your signature is first on multiple loan promissory notes, the $55,000 limit will be applied across all your loans. To receive this coverage, you must be under the age of 70 on the day your loan is approved. Coverage will stop once you reach the age of 70. 

For more information, view our Membership & Accounts Agreement (PDF).

You should lift the freeze before you apply for a loan.

You must be a UNFCU member to apply for a UNFCU loan.

Choosing the right loan

Use our online loan application in Digital Banking. There is no fee to apply. You can also speak with a member service representative

The right loan for you depends on where you plan to purchase property. Each loan has its own eligibility requirements. 

If you are a UN employee or retiree looking to purchase property outside the US, explore our international home loans

For homes in Kenya and Uganda, we offer US dollar denominated Kenya mortgages and Uganda mortgages

If you are planning to purchase a home in the United States, we offer a variety of US mortgages

Unsecured loans are not backed by collateral. This means there is no asset for the lender to claim if the borrower is unable to pay back the loan. Our unsecured personal loan is an example of an unsecured loan.

A secured loan requires an asset as collateral. For example, a mortgage is a secured loan. The home being purchased is used as collateral to secure the mortgage. In the event the home buyer is unable to repay the mortgage, the lender can claim the property.

A fixed rate does not change over the life of the loan. 

Our variable rate is fixed for the first six months of your loan. After this introductory period, we will calculate your interest rate each month. The introductory period for adjustable rate and variable rate mortgages may be different.

To calculate your rate, we add a margin to the prime rate published in The Wall Street Journal. This is the guiding rate typically used by lenders. It can fluctuate. The margin we add for each loan is listed on the Loans tab of our Rates page

Though your rate may change each month, your monthly payment amount will stay the same for most UNFCU loans. If your rate decreases, you will repay your loan sooner. If it increases, you will make monthly payments for a longer period of time. Unless your loan is a US mortgage, it will not extend past 15 years, at which time any remaining principal and interest will be due. 

A credit line is a loan that allows revolving payments. This means that each time you repay a borrowed amount, you replenish the total amount from which you can borrow. You only pay interest on the amount you borrow. 

For example, assume you have a credit line of $5,000, and you borrow $2,000:

Your total credit line $5,000
You borrow $2,000 (you pay interest on only this amount)
You may still borrow up to $3,000

If you pay back $1,500 of the $2,000 you borrowed, you may borrow up to $4,500 from your $5,000 credit line:

Your total credit line $5,000
You borrowed $2,000
You paid back $1,500
Amount that you still owe $500 (plus interest)
You may borrow up to $4,500

These loans are a hybrid model. During the first two years of the loans, you can borrow up to your approved loan amount in any increment. You only pay interest on the amount you borrow. These characteristics are similar to a credit line. Unlike the other credit lines we offer, the amount you may borrow is not replenished with each payment.

Loan eligibility

To qualify for any UNFCU loan you must be 18 years or older and have all of your accounts in good standing. A member is not in good standing if any of the following are true: 

  • The member does not have a fully funded Membership Share. 
  • The member has exceeded the limits of their credit card or line of credit. 
  • In the last 12 months, the member has made: 
    • More than one late payment for a single loan or credit card, or; 
    • More than two late payments across all of their loans and credit cards. 
  • In the last 12 months, due to insufficient funds, the member has had: 
    • More than one returned payment for a single deposit account, or; 
    • More than two returned payments across all of their deposit accounts. 

Loans secured with deposits are available to UNFCU members who have more than $500 across their UNFCU deposit accounts. UNFCU deposit accounts that can be used to secure this loan are savings and share certificate accounts. Members can borrow at least 100% of the available balance in these accounts.  

For unsecured loans, eligibility is dependent on a number of factors. These can include the member's: 

  • UN contract type 
  • Length of employment 
  • Income 
  • Existing loans 
  • Other expenses 
  • Loan payment history 
  • Length of UNFCU membership 
  • Country of employment 
  • Currency of income 

There are additional requirements for members who joined via UNA-USA or KI USA to qualify for an unsecured loan or line of credit: 

  • Members who joined via UNA-USA or KI USA must be a member for 12 months and have never borrowed from UNFCU. 
  • UNA-USA or KI USA members with a UNFCU mortgage may qualify for a reduced time requirement on unsecured loans or lines of credit. 

Members who joined UNFCU via UNA-USA or KI USA can apply for US mortgages right away. They can apply for other loans after 12 months of UNFCU membership.

All UNFCU loans are in US dollars. If the currency you earn drops in value against the US dollar, this could create hardships for you. You would then need to use more of your income to pay off your UNFCU loan. This could make it more difficult to cover your other expenses. 

Imagine this scenario as an example: 

Your loan payment amount each month is $1,000. At the time you received the loan, you needed 10,000 units in your local currency to make the $1,000 payment. Local economic conditions cause a drop in the value of your currency. Suddenly, you need 50,000 units to make the same $1,000 payment. How will you afford your other monthly expenses? 

As a credit union, it is our responsibility to help you avoid financial hardships.

The country in which you work can affect your source of income. For example, how easily could you find other employment if the UN leaves the country in which you work? Will another job pay the same salary as the UN? 

These factors can affect your ability to repay a loan. Since our loans are funded by members' deposits, we need to ensure our borrowing members can repay their loans. It is our responsibility to keep the savings of our membership secure.

Most members who earn income in a currency that does not fluctuate widely against the US dollar are eligible for UNFCU loans. These include: 

  • Retirees of the UN with a prior professional or field service contract, and their families 
  • UN staff with a current professional or field service contract, and their families 

UN General Service staff, National Professional Officers, UN Consultants, and their families may also be eligible. These professionals are typically paid in the currency local to the country in which they live and work. The UN may make an exception and pay US dollars if the local currency is very volatile. In such cases, the country in which the member lives will also be taken into account. 

View the list of income currencies and countries eligible for UNFCU loans.

Automobile loans

We would only hold a lien on your title if you have an outstanding auto loan with us. Once you repay the loan in full, the lien can be released. We will send you the required notices. You can then present them to your local department of motor vehicles along with a new title request.