There are many personal loan companies out there to help you pay for a dream vacation or consolidate high-interest credit card debt. But if you’re a U.S. military member or government employee, or you’re the family member of one or belong to certain other organizations, you could have another source for funding: Pentagon Federal Credit Union, a financial institution that’s also known as PenFed Credit Union.
Members can get a PenFed Credit Union personal loan for up to $25,000. Unlike a traditional bank, which is run by its shareholders, a credit union is owned by its members. So, the personal loan application process can be individualized.
Here’s everything you should know if you’re interested in borrowing a loan through PenFed Credit Union.
PenFed Credit Union personal loan
In addition to getting discounts on everything from insurance to rental cars, PenFed Credit Union members can quickly get approved for a personal loan. But there are some pros and cons to consider.
Pros of a PenFed Credit Union personal loan
Getting approved for a loan as soon as tomorrow is one major plus of a PenFed Credit Union personal loan. Here are some more:
Low interest rates: APRs start as low as 6.49%; that’s better than with lenders such as Discover, which has rates starting at 6.99%. However, these rates are current as of May 1, 2018. Be sure to double-check rates with PenFed Credit Union and, if you’re considering the lender, Discover.
No origination fee: While other loans can have origination fees ranging from 1% to 6% or more, PenFed Credit Union charges nothing. That means more money in your bank account.
Easy online application process: Being a member of PenFed Credit Union means you already have a lot of your personal information on file. That could help make the personal loan application process faster.
Credit card debt consolidation: The average APR of a credit card was 16.15% in November 2017, according to CreditCards.com. With an APR as low as 6.49%, you could consolidate your high-interest credit card debt into a lower monthly payment and pay less over time.
Online calculator: You can use PenFed Credit Union’s loan calculator before applying to get an estimate of your monthly payments.
Cons of a PenFed Credit Union personal loan
There are a lot of upsides to a PenFed Credit Union personal loan. But there are some downsides as well:
You have to be a member: Personal loans are only available to members of the credit union.
Your interest rate could be high: While PenFed Credit Union advertises its loan interest rates, your personal quote is based on your application and credit information. This means you could have a much higher APR. The maximum loan rate is not clearly stated.
PenFed Credit Union personal loan products
Although you can use a personal loan to cover pretty much any expense, PenFed Credit Union highlights a few.
Home improvements: Whether it’s an unexpected repair or you’re looking to remodel your kitchen, you can use a PenFed Credit Union personal loan to fund your next home project. Doing so could add value to your home.
Car expenses: You can borrow money to make repairs to your vehicle.
Vacation: Travel can be pricey if you have to pay for it all upfront. You can use a personal loan to cover the costs now and make payments later. Just remember: You’ll pay interest on the money you borrow. In most cases, it’s better to save up for a vacation than finance it.
If you need to take out a loan to cover college costs, don’t use a personal loan. Instead, research federal and private student loan lenders. If you’ve already taken out student loans, PenFed Credit Union does have a student loan refinancing option.
Using the PenFed Credit Union online system
It’s easy to start the application process as a PenFed Credit Union member; a lot of your personal information is on file. If you’re not a member, you’ll be given the option to become one when you click on the “Apply Now” button on the main personal loan page.
It’s unclear exactly what the next steps are in the application process since I can’t view it as a nonmember. But most personal loan rates and terms are based on details such as your credit score and history, income, debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, and loan amount.
PenFed Credit Union personal loan interest rates and fees
PenFed Credit Union personal loan rates are as low as 6.49%. If you took out a $15,000 loan at that rate, you’d pay $459.67 a month over a 36-month term. With a 48-month term, you’d pay $355.66. On a 60-month term, your payment would be $293.42.
The credit union also boasts about not having an origination fee. If you borrowed $10,000, for example, you’d get the full amount in your bank account. With another lender such as Best Egg, you’d have an origination fee of 0.99% to 5.99%. That means you’d only take home $9,401 to $9,901 of your loan amount.
Other loan fees aren’t listed on the PenFed Credit Union website. But the lender claims that it doesn’t have hidden fees.
PenFed Credit Union personal loan eligibility requirements
The PenFed Credit Union website says that you must be a member to apply for a personal loan. Other requirements aren’t made clear. But be prepared to provide information on the following:
Loan amount and term
The benefit of using a credit union to take out a personal loan is that the lender might be more lenient when it comes to any negative marks on your credit history.
PenFed Credit Union personal loan customer service
There are several ways you can reach PenFed Credit Union for your personal loan questions.
You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you could call the credit union at 800-247-5626 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m ET Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m ET on Saturday, or 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m ET on Sunday.
Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to PenFed Credit Union personal loans. PenFed Credit Union has neither provided nor reviewed the information shared in this article.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
|Lender||APR Range||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.
3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.
4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.
6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.
All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.16% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% and the average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer.
7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
8 Important Disclosures for Avant.
* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.
** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.
|7.73% – 29.99%||$1,000 - $50,000||Visit Upstart|
|6.26% – 14.87%1||$5,000 - $100,000||Visit SoFi|
|6.99% – 35.97%*||$1,000 - $50,000||Visit Upgrade|
|8.00% – 25.00%2||$5,000 - $35,000||Visit Payoff|
|4.99% – 29.99%3||$10,000 - $35,000||Visit FreedomPlus|
|5.99% – 18.99%4||$5,000 - $50,000||Visit Citizens|
|15.49% – 34.49%5||$2,000 - $25,000||Visit LendingPoint|
|6.16% – 35.89%6||$1,000 - $40,000||Visit LendingClub|
|6.99% – 18.24%7||$5,000 - $75,000||Visit Earnest|
|9.95% – 35.99%8||$2,000 - $35,000||Visit Avant|