Navy Federal Credit Union Auto Purchase and Refinance Loans: 2024 Review

To apply for a Navy Federal auto loan, you must first be a credit union member. Eligibility goes beyond current and retired members of the armed forces and includes other military connections.
Shannon Bradley
By
Last updated on February 21, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Julie Myhre-Nunes
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Auto loan reviews

NavyFederalCreditUnion
New auto purchase loan
The Nerdy headline:

Best for those affiliated with the military who are looking for a possible auto loan rate discount and other benefits of credit union membership.

New auto purchase loan review

NavyFederalCreditUnion
Navy Federal Credit Union - New car purchase loan

4.0
NerdWallet rating
Est. APR
4.54-18.00%
Loan amount
$250 - $500,000
Min. credit score
Did not disclose

Pros

  • Has 24-hour member service.

  • Offers a rate discount for active-duty and retired military members. Direct deposit required. Rate shown does not reflect this discount.

  • Allows co-signers and co-borrowers.

  • Available in all states.

Cons

  • Offers no grace period for late payments.

  • Doesn’t offer pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • Credit union membership required to apply for a loan.

Best for new car buyers who qualify for the military discount rate and want the flexibility of buying at any franchised dealership or Navy Federal’s car buying service through TrueCar.

Compare auto loans lenders
Lender
Est. APR
Loan amount
Min. credit score
MyAutoloan
4.0
Visit Lenderon MyAutoloan's website
on MyAutoloan's website
6.29- 29.90%
$8,000- $100,000
575
6.24- 34.90%
$8,000- $100,000
575
7.74- 15.69%
$5,000- $100,000
660
Visit Lenderon LightStream's website
on LightStream's website
7.74- 15.69%
$5,000- $100,000
660
Visit Lenderon LightStream's website
on LightStream's website
Consumers Credit Union
Visit Lenderon Consumers Credit Union's website
on Consumers Credit Union's website
6.79- 17.54%
No min.- $100,000
600
Visit Lenderon Consumers Credit Union's website
on Consumers Credit Union's website
View more

Used auto purchase loan review

NavyFederalCreditUnion
Navy Federal Credit Union - Used car purchase loan

4.0
NerdWallet rating
Est. APR
5.44-18.00%
Loan amount
$250 - $500,000
Min. credit score
Did not disclose

Pros

  • Offers a rate discount for active-duty and retired military members. Direct deposit required. Rate shown does not reflect this discount.

  • Allows co-signers and co-borrowers.

  • Has no maximum restrictions on vehicle age or mileage.

  • Has fewer restrictions on where a vehicle can be purchased.

Cons

  • Offers no grace period for late payments.

  • Doesn’t offer pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • Credit union membership required to apply for a loan.

Best for used car buyers who qualify for the military discount rate and want more flexibility when buying a used car.

Auto loan refinancing review

NavyFederalCreditUnion
Navy Federal Credit Union - Refinance loan

4.0
NerdWallet rating
Est. APR
4.54-18.00%
Loan amount
$250 - $500,000
Min. credit score
Did not disclose

Pros

  • Offers a rate discount for active-duty and retired military members. Direct deposit required. Rate shown does not reflect this discount.

  • Offers a $200 bonus for refinancing an auto loan from another lender.

  • Has no maximum restrictions on vehicle age or mileage.

  • Will refinance as soon as title can be transferred.

  • Has 24-hour member service.

Cons

  • No rate discount for automatic payments.

  • Doesn’t offer pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

  • No choice of payment date.

Best for applicants who qualify for the military discount rate and want fewer restrictions when refinancing a car.

Full Review of Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union offers auto loans for new and used car purchases as well as refinancing. Navy Federal also offers private party auto loans to finance vehicles purchased from an individual.

To apply for a Navy Federal auto loan, you must be a credit union member. Membership is open to anyone who has served in a branch of the U.S. armed forces on active duty or as a reservist, has worked for the Department of Defense or a DOD contractor, or is an immediate family member of someone eligible for membership.

Navy Federal offers a 0.25 percentage point auto loan rate discount for active-duty and retired military members. To receive the discount, loan applicants must contact Navy Federal by phone or visit a branch and agree to use direct deposit of their net pay.

Table of contents

Navy Federal auto loans at a glance

Minimum credit score

Did not disclose.

Minimum credit history

Did not disclose.

Minimum annual gross income

Did not disclose.

Maximum debt-to-income ratio

Did not disclose.

Maximum loan-to-value ratio

Did not disclose.

Loan terms

12-96 months for new car purchase and auto refinance loans. 12-72 months for used car purchase loans.

Co-applicants allowed?

Co-signers and co-borrowers allowed.

Pre-qualification or preapproval offered?

Offers preapproval with a hard credit check. Does not offer pre-qualification with a soft credit check.

Origination/processing fee?

None.

Rate discount offered?

0.25% APR discount for active duty and retired military members who use direct deposit of net pay. No discount for automatic payments.

States covered

Available in all states.

    • New vehicle definition: Previous model year vehicles and newer with 30,000 or fewer miles.

    • Maximum vehicle age: None.

    • Maximum vehicle mileage: No maximum for used purchase or refinancing.

    • Other vehicle restrictions: Vehicles 20 years or older (based on model year) are considered classic or antique and subject to other eligible vehicle rates.

