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Navy Federal Credit Union home equity review

Military members can enjoy light fees and flexible borrowing limits — but approval times can be slow.

Navy Federal Credit Union is best for military members and their families looking for a home equity loan. You can borrow up to 100% of your home’s equity without origination fees or application fees. However, approval times can take up to 90 days during busy seasons.

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Details

Loan products offeredHELOC, Home equity loan
Minimum credit scoreNot stated
APR rangeHELOCs: 4.25% to 18%;
Home equity loan: Starting at 4.99%
Repayment termsHELOC: Draw: 20 years; Repayment: 20 years;
Home equity loan: 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-year
Loan limits$10,000 to $500,000
State availabilityNot available in: TX

Our take on Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union is the world’s largest credit union — built for military members and their families. It offers home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) with competitive interest rates and loans ranging from $10,000 to $500,000.

While most home equity financing lets you borrow 80% or 85% of your home’s equity, Navy Federal’s limit allows you to borrow up to 100% of your home’s equity in some cases.

All its loans have no origination fees or application fees. And if you open a HELOC, you don’t have to worry about paying annual or inactivity fees either.

That said, you’ll need to join Navy Federal if you’re not currently a member. And the application process involves setting up a savings account, which could be annoying if you don’t need another bank account.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Can borrow up to 95% or 100% of your home’s equity, which is higher than usual
  • No application, origination or annual fees
  • Competitive interest rates

Cons

  • An automatic 1% interest rate increase applies to all equity loans less than $25,000
  • HELOCs aren’t available in Texas
  • Must be affiliated with the military to join

What home equity products does Navy Federal Credit Union offer?

Navy Federal Credit Union offers two types of home equity financing:

  • Fixed-rate home equity loans. Borrow up to 100% of your home’s equity and pay it back over a five to 20-year term. Has a fixed monthly payment that never changes.
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). Get a variable-rate line of credit worth up to 95% of your home’s equity and pull from it as needed. Has a 20-year draw period followed by a 20-year repayment period.

Requirements are standard

Like most credit unions, you must be a Navy Federal member to apply for home equity financing. Membership is open to:

  • Active duty members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard and Space Force
  • Those in the Delayed Entry Program
  • Department of Defense (DoD) Officer Candidate/ROTC
  • DoD Reservists
  • DoD civilian personnel
  • Veterans, retirees and annuitants
  • Military family members, including parents, grandparents, spouses, siblings, children, grandchildren and household members
  • Department of Defense civilians, including retirees and annuitants

To qualify for home equity financing, you need a steady income and equity built up in your home. Navy Federal doesn’t list credit score requirements on its site. While you typically need a score of 620 or higher to qualify for home equity financing, Navy Federal’s requirements may be more loose depending on how strong your application is.

Fees are lower than competitors

Navy Federal Credit Union ditches a lot of fees charged by other home equity lenders. For instance, you won’t pay a dime in origination fees, application fees, annual fees or inactivity fees.

Closing costs typically run anywhere from 2% to 5% of your loan amount but could be different at Navy Federal Credit Union. Its site doesn’t list specifics, but it says you can expect to pay $300 to $2,000 in closing costs on loans up to $250,000. For reference, $2,000 on a $250,000 loan is just 0.8%, which is cheaper than the competition.

Navy Federal Credit Union reviews are good

BBB rating Not rated
Trustpilot rating Excellent
Customer reviews verified as of 09 June 2022

Navy Federal Credit Union has a glowing 4.7 out of 5-star rating on Trustpilot based on over 10,000 reviews as of June 2022. In general, members love its quick online applications, competitive interest rates and responsive customer service.

There are only a handful of reviews about home equity financing. However, the biggest complaints were from those whose application was denied. Reviewers were frustrated that they had to open a savings account to apply for a HELOC, only to go through the hassle of closing it once their application was denied.

How to get home equity financing with Navy Federal Credit Union

It takes 30 to 45 days to close on a Navy Federal Credit Union equity loan. During busy times, it may take as long as 75 to 90 days. In general, you’ll follow these steps to apply for a HELOC or home equity loan:

  1. Navigate to the home equity loan you wish to open and click Apply Now.
  2. Sign in to your existing Navy Federal Credit Union account.
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete your application.

You’ll typically hear from a loan processor within a few days of submitting your application. However, it can sometimes take up to 19 business days if they’re busy. So don’t panic if you don’t hear something right away.

Documents you’ll need

  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Your home’s estimated value
  • Pay stubs
  • Navy Federal checking or savings account number
  • Tax documents
  • Debt obligations
  • The date your home was built
  • The date you purchased your home and the price you paid

Other home loans from Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union has five home loan options available to members:

  • VA loans. Available to military members, veterans and their spouses, a VA loan requires 0% down and is backed by the Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Military Choice loans. This loan is designed for those who have maxed out their VA loan benefits and still need financing.
  • Conventional fixed-rate loan. Navy Federal’s conventional loans require 5% down and come in terms ranging from 10 to 30 years.
  • Homebuyers Choice loan. Qualified buyers may qualify for 0% down and interest rates as low as 6.125% with Navy Federal’s Homebuyers Choice loan.
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage. Comes in 10 to 30-year terms and requires 0% to 10% down, depending on your application.

Compare interest rates for home equity loans and HELOCs

Use our tool to get personalized estimated rates from top lenders based on your location and financial details. Select whether you’re looking for a Home Equity Loan, or a HELOC. Enter your ZIP code, credit score and information about your current home to see your personalized rates.

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