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Navy Federal Credit Union private student loans review
Attend an eligible school, make at least $15,000 a year, have at least 36 months of credit history,be enrolled at least half-time, maintain a 2.0 GPA, be the age of majority in your state, be a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union, US citizen or permanent resident
Anna Serio is a staff writer untangling everything you need to know about personal loans, including student, car and business loans. She spent five years living in Beirut, where she was a news editor for The Daily Star and hung out with a lot of cats. She loves to eat, travel and save money.
Need more funding than most private lenders offer? You might want to take a closer look at Navy Federal Credit Union’s student loans. Undergraduates can borrow up to $120,000 a year and graduates can take out as much as $160,000. You’ll need to be part of the US armed forces, Department of Defense or have a family member who is to qualify, however.
First, am I eligible?
To be eligible for a Navy Federal Credit private student loan you must:
Attend an eligible school
Make at least $15,000 a year
Have at least 36 months of credit history
Be enrolled at least half-time
Maintain a 2.0 GPA
Be the age of majority in your state
Be a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union
Be a US citizen or permanent resident
To find out if your school is eligible, start the application and try typing in your school’s name. If it shows up, it’s eligible. You can bring on a cosigner if you don’t meet Navy Federal Credit Union’s credit or income requirements.
How do Navy Federal Credit Union private student loans work?
Navy Federal Credit Union is a direct private student loan provider that offers up to $120,000 a year for undergraduate students and $160,000 for graduate students. You can apply online through the Navy Federal Credit Union website — and join if you aren’t already a member. While Navy Federal Credit Union funds student loans, all applications, customer service and repayments go through its servicer, LendKey.
Navy Federal Credit Union allows borrowers to bring on a cosigner to help you get a more competitive rate. However, both of you will need to meet eligibility criteria aside from credit and income requirements.
How much does it cost?
Navy Federal Credit Union doesn’t charge any application or origination fees on its student loans, so the main cost you need to worry about is the interest. It offers two different types of interest rates: Fixed and variable.
The only fees you need to worry about come during repayment. Navy Federal Credit Union charges a $20 fee for late payments. If you’re enrolled in autopay and don’t have enough funds in your account, you’ll have to pay a $10 returned funds fee.
Interest-only repayments. Only make payments on interest that accumulates while you’re in school and during your grace period.
Proactive payments. Make $25 monthly repayments while you’re in school and during your grace period.
If you can swing it, consider the interest-only repayment option. Any interest that adds up during this period gets added to your loan’s principal before you start making repayments. A higher principal means you’ll end up paying more in interest in the end and will result in a potentially more expensive student loan.
You only have one repayment option after your grace period is up: Full repayments. These stay the same if you have a fixed interest rate. If you have a variable interest rate, your repayments change every three months as your interest rate changes.
What student loan servicer does NFCU use?
LendKey is the servicer for NFCU’s student loans, which means you’ll make repayments to LendKey — not NFCU. The servicer has received complaints of poor customer service and mismanaged repayments, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your loan balance if you decide to go with NFCU.
Benefits of Navy Federal private student loans
Large amounts available. You can borrow more per year than some private student loan providers offer in a lifetime.
No fees. You don’t need to pay any fees to apply for this loan.
Autopay discount. Navy Federal Credit Union reduces your interest rate by 0.25% just for signing up for autopay.
Drawbacks to consider
Grades matter. You need to maintain a 2.0 GPA to qualify for a Navy Federal Credit Union student loan.
Not for young students. You also can’t qualify if you aren’t the legal age to take out a loan in your state — 18 in most.
What to expect when applying for a Navy Federal private student loan
Once your membership is active, here’s how to start the application:
Go to the Navy Federal Credit Union website, hover over Loans & Credit Cards before selecting Student Loans.
Click the yellow and white Learn More button.
Hit Start Now to begin your application.
Review your application one last time before hitting Submit.
Wait to get conditional approval. Typically this only takes a few minutes, though it can take as long as one to three days.
Select an offer and upload your documents, including identity verification, a copy of your transcript if applicable and proof of income for you or your cosigner.
Wait as LendKey sends your application to Navy Federal Credit Union for approval and to your school to certify your costs.
Review your final offer before signing the promissory note.
Typically it takes about 10 minutes to complete the application. The whole funding process can be as long as 20 to 30 days, though it’s possible to complete everything in less time if you submit all of your documentation right away. You can apply each semester or each year.
Students with high academic costs that federal loans just won’t cover could potentially get the most out of this lender. Rates are slightly higher than the competition, however, and you or a relative needs to be a member of the US armed forces or Department of Defense to get any Navy Federal Credit Union loans.
Navy Federal Credit Union encourages borrowers to apply as soon as possible, though applications for the next academic year don’t open until June. You can apply as soon as you know what school you’re going to, have proof of enrollment and know how much you need to borrow.
Unfortunately, no. Both you and your cosigner must either be US citizens or permanent residents to qualify.
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