PenFed Credit Union personal loans review
- Max. Loan Amount
- 7.99% to 17.99%
- Min. credit score
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 borrow 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, depending on whether you can get an electronic deposit or need to wait for a paper check. You may also want to look elsewhere if you need a loan on the larger side.
Best for: Borrowers looking for a low loan amount with a competitive interest rate.
Maximum APR of 17.99%
Fair credit OK
Loans start at a low $600
May take up to two weeks to fund loan
Funding may only be available by check
|Min. Loan Amount||$600|
|APR||7.99% to 17.99%|
|Interest Rate Type||Fixed|
|Min. credit score||580|
|Loan term||1 to 5 years|
|Turnaround Time||1 to 2 business days|
What makes PenFed personal loans shine?
Credit unions are typically not-for-profit institutions, which allows them to offer lower APRs on their loan products. And that’s true for PenFed, which has a maximum APR of just under 18% — much less than the max rates its competitors offer, which are typically 24% or higher. You can get a smaller loan amount than many other lenders offer. And borrowers with fair credit should still apply, as PenFed doesn’t only use FICO scores to determine eligibility.
Where PenFed personal loans fall short
The biggest drawback in working with PenFed is how its loans are funded. If you live in a state where PenFed is allowed to direct deposit your loan funds into your bank account, it may only take one or two business days to fund the loan. But in some states, PenFed is required to send you a check for the loan, which can take one to two weeks to get to you, plus the time it can take for your bank to process the check.
How to qualify for PenFed personal loans
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
Am I eligible to be a PenFed member?
Eligibility used to be limited to military families and members of certain organizations, but that is no longer the case. To be a member of PenFed Credit Union, you only need to open an account with a $5 deposit.
How to apply
PenFed allows you to apply online, in person, or on the phone, without a hard credit check. You’ll receive multiple loan offers, either online or through the mail. Once you choose an offer, you can claim it on PenFed’s website. But once you claim an offer, PenFed runs a full credit check as part of the underwriting process.
- Apply from the website.
- Consider loan offers. You can get offers without a membership, but no offer can be accepted without a PenFed membership, which includes opening an account.
- Accept loan terms and establish your membership, if necessary.
- Follow repayment plan.
How PenFed personal loans compare to other lenders
Finder rating 4.3 / 5
4.60% to 35.99%
Up to 12 years
$1,000 to $100,000
Min. credit score
Poor to excellent credit
Best Egg personal loans
Finder rating 3.8 / 5
8.99% to 35.99%
3 to 5 years
$2,000 to $50,000
Min. credit score
LightStream personal loans
Finder rating 4.8 / 5
7.49% to 25.49%
24 to 144 months
$5,000 to $100,000
Min. credit score
Good to excellent credit
PenFed Credit Union reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||1.19 out of 5 stars, based on 232 customer reviews|
|Trustpilot Score||4.4 out of 5 stars, based on 1,451 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||26 October 2023|
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. But these reviews are of PenFed Credit Union as a whole, not about their personal loans specifically. Most complaints seem geared toward issues with the PenFed credit card and car loans. But customer service issues affect every product the credit union offers.
Is PenFed Credit Union legit?
Frequently asked questions
Will a late payment on my loan be reported to a credit agency?
Yes, but you have a 30-day grace period before this happens. A good way to keep your credit in good standing and avoid late fees is to work the cost of the loan into your budget.
Where does PenFed have branches?
PenFed Credit Union has branches in Washington, DC and 13 states:
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
How can I contact PenFed customer service?
Customer service hours are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET on Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. And you can use the following ways to contact a representative:
- Phone number: 800-247-5626
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: @PenFed
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PenFed/
Ask a question using your email below.Ask a question
You are about to post a question on finder.com:
- Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
- finder.com 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