This article contains links to products or services from one or more of our advertisers or partners. We may receive a commission when you click or make a purchase using our site. Learn more about how we make money.

PenFed Credit Union personal loans review

Last updated:  

With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.’s rating: 3.9 / 5.0


  • Best for veterans and active-duty service members looking for low fixed rates.
  • Pick something else if you're in a rush — it can take up to two weeks to get your funds.


Max. Loan Amount

6.49% to 17.99%



Min. Credit Score


Product NamePenFed Credit Union personal loans
Min. Loan Amount$600
Max. Loan Amount$20,000
APR6.49% to 17.99%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. Credit Score650
Loan Term1 to 5 years
Turnaround TimeOne to two weeks after approval

Expert review

Aliyyah Camp

Review by

Aliyyah Camp is a writer and personal finance blogger who helps readers compare personal, student, car and business loans. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and is based in New York, where she enjoys movies and running outdoors.

Expert review

PenFed is ideal for active-duty service members and veterans — but membership isn’t limited to current and former military members. Because it offers loans as low as $600, PenFed is a good choice for anyone looking to borrower a small amount and avoid the high interest rates that come with short-term loans.

But you’ll want to look elsewhere if you’re in a hurry — it can take one to two weeks to receive your funds after approval. You may also want to look elsewhere if you need a loan on the larger size. PenFed’s $20,000 max is low even for a credit union.

Before you apply for membership, compare your personal loan options.

How much will this loan cost me?

PenFed offers personal loans of $600 to $20,000. While this may limit the amount you can spend, it can help you avoid overborrowing and can save you money — especially combined with PenFed’s low maximum APR of 17.99%.

Terms last anywhere from one to five years, and there are no origination or application fees.

You can use our monthly payment calculator to estimate the total cost of borrowing a loan from PenFed.

Monthly repayments calculator

Calculate how much you could expect to pay each month
Your loan
Loan amount
Loan terms (in years)
Interest rate
$ %

Fill out the form and click on “Calculate” to see your estimated monthly payment.


Compare personal loans now

Based on your loan terms...

You can expect to pay back $ per month

This breaks down to...

$ in principal and $ in interest charged Compare personal loans now

How it works

Because PenFed is a federal credit union, its maximum rates are capped at 17.99%. But to qualify for its low 6.49% APR, you’ll need to have excellent credit and strong finances.

What do I need to qualify?

To apply for a personal loan from PenFed, you need to meet these basic criteria:

  • PenFed membership
  • Good to excellent credit
  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • At least 18 years old

What information do I need to apply?

PenFed requires you to submit some basic information when you apply, including:

  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Annual income
  • Monthly housing payment


  • Competitive rates as low as
  • No origination fee
  • Fully online application
  • Low starting amount of $600


  • Funding only available by check
  • Low maximum loan amount of $20,000
  • Membership required
  • Slow turnaround of up to two weeks

What other types of financing does PenFed offer?

PenFed offers two fixed-rate lines of credit to its members:

Line amount APR Best for
Personal line of credit Up to $20,000 14.65% Relatively low APR for repeat borrowing
Overdraft line of credit Starts at $500 17.99% Avoiding fees on overdrafts

See other personal loan options

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
Credible personal loans
4.99% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Monevo personal loans
3.49% to 35.99%
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Fiona personal loans
4.99% to 35.99%
Get loan offers from multiple lenders at once without affecting your credit score.
LendingTree personal loans
Starting from 2.49%
Good to excellent credit
Receive up to five loan offers in just minutes through LendingTree's simple online form.
SoFi personal loans
5.99% to 18.28%
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Is PenFed legit?

Yes, PenFed is a legit credit union and insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Its website is encrypted to keep your information safe, and its privacy policy covers what personal information is collected and how it is used.

PenFed reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 1.3 out of 5 stars, based on 58 customer reviews
Trustpilot score 2.5 out of 5 stars, based on 11 customer reviews
Appstore score 4.1 out of 5 stars, based on 5,719 customer reviews
Google play score 4.5 out of 5 stars, based on 12,349 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 19 October 2020

Many of the most recent reviews on PenFed’s BBB page are negative. Customers complain of slow customer support, frequent technical difficulties and an overall less-than-optimal experience.

How do I apply?

To apply online, follow these steps:

  1. Visit PenFed’s website, navigate to the personal loans page and click Apply now.
  2. Sign into your PenFed account or apply for a loan and membership.
  3. Select your loan purpose, preferred term and amount, then enter information about yourself.
  4. Enter information about your coborrower, if applicable.
  5. Review your application and click View my loan options.

What happens after I apply?

PenFed will review your application and let you know if you’ve been approved within a few minutes — although in some cases, it may take up to two business days. From here, you can finalize your application and open an account if you aren’t already a member.

Your loan funds will be mailed to you as a check. However, you can choose to pick it up at a PenFed branch or pay for expedited shipping to receive your loan within one business day.

How do repayments work with PenFed?

While monthly payments will depend on your loan amount, interest and term, the base minimum payment is $50. Consider making larger payments to shave off the principal amount faster — you’ll save more money on interest in the long run.

If your payment is late, you may be charged a fee of 20% of the payment amount.

Not sure if PenFed fits what you need? Find out how it stacks up to the competition with our guide to personal loans.

Frequently asked questions

Personal loan ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top personal loan providers and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: rates and fees, customer reviews, loan amounts, loan processing and borrower experience.

Read the full methodology of how we rate personal loan providers.

Ask an expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use and Privacy and Cookies Policy.
Go to site