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PenFed Credit Union Personal Loans Review
Established in 1935, Pentagon Federal Credit Union has come a long way since its humble beginnings. PenFed is currently one of the nation’s most accessible financial institutions with 1.7 million members worldwide and in all 50 states. The credit union holds over $25 billion in assets, and they strive to “shape the future of banking” by offering a wide range of financial products aimed at consumers with various banking needs.
PenFed offers popular checking and savings accounts, mortgage and home equity loans, auto loans, credit cards, and more. However, some of their more notable products include their personal loans and lines of credit — both of which are geared toward consumers with excellent credit.
Before you take out a personal loan, it helps to understand what PenFed has to offer and how their products compare to other options on the market.
PenFed personal loans at a glance
|Fees||No origination fee, application fee or hidden fees|
|Eligibility requirements||Borrowers must become a PenFed member|
|Best for||PenFed members|
|Not for||People who want to borrow over $20K|
|Contact PenFed customer service||1-800-247-5626 Secure upload centerSend a message|
|Standout feature||Fast funding — according to PenFed, you could have the funds within 24 hours|
What we like about PenFed
Available in all 50 states
Many credit unions are regional, meaning only individuals in certain cities, states or parts of the country are eligible to use its products. But PedFed is available in all 50 states, so your location won’t hold you back from a personal loan.
PenFed offers some of the most competitive rates on the market, with APRs from 6.49%–17.99% for a personal loan. Depending on your lender, rates can often start out at 10% APR.
No origination fee
PenFed doesn’t charge an origination fee on its personal loans, meaning you may pay less overall than you would from another lender. The company also promises that there will be no hidden fees in your loan terms.
[ Read: How Personal Loans Work ]
Things to consider
Must be a member to apply
Like many other credit unions, PenFed requires that you become a member before you can borrow money. You can apply without being a member but must join to finalize the deal.
However, membership is relatively easy to achieve. You simply have to apply and fund an account with as little as $5. PenFed membership requirements used to be limited to government employees and military members, but the credit union has since changed its requirements.
How to qualify for a PenFed personal loan
PenFed has an easy application process that allows you to apply online and, if you qualify and agree to the loan terms, get your money within 24 hours. To get started, just follow these steps:
- Join the credit union. PenFed requires borrowers to become a member of the credit union before they can finalize a loan.
- Fill out the personal loan online application. You’ll have to provide details such as your personal information, the reason for the loan, the desired loan amount and repayment terms. To qualify for a PenFed personal loan, you must borrow between $500 and $20,000 with terms between 6 and 60 months.
- Wait for your loan approval. For borrowers with good credit, you might get a decision in just a few minutes.
- Finalize the loan and receive your money. According to PenFed, you could receive your money within 24 hours.
Keep in mind that membership to the credit union isn’t the only bar you’ll have to reach to get a personal loan. When you apply for your loan, PenFed will run a credit check to ensure your credit score falls within their requirements. They generally require borrowers to have a score in the mid-600s or higher. Depending on your credit score, you may have to provide proof of your income before you can qualify.
[ Read: Is a Personal Loan My Best Option? ]
PenFed Credit Union personal loans vs. the competition
How much does a PenFed personal loan cost?
One of the biggest perks of a PenFed personal loan is that the company doesn’t charge an application fee or origination fee and promises not to include any hidden fees in your contract. As a result, your loan may cost less overall than it would from another lender. Another way PenFed helps to reduce costs is by not charging an early payoff penalty.
To figure out how much your specific loan will cost, consider your total loan amount, your APR, and how quickly you expect to pay off the loan. You can use a loan payment calculator to help you get a better idea of what your loan will cost.
Can I refinance a personal loan with PenFed?
PenFed doesn’t require any sort of collateral, and it allows you to use a personal loan for any purpose. As a result, you’ll likely be able to refinance an existing loan by applying for a new personal loan or use a PenFed personal loan to consolidate debt. Be sure to check your loan terms to confirm you can refinance, and shop around to see if you can get a better rate with another lender.
Cheaper alternatives to PenFed personal loans
PenFed offers some of the most competitive interest rates on the market for personal loans, and it doesn’t charge application or origination fees. As a result, PedFed’s personal loans are likely to be some of the most affordable on the market. However, some online lenders such as SoFi and Best Egg offer lower starting rates on personal loans. Best Egg does charge an origination fee, so depending on the amount of the loan, you may or may not save money. But SoFi doesn’t charge an origination fee, so you might be able to save even more.
PenFed Credit Union in the news
- In October 2020, PenFed Credit Union announced that it would be acquiring the Long Island organization Sperry Associates Federal Credit Union. The merger was approved in September 2020 and is expected to be completed by December 1, 2020. PenFed will acquire Sperry Associates’ $265.4 million in assets.
- In addition to its work providing financial products to its members, PenFed Credit Union also engages in fundraising and charity efforts. In September 2020, PenFed announced it would be donating 500 laptops valued at more than $125,000 to support the education of children of military members.
- PenFed Credit Union received some negative media attention in early 2019 when it acquired a small credit union. PenFed, one of the largest credit unions in the nation, has acquired a number of smaller organizations over the years. In this case, some saw it as a large credit union trampling over smaller ones to gain more of the market share and eliminate competitors.
We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the personal loans we recommend. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions.