Navy Federal Credit Union Mortgage Review

Navy Federal Credit Union

With competitive VA and conventional mortgage rates, Navy Federal Credit Union is a serious mortgage contender for eligible members.

Navy Federal Credit Union is a superior choice for a mortgage or refinance based on the variety of loan programs for military servicemen and servicewomen.

J.D. Power Rating
5/5
Min. Credit
Not Specified
Min. Down Payment
0%
SimpleScore
3.4 / 5.0
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SimpleScore Navy Federal Credit Union 3.4
Perks 4
Credit Impact 4
Customer Satisfaction 5
Product Variety 3
Fees 1
  • Multiple loan options
  • Excellent customer service
  • On-demand information
  • Loans only available to qualifying members
  • Limited number of physical branches
In the News
  • For the 14th consecutive year in a row, the Navy Federal Credit Union was named “Credit Union of the Year.”
  • Earlier in February 2020, NFCU was named as one of the Top 20 of the Top 100 companies to work for by FORTUNE magazine.
  • The NFCU was involved in a phishing scam earlier in 2020. According to Credit Union Times, credit union members were sent a fake site to login, which looked like the legitimate login for NFCU. The cybersecurity threat was addressed early on and members were warned of scammers.

Navy Federal Credit Union loans offer competitive rates and exceptional customer service for qualifying members. The Simple Dollar uses the Simple Score Methodology to compare Navy Federal to other mortgage companies — including reviewing interest rates, fees, loan terms, perks and customer satisfaction. The bottom line? Read on and you’ll find out why this credit union has been in business since 1933.

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In this article

    Navy Federal Credit Union loans at a glance table

    30-Year APR2.635%
    Available ProductsVA loans (10 to 30 years) Conventional Fixed-Rate loans (10 to 30 years) , Military Choice (for those who have exhausted VA loan benefits), Adjustable-Rate loans, Homebuyer’s Choice (30-year, fixed-rate, no down payment), Jumbo (30-year), Refinance
    Best ForMilitary families
    Not ForAnyone who wants FHA or USDA loans
    Standout FeaturesInformative website, 5-star customer service, competitive mortgage rates

    What we like about Navy Federal Credit Union

    Works with military families

    The Navy Federal Credit Union is a long-standing credit union ready to work with military families for almost all mortgage needs. The Navy Federal Credit Union offers an impressive mortgage rate match guarantee. You can enjoy further discounts by using a real estate agent with the Navy Federal Realty Plus program.

    Multitude of loan options

    The variety of loan options is one of the highlights of the Navy Federal Credit Union personal loans and mortgage offerings. You can apply for VA mortgage benefits, conventional fixed-rate loans or adjustable-rate alternatives with Navy. There are also mortgages for those who have less-than-perfect credit or don’t want to use a down payment.

    On-demand information

    When you’re mortgage shopping, having the information at your fingertips saves you time — and potentially money. If you can’t find the answer online, you can consult the customer service reps, who are available 24/7, and you can submit your loan application online.

    [Read: Is Now the Right Time to Get a Mortgage ]

    Things to consider

    Need to qualify for membership

    Currently, membership is open to any member of the armed forces, Department of Defense civilian employees or veterans. The membership is also extended to immediate family members and those living in the household of an eligible Navy Federal member — including grandparents and siblings of service members.

    A few exclusions

    Since Navy Federal is geared towards veterans, you won’t find any USDA or FHA loans within its mortgage or refinance options. Plus, if you’re interested in a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) or home equity loan, these loan products have been suspended for the time being due to high demand.

    No physical locations

    If you like to walk into a branch to get your questions answered or handle necessary transactions, then you’ll be disappointed. Although there is a free ATM network available nationwide for account holders, it doesn’t necessarily help you with the mortgage aspect.

    Navy Federal Credit Union vs. the competition

    When you compare USAA mortgage products and rates, the mortgage options are more limited and focused mostly on VA loans. 

    J.D. Power Rating
    5/5
    Min. Credit
    620
    Min. Down Payment
    3%
    SimpleScore
    3.8 / 5.0
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    SimpleScore USAA 3.8
    Perks 4
    Credit Impact 3
    Customer Satisfaction 5
    Product Variety 4
    Fees 3

    Although similar in concept, USAA has more strict membership requirements than NFCU. When you compare USAA mortgage products and rates, the mortgage options are more limited and focused mostly on VA loans. The rates are also slightly higher with USAA. Like Navy Federal, USAA has a stellar 5-star customer-service rating and has a limited number of branches. On the plus side, USAA covers many closing costs and fees, making it an affordable option for VA loans.

