What are your loan options with PenFed Credit Union? | finder.com

PenFed Credit Union loans

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Choose from over a dozen loans and unlock other benefits a membership might hold.

Looking to put down roots and take out a mortgage for the first time ever? Or do you want to save on interest by refinancing your student debt? Whatever your financing needs may be, PenFed could help. This credit union has been serving the military community for over 80 years with a long list of loan solutions under its belt. And don’t worry, even if you’re not affiliated with the military, you may still be able to join.

What types of loans does PenFed offer?

PenFed has an extensive loan availability that stretches beyond just home and auto loans.

Personal loans

Personal and bill consolidation loans are available through PenFed. Both have amounts that range from $500 to $25,000, no origination fees and APRs from 6.49%–20%.

The biggest difference is that a bill consolidation loan is specifically for combining multiple open balances under one loan, while a personal loan is a general-purpose loan that can be used for any legitimate purpose.
Read PenFed personal loan review

Private student loans

PenFed has partnered with Sallie Mae to offer:

  • Undergraduate student loans. Students can borrow as little as $1,000 all the way up to 100% of the cost of attendance.
  • Parent student loans. Parents can help finance their child’s education with loans starting at $1,000 and going up to 100% of the cost of attendance.
  • Graduate student loans. Graduate, doctoral, MBA, medical, dental and law students can borrow from $1,000 all the way up to 100% of the cost of attendance. Variable and fixed interest rates are available and vary depending on the degree you’re working toward.

Student loan refinancing

Fixed and variable rates are available for student loan refinancing through PenFed. With fixed rates from 3.75%–7.03% APR and variable rates as low as 2.7% APR, you could drastically lower your monthly payments.

Spouse loan refinancing is available to couples looking to consolidate their debts, as well as parent loan refinancing for both private and Parent PLUS loans. Parents may be cosigners on their child’s loan when refinancing.

Read PenFed student refinancing loan review

Auto loans

  • New auto loans. Geared toward those looking to get into a new vehicle that’s never been titled, APRs start at 2.49% and loan amounts range from $500 to $100,000.
  • Used auto loans. APRs start a bit higher at 3.49%, but they come in the same amounts ranging from $500 to $100,000.
  • Refinance auto loans. Features and restrictions unique to refinancing apply, but they offer the same amount ranges and starting rates as new and used auto loans.
  • Payment Saver auto loans. For those looking to pay less upfront at a higher rate, they come with a lump-sum payment at the end of their term. Loan amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000 and APRs start at 2.99% and 3.74% for new and used cars, respectively.

Read PenFed car loan review

Motorcycle, RV and boat loans

  • New and used motorcycle loans. Can provide up to 100% financing for qualified members with APRs starting at 6.49% and loan amounts from $6,000 to $50,000.
  • New and used boat loans. Free of application and early payoff fees, APRs start at 6.15% and loans amounts range from $5,000 to $39,999.
  • New and used RV and travel trailer loans. Fixed and variable rates are available with loan amounts ranging from $5,000 to $39,999. Fixed rates come with a starting APR of 6.15%.

Mortgages

A solid 22 different mortgage offerings are available through PenFed. On the low end, you can take out a traditional 30-year fixed conforming mortgage for amounts ranging from $25,000 to $453,100 in most states. High-limit mortgages are also among those presented, with amounts ranging from $453,100 to $2 million.

Of the 22 options, 10 have fixed rates and two are specific to veterans. Both veteran options are fixed-rate mortgages. Terms are available for 10, 15, 20 or 30 years, and the lowest starting APR is 4.202% for a 15-year fixed conforming mortgage.

Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)

Whether you rent or live in the house you’d like to borrow from, you’re limited to borrowing between $10,000 and $400,000. For owner-occupied homes, you can borrow up to 90% of your home’s value, but the maximum amount you can borrow drops to $250,000 if you’re borrowing between 85.01% and 90%. Meanwhile, you can only borrow up to 80% of your non-owner occupied home’s value.

PenFed offers three different home equity lines of credit that all have variable rates: a basic home equity line, a 5/5 home equity line and an interest-only home equity line. The basic home equity and interest-only lines offer amounts ranging from $10,000 to $400,000, while the 5/5 line offers between $25,000 and $400,000.

Why should I consider taking out a loan with PenFed Credit Union?

