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Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed)

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Customer Service
Account Holder Ratings
2.5 5

Most Helpful Positive Review

Jul 26, 2013
Outstanding Institution
noGrumblz Account Holder

I have never set foot in their office - and I do all of my banking through them. Have had accounts their for 20+ years - and my parents used them as well. You can still talk to a LIVE BODY all but 2 days a year. Rates are good - can do almost everything electronically.   They have a wide range of products - and the one time I had an issues withem putting my DirectDep into the wrong account , they contacted all of the creditors - and paid all of the fees I was charged because of their error. 

Excellant customer service

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Most Helpful Negative Review

Mar 02, 2014
Are the rates worth the frustration?
Anonymous Account Holder

I was originally pleased to get a used vehicle loan overseas for 1.49%.  Everything went well until I was selling my vehicle to another military member overseas who was buying my truck for her husband who was returning from deployment.  I called to ask what PenFed needed from me, and asked them to explain the process on my end.  The customer service was extremely rude.  I actually ended up calling USAA to get an understanding of the typical procedures for closing out a used vehicle loan (they were very helpful even though I explained I wasn't calling about a specific loan I had with them).  Then, the buyer decided to finance through another bank and that bank just needed a scanned copy of the title to verify all their paperwork was good.  PenFed would not scan, e-mail encrypted and call it done.  They had to fax it, which the other bank was fine with  but after a week of calling PenFed daily and asking why they hadn't sent it yet I finally realized that they had faxed it to the wrong number... 4 times.  Then once they gave me the numbers that they had faxed it to erroniously, I noted that not one of the 4 different numbers were even close to the other.  The buyer nearly backed out of the deal out of simple frustration.  I will gladly go with a better bank for an increase of 1 or 2%.

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Reviews (109)

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Jun 01, 2016

I applied for a car loan and after they made me open an account and donate $15.00 thet denied me !

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May 16, 2016
I LOOOVEEEE This Credit Union...
ShanyaRene Account Holder

I had my account with them for many years...never really used it...the most I had in there was 25.00.

Well, I was trying to buy s condo...and no BIG Banks would approve me for under 50,000. The Condo was only 30,000.

Another bank told me to try a credit union...I forgot about my PENFED account...which at that time, had only 5.00 in it.

I said what do I have to lose, so I did an application with them, and to my surprise, I was approved.

After I closed on the condo, they offered me a credit card for 10,000...I could not believe it!  Then, I got a 10,000 signature loan with them as well.

They gave me a 500.00 over draft protection loan too.  With all this good luck...or should I say BLESSINGS...I said let me refi my Car....and they did...interest MUCH lower than I had with CAP ONE. I later asked for a credit increase...They 13,000.

I can't speak for anyone else...but they sure have helped me...

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May 16, 2016
Way too much red tape!
StevieB92630 Account Holder

I am currently with a great credit union, but PenFed offers products that I am interested in for down the road. I opened a checking and savings, and I applied for one of their credit cards to demonstrate repayment history. I have an 800 FICO NextGen score, and almost 200,000 in income. PenFed had me document income, which I did. Then they asked for a notarized copy of an application for my wife. With my FICO score, income, and credit history, I haven't been asked to document my income in years. I cancelled the application and membership, as I found this process just way to time consuming. All this for only a credit card! 

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May 11, 2016
abombhit Account Holder

I'm closing on in three days and the closing costs have jumped from 18 to 25 grand. The loan officer said someone made a mistake which they fixed but they have yet to track down how or who it was. This is all happening 3 DAYS before closing and I am trying to reach anyone but the loan officer and have no gotten any return calls.

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Apr 28, 2016

Forced transfer from another credit union.  The process has been crap so far.  I just attempted to activate my online access but need a security code they haven't sent me.  I think I'll just cut to the chase and have my direct deposit re-directed to my USAA account.  This "transition" is way more trouble than it's worth.  I thought I was the customer here...

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Apr 19, 2016
To conservative
Sean60099 Account Holder

Applied for a new relationship with Penfed as I was told they offer great rates and strong credit approvals and it appeared to be good rewards on the gas and groceries catagory (FYI 5 points per dollar spent on those catagories is not the same as 5% cash back). While I was approved for there Penfed Rewards Visa Signature Card with the lowest approvable credit line ($5000) I am here to say the great rates and strong credit approvals are a joke... 

