Navy Federal Credit Union Auto Loan Review

Founded in 1933, the Navy Federal Credit Union is most widely known for industry-leading CD, credit cards and money market rates, those interested in other products and services including a Navy Federal auto loan will be pleased with the rates, services, and options available. The bank offers some of the lowest rates available industry-wide on new, used and late-model used vehicles with pre-approvals valid for 60 days and no down payment requirement.

Navy Federal Credit Union at a glance

Lender Min. Loan Max. Loan APR Terms Key Benefit
Navy Federal Credit Union Not specified Not specified 2.49% – 6.29% 36 – 96 months Industry-leading low rates

What we like about it

It’s hard not to get excited about the Navy Federal auto loan rates, particularly with new cars and late model used vehicles. For new vehicle loans up to 36 months, borrowers can get rates as low as 2.49%. For longer-term loans of 61 months to 72 months, this new car rate only rises to 2.99% which is still well below the industry average at traditional and online banks.

Additionally, most loan approval decisions at Navy Federal are made in under five minutes and are accompanied by a free CARFAX report. While it may be necessary for loan approval for some, most borrowers will not be required to make any down payment to secure their loan.

Things to consider

Used vehicle rates are slightly higher than new vehicle rates, but still on par or better than most options available in the industry. Also, for late-model used vehicles and older used vehicles, you won’t be able to get a loan over 72 months. If this is a deal-breaker, consider trying another bank that may offer longer loan terms or choosing a more affordable vehicle. Furthermore, products and services from Navy Federal Credit Union are only available to active or retired military service members and their immediate families.

Navy Federal Credit Union auto loans

Securing a Navy Federal auto loan on a new vehicle is quick and painless. You’ll receive approval most of the time in under five minutes. New car rates range from 2.49% to 6.29% depending on the term length of your loan, your credit, the amount financed, and any other creditworthiness factors the bank deems applicable.  Additionally, customers can receive pre-approval from the bank prior to picking out a car, giving you much more negotiation flexibility when purchasing your vehicle. Pre-approvals from the bank are good for 60 days from the check date.

Overall, the new car auto loan rates at Navy Federal are some of the most attractive across the industry including what you’ll find at online banks. The industry standard for a 60-month auto loan for someone with near-perfect credit is around 3.60%. In comparison, 60-month loans at Navy Federal are available with rates as low as 2.89%. Navy Federal classifies cars made in the current and previous calendar years with less than 7,499 miles as new.

Navy Federal does not require down payments on auto loans; however, a down payment may be necessary to lower your loan-to-value ratio to secure the loan. If you have issues during the approval process, you may want to contact the bank and see if this is an option.

Navy Federal Credit Union auto refinancing

For those looking to secure a better rate on an existing auto loan, you should heavily consider Navy Federal as an option. All of the same great rates available on new and used cars are available for refinancing as well. Currently, customers can also get a $200 credit when they refinance through the bank. Existing Navy Federal loans and loans under $5,000 are not eligible for the promotion. Additional terms and conditions for the promotion do apply, so make sure you read all of the fine print before moving forward.

Navy Federal Credit Union private seller loans

Though not explicitly mentioned on the company’s website, private seller loans are discussed on the company’s Making Cents blog. Those interested in a private seller auto loan through Navy Federal Credit Union should contact the bank directly for availability and rate information.

Navy Federal Credit Union used car loans

According to the bank, any car made prior to the previous year with more than 7,499 miles is considered a used car. Newer cars with over 7,499 miles are also considered used regardless of the build date. Additionally, cars with between 7,500 miles and 30,000 miles are considered late-model used vehicles. The distinction is important as loan rates on late model used vehicles are typically lower and could be an important piece of the purchasing decision process.

With Navy Federal’s used auto loans, the availability of term lengths is capped at 72 months as opposed to new car loans that have the option of up to 96 months. Late-model used vehicle rates are about half a percent higher than new car rates across the board.

Traditional used car loan rates are higher than late-model rates across the board at varying rates. Shorter 36-month loans are just under a percent higher, 37-month to 60-month loans are 1.2% higher, and 61-month to 72-month rates are just under 0.50% higher. All of these rates assume optimal borrowers who qualify for the lowest available rates. Those with less than perfect credit history should still be able to get better rates than they would at most other banking options.

The bottom line

For those who have bravely served or are family members of armed service members have access to more banks than traditional civilians. In some cases, including this one, that means more favorable rates and banking products. Navy Federal auto loans have unprecedently low rates, a simple application process, no required down payment and the ability to lock in a pre-approval rate for 60 days. If you’re in the market for a new or used car, checking out Navy Federal as a potential lender should be at the top of your list.

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