Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan Review 2023

If you have ties to the military, a personal loan through Navy Federal Credit Union may be available. Compare rates, requirements, and what to expect.
A military member wearing a uniform fills out a form as he sits at a desk in front of a computer
Written by:
Shannon Lee
Edited by:
Kristin Marino verified
Editor's Rating

Those who are serving or have served in the United States military can take advantage of the wide variety of financial services offered through the Navy Federal Credit Union.

Personal loans available for members range from $250 to $50,000. Here’s what you need to know about getting one.

Navy Federal Credit Union At-a-Glance

The option of a personal loan with Navy Federal Credit Union carries pros and cons. Here are the basics of what you need to know.

  • Loans range from $250 to $50,000
  • Loan terms range from a few months to 180 months
  • Some loans have set terms, while others offer flexible options
  • There is an autopay discount of 0.25% on your APR
  • The APR rates are highly competitive
  • Only members can apply for and receive a personal loan from NFCU
  • A co-borrower or joint account is possible
  • There are no fees, with the exception of a late fee if you miss a payment

Pros and Cons of the Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

Like any other personal loan option, NFCU has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some for you to consider.
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Compare to Others Personal Loans

How does NFCU stack up against other banks or credit unions that offer personal loans? We took a look.


Available to the general public, SoFi offers loans between $5,000 and $100,000, as well as perks that can assist you if you wind up unemployed or otherwise in financial difficulty. It might be more difficult to obtain a loan through SoFi, as applicants need to have high credit scores and income. Interest rates might be higher than you find with NFCU. SoFi doesn’t allow joint account holders or co-signers.

Best Egg

You can request up to $50,000 through online bank Best Egg, which offers the opportunity to use a co-signer or joint account holder but also requires a high origination fee. Those who are having credit problems can look forward to working closely with Best Egg to clean up their credit score. There is no mobile app, which means handling your money through the online site is the only option.

Happy Money

If you’re looking for debt consolidation loans, Happy Money might be a good option. This online bank offers up to $40,000 in loans and offers payments directly to creditors. Prequalification is available, but there are no options for joint accounts, and there is an origination fee. If you wind up in financial trouble, there is a hardship program.

Compare Personal Loan Lenders

Finding the best personal loan to meet your needs is easy when you use our search tool. Compare personal loans and find the best rates being offered today.

Who Is a Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan For?

An NFCU loan is available only to those who are members of the credit union. In order to become a member, you must be an active or veteran military member, a family member of a person who served, or employed by a Department of Defense Contractor. Those who want flexible loan options for everything from emergency funding of $250 to larger amounts of up to $50,000 can opt for a personal loan. This is best for those who have a clear goal for their money in mind.

Top Features of the Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan

Let’s take a look at the features of the Navy Federal Credit Union that can strongly affect how your financial life plays out once you get that personal loan. Here are the points to ponder before taking the leap.

Wide Range of Loan Amounts

If you need a quick amount for emergencies, you can opt for a personal loan of as small as $250. But if you are looking at a large purchase, home renovation, debt consolidation or the like, you can opt for up to $50,000 in personal loan funds. However, keep in mind that the loan amount determines, to some extent, your loan term.

Varying Loan Terms

Rather than having one set term for everything, NFCU offers different terms for minimum loan amounts. How does that work? Here are a few examples:

  • A term of 61 to 84 months requires a minimum of $25,000 in loan funds
  • A term of 85 to 180 months requires a minimum of $30,000
  • Personal expenses and debt consolidation loans have terms of up to 60 months
  • Home improvement loans can go up to 180 months

To be certain of what terms will be available to you, speak to a banker about what you need.

Competitive APR

Though rates across the banking industry are in flux right now, NFCU tends to offer historically low rates for their personal loans. The rate will be personalized to your credit history, loan amount, term, current relationship with the bank, and much more. Talk to a banker to learn just how competitive your rate is.

Rate Discounts

Those who are active duty or retired military can get a rate discount of 0.25% on their personal loan. That might not seem like much at first blush, but it can add up to substantial savings over time.

Very Few Fees

There is no origination fee with any of these loans, which can save you thousands of dollars. There is also no prepayment fee; if you wind up in a great financial position and want to pay off your loan early, you can, and there will be no penalty for doing so. There is a late fee of $29 if you don’t make your payment on the loan by the due date.

Check Your Credit

NFCU reports to all three credit bureaus, so on-time payments can help increase your credit score. You can view your latest FICO score online at any time for free.

How to Get Started

Getting started requires that you be a member of the credit union. There are very clear rules for that, such as being a U.S. citizen and over the age of 18, but the most important one is that you meet the criteria concerning military involvement. Once you are a member, then you can apply for a personal loan.

It starts with applying on the website. There is no prequalification, so you will submit a formal application to the credit union. That means you will need documentation right away to upload with your application, such as proof of address and income. At this point there will be a hard credit check.

The credit union will inform you of what you qualify for and what your rate and term might be. You can then decide if you want to go through with the loan or decline.

Rating the Features

We took a deep dive into the features you can expect when you choose a loan through Navy Federal Credit Union. Here’s what we found.

User Experience

The personal loan through FNCU requires a full application; there is no prequalification, which might be a negative for those who are worried about a hard check on their credit report. However, the overall process seems to be easy, and current customers enjoy the benefit of a full-fledged credit union with a long history of customer service.


There are no fees with this personal loan, with the exception of a $29 late fee if you don’t make a payment on time.


Though rates change frequently and it’s hard to pin down exact numbers, NFCU has a history of providing very competitive rates to its members, and that includes the APR you can expect from personal loans.


There are many options available in personal loans from Navy Federal. The options for funding range from $250 to $50,000, and the terms range from a few months (for the smallest amount of $250) to up to 180 months for larger loans or those that focus on home improvement. If you choose to venture into other banking options, NFCU has a full slate of accounts and services available to meet your financial needs.

Customer Support

Customers can expect exceptional support from Navy Federal Credit Union, with branches to visit across the nation and live customer service via phone around the clock. Those who prefer to keep things online can engage in live chat or send a message via the secure portal.


NFCU is available across the United States with numerous branches and ATMs. Contact via phone, chat, or online is seamless. Accessing your money is easy as well with the robust mobile app or website.

Bottom Line

The Navy Federal Credit Union offers personal loans at competitive rates to their members, all of whom must have strong ties to the military to qualify for membership.

The process requires a formal loan application, which results in a hard hit to your credit score; however, once the ball is rolling, it takes only a day or so for approval and transfer of funds into your account.

Once you have the money, NFCU offers the option to pay it back in full early without penalty and charges only a late fee if you don’t make your payment on time.

With no hidden fees and good rates, NFCU could be a fantastic option to get the funding you need, when you need it.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m a member of the National Guard. Do I qualify to be a member?

Yes! Since the National Guard is part of the uniformed military service in the United States, you qualify under the rules of membership for the Navy Federal Credit Union.

What’s the difference between a co-borrower versus a co-signer?

NFCU allows for co-borrowers but not co-signers. The difference lies in payment responsibility. A co-borrower is just as responsible for making loan payments as the principal borrower. A co-signer, on the other hand, only becomes responsible when the principal loan holder stops making their payments and is in danger of defaulting on their loan.

My husband was a veteran. He passed away recently. Do I get to keep my account at NFCU?

You are still considered to have strong ties to the military, so your account is safe. You can continue to use it as usual and even apply for a personal loan if you need one.