Student loan interest rates can make it difficult to repay your loans. Add on monthly payments to other bills, and you might feel buried in debt.
For college graduates who qualify for membership, the Navy Federal Credit Union student loans consolidation program offers much-needed debt relief. It offers competitive features, like low-interest rates and favorable cosigner terms. Keep reading to see if this program is right for you.
Navy Federal Credit Union review
Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) has been serving the military community since 1933. It has over 6 million members. Members qualify for loan discounts, 100-percent mortgage financing, military retirement plans, and more.
Among NFCU services is its student loan consolidation program. NFCU has strict membership requirements, though.
How to join Navy Federal Credit Union
To enjoy the perks of NFCU’s student loan consolidation program, you have to join the credit union as a member. Eligibility requirements include:
- You are or have been affiliated with the U.S. armed forces, Department of Defense, Coast Guard, or National Guard.
- You have a family member who is or has been affiliated with the military. This includes grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings, children, grandchildren, and household members.
- You have a family member who is already a member of NFCU.
You can apply for membership online (must be 18 years old), in an NFCU branch, or over the phone at 1-888-842-6328.
Navy Federal Credit Union student loans program review
Once you’re confirmed as a member of NFCU, you’ll have access to its student loan refinancing program. The credit union uses LendKey as its service provider.
To be eligible, you must meet the following basic requirements:
- Be an NFCU member
- Graduated from an eligible school
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Be a legal adult in the state you live
NFCU allows you to consolidate private student loans only; federal student loans aren’t eligible. The credit union offers both variable and fixed rates:
- Variable: 3.52% – 11.27% APR
- Fixed: 4.25% – 12.24% APR
You can choose a 5-, 10-, or 15-year repayment plan. The shorter the plan, the lower the interest rate. You’ll also qualify for a 0.25% interest rate reduction if you sign up for autopay.
You can consolidate $7,500 to $125,000 in undergraduate student loans or up to $175,000 in graduate or combined student loan debt.
To apply for student loan consolidation with NFCU, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be employed with a monthly gross income of at least $2,000
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
If you’re unemployed, you can apply with a cosigner, who must meet the same income requirement. After 12 months of consecutive on-time payments, you may request to have your cosigner taken off the loan.
Pros and cons
If you’re interested in Navy Federal Credit Union student loan consolidation, consider these drawbacks and benefits to its program:
The biggest benefit to NFCU’s program is that cosigners aren’t stuck with the loan until it’s paid off. Cosigning a loan comes with risks for both the cosigner and primary borrower. NFCU’s policies help curb those risks.
The credit union also allows borrowers to apply for forbearance. With a 15-year loan term, for example, you qualify for up to 18 months of forbearance. Because private lenders aren’t required to offer this perk, many don’t.
The program’s autopay discount is an easy way to save on interest, too. The 0.25 percent discount might not sound like much, but over the life of the loan, your savings add up.
For example, if you have a $20,000 loan with a 10-year term and 5.00% APR, the autopay discount would drop your APR to 4.75%. Over the life of your loan, that amounts to $292.45 in savings.
Unfortunately, only private student loans qualify for NFCU’s loan consolidation program. If you’re looking to refinance federal student loans, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Additionally, NFCU has strict membership requirements. Some military credit unions allow you to become a member by joining a third-party organization or making a donation. But the only way to join NFCU is if you or a family member are affiliated with the military.
Applying for Navy Federal Credit Union student loans consolidation
You can apply online or by calling LendKey at 1-877-304-9302. Be prepared with the following information:
- Navy Federal Access Number
- Social Security Number
- Government-issued ID
- Basic information about your academic standing
- Details about the private loans you wish to consolidate, including the lender and balances
- Permanent address, phone number, and email address
If you’re applying with a cosigner, you’ll need to provide the following:
- Name, address, phone number, and email address
- Social Security Number
- Government-issued photo ID number
- Personal reference
- Employer name and contact information
- Two most recent pay stubs
- A W-2 form or tax return
When you apply, LendKey will run a credit check, which will trigger a hard inquiry on your credit report. The same will happen to a cosigner’s credit report if you’re using one.
Should you consolidate with Navy Federal Credit Union?
If you qualify for membership and have private student loans, NFCU’s program is a solid option. NFCU is also an attractive option for borrowers with cosigners.
Overall, NFCU offers attractive interest rates. If you have solid credit or a cosigner with good credit, you can qualify for rates that compete with the top refinancing banks.
But if you’re looking to refinance federal student loans or aren’t eligible to join NFCU, you’ll need to consider other options. The same applies if you don’t qualify for the best rates and don’t have a cosigner.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Rates (APR)||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!|
|2.75% - 7.24%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.57% - 6.39%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.57% - 7.12%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.99% - 6.99%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.74% - 7.26%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.89% - 8.33%||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|
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