Credit Union Reviews

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed)

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Closing in on forty years with PenFed Helpful to 5 out of 5 people

Second largest next to Navy, PenFed has the reputation to match.  Over the years, I have used all their products. Their online presence is exceptionally good, telephone service is also great. They gave me a    Second Trust on a rental, and that's certainly not common, and was appreciated. They gave my daughter a $500 credit card when she was off to school. She had no previous credit, so this was a gift horse, she was able to build credi worthiness with PenFed. I had her school loans financed through them. Their rates on CD's are so consistently high, a national radio show market timer recommends PFCU. He mentions the fact that anyone can be a member with a one-time membership of $20 to a military benefit society. Sign up for that, and you can become a credit union member.  Now remember, that like your rich uncle who didn't get to be rich by making mistakes, if someone with terrible credit applies, he or she will be declined. They won't let you exceed your ability to pay, either. But with the car loan I just made online at .074% , they had the check in my mailbox before the car was delivered to my dealership. Can recommend PenFed most highly. 

Starfaced's review was:    

  May 12, 2013 Reply

Starfaced(1, 5)

Review by Starfaced

1 Contributions 5 People Helped

Outstanding Institution Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

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

noGrumblz's review was:    

  Jul 26, 2013 Reply

noGrumblz(1, 3)

Review by noGrumblz

1 Contributions 3 People Helped

Came for the Gas card, Stayed for the CD Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

Became a member to get the Platinum Rewards card for 5% cash back from fuel purchases. But saw the great rates offered on CDs and invested in them. Also low interest rate on car loans. I was approved quickly for car loan, but deal fell through and PenFed quickly cancelled the loan for me. Customer service was fine,but I think that PenFed is doing somuch business that they're having a hard time keeping up with it all.

JSD9's review was:    

  Jan 30, 2013 Reply

JSD9(5, 13)

Review by JSD9

5 Contributions 13 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

Applied for new car loan at their unbeatable 1.49% rate for 60 months.  Was approved in 48 - 72 hours but when I got to the dealer, I found out I had to use the dealer's financing in order to qualify for a $2,000.00 holiday discount offer. So I went with dealer financing at 3.29%, got $2,000.00 knocked off the price of the car and then refinanced with PenFed 30 days later at the same new car loan rate of 1.49%.  PenFed converted my original loan approval to a refi loan smoothly and efficiently.  Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?  Thanks to Penfed I did!! 

Jan 27, 2013 Reply
Exceptional Service and Products Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

 i have had an account with them for over 2 years after hearing about them from Clark Howard.  I recently sold a home and bought a new one in another state and used them for my mortgage.  I received the best rate from them over other banks and credit unions.  The process was easy and I had an instant commitment letter and the completion of the mortgage process was very easy and not stressful in the least.  They worked for me when the closng on my sale was delayed and therefore the purchase had to be set back as well.  I have a credit card from them and have had excellent and polite and immediate customer service with any question.  Their website is easy to use and I cannot speak highly enough about the services. 

JCNY's review was:    

  Oct 13, 2012 Reply

JCNY(1, 3)

Review by JCNY

1 Contributions 3 People Helped

Are the rates worth the frustration? Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

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%.

Mar 02, 2014 Reply
STAY AWAY FROM PENFED GO WITH NAVYFCU Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

For those that say don't bash Penfed if they don't approve you for a card when you have high 700's low 800 fico have issues. I always look for a conservative bank. The purpose of a bank is to hold my money but at the same time I feel if I would like to take advantage of offers I would like to have a bank that lends to good credit applicants. I saw that you could get 5% cash back for gas all the time so I was interested in this account because I currently use my chase and discover for cash back but that cash back is not yearly. So I applied with a 760 Fico I have never been denied for a credit card I have 12 different credit cards all around 10K limits highest at 34K and only one card has a balance of 5000 on my NAVY FCU because they offered 0% for a year so I transferred my auto loan on to my credit card. The application can back instantly denied so of course I called Penfed and told them I just signed up and I wanted this card she pulled my credit history and said well your score is to low. I said I have a credit score higher the 75% of the people in America what do you mean its too low. She said we use a different score model yours might show with the credit score company as a 760 but we show it as a 680. I said I understand sometimes when I apply the score is higher or lower depending on the company I am applying through maybe by 10 15 points but not 80. She told me because you have a balance showing you have perfect history but we don't like to see a a high balance I told her my debt to credit is less than 5% I have a balance of 5K but have available 140K She said we are very picky with lending so I said never mind and canceled my account. Go with NAVY FCU if you would like lending at a great bank I was working on my credit 4 years ago I had a 630 fico pretty good history no bad for about 3 years applied with chase, discover, amex all approved for around 1500 limits with a fico of 630 then I applied for NAVY FCU card approved instantly for 15K and then a 2nd card for 15K I love NAVYFCU and they have 0% balance transfer interest no fee for 1 year specials. Now my CL limit after 3 years is 38K don’t have go with PENFED or USAA Bank both are not lender friendly and horrible rates. FYI for USAA insurance quoted under military discount 115 a month for all 3 of my cars. Compared to Gieco same coverage quoted 78 dollars a month under their military discount program. PENFED and USAA came go down in flames!!!!!!!!!

pauly2221's review was:    

  Apr 05, 2013 Reply

pauly2221(27, 131)

Top Contributor

Review by pauly2221

27 Contributions 131 People Helped

Top Contributor

Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

Terrible experience having been a member for nearly 30 years. I had an emergency and needed to wire money to a family member. I spoke with a representative who assured me that the wire transaction was complete. I relayed that info to the family member. I trusted what they said but I thought since it was an emergency that I should verify.  To my dismay it did not get transferred until after a third promise,  In the mean time the family member was out of country expecting to receive funds that were never sent twice as promised. If I had written a check and did not have the funds available I would have paid dearly. I am very disappointed and have decided to go to a class A bank, usaa.  

Feb 22, 2012 Reply
Absolutely Horrid! Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

After making a lumpsum payoff of my PFCU credit card they added a $12.52 fee to the account that was closed and not accessable by me.  They didn't notify me in anyway and I was overseas.  Six weeks later I get a credit alert by email where they posted deragatory information to the credit bureau that dropped my credit score 55 points.  I have contacted them numerous times by mail and by phone but they refuse to remove the deragatory information.  The $12.52 was a 'cash advance fee' according to them. 

Apr 17, 2014 Reply
Absolutely Horrible Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

I had a dealing with them that made me glad I dont have a loan through them. I wanted to get an ATM so I can access MY OWN MONEY and use it. Not a home loan, or a car loan, or a credit card, my own money from savings. Had an issue where I would send it paper works, they would show that they had received it, but had not yet processed it. This went on for 4 weeks, with weekely calls resulting in the customer service telling me it is being processes and I should hang up and its in the mail. They may be the third largest credit union in the nation, But they are also the number 1 most horrible credit union in the nation. I asked for a supervisor or manager, but was never transferd to one or given a name. 

No Customer service, and no follow through. They just try to get you off the line.  

tomzlist's review was:    

  Feb 10, 2014 Reply

tomzlist(6, 32)

Review by tomzlist

6 Contributions 32 People Helped

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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.

Company Details

Pentagon Federal Credit Union

  • Established: 1935
  • Headquarters: Alexandria, Virginia
  • Website:
  • Products: Banking, Credit Cards, Loans, Mortgages
  • Assets: $15 billion
  • Available: Online, by phone, in branches; select states

Rating Distribution (70)

  • 41%
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  • 44%
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