  • Cosigners welcome for student loan refinancing. When you consolidate your student debt, you’re allowed to apply with a cosigner — even if you previously didn’t have one.
  • Financial hardship programs available. Financial hardship can strike anyone — at any time. PenFed allows you to easily request help if you’re worried about falling behind on your loan payments by filling out a simple form and providing a few supporting documents. Note that the application for assistance usually takes four to six weeks for processing and review.
  • Get all of your banking needs met in one place. Checking and savings accounts, several types of credit cards, money market certificates and IRAs are all available when you become a PenFed member.
  • Membership benefits. Auto, finance, home, personal and retail discounts are available to members of PenFed. Sprint, Vantis Life, ADT Home Protection, Intuit and National Car Rental are just a few of the partnered companies.
  • Can join without being in the military. While its products are designed to be accessible to military members, the membership is not limited to just the military. You can also join by volunteering with certain groups or becoming a member of certain associations.

Where does PenFed Credit Union fall short?

  • Credit inquiry necessary for membership. Just opening an account with PenFed requires a pull of your credit report.
  • Account required. You’ll be required to keep a savings account open at minimum for the life of your loan.
  • Limited branches. Physical locations can only be found in Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington, DC.

How much will it cost to borrow with PenFed Credit Union?

A straightforward list of all of the service fees you might incur with PenFed is available on its site by scrolling down to the bottom of the homepage and clicking Service Fees. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Returned payment fee. $30 for any returned payment, whether it’s check or ACH.
  • Late payment fee. 20% of the amount due, with a minimum of $5 and a maximum of $25.
  • Check stop payment fee. $15 to stop a payment.

Aside from these service fees, some loans may have origination fees. Fixed personal loans and debt consolidation loans don’t require an origination fee.

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Rates last updated November 21st, 2018

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Unfortunately, none of the personal loan providers offer loans for that credit score. If you are in urgent need of a small loan, you might want to consider a short term loan.
Name Product Product Description Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Monevo Personal Loans
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit score.
550
$100,000
3.34% to 35.99% (fixed)
Credible Personal Loans
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
Good to excellent credit
$100,000
4.99% to 36% (fixed)
LendingClub Personal Loan
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
660
$40,000
6.95% to 35.89% (fixed)
SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)
No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.
680
$100,000
6.99% to 14.87% (fixed)
NetCredit Personal Loan
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
550
$10,000
34% to 155% (Varies by state) (fixed)
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Personal Loans
Consolidate your debt or pay off large expenses with competitive rates and no fees.
Good to excellent credit
$40,000
6.99% to 24.99% (fixed)
Even Financial Personal Loans
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
580
$100,000
4.99% to 35.99% (fixed)
Avant
Conveniently check your loan options without affecting your credit score.
580
$35,000
9.95% to 35.99% (fixed)
OneMain Financial Personal and Auto Loans
An established online and in-store lender with quick turnaround times. Poor credit is OK.
Varies
$30,000
16.05%–35.99%* (fixed)

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated November 21st, 2018

Reveal your potential loan offers and rates

Answer two quick questions to filter the loan offers and get the best one for you.

Select your credit score range

I don't know my credit score

Finally, select where you live.

To get your credit score:

Experian logo

Experian is a leading provider of personal and business credit reporting. Find out your FICO score now for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.

