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PenFed Credit Union Reviews

8

bestfor-icon Student Loans Consolidation

lauren
Written by Lauren Le-Hair

About PenFed Credit Union | Read More

8

LS Score

8

Credibility

8

Support

8

Accessibility

Visit site
Opening Hours Opening Hours drop-down-btn
Mon - Fri 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM EST
Sat - Sun Closed
Contact Information Contact Information drop-down-btn
  • Penfed@purefy.com
  • (800) 247-5626
  • Headquarters: 2930 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314
Social Media Social Media drop-down-btn

PenFed Credit Union Personal Loans Review

PenFed Credit Union provides personal loans for a wide range of different purposes. These are loans that bring with them minimal fees, which is ideal. There is a good range of term lengths and loan amounts you can get, as well as competitive rates.

PenFed Credit Union Personal Loans Highlight

690

Min Credit Score

8.49-17.99%

APR. Fixed Rate

8.49-17.99%

APR. Variable Rate

$600-$50K

Loan Amount

6 months to 6 years

Repayment terms

Yes

Soft Credit Pull

Direct

Lender Type

Yes

Other Fees

None

Origination Fee

None

Prepayment Fee

1-2 days

Funding Time

Pros & Cons

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  • con-icon Fast funding time
  • con-icon Great reputation
  • con-icon Low-fee loans
  • con-icon Wide range of term lengths
  • con-icon You need to be a PenFed Credit Union member to get a loan
  • con-icon Doesn’t disclose all eligibility requirements

Loan Purpose

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  • Debt Consolidation
  • Home Improvement
  • Medical Expenses
  • Other

Loan Type

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  • Unsecured Personal Loans

PenFed Credit Union Personal Loans Terms & Requirements

PenFed Credit Union does not really have a hard and fast rule about minimum credit scores people need to have to get a personal loan. However, it is usually advised that you have a score of at least 620 to proceed. PenFed Credit Union caters to loan requests worth as little as $600 and can go all the way up to $50,000.

There is an ideal range of term lengths, starting at 6 months and going up to 6 years. There are no origination or prepayment fees you need to pay, but late fees are in place.

Qualification Requirements

  • Social Security Number
  • At least 18 years old
  • US permanent resident or citizen
  • At least 690 credit score
  • Must be a member of the credit union

 

Required Information

  • Credit history
  • Financial history
  • Copy of government-issued ID
  • Social Security card
  • Loan purpose
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of income

 

Application Steps & Time Frames

To start off, you can check to see what sort of rates you might be entitled to with a PenFed Credit Union personal loan. This can be done by filling out the pre-qualification form on the PenFed Credit Union website.

You need to enter basic info such as your credit score, loan purpose, and desired loan amount. You will then be showcased a range of loan offers from PenFed Credit Union. If you are happy to proceed with one of these loans, you then submit a more thorough application. Process.

This sees you providing additional info and verifying it by supplying certain types of documents. The approval process is generally quite speedy. Once approved, it can take just 1-2 business days to receive your borrowed money.

State Availability

- Available in all states

PenFed Credit Union Auto Loans Review

If you are in the market for a new or used car, then PenFed Credit Union can help you out with the financing. It provides you with a great amount of flexibility when you are shopping around looking for the best deal. You can often get better rates through PenFed Credit Union than if you were financing the car through a dealership.

PenFed Credit Union Auto Loans Highlight

620

Min Credit Score

5.19-6.99%

APR. Fixed Rate

Min 5.39%

APR. Variable Rate

$500-$150K

Loan Amount

36-84 months

Repayment terms

Yes

Soft Credit Pull

Direct

Lender Type

N/A

Other Fees

None

Origination Fee

None

Prepayment Fee

24 hours

Funding Time

Auto Loan Refinance

Min 5.2%

APR. Fixed Rate

$500

Refinance Amount

Pros & Cons

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  • con-icon APRs as low as 0.99% for new cars when you use PenFed’s TrueCar service
  • con-icon Lowest rates for 36-month loans among competitors
  • con-icon Loan amounts as low as $500
  • con-icon Offers free credit score check
  • con-icon Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident to become a member
  • con-icon Low interest rates reserved for members with excellent credit
  • con-icon Late payments may incur a 20% charge

Auto Loan Types

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  • Unsecured Auto Loans
  • New Car Loan
  • Used Car Loan
  • Auto Refinance Loans

Vehicle Types

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  • Car

PenFed Credit Union Auto Loans Terms & Requirements

PenFed Credit Union will cater to purchases or new or used cars, as well as refinancing existing auto loans. There are certain loan terms that will change depending on if you are buying a new or used car.

The better APRs will be available for new car purchases. The available term lengths generally range between 3 and 7 years. There are no prepayment penalties or origination fees that need to be paid, but late fees will be charged if you miss payments.

Qualification Requirements

  • Social Security Number
  • At least 18 years old
  • US permanent resident or citizen
  • Certain vehicle mileage requirements
  • Must be a member of the credit union

Required Information

  • Credit history
  • Financial history
  • Copy of government-issued ID
  • Social Security card
  • Vehicle info
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of income

Application Steps & Time Frames

Getting an auto loan from PenFed Credit Union is generally straightforward. There is a form on the PenFed Credit Union website that you can fill out to see what rates you can expect if getting a car loan. A soft credit check is done at this point, so your credit score won’t be impacted.

Typical info required at this point includes credit score, the value of the loan, and some details about the vehicle. Once you submit this form, you will be presented with some potential loan options. If you like a given offering, then you can go ahead and submit an official application.

A hard credit check is necessary at this point. You also need to provide additional info about the vehicle and yourself. Certain documentation might need to be supplied, such as a government-issued ID. Once your application gets approved, funding can arrive in just a day or two.

State Availability

- Available in all states

PenFed Credit Union Student Loans Review

PenFed gives its prospective borrowers the funds they need to make higher education happen. Offering a range of financial support options, including undergraduate loans, graduate loans, and no essay scholarships, PenFed student loans cater to college graduates in all 50 states. The company can cover up to 100% of the cost of your undergraduate, professional, masters, or doctoral degree. 

With award-winning non-co-signed and co-signed loans for college students, you can also see your rate without impacting your credit with PenFed. Find out more about PenFed student loans in the table below.

PenFed Credit Union Student Loans Highlight

670

Min Credit Score

7.74-9.93%

APR. Fixed Rate

2.17-4.47%

APR. Variable Rate

$8K-$500K

Loan Amount

5, 8, 12, or 15-year terms

Repayment terms

Yes

Soft Credit Pull

Direct

Lender Type

None

Other Fees

None

Origination Fee

Undisclosed

Prepayment Fee

10 days

Funding Time

Student Loan Refinance

7.74-9.93%

APR. Fixed Rate

2.17-4.47%

APR. Variable Rate

$8K-$500K

Loan Amount

Pros & Cons

drop-down-btn
  • con-icon Joint refinancing available for married couples
  • con-icon Good interest rates
  • con-icon The lender has a reputable standing
  • con-icon Bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement
  • con-icon Some negative customer support reviews
  • con-icon No longer terms available for max loan

Student Loan Type

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  • Private student loans
  • Student loan refinance

PenFed Credit Union Student Loans Terms & Requirements

Loan Terms

PenFed’s loan terms are stated clearly. The APRs offered are competitive in the marketplace. Key figures are:

  • Fixed APR – 7.74% to 9.93%
  • Variable APR – 7.12% to 9.48%
  • Minimum loan amount – $7,500
  • Maximum loan amount – $500,000

People who have private education or Parent Plus loans will be able to apply for PenFed loans. Married couples can also refinance two of their loans into a single one. This new loan will be at a rate that covers the higher credit score of the two people, as well as joint income. Therefore, you can get the most optimal interest rate on your loan.

Repayment Terms

PenFed offers four different loan terms. You can take out a PenFed loan over 5, 8, 12, or 15 years. These options are pretty low compared to other loan providers, who may offer repayment terms of up to 25 years. Also, this could lead to higher monthly repayments compared with other providers. 