    • Loan amount minimum: $250 for new and used purchase; $5,000 for refinancing.

    • Loan amount maximum: $500,000.

    • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: Did not disclose.

    • Refinance time restrictions: Will refinance as soon as the previous loan's paperwork is complete and the title can be transferred (no set waiting period). Borrowers must have a $5,000 balance remaining on a loan to refinance it.

    • Bankruptcy restrictions: Did not disclose.

    • Approval speed: Immediate in most cases. Approved loan offer is good for 90 days.

    • Initial deferred payment: Does not offer.

    • Existing loan payoff: For refinancing, funds are provided to the borrower who must then pay off the previous loan.

    • Selected payment due date: Borrower can select their payment due date at any time. During the loan term, it can be changed through the mobile app, online banking, by phone or in-person at a branch.

    • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Did not disclose.

    • Late payment grace period and fee: No grace period. Charges late payment fee of $29.

    • Hardship plans: Yes. A personal financial management team works with members on an individual basis to address financial hardships and establish good financial habits.

    • Contact options: Phone, email, text, live chat, website form, visit a location. Has Spanish-speaking agents by phone.

    • Availability: Member service is available 24/7.

    • Mobile app to manage account: Yes.

    • Online resources: Offers an online auto learning center covering topics such as the car-buying process and how to apply for an auto loan. Also has auto loan FAQs and calculators.

    • Related services: Borrowers can get a free Carfax report, a trial subscription to Sirius XM, and potential savings on auto insurance through Liberty Mutual.

    • Membership: Membership is available to anyone who has served in a branch of the U.S. armed forces on active duty or as a reservist, has worked for the Department of Defense or a DOD contractor, or is an immediate family member of someone eligible for membership.

» Curious about other options? Compare auto loan rates from more lenders

Navy Federal Credit Union may be a good fit for those who:

  • Need more flexibility. Navy Federal finances vehicles purchased at franchised dealerships, independent dealerships, online retailers and private parties. Also, there are no maximum age or mileage restrictions for used car or refinancing loans.

  • Prefer a one-stop auto shopping experience. Navy Federal members have access to an online Car Buying Center where they can apply for a loan, research or buy a car through a car-buying service, get a vehicle history report and obtain auto insurance.

  • Qualify for the Navy Federal rate discount. Active-duty and retired military members are eligible for a 0.25 percentage point auto loan interest rate discount when they use direct deposit of net pay.

Do you qualify for a Navy Federal auto loan?

Here are Navy Federal's basic eligibility requirements to apply for an auto loan:

  • Must be at least 18 years old.

  • Must qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union membership.

Navy Federal did not share specific information about minimum auto loan eligibility requirements, such as minimum credit score, credit history or income. Instead, they responded with the following statement: “Our credit methodology is proprietary, so unfortunately, we can’t get into the specifics. However, we lend to members across the credit spectrum and work with our members to find the best lending option for their unique financial situation.”

Before you apply

Check your credit. You can get your free credit report on NerdWallet or at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you find errors, file a credit dispute to correct them before you apply for an auto loan.

Figure what monthly payment you can afford. For purchase loans, use an auto loan calculator to determine what APR and repayment term you need to get monthly car payments that fit your budget. When you know your maximum car payment, a car affordability calculator can help you determine a realistic car price.

For auto refinance loans, use an auto refinance calculator to see your monthly payment and determine what APR and term you need to make refinancing worthwhile.

Gather documents and information. Navy Federal requires the following to submit an initial auto loan application: address, phone, email, birthdate, employment status, employer name, income, basic vehicle information and vehicle identification number.

How to apply for a Navy Federal auto loan

  1. Submit your auto loan application. Navy FCU provides several ways to apply — including in a branch or by phone at 1-888-842-6328. To apply online, you must log in to online banking or the mobile app, so you will first need to establish credit union membership to get access to these tools. The application process can be completed 100% online, including document upload.

  2. Review your preapproved loan offer. If you qualify, Navy Federal will respond with a preapproved loan offer. This offer will provide the maximum loan amount you qualify for, the loan interest rate and term. Once you accept the preapproved offer, you may be asked for documents to confirm the information you provided when applying. Navy Federal will issue a check with your funds, which can be picked up at a branch or mailed to your home. Auto loan preapproval does require a hard credit check, which can temporarily lower your credit scores, but it can be useful when negotiating at a dealership or setting a maximum car price.

  3. Stay on top of your loan payments. Navy Federal reports car payments to all three major credit bureaus, so on-time payments will help build your credit score, but missed payments will hurt it. Setting up automatic payments is a good way to make sure your payments arrive by the due date.

How auto loan rates work and how we collect them

The auto loan APR range NerdWallet displays is provided by the lender. We make every attempt to keep rates updated, by sending out bimonthly rate surveys and encouraging lenders to send us updates when rates change. We also compare these rates to APRs on the lender's website, if available. The accuracy of our rates depends on the information lenders provide to us. It’s always a good idea to check average auto loan interest rates, and compare to similar lenders, to determine if a lender’s provided rate seems realistic.

We ask lenders to provide their lowest rate that at least 10% of applicants applying for the lowest rate have qualified for in the previous three months, without including any potential rate discounts. The lowest rