Navy Federal Credit Union personal loan review: Personal loan options for military members

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In a Nutshell

Navy Federal Credit Union offers a variety of personal loans to the military community. But you must be a member to join and may have to apply in person or over the phone.
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Pros

  • Larger loan amounts
  • A variety of loans for specific purposes
  • Secured and unsecured loans available

Cons

  • Minimum loan amounts for certain longer loan terms
  • Membership required
  • Can’t apply for all loan options online

What you need to know about a Navy Federal Credit Union personal loan

Navy Federal Credit Union serves more than 11 million members who are part of the military community, with more than 350 branches and ATMs across the country and overseas. Its personal loans range from $250 to $50,000. You can use a Navy Federal loan for home improvement, debt consolidation and other purposes.

Minimum loan amounts for larger loan terms

Some of Navy Federal’s loans have shorter repayment periods than others. If you need more time to repay you may need to consider a larger loan. The site says that generally, loan terms of 61 to 84 months have minimum loan amounts of $25,000. If you prefer terms of 85 to 180 months, the minimum increases to $30,000.

Membership required

Navy Federal Credit Union personal loans are only available to its members. You’re eligible to join if you have a connection to the military. Navy Federal Credit Union accepts active duty, retired, and veteran service members in all branches as well as their family members and Department of Defense civilian employees.

Secured and unsecured loans available

In addition to unsecured personal loans, you may choose from two secured loans: the savings secured loan and the certificate secured loan. While the savings secured loan is secured to your Navy Federal savings account, the certificate secured loan uses funds from one of Navy Federal’s certificates.

Can’t apply for all loan options online

Unless you’re interested in the personal expense loan, you won’t be able to apply online. Navy Federal Credit Union requires that you apply for other personal loans, like home improvement loans, debt consolidation loans and secured loans, over the phone or in person at a local branch.

A closer look at a Navy Federal Credit Union personal loan

Here are a few more details to keep in mind if you’re interested in a Navy Federal Credit Union personal loan.

  • Generally transparent about rates: You can quickly find basic information about Navy Federal APRs and other fine-print details at the bottom of the personal loans page.
  • No clear prequalification process: Since there’s no prequalification tool on the Navy Federal website, you won’t know the potential rates you qualify for until you actually go through the application process. And the online application option requires a Navy Federal membership to use.
  • Same-day funding: If you need fast cash, you might be able to get it through a Navy Federal personal loan. Same-day funding is usually available.
  • Co-applicants accepted: You can take out a personal loan with someone else because Navy Federal accepts co-applicants. Just make sure whoever you choose is committed to repaying the loan with you, because you’ll both be held responsible for the loan.
  • No origination or prepayment fees: Navy Federal doesn’t charge origination or prepayment fees. This can make the overall cost of your loan more affordable.

Who is a Navy Federal Credit Union loan good for?

If you’re a current member or are affiliated with the military and would like to join Navy Federal Credit Union, a Navy Federal personal loan may make sense.

You can also choose from an unsecured loan to improve your home or renovate debt, for example, or a secured loan that can help you establish or rebuild your credit. Additionally, a Navy Federal personal loan might be a good fit if you prefer an in-person application process at a local branch.

How to apply with Navy Federal Credit Union

If you go with a personal expense loan, you can apply online through Navy Federal’s website. But if you choose any other one of its personal loans, you’ll need to visit a local branch or call Navy Federal to go through the application process.

No matter how you apply, you’ll need to state how much you want to borrow and how long you’d like to repay your loan. The application will also ask for basic personal details like your phone number and email as well as information about your income and employment.

Not sure if Navy Federal Credit Union is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • PenFed: PenFed allows you to prequalify for a personal loan so you can get an idea of your rate before you apply. But like Navy Federal, it requires you to be a member.
  • USAA: If you’d like to work with a lender that caters to the military community and want to borrow a lot of money, a USAA loan, which can go up to $100,000, is worth considering.

About the author: Anna Baluch is a freelance personal finance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. You can find her work on sites like The Balance, Freedom Debt Relief, LendingTree and RateGenius. Anna has an MBA in marketing from Roosevelt Un… Read more.