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Student Loans

Union Federal Student Loan Review

Updated Apr 26, 2023   |   5 mins read

Key Points:

  • A private student loan with customizable terms and repayment plans
  • Several interest rate discounts available
  • No application, origination, or late payment fees

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Editorial Rating

Editorial Rating

What we like:

Customizable loan terms and repayment options

Rates (APR)1.25%10.74%
Loan amounts$1,000$99,999
Term lengths7, 10, or 15 years
See how Union Federal compares to other private student loans

The Union Federal student loan is a customizable loan with several different term lengths and repayment plan options. There are no fees to apply.

Learn more about the Union Federal student loan, which is funded by Citizens Bank, below.

In this review:

Union Federal Loan details

Union Federal Student Loan
Who’s eligible?Must be 17 and enrolled at least half-time in a degree-issuing program
Not available in Arizona, Iowa, or Wisconsin
Variable rates (APR)1.25% to 9.73%
Fixed rates (APR)4.26% to 10.74%
Rate discounts0.25% with autopay1
0.25% with 36 on-time payments2
Loan amounts$1,000 to $99,999 annually; $180,000 aggregate
Term lengths7, 10, or 15 years
In-school repayment optionsImmediate, flat-fee payment, interest-only, deferred
Cosigner releaseYes, after 36 on-time payments
Grace period6 months

Pros and cons


  • Several interest rate discounts available
  • Several in-school repayment options
  • Both variable and fixed interest rates available
  • No fees


  • Only three term lengths available
  • Longer cosigner release period than other lenders (College Ave only requires 24 on-time payments)
  • Not available in all 50 states

How to apply for the Union Federal Loan

To fill out the prequalification application, you’ll need a few things on hand. You should have your Social Security number, your school’s cost of attendance, expected graduation date, and income information for both you and your cosigner.

Once you’ve gathered all that, here’s how you’ll proceed:

  • Visit the website and click the “PREQUALIFY IN MINUTES” button.
  • Fill in the school-related information on the first tab. Then click “Next Step.”
  • You’ll next need to provide some personal information, including your address, Social Security number, and date of birth. Click “Next Step” when you’re done.
  • Enter in your cosigner’s information. You might want your cosigner on hand when filling out this part. Hit “Next Step” again once you’ve filled it out.
  • Finally, you’ll get your loan decision. If your prequalification is approved, you can move forward and start customizing your loan options and repayment plan.
  • Once you’ve customized your loan, Union Federal will work with your school for certification. Once received, your loan will be funded.

Repayment options

Union Federal offers four different in-school repayment options: immediate, interest-only, flat payment, and full deferment.

Here’s how each of those works:

  • Immediate: This means you’ll make a monthly payment toward both your interest and principal balance. It comes with higher payments, but it means paying the least in interest over the long haul.
  • Interest-only: With this option, you’ll pay only the interest owed on your loan each month. While it won’t reduce your overall balance, it will reduce the amount of interest you pay in total.
  • Flat payment: This lets you make a small, fixed payment every month. It won’t do much to reduce your balance, but it will mean less paid in interest than a full deferment (below).
  • Full deferment: On this plan, you won’t make any monthly payments while in school and until six months after you’ve left or graduated. This plan is the highest-cost option and results in the most interest paid in the long run.

Do I need to include a cosigner on my loan?

Adding a cosigner to your loan can be a smart move. According to Union Federal itself, a cosigner makes it four times more likely your application will be approved. Depending on the cosigner’s credit, it could mean qualifying for a better interest rate, too.

Cosigners can be released from your loan after you’ve made at least 36 on-time monthly payments.

Where to find Union Federal alternatives

The Union Federal student loan has competitive features, but it’s not your only option. If you’re looking to finance your college costs, make sure you shop around and consider other student loan companies. Rates and terms can vary widely, and shopping around can ensure you get the best deal possible.

Need help getting started? Check out our guides to the Best Private Student Loans and the Best Graduate Student Loans.

Ready to apply for the Union Federal Student Loan? Visit its website.

Rates (APR)


Loan amounts




1Earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction for making automatic payments of principal and interest from a bank account (“auto pay discount”) by completing the direct debit form provided by the Servicer. The auto pay discount will be applied after the Servicer validates your bank account information and will continue until (1) three automatic deductions are returned for insufficient funds during the life of the loan (after which the discount cannot be reinstated) or (2) automatic deduction of payments is canceled. The auto pay discount is not available when reduced payments are being made or when the loan is in a deferment or forbearance, even if payments are being made.

2The 0.25% interest rate reduction will automatically be applied if the first 36 consecutive monthly payments during the repayment term are received by the Servicer within 10 calendar days after their due date. Payments made prior to the start of the repayment term do not count toward the number of required monthly payments.

3In order to provide you with a range of rates you prequalify for, Citizens will perform a soft credit inquiry, as authorized by you. Soft credit inquiries do not affect your credit score. If you prequalify, the rates and loan options offered to you are estimates only.  Once you choose your loan options and submit your application, Citizens will perform a hard credit inquiry. Loan approval, options, and final rates depend on the verification of information provided on your application, and information obtained from the hard credit inquiry (and any cosigner’s hard credit inquiry).