PenFed Credit Union Personal Loan Review

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What is PenFed Credit Union?

PenFed Credit Union stands for Pentagon Federal Credit Union, a members-only credit union established in 1935 that now services all 50 states in the U.S., as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and Okinawa, Japan. PenFed Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. It offers car loans, mortgages and several credit card options to members.

According to its mission statement, PenFed Credit Union wants to educate and encourage. PenFed Credit Union has over 1.7 million members and $2.4 billion in assets. It has financed 4,150 homes and given $37 million in cash back to members. The credit union offers other options, including personal loans, student loan refinancing, in-school student loans and personal lines of credit.

In this review, we will be taking a closer look at PenFed Credit Union’s personal loan product.

PenFed Credit Union personal loan highlights

  • No origination fee: PenFed Credit Union doesn’t charge any origination fees for its loans. Also, there aren’t any prepayment penalties for paying off your loan early.
  • Immediate access: Upon approval, loan funds are available immediately to members for their own use.
  • Low APR: With an APR as low as 6.49%, PenFed Credit Union offers one of the lowest rates without origination fees among competing companies.
  • Terms: 36 to 60 months.
  • Minimum credit requirement: 700
  • Fees: Membership with minimum $5 deposit; late payment fee
PenFed Credit Union Personal Loan Details
Terms
Fees and Penalties
  • Term lengths: 36 to 60 months
  • APR: Starting at 6.49%
  • Loan amounts: $500 – $25,000
  • Time to funding: Immediate upon approval
  • Credit check: Hard Pull
  • Origination fee: No origination fee
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: 20% of finance charge ($5 minimum or $25 max)
  • Other fees: $30 returned loan payment

PenFed Credit Union product details

A personal loan through PenFed Credit Union offers a low starting APR, No origination fee or closing fee, immediate access to funds, and a wide range of loan amounts and offerings.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 700
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Not specified

Before applying for a loan from PenFed Credit Union, you will need to become a member, which can be done online. There are three steps to becoming a PenFed Credit Union member, the first of which is eligibility. You will be eligible for membership based on military status, employment, association membership or volunteerism.

Applying for a personal loan from PenFed Credit Union

To apply for a personal loan from PenFed Credit Union, you will first need to apply to be a member, which can be done online. You will start the application process online by determining your eligibility based on your military status, employment background, association membership or volunteerism. For example, if you’re an active or retired member of the military, a family member or housemate of a PenFed Credit Union member, an employee of a qualifying organization or you live or work at an applicable location, you are eligible to apply.

If none of the above circumstances apply to you, you can become eligible by becoming a member of one of two qualifying organizations: Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association. Both memberships cost $17 annually.

If you are eligible for membership, you will submit your name, phone number, email address and address for the second step of the application process. Once your PenFed Credit Union membership has been approved, you will need to apply for a savings account and deposit a minimum of $5 to apply for a loan.

To apply for a personal loan, you will log in to your online PenFed Credit Union account and submit the appropriate documentation for the loan application.

Pros and Cons of a PenFed Credit Union Personal Loan
Pros
Cons
  • Low APR with no origination fees: Many loan programs that offer low APRs also have origination fees, so PenFed Credit Union is unique in offering a low starting APR with no fees.
  • Long-term loans: 36 to 60 months
  • Low minimum balance: The only requirement for a loan application is to become a PenFed Credit Union member and deposit at least $5 in a savings account.
  • Limited eligibility: PenFed Credit Union does have more limited eligibility than some other credit unions, so it may be best-suited for members of the military or individuals with family members enrolled.
  • High credit expectations: The best rates are based on higher credit scores. So if you have a low credit score, you may want to look elsewhere for a personal loan since your rates may differ.
  • Best for long-term loans: You may save money if you’re looking for a lower APR with upfront fees for short-term loans.

Who’s the best fit for a PenFed Credit Union personal loan?

Wondering if you might be a candidate for a PenFed Credit Union personal loan? The ideal candidate for a PenFed Credit Union personal loan would be someone who:

  • Is a current or retired member of the military
  • Is associated with PenFed Credit Union either by location or other family members
  • Is interested in supporting military causes
  • Has excellent credit
  • Is looking for a lower APR without any additional fees
  • Is looking for a more long-term loan
  • Would like their loan processed quickly

Alternative personal loan options

If you would like to see some other options for personal loan financing, you do have some alternatives. Here are some examples of the other types of lenders that offer personal loans.

Upstart

  • APR: 7.54% – 35.99%
  • Credit requirements: 620
  • Terms: 36 & 60 months
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 8.00% of the loan balance

Upstart takes your employment history, education and credit score into consideration to help you get a better rate. So it may be helpful if you have a lower credit score but an impressive background or resume. There is no prepayment penalty.

SoFi

  • APR: 5.99% – 16.99%
  • Credit requirements: 680
  • Terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Origination fee: No origination fee

SoFi has no late fees or prepayment penalties, but it does require some kind of household income or a job offer that will begin within 90 days to qualify for a loan. You can borrow between $5,000 and $50,000. It also offers unemployment protection.

LendingClub

  • APR: 6.95% – 35.89%
  • Credit requirements: 600
  • Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • Origination fee: 1.00% - 6.00%

LendingClub uses a Soft Pull credit check to check your credit history, so it won’t affect your credit score. There is no prepayment penalty, but it does charge $15 or 5% of your due amount for late payments, whichever is greater, so you’ll want to be timely with those payments.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2019!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 16.990% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.74% APR to 14.70% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.72% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.49% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  5. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 5.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 5.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.79% – 20.89% (6.79% – 20.89% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 9.99% APR to a high of 35.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

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 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. 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 the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. 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. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.

†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com

**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.


7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* 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

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** 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.

5.74% – 16.99%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

7.54% – 35.99%$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upstart

7.99% – 35.89%*$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upgrade

5.99% – 24.99%2$5,000 - $35,000

Visit Payoff

5.99% – 29.99%3$7,500 - $40,000

Visit FreedomPlus

6.79% – 20.89%4$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

9.99% – 35.99%5$2,000 - $25,000

Visit LendingPoint

6.95% – 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

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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