My average credit line currently is $15,000 with an average apr of 15%. When I called in to request a manual review I was basically brushed off saying that a senior lender already reviewed my app... I told him that not even my store cards had credit lines that low and that I was rather mad that I keep getting post cards and email alerts to take advantage of there $100 balance transfer promotion for doing a $5000 balance transfer, I asked the rep how on earth was I going to do a $5000 balance transfer if my credit line was only $5000 you cant transfer the entire limit of the card... Funny story since I applied for there card, 2 cards I don't even use (barclaycard & nordstrom) both gave me increases to my credit lines with out even asking. I have a feeling I will be closing out this new relationship quicker then I opened it. 

I asked to file a complaint and to be called back by someone with authority several days ago... I am not going to hold my breath. 

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Apr 27, 2016

I hope I get as lucky as you to get a $5,000 CL from PenFed when I apply, that way I can transfer my balance over to them with no sweat :)

May 07, 2016

When I took a survey after opening a checking and savings they immediately called me back and addressed my concerns and fixed it in one phone call.

Mar 02, 2016
OK for very basic banking services.
Anonymous Account Holder

The Good: Basic accounts (checking, savings, money market, credit cards).

The Mixed: Awesome rates for other services -- but bad service outside of car loans (not bad people, just organizational incompetence with extended service tasks).

The Bad: Occasionally basic banking service rates fluctuate wildly (but still better than the competition). The website is laughably silly.

The Outstanding: Handling overseas credit card outages. Many domestic banks don't even understand what is going on or how to deal with credit card companies about this sort of thing (posting foreign travel or residency notes on the account and actually paying attention to them, handling foreign addresses that don't fit in the US-centric address fields in a program, etc.). Their constant experience dealing with overseas servicemen is obvious here.

Bottom line: Basic banking is just fine, and even their goofy website is sufficient for the basics (but don't expect much support in the website beyond basic account handling and transfers).


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Dec 30, 2015
worst ever
Anonymous Account Holder

I have been in mortgage business for over 10 yrs.  when decided to get a mortgage for our new home thru penfed it was the most pain ful process.  I have never experienced anything like this.  Not only me getting mortgage, third time purchase and numerous refi's, but overall customer service was terrible.  They told us on the day of closing that the DTI (Debt to Income Ratio) was too high and the loan couldn't close.  ON THE DAY OF CLOSING.  the loan originator and the loan processor ignored my request to adjust the T&I amount by saying that they had been doing this for over 10 years.  They factored less than $100 for T&I for a property that was going to appraise at $580K+ in Northern Virginia. 

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Dec 28, 2015
Misleading, Misinformation, Misdirection

Refinance is so far the worst experience I've ever had.  They have placed me in positions where I have had no choice but to pay more money to move forward with the loan.  I feel like I have been extorted in order to give them my business.  They will never get my business again.  They are good for car loans but don't finance your house.

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Dec 26, 2015
Absolutely incompetent
Anonymous Account Holder

This was the absolutely worst experience ever! A simple loan took 3 month to process. The involved loan processors were incompetent, slow to respond (or no response unless hassled with endless phone calls). The late closing of my loan costs me thousands of dollars as I needed to finance a bridge loan etc.

My son applied at the same time and it took almost 3 month as well. The bank also switched at the last moment the loan from a 30 year fixed to a 5 year ARM?!!

Overall it took 45 emails and 50+ calls (mostly to an answering service) to finally get the money. Never again PenFed.....nothing is worth a few basis points of a better rate.

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Company Overview

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) offers a wide range of financial services to members of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, defense-related companies, and veterans of foreign wars. Financial products include checking and savings accounts, CDs, retirement planning, credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, and home equity loans. PenFed's website allows members to access their accounts and utilize one of the financial planning calculators.

Chartered in 1935, Pentagon Federal Credit Union is the third largest credit union in the United States, serving over 993,000 members internationally. Branches are located in Washington, D.C, Hawaii, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and overseas.