    SoFi offers conventional mortgages, jumbo loans and refinance options, but it does not offer VA, FHA or USDA options.

    J.D. Power Rating
    N/A
    Min. Credit
    660
    Min. Down Payment
    10%
    SimpleScore
    3.5 / 5.0
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    SimpleScore SoFi 3.5
    Perks 2
    Credit Impact 5
    Customer Satisfaction N/A
    Product Variety 3
    Fees 4

    SoFi offers conventional mortgages, jumbo loans and refinance options, but it does not offer VA, FHA or USDA options. You can also find 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year options with competitive rates, making it worth checking out. SoFi offers many convenient digital options too, such as quick pre-approval and online applications. One drawback to using SoFi is you have to make a minimum of a 10% down payment on the home. SoFi doesn’t originate loans in all states either, so make sure your state is included.

    Wells Fargo is a giant in the mortgage world and might be worth a closer look for your mortgage needs

    J.D. Power Rating
    3/5
    Min. Credit
    620
    Min. Down Payment
    3%
    SimpleScore
    3.6 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Wells Fargo 3.6
    Perks 4
    Credit Impact 3
    Customer Satisfaction 3
    Product Variety 4
    Fees 4

    Wells Fargo is a giant in the mortgage world and might be worth a closer look for your mortgage needs. Because of its sheer size, Wells Fargo offers a vast array of mortgage products, including VA and FHA — plus a large number of physical branch locations.

    How much will a Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage cost?

    A Navy Federal Credit Union loan review should note there is a 1% loan origination fee. Additionally, if you choose a conforming or a Jumbo HomeBuyers Choice or Military Choice loan, you’ll be subject to a funding fee of 1.75% of the loan amount. If you’re refinancing a mortgage with a non-NFCU loan, then you’re subject to a 0.750% higher rate.

    One important note: these fees can be waived if you add a 0.25% increase to your quoted interest rate.

    [ Read: How to Offset the New Mortgage Refinance Fees ]

    Cheaper alternatives to Navy Federal Credit Union mortgages

    When it comes to fees, USAA might be a less-expensive alternative than the NFCU. USAA charges between 1.6% to 3.4% of the loan amount with VA loans. Application and appraisal fees can also vary between mortgage companies, so it pays to compare them side by side.

    [ Read: What Does the Fed’s 2% Policy Mean for Loans and Mortgages? ]

    Compare top mortgage lenders

    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the XYZs we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    We’ve created the SimpleScore to help you objectively compare products and services here at The Simple Dollar.

    Our editorial team:

    • Identifies five factors to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each factor
    • Calculate an average of those five factor scores to get one SimpleScore

    We break down each of these five factors and their rating criteria for our review of the best mortgage companies.

    Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

    Some brands like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase have different SimpleScores because they offer more than one financial solution — like home loans, auto loans, personal loans and more.

    For instance, in our Bank of America Mortgage Review, we give the company a 3.8 out 5 based on our five rating factors for mortgages. In our Bank of America Auto Loans Review, we give the company a 4.4 out of 5 based on our rating factors for auto loans. By tailoring our SimpleScore to each financial solution, we’re able to give you a more accurate view of a brand’s services and how it compares to competitors’ services.

    Perks

    Mortgage lending companies that provide more perks receive a higher score from us.

    Hard/Soft credit checks

    We know that credit checks affect your score –– that’s why we favor companies that offer soft credit checks or hard credit checks when you want to see your pre-approval rates.

    Customer satisfaction

    We use the J.D. Power 2019 Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study℠ to find out how customers rate their experience with each company. (If a company is not included in J.D. Power’s study, we skip this rating factor and average the remaining factor scores.)

    Product variety

    Mortgage lenders that offer more products for their home loans are given higher scores.

    Fees

    Fees can add up fast. Companies that don’t require as many fees for your home loan receive a higher score with us.

    Sara Coleman

    Contributing Writer

    Sara Coleman is a personal finance journalist based in Charlotte, NC. A journalism major who studied at the University of Georgia, she enjoys creating approachable content. She’s written for sites such as The Simple Dollar, Interest.com, WorkingMother, BetterYouMag and SmartMoneyMamas. She loves spending time with her husband and three kids, and has a healthy obsession with coffee.

    Reviewed by

    • Angelica Leicht
      Angelica Leicht
      Editor

      Angelica Leicht is a writer and editor who specializes in everything mortgage-related for The Simple Dollar. Her work has spanned topics that include lending product reviews, interest rate trends, racial biases in mortgage lending and the role of fintech in lending practices, and has appeared in publications such as Interest, Bankrate, The Spruce, Houston Press and VeryWell, among others.