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Personal Loan Refinance

Borrow from places that want you to succeed, not get you stuck in debt

You need a personal loan but your credit score is low and you're worried everyone will say no, so you apply for a loan from an online lender with "guaranteed financing". Or maybe you took out a loan a few years ago from a finance company like One Main, Mariner, or Heights Finance1 and even though you've made all of your monthly payments, you never seem to owe any less. Sound familiar?

Finance companies and online lenders exist for one reason: to make as much money from their customers as possible. They promise fast and easy loans for anyone, but what they really do, is charge you thousands of additional dollars to borrow money at a higher interest rate than you deserve. If you have a loan with a predatory lender, they're not interested in helping you.

Afena Federal Credit Union is a different type of lender. Our mission is to help people improve their financial well-being. One of the ways we do that is by providing loans with lower interest rates to help you save money on interest payments. Many of our members have saved THOUSANDS of dollars in interest payments by refinancing their personal loans with Afena.

Personal Loan Refinance

  • We work with you even if you have a low credit score
  • We provide judgment-free financial coaching and promise to treat you like a person, not a credit score
  • We help you save thousands of dollars in interest by refinancing your high-interest loans and helping them consolidate debt
  • We say 'yes' when others say 'no'
  • We help you create a budget and get your finances on the right track

We see these situations all the time and understand how easy it is to get stuck in a predatory lending cycle. People are routinely paying 40% to 110% interest on their loans, costing them thousands of dollars just to borrow a much smaller amount of money and taking many years to pay it off.

If you feel stuck in a situation and you're falling behind financially, please talk to us. We can help you take control of your financial situation. Just use this form to provide some contact information so we can get in touch with you soon and discuss everything.


Member Testimonials

These are real stories from members who came to Afena to get rid of their predatory loans, turning their finances and lives around by refinancing.
When “Ginny” first contacted Afena Federal Credit Union to inquire about a Bridge the Gap loan, she knew it wouldn’t be enough to fix the financial mess she was in, but she was hoping it might buy her enough time to find a miracle. At the time, she was staring up from the bottom end of a grief spiral, out of options and desperate to avoid filing bankruptcy.

It wasn’t always like that. Her husband was good with money and for years he’d taken care of their finances, saving money and paying bills. When he passed away three years ago, Ginny was devastated. Suddenly alone, she was consumed with grief and overwhelmed by responsibilities.

After paying off their home, Ginny was desperate to find a way to numb the pain...Her anesthetic of choice? Spending money. “I just went a little crazy and was spending money on just anything to get my mind off of everything. I traveled, I went to casinos,” she says. Her voice hangs heavy with regret. “And then I just got myself in so deep that I couldn’t get out. And the two places where I banked at the time wouldn’t help me.”

To finance her lifestyle, Ginny had taken out loans with finance companies and had racked up debt on several credit cards. When she finally “snapped out of it,” she found herself $48,000 in debt. As the bills came due, Ginny realized just how much trouble she was in. She says her finances reached a point where she was spending $1,600 a month just making the minimum monthly payments on her loans and credit cards.

“I was making my payments, but there at the end I was borrowing off my charge cards and stuff to make my payments,” she says, explaining; “I was almost to the point where I had borrowed off of everything that I had. In the next few months, I wasn’t gonna be able to make the payments because I had borrowed so much.”

Although she didn’t know how, Ginny was desperate to find a way to deal with the situation without filing bankruptcy. She says, “I really didn’t want to file bankruptcy. I mean, I could have easily, but I didn’t want to do that. I was brought up, you pay your bills...But I was almost to that point until Afena helped me.”

For Ginny, connecting with Afena Federal Credit Union turned out to be just the miracle for which she’d been looking. She started working with Sherry Dixon, a loan officer at Afena’s South branch, who was moved by her story. While it wasn’t easy, Sherry was able to do what Afena does best, get creative with lending solutions and find a way to help.

Of working with Sherry, Ginny says the process was very easy, and that she especially appreciated how considerate Sherry was of her feelings. “Oh, she was just wonderful. She made it easy for me to pay everything off and really took care of everything.” Ultimately, Afena was able to consolidate all of Ginny’s debt which lowered her monthly payments by $906 month.

“I just can’t express how much you guys have helped me. I don’t have much family and I didn’t have anywhere to go except file bankruptcy,” she says, her voice wavering. “It was my fault that I got in that trouble. I needed to get myself out of it, but I didn’t know how. Afena gave me the ability to do that, and it makes me feel good about myself.”
When L.A. (pseudonym) finally took his daughter’s advice and joined Afena Federal Credit Union in April earlier this year, he wasn’t expecting much. L.A. and his wife live in Wisconsin, where he’d been a member of a credit union for 26 years.

Shortly after refinancing his auto loan, L.A. received a call from Tiffany Burdette, Branch Manager of Afena North. The credit union had reviewed his credit report as part of a loan committee meeting, and Tiffany was curious if he would be interested in seeing if Afena could help refinance some of his high-interest debt. L.A. was interested but cautious. “I figured no one’s going to lend money to us,” he explained. He was also surprised; he’d asked his credit union in Wisconsin for help consolidating his debt and had been told no.

Most of his debt that he had when he joined Afena was from paying for cancer treatment and medicine. To get the money he needed, L.A. used credit cards and took out personal loans at One Main Financial three other finance companies. At the time, it seemed like a fast convenient alternative to borrowing from his credit union in Wisconsin.