Unfortunately, none of the personal loan providers offer loans for that credit score. If you are in urgent need of a small loan, you might want to consider a short term loan.
Name Product Product Description Min. Credit Score Term of Loan Requirements
car.Loan.com Car Loans
Apply with a simple online application to get paired with a local auto lender. No credit and bad credit accepted.
300
Varies by lender
Must be a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
Auto Credit Express Car Loans
Get connected with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
300
Typically 3 to 6 years
Must be employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income of at least $1,500/month and be a current resident of the US or Canada.
LightStream Auto Loans
Quick car loans from $5,000 to $100,000 with competitive rates for borrowers with strong credit.
Good to excellent credit
Flexible terms
Good or excellent credit, enough income or assets to afford a new loan, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
RateGenius Auto Loan Refinance
Connect with a network of over 150 lenders to refinance your car loan.
510
Varies
Income of $2,000+/month, vehicle has less than 150,000 miles, no older than 10 model years, loan balance is at least $10,000, debt-to-income ratio: less than 50%.
LendingClub Auto Refinancing
Lower your monthly car payments and save on interest through a fast and easy online application process.
Fair or better credit
Minimum of 2 years
Car must be less than 10 years old with fewer than 120,000 miles. Current loan must have a balance between $5,000 and $55,000 and at least 24 months left in its term.
MotoRefi Car Loan Refinancing
A car loan connection service for borrowers looking to refinance.
525
1–6 years
Must have an income of at least $2,000/month and have a vehicle with less than 100,000 miles.
LendingTree Auto Loans
Compare multiple financing options for auto refinance, new car purchase, used car purchase and lease buy out.
Good to excellent credit
Typically 1 to 7 years
Must be a US citizen and 18+ years old. Must have good to excellent credit.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated November 21st, 2018
Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR Product Description
Credible Student Loan Refinancing
Good to excellent credit
None
2.57%(As low as ) (variable)
Get prequalified offers from top student loan refinancing providers in one place.
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing
620
$300,000
2.79% to 8.39% (variable)
Refinance all types of student loans — including federal and parent PLUS loans.
Earnest Student Loan Refinancing Variable Rate (w/ autopay)
650
None
2.47% to 6.97% (variable)
Get a tailored interest rate and repayment plan with no hidden fees.
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinancing
700
$300,000
3.75% (starting at) (variable)
Save on your student loans with this market-leading newcomer.
SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Variable Rate (with Autopay)
650
full balance of your qualified education loans
2.470% to 6.990% (variable)
A leader in student loan refinancing, SoFi can help you refinance your loans and pay them off sooner.
PenFed Student Loan Refinancing
700
$300,000
3.75%–7.03% (fixed)
Straightforward refinancing with competitive rates.
LendingTree Student Loans
Good to excellent credit
Varies by lender
3% (As low as) (fixed)
Compare multiple student loans and student loan refinancing options in one place.

Compare up to 4 providers

What do customers say about PenFed Credit Union?

Though not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), PenFed holds an A+ rating with a composite score of 3.81 out of 5 stars as of August 2018. It’s had 120 complaints filed against it with the BBB. One customer was upset to learn that their charitable donation and $5 deposit to become a member was non-refundable, though in all fairness, PenFed states this on its site. Another found that the credit union didn’t inform them of all the fees associated with their car loan. To avoid this, carefully read the terms and conditions before accepting a loan from PenFed.

Are PenFed Credit Union loans safe?

Generally, yes — though no online lender is 100% secure from hackers. To protect borrowers, PenFed uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption on its site. Moreover, the site’s navigation is clean and easy to use with a full, well-organized site map available from a link at the bottom of almost any page. The mobile app — available for iOS and Android devices — is just as sleek, with easy-to-understand menus.

How to apply for a loan with PenFed Credit Union

You must be a PenFed member to apply for a loan. Members must have at least one savings account open with a minimum deposit of $5.

To apply for a loan, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the PenFed site.
  2. Hover your mouse over the type of product you want at the top of the homepage.
  3. Select the loan type you want.
  4. Click Apply now.

Once you start your application, you’ll need to fill out requested information as you’re prompted. You can check the status of your application at any time via the online portal. Once you’re logged in, simply click Apply Now from the main menu page and then select Recent Applications.

Eligibility requirements for PenFed membership

To be eligible for membership, you must fit one of the following categories:

  • Serve in or are retired from the US military or uniformed services.
  • An employee of the US government.
  • An employee of a qualified organization, such as West Point, Valor or the DC VA Medical Center.
  • Live or work at an eligible location.
  • Related to or a roommate of someone who is eligible.
  • A member of one of the supported organizations, such as the American Society of Military Comptrollers or Reserve Officers Association.

You can also become eligible by joining a civilian-friendly military group. The National Military Family Association and Voices for America’s Troops are the two that PenFed lists on its site. It also provides the option to join either organization directly from its online membership application page.

More about PenFed Credit Union

PenFed was established in 1935 and has historically served the US military and federal employee communities. Over 1.6 million members make up PenFed, making it the second-largest federal credit union in the US. As a credit union, PenFed members are owners and have equal vote when electing the board of directors — regardless of the amount of cash you have or products you use.

As of August 2018, PenFed has partnered with Sallie Mae to help its members finance their college education through undergraduate, graduate and parent student loans, as well as a scholarship search tool.

Bottom line

With the wide array of products available from PenFed, you may be able to find a loan that fits your needs — whether you’re looking to buy a home, refinance your car loan or just go on vacation. Its financial hardship programs and exclusive membership benefits help to set it apart from the competition.

Want to compare more options? Browse more credit union loans or explore top providers to find the best one for you.

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US Personal Loans Offers

Important Information*
Credible Personal Loans

Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.

Monevo Personal Loans

Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit score.

LendingClub Personal Loan

A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.

SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)

No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.

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