PenFed does not offer any formal deferment or forbearance options. If you come into hardship, such as a job loss, your interest will continue accumulating. If you have used a co-signer for your loan, it will be the co-signers’ responsibility to ensure these amounts are paid.

How to Apply

The PenFed site has a dedicated section for student loans. From here, you can choose to either apply for an in-school student loan or a student loan refinancing. We opted to refinance our student loan, at which stage we arrived at the following home screen.

After clicking through ‘Find My Rate’, PenFed prompted us to enter our personal details, including name, address, phone number, SSN, and the amount we wanted to borrow. On completing this basic information, we had to complete a test to assess our loan eligibility.

Following our completion of this simple application screen, there are five further stages to assess eligibility for student loan refinancing. The first step asked us to reconfirm personal data, with the second reconfirming our phone details and contact preferences. The third step was to verify our housing and occupation status. The fourth step was to enter the details of all existing loans that were in place. The final stage of the process was to sign an Election, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, and Application and Solicitation Disclosure.

The application process took 15 minutes in total. After submitting our information, we were sent for a credit check, which returned an instant result. Our credit check returned successfully, and we PenFed invited us to open a PenFed membership. There were no fees associated with opening the account, but we needed to deposit a minimum of $5. After this, a range of loan products became available to us. 

After selecting the rate we wanted for our refinancing, we were invited to review the loan to ensure it was what we wanted. Overall, the process was very smooth and efficient.

Required Information

To start the loan process, you will have to provide personal information to set up an account and perform a credit check. This is all done online, with the following details being required:

  • Name
  • Address 
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • College attended
  • Degree obtained
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Monthly income details
  • Employment history

State Availability

- Available in all states

PenFed Credit Union Online Banking Review

There is a good range of different savings and checking accounts that you can access through PenFed Credit Union. Competitive APYs are offered, with monthly fees usually non-existent or easily avoided. The minimum required deposits are quite low and you will be able to get access to some good cashback rewards.

PenFed Credit Union Online Banking Highlight

85,000+

ATM Network

Yes

Other Fees

Online Banking Savings

$5

Min Deposit

$5

Min Balance

Max 2%

Min APY Savings

Online Banking Checking

$25

Min Deposit

0.15-0.35%

Min APY Checking

Pros & Cons

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  • con-icon Great APYs
  • con-icon Low-cost structure
  • con-icon Access to 85,000+ no-fee ATMs
  • con-icon High minimum for CDs

Account types

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  • Checking
  • Savings
  • Certificates of Deposit (CD)

APY's

Account 1 Year 3 Years 5 Years
Access America 0.15%-0.35% 0.15%-0.35% 0.15%-0.35%
Premium Online Savings 2% 2% 2%
Money Market Certificates 4.25% 4.05% 3.90%
Regular Savings 0.05% 0.05% 0.05%
Money Market Savings 0.05%-0.15% 0.05%-0.15% 0.05%-0.15%

Features Benefits & Rewards

Cashback on purchases with certain cards

Opening an Account With PenFed Credit Union

Setting up a PenFed Credit Union online banking account is usually quite easy to do. The process can be completely done online if you wish. There are basic questions asked, such as details about your home address, employment status, and so on. You can choose from the available account options.

Once you fill out all the required info, you might need to supply some documents to verify what you said is true. Then you submit the application, with approval usually being very quick. Once you get the all-clear, you can add funds to your account as you please.

State Availability

- Available in all states

PenFed Credit Union Certificate of Deposit Review

PenFed Credit Union is a federal credit union that offers a variety of financial products and services to its members. PenFed offers a Certificate of Deposit (CD) that is called Coverdell Education Savings Certificates with the maximum APY of 4.75% for a 1-year term. All you need to do is invest as little as $500 as the minimum deposit to open a CD account.

PenFed Credit Union Certificate of Deposit Highlight

4.65%

1-Year APY

4.10%

3-Year APY

3.90%

7-Year APY

$500

Minimum Deposit

$0

Minimum Balance

None

Monthly fee

Yes

Daily Compounded Interest

Yes

Early withdrawal penalty

Pros & Cons

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  • con-icon Wide selection of terms
  • con-icon Minimum deposit as low as $500
  • con-icon FDIC-Insured up to $250,000
  • con-icon Steep early withdrawal penalty for certificates
  • con-icon Must open and maintain a savings account to become a member.
  • con-icon Some minimums required to avoid fees

Account types

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  • 6-Month APY 3.00%
  • 1-Year APY 4.65%
  • 15-Month APY 4.55%
  • 18-Month APY 4.50%
  • 2-Year APY 4.30%
  • 3-Year APY 4.10%
  • 4-Year APY 4.00%
  • 5-Year APY 4.00%
  • 7-Year APY 3.90%

PenFed Credit Union Certificate of Deposit Terms & Requirements

Terms and requirements for opening a Coverdell Education Savings Certificate of Deposit (ESA CD) with PenFed Credit Union:

  • You must be a PenFed member.
  • The named beneficiary/student need not be a PenFed member.
  • The minimum opening deposit is $500.
  • ESA CDs are available in maturities of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 years.
  • The dividend rate is set weekly by the Board of Directors.
  • Dividends are compounded daily on a 365/365 day basis and credited monthly.
  • Funds cannot be withdrawn within the first 60 days of the account opening.
  • Early withdrawal penalties may apply.

Qualification Requirements

To open a Coverdell Education Savings Certificate of Deposit (ESA CD) with PenFed Credit Union, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • You must be a PenFed member.
  • The named beneficiary/student must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
  • The named beneficiary/student must be under the age of 18 at the time the ESA CD is opened.
  • The named beneficiary/student must not have been claimed as a dependent on anyone else’s tax return for the prior year.
  • Your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) must be below certain limits.

Withdrawal Penalty

Penalties are imposed for early withdrawal of Coverdell Education share certificates. You must provide your request in writing.

If the certificate is redeemed within the first year, all dividends will be forfeited.
If after the first year, but prior to the maturity date, the early withdrawal penalty will equal 30% of what would have been earned if the certificate had been held to maturity, not to exceed total dividends earned.

State Availability

- Available in all states

lauren
Written by Lauren Le-Hair linkedin-icon

As an experienced content writer, Lauren's passion for the finance sector is only exceeded by her love of writing. With years of experience writing for financial websites, she has honed her expertise and developed a deep understanding of the industry. Lauren specializes in delivering top-quality, specialized content with an expert tone of voice and a unique flair, leveraging her extensive knowledge and expertise. In addition, she holds a First Class Bachelor's degree from Staffordshire University.

faq-icon

FAQ’s

Is PenFed a safe company?

Of course, it is. PenFed has been operating for over 80 years and has grown to become the third largest credit union in the US.

Do I need to join PenFed to apply?

Yes, you will need to become a member of PenFed to apply. Opening an account is quick and easy. Furthermore, you only need to hold $5 in your account to proceed with the student loan application.

Can I refinance my student loan from anywhere in the US?

Absolutely. PenFed operates in all 50 states.

Customer Support

You can reach PenFed customer support via multiple channels, including phone, email, and over social media. Standard working hours are Monday to Friday, so you may have a delayed response if you contact customer support over the weekend. You can find details of how to contact PenFed in the table below.

Privacy & Security

PenFed is a member of the National Credit Union Administration. As such, the company must comply with strict customer protection rules, ensuring that your private data is treated securely. This, coupled with the strong reputation that PenFed has built up over 80 years of trading, should leave customers satisfied that their data is safe. Rigorous security protocols are in place to ensure that all personal information is managed correctly.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, alongside the company’s reputability and decades of experience, PenFed Credit Union is one of the US’ top loan lenders in the industry. With a great range of financial products and services, the company also boasts a solid reputation, top-tier security, and reasonably low-interest rates. Similarly, interest rates have recently risen in line with the market as a whole.

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