He credits Afena with opening his eyes to how much money he was wasting by borrowing from finance companies that loan money to customers at a higher interest rates than they actually deserve. Early on, L.A. was asked to find out what the interest rates were on his finance company loans and call back to let Tiffany know. He was shocked at what he learned. “I was paying $190 a month and one loan. But the interest rate was 108%. So actually, I was only paying $82 towards principle.”

Thanks to Afena, L.A. was able to consolidate all almost of his debt into a single $36,000 loan, which saved him money and substantially improved his financial situation. “When they offered me the loan, I was able to pay off everybody except One Main. I still pay them $322 a month. But now I have $1,400 extra dollars in my bank account every month. That’s how much money I saved refinancing my debt with Afena.”

L.A. credits Afena, especially Tiffany, for going above and beyond to help him get into a better financial position.“We decided to come down to meet Tiffany in person to sign the papers, and that’s exactly what we did. And believe me, it really made us a lot better financially. I belonged to a credit union for 26 years here in Wisconsin and they couldn’t help us at all. But Afena took a chance on us, and of course, we’re not going to let them down.”

Despite living in Wisconsin, he is eligible for membership because he has an immediate family member who is a member of Afena...a benefit of which he plans to take full advantage. “You guys are going to be there for us until the day I die.”

Candace didn’t mean to get trapped in a predatory cycle of high-interest debt. But when the single mother of three young children got behind on her bills, she found herself in a hole that she couldn’t get out of on her own. Her credit score was too low to qualify for a loan from most traditional lenders, so she went online and found a payday lender that approved her for a personal loan.

“The financing charges were through the roof, but I felt like I had no other choice to get the money for the bills I needed to pay,” Candace says. Ultimately, she took out two loans from different online loan companies, one for $600 and one for $1,000. “At the time I was thinking, ‘Okay, I just need to get this bill paid so we have lights,’ and the second time was, ‘I need to get this rent paid so we have somewhere to live.’ I had to prioritize paying my bills, and I thought, ‘It’s okay. I’ll pay this off later.’ But it got too overwhelming for me to maintain everything after getting those loans,” she recalls.

Candace quickly found herself stuck in a cycle of crippling predatory debt. The money she borrowed had come from online payday lenders that prey on the desperation of low-credit borrowers like her. They offer small dollar loans at exorbitant interest rates to almost any borrower, as long as they authorize automatic payments to be withdrawn directly from their bank account each week on payday.

In Candace’s case, she was paying 706% interest on her $600 loan and 730.10% interest on her $1,000 loan. Though she had only borrowed $1,600 total, her payments were costing her $265 a week ($1,060 a month)! With so much being taken out of her weekly paycheck, she found herself continually struggling to get caught up and pay her monthly bills. Soon, just to make it from week to week, she started using payday apps that charge users $15-$20 in fees in exchange for partial paycheck advances.

It was all too much. “I was very very stressed out. I couldn’t maintain my bills and my loan payments without my kids having to suffer. For them to not be able to play sports because I couldn’t afford it was not okay with me.” Finally, Candace came to Afena for help. “I wanted to do a budgeting plan, and I thought, ‘It’s a bank. They know how to manage money, maybe they can help me set up a budget,’” she says.

Candace met with branch manager Kati Pogue, who helped consolidate her debt and even borrow a little extra so that she had a cushion for the future. Not only that, but Kati worked with her to set a budget. “Kati consolidated my debt, which I was grateful for, and she helped me set a budget and create a way to keep track of things. Now, I have different accounts set up so that each week some amount of money from my check just goes directly into those accounts to make sure I have enough to cover my bills each month. And, it’s something I can stick to, because I still have a little money left for the month outside of my bills. So if the kids need something extra, I can get it,” Candace says.

Of her experience with Afena, Candace is definitive; “They are more financially supportive than any other banking institution I’ve ever used. Kati was so understanding. She didn’t look at me like, ‘Oh my God why would you do that?’ She didn’t judge me. Going into other places, people are looking at you like you did something wrong, like it’s your fault, and they judge. They wouldn’t offer the help that Afena’s offered. Afena is like, it’s okay, you can do this, and we’re going to help you get through this and get back on track.”

Nikita had a member come in to refinance an auto loan with Afena. While looking at their credit report, she noticed several high interest loans with local finance companies. Nikita was able to move all their loans and the auto loan to Afena saving them $405 a MONTH by lowering their interest rates from as high as 37% as low as 4.99%!! Good eye, Nikita!

Tiffany had a member come in that had several credit cards and loans from finance companies all with high interest rates, paying a total of $1,520.79 a month! She was able to get their rate down to 10.95% and combine everything they owed into a personal loan with a monthly payment of $780.81 a month. Our member is now SAVING $740 A MONTH!!

Afena Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution headquartered in Marion, IN that serves Grant, Wabash, Blackford, Jay, and Wells counties.

1. Afena Federal Credit Union is not affiliated with, or acting on behalf of, One Main Financial, Mariner Finance, or Heights Financial. 2) All loans subject to underwriting guidelines.
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We're not like the other banks...

And that's not just because we're a credit union! You can always count on us to listen, not judge and treat you like a person, not a credit score.

Learn more about the Afena Difference