Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial co-op. Services include checking, loans, business services, and credit cards. Membership to Affinity Plus is available to people who are an employee or volunteer of certain organizations. These organizations include:
- State of Minnesota
- University of Minnesota Twin Cities
- A preferred partner company
- Any organization receiving funding from the state of Minnesota
There are other affiliations that can open the door to membership at Affinity, too. For example, attending certain colleges or universities in Minnesota or living in certain areas can provide you with the chance to join Affinity Plus.
The history of Affinity Plus dates back to 1930. The credit union was founded during the Great Depression by a group of Minnesota state employees. There are currently around 25 branches of this credit union, which has its headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota.
As well as standard financial and banking services, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union also offers private student loans to eligible members.
Affinity Plus Student Loans
Affinity Plus offers four different types of student loans. Select a student loan in the list below to jump to that section:
- Student Choice Private Loan
- Student Choice Graduate Business Loan
- Student Choice Student Loan Refinance
- Technology Loan
Student Choice Private Loan
The Student Choice Private Loan is one of the main options available from Affinity Plus. This loan includes the following terms, fees, and other features:
- Borrowers may be able to get funding of up to $75,000 based on the cost of tuition.
- Interest rates are variable.
- Repayment terms range from 20 to 25 years, based on the balance of the loan.
- Students don’t have to reapply every year; they can request funds after their initial approval.
With the Student Choice Private Loan, payments can be deferred for six months after graduation, and there aren’t any origination or administration fees. There is the option to reduce your interest rate by setting up automatic payments, and you can release your cosigner if you make 48 on-time payments. The current APR is as low as 5.61%, dependent upon the applicant’s credit history.
Student Choice Graduate Business Loan
The Student Choice Graduate Business Loan is for students who want to fund their education to get their master’s in business administration (MBA). Borrowers can get anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000 depending on the cost of tuition, and the rates for this loan are variable. Other things to know about this loan are:
- Repayment terms range from 20 to 25 years.
- There are no administration fees.
- Loan payments can be deferred for up to six months after graduation.
- The cosigner (if there is one) can be released after 48 on-time payments.
The lowest APR available on this loan is 6.61% and the maximum term available is up to 180 months.
Student Choice Student Loan Refinance
This private student loan refinancing option from Affinity allows borrowers to get anywhere from $5,000 up to $100,000 based on their total loan balance. Other key things to know about the Student Choice Student Loan Refinance option include:
- There are variable and fixed interest rate options.
- Repayment terms can be five, 10, or 15 years.
- There are no administration or origination fees.
- Borrowers can reduce their rate if they set up automatic payments.
The current rates include the following with refinancing from Affinity Plus:
- As low as 5.49% APR
- As high as 18.00% APR
The Technology Loan from Affinity Plus is different from the other student loans in this review. It’s a smaller loan that can be used to cover the cost of devices and software related to education. Features and things to know about the Technology Loan include:
- Borrowers can get up to $3,000, but this is based on the expenses they incur.
- Terms are available for up to 36 months.
- There aren’t any origination or administrative fees.
- Borrowers can reduce their interest rate by up to 2% each year if they have a “B” grade point average.
The APR on an Affinity Technology loan can be as low as 10.40%. Students have to provide documentation to justify the dollar amount they’re requesting for this type of student loan. They also have to be enrolled in a college or university program to be eligible.
Overall, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union has a very long history and they generally earn positive reviews from members. The terms, rates, and fees on Affinity Plus student loans are competitive with most other credit unions and, in some cases, are more favorable than what you might find at traditional banks.
However, the terms on Affinity student loans typically aren’t as favorable as what’s available with federal student loans. It’s usually better for students and their families to explore federal loan options before going with any private student loan, even if it’s from a credit union.
One of the more unique things available from Affinity Plus is its technology loan, which is something not a lot of other financial institutions offer. It’s especially distinctive since borrowers can save significantly on their interest rate if they maintain strong grades.
The primary downside of Affinity Plus is that if you don’t live in Minnesota, you’re not likely to be eligible for membership, meaning you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the company’s student loan options.
>> Read More: Check out a list of student loan companies