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Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage review

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The country’s largest credit union offers strong benefits for the military, but approvals can be slow

finder.com’s rating: 3.6 / 5.0

★★★★★

If you’re in the military now or have been in the past, Navy Federal could be a strong option to consider for your home loan needs. It offers a wide array of products and mortgages with 0% down and no PMI. Getting these benefits can take time though, and some say the approval process can be slow.

Details

Loan products offeredConventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, HELOC, Refinance
Minimum credit scoreConventional: 620
Other loans: 580 or higher, depending on the loan type
Minimum down payment0%
State availabilityAvailable in all states
NMLS #399807

Navy Federal Credit Union Requirements

You must be a member to apply for a mortgage with this bank. Navy Federal Credit Union membership is open to:

  • Active duty, retired and veterans of the military
  • Military families, including parents, grandparents, spouses, siblings, children and grandchildren
  • Department of Defense civilians, including retirees

Eligible applicants must meet standard mortgage requirements that include a low debt-to-income ratio and steady employment.
Other requirements include:

  • Navy Federal Credit Union member
  • Credit score of 580 or higher, depending on loan type; 740 or higher for strongest rates

Documentation

When applying for a loan, you’ll submit standard personal and financial details:

  • Date of birth and Social Security number
  • Navy Federal Share Savings account number
  • Two-year address history
  • Two-year work history
  • Gross monthly and other income
  • Deposit accounts and asset information
  • Current tax, homeowners/condo dues, insurance and lien information

Costs and fees

Navy Federal doesn’t appear to charge the majority of fees other banks and lenders might.

You won’t pay a fee for underwriting, documents or applying for most loans. An exception is the 100% financing, 0% down “Choice” line of loans, which require a 1% origination fee and 1.75% funding fee. These fees are waived by agreeing to pay 0.25% more on the interest rate.

How to apply for a mortgage with Navy Federal Credit Union

You must first become a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union to apply online:

  1. Visit Navy Federal Credit Union’s website, hover over Loans & Credit Cards and select Mortgages.
  2. Choose your preferred product and select Apply Now.
  3. Log in to your NFCU account or follow the prompts to become a member.
  4. Input your personal and financial details, then confirm and submit your application.

What types of mortgages can I get through Navy Federal Credit Union?

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo
This company accepts mortgage refinance applications.

Other mortgage products offered by the Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal offers additional loans that members can take advantage of if they already own a home.

  • Refinancing. You may get a better rate or lower payments than your current mortgage through a new loan with Navy Federal.
  • Military Choice and Homeowners Choice loan programs. These are mortgage loans that require $0 down and allow you to finance the entire home purchase. If you’re a member and don’t have enough for a typical down payment, this may be a good option for you. Also, there is no PMI required on these types of loans, which is rare.
  • Second-home financing. Get special financing for a vacation property at least 50 miles from your current home.
  • Investment property loans. Add real estate to your current investment portfolio.

How Navy Federal Credit Union’s mortgage products compare to other lenders

NFCU offers a standard menu of mortgage products with a special focus on VA and other military loan programs. Members have access to loans that require no down payment and FreedomLock, a rate lock program that allows you to relock your interest rate for a lower rate if interest rates go down within 60 days of your initial rate lock.

This lender also offers a special program called HomeSquad to help you through the mortgage application process. HomeSquad allows you to upload all your loan documents, connect your bank accounts to verify your assets, track the status of your application and get updates when you hit milestones.

Compare mortgage lenders and brokers

Compare top brands by home loan type, state availability and credit score. Select See rates to provide the lender with basic property and financial details for personalized rates.
Name Product Loan products offered State availability Min. credit score
SoFi
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Connect with vetted home loan lenders quickly through this online marketplace.
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Navy Federal Credit Union reviews and complaints

Member reviews for Navy Federal are generally positive. The credit union has a 4.7-star rating from 621 reviews on Trustpilot as of October 2020, where most customers say they felt the company was empathetic and met their needs. Others say they received loans through Navy Federal that they wouldn’t have been approved for elsewhere.

NFCU has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has responded to 889 complaints in the last three years. But out of 116 customer reviews, the lender only scores 1.19 stars. Most negative reviews focus on poor customer service experiences and slow responses from the loan department.

Pros and cons of Navy Federal Credit Union

Pros

  • Select loans require 0% down and no PMI
  • Special benefits for qualifying military service members
  • Fewer fees on select mortgages than other companies
  • Rate match guarantee: If you find a better rate with another lender, Navy Federal will match it. If it can’t, it’ll give you $1,000 after you close with the competing lender.

Cons

  • Requires NFCU membership
  • Online complaints relate a long approval process and poor support

What is Navy Federal Credit Union?

Based in Vienna, Virginia, Navy Federal Credit Union began with seven members in 1933 and has since grown to serve more than 8 million members. It manages more than $100 billion in assets and is the largest credit union in the United States by number of members and size of assets.

Historical mortgage performance for Navy Federal

All numbers based on 2019 nationwide data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

Loan typeApplications deniedLoans originated$ Amount (originated loans)
Conventional29,81245,344$8,982,570,000
FHA1,1451,187$270,825,000
VA10,57535,399$10,525,605,000
USDA00$0

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Review by


Kelly Larson is a writer and editor at finder, where he currently spearheads the effort to make office sloths a thing. Prior to that all-important role, he led editorial newsrooms in the creation of award-winning content as a managing editor in the digital space.

Expert review

NFCU is good for service members, offering loans with low down payments and fewer fees than other lenders. However, don’t expect a quick turnaround — customers report long approval processes.

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