Advertiser Disclosure

Navy Federal Credit Union Student Loan Reviews: Private Loans and Refinancing

March 14, 2018
Loans, Student Loans
navy-federal-credit-union-student-loans-review
At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Navy Federal Credit Union offers student loans and student loan refinancing, which it calls private consolidation.

You must be a member of Navy Federal, known as NFCU, to borrow or refinance. To qualify for membership, you must be active duty, reserve or retired military, a Department of Defense civilian employee or contractor assigned to one of its facilities; or related to someone who fits one of those categories or who is already a member.

Navy Federal Credit Union has offered student loans since April 2015. We review both student loan and refinancing products in this article:

Navy Federal Credit Union refinancing review
Navy Federal Credit Union private student loan review

Navy Federal Credit Union private consolidation loan review

Navy Federal Credit Union offers student loan refinancing, which it calls private consolidation. Student loan refinancing means replacing one or more student loans with a single lower-rate loan.

navy_federal_credit_union_logo-55x270
Type of loanRefinancing student loan
NerdWallet rating4.0 stars out of 5
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Interest rates (APR)Fixed: 4.99% - 12.84%
Variable: 4.57% - 12.07%
Loan terms5, 10 or 15 years
Eligible loan balances$7,500 to $125,000 for undergraduate debt or $7,500 to $175,000 in graduate or combined student loan debt
Rates updated July 1, 2018
Check Rates at Navy Federal Credit Union Student Loans

A Navy Federal Credit Union consolidation loan may be right for you if you:

  • Have private student loans
  • Have federal student loans and don’t plan to use federal benefits such as income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness (you’ll lose access to those programs if you refinance)
  • Have good credit, a stable income and a history of paying your debt on time

You’ll save the most money by choosing the shortest repayment term you can manage. Refinancing isn’t for you if you have poor credit, an uncertain job situation or have federal loans and want to pursue an income-driven repayment plan or loan forgiveness program.

» MORE: Compare student loan refinance lenders

Can you qualify?

Navy Federal Credit Union consolidation loans are available to credit union members only. Borrowers without a co-signer must have a minimum annual income of $24,000. With a co-signed loan, the borrower must show a minimum annual income of $1,200, and the co-signer $24,000.

The credit union says it takes a “holistic approach” to creditworthiness, considering a member’s entire financial relationship with them. Navy Federal Credit Union doesn’t disclose other specific details, such as credit or debt-to-income ratio requirements, but you’ll likely be accepted if you:

  • Have good credit. Lenders typically look for borrowers with FICO scores in the high 600s, at least.
  • Consistently make loan payments on time. Navy Federal Credit Union will evaluate your payment history and debt-to-income ratio.
  • Are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Attended an eligible school. Your loans must have been used to pay for a program at a school Navy Federal Credit Union works with. Find all eligible schools on Navy Federal Credit Union’s website.

The average amount approved borrowers refinance is just over $40,000. The most popular loan term is a 15-year term.

How to refinance with Navy Federal Credit Union

Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibilities they offer for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you’re ready to refinance with Navy Federal Credit Union, you can apply on Navy Federal Credit Union’s website. Here’s how:

  1. Complete an application. Fill in your personal details and information about your current loans. You will need:
  • Navy Federal Access Number
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued ID
  • Basic information about your academic standing
  • Permanent address, phone number and email
  • Details of existing student loans to be consolidated, including lender and amount
  1. Apply with a co-signer. Your rate will likely be lower if you apply with a co-signer. If you do, have your co-signer complete the application with you. Co-signers must provide the following:
  • Name, address, phone number and email
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued photo ID number
  • Personal reference
  • Employer’s name and contact information
  • Two most recent pay stubs
  • W-2 form or tax return
  1. Agree to let Navy Federal Credit Union pull your credit. This “hard credit check” may cause your credit score to dip slightly, but most lenders need to check credit history before approving borrowers for a loan.
  2. Approval. You’ll see the rate you qualify for after you’re approved for the loan. Approval is typically completed within five business days.
  3. Finish the paperwork. Once you are approved, the loan takes two days to disburse. During that time, you’ll need to continue making payments on all of your separate loans. You can submit your most recent regular monthly statements to calculate the payoff and verify the loans you’re consolidating so you don’t have to wait for a new payoff statement from your existing lender.
Check Rates at Navy Federal Credit Union Student Loans

More details

  • Loan servicer: LendKey
  • Application or origination fee: No
  • Prepayment penalty: No
  • Late fees: Yes, after 15 days past due. $20 for most borrowers or the lesser of $10 or 5% for Wisconsin borrowers
  • Co-signer release available: Yes, after 12 consecutive on-time payments

Repayment options for struggling borrowers

If you have difficulty making payments, Navy Federal Credit Union offers up to 18 months of forbearance in increments of up to six months. Navy Federal Credit Union does not offer deferment. Forbearance can be used for several different circumstances, including:

  • Unemployment
  • Financial difficulty
  • Enrollment in school
  • Active-duty military service

Contact Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union student loan refinancing FAQs

  • Can I apply with a co-signer? Yes
  • Can I qualify if I’ve filed for bankruptcy in the past? Yes
  • Can I qualify if I didn’t go to a Title IV-accredited school? Navy Federal Credit Union did not disclose. Find all eligible schools on Navy Federal Credit Union’s website.
  • Can I qualify if I didn’t graduate? No

» MORE: Read more student loan refinancing FAQs

Navy Federal Credit Union private student loan review

Navy Federal Credit Union offers private student loans for undergraduates and graduate students. A Navy Federal student loan may be right for you if you:

  • Have good credit or a creditworthy co-signer
  • Need to fill a gap in the financial aid package you received after filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA

» MORE: NerdWallet’s 2018-19 FAFSA Guide

navy_federal_credit_union_logo-55x270
Type of loanPrivate student loan
NerdWallet rating4.5 stars out of 5
4.5 out of 5.0 stars
Loan terms5, 10 or 15 years
Loan amounts $2,000 minimum to $120,000 for undergraduates, or $160,000 for graduate students
Check Rates at Navy Federal Credit Union Student Loans

Can you qualify?

  • Minimum credit score: Not disclosed.
  • Minimum income: $15,000 for borrower or co-signer.
  • Education requirements: Borrower must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program from one of the schools Navy Federal Credit Union works with.
  • Citizenship requirements: U.S. citizens or permanent residents. International and undocumented students cannot qualify.

You must be a Navy Federal Credit Union member to borrow. The credit union says it takes a “holistic approach” to creditworthiness, factoring in a member’s entire financial relationship with them.

Navy Federal Credit Union did not disclose details on the typical borrower, such as average income, credit score or debt-to-income ratio. Over 90% of Navy Federal Credit Union’s student loan borrowers have a co-signer.

» COMPARE: Private student loans

How to apply for a Navy Federal Credit Union student loan

Before you take out a private student loan, compare your options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, compare lenders’ repayment options and the flexibility they offer for borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you’re ready to borrow with Navy Federal Credit Union, you can apply on Navy Federal Credit Union’s website. Here’s how.

  1. Complete an application. Fill in your personal details and information about the school you’re planning to attend. You’ll need to provide:
  • Navy Federal Access Number
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued ID
  • Basic information about your academic standing
  • Permanent address, phone number and email address
  1. Add a co-signer. Your rate will likely be lower if you apply with a co-signer. If you do, have your co-signer complete an application too. Your co-signer will need to provide the following:
  • Name, address, phone number and email
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued photo ID number
  • Personal reference
  • Employer’s name and contact information
  • Two most recent pay stubs
  • W-2 form or tax return
  1. Agree to let Navy Federal Credit Union pull your credit. This “hard credit check” may cause your credit score to dip slightly, but most lenders need to check credit history before approving borrowers for a loan.
  2. Approval. You’ll see the rate you qualify for after you’re approved for the loan.
  3. Finish the paperwork. You’ll need to sign all loan documents in order to receive the loan. Funds will be disbursed to your school. You’ll need to choose a repayment plan, as you’ll begin making payments right away.
Check Rates at Navy Federal Credit Union Student Loans

More details

  • Loan servicer: LendKey
  • Application or origination fee: No
  • Prepayment penalty: No
  • Late fees: Yes, after 15 days past due. $20 for most borrowers or the lesser of $10 or 5% for Wisconsin borrowers
  • Co-signer release available: Yes, after 24-consecutive on-time payments

General repayment options

All Navy Federal Credit Union borrowers begin making small payments while enrolled at least half-time in school and continue during the six-month grace period after leaving school. Once the grace period is over, all borrowers enter full repayment. You can choose from two in-school repayment options:

In-school interest-only payments: This will save you the most money. You’ll be required to make interest-only payments while you’re in school and during your grace period.

In-school $25 proactive payment: You’ll be required to pay $25 every month while you’re enrolled in school and during your grace period.

Repayment options for struggling borrowers

You’ll save the most money by repaying the loan as fast as possible. But during the life of your loan, you may run into situations where you need to take a pause. If you have difficulty making payments, Navy Federal Credit Union offers up to 18 months of forbearance in increments of up to six months. Navy Federal Credit Union does not offer deferment. Forbearance can be used for circumstances including:

  • Unemployment
  • Financial difficulty
  • Enrollment in school
  • Active-duty military service

Navy Federal Credit Union extras

  • 30-day no-fee return policy: You may cancel the loan within 30 days of disbursement without fees or interest.

Contact Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union student loan FAQs

  • Can I apply with a co-signer? Yes
  • Can I qualify if I’ve filed for bankruptcy in the past? Yes
  • Can I qualify if I don’t go to a Title IV-accredited school? Navy Federal Credit Union did not answer, but it lists all eligible schools on its website.

STUDENT LOANS RATINGS METHODOLOGY

NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s private student loans ratings reward lenders that offer a variety of loan terms, limit their fees and penalties, and extend borrowers multiple options to avoid default. Points are also awarded for soft credit checks, underwriting transparency and other consumer-friendly features. Use these ratings as a guide, but we encourage you to shop around for the lowest interest rate you can qualify for. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for its reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best for consumer-friendly features

4.5 stars out of 5 — Excellent; offers most consumer-friendly features

4 stars out of 5 — Very good; offers many consumer-friendly features

3.5 stars out of 5 — Good; may not offer something important to you

3 stars out of 5 — Fair; missing important consumer-friendly features

2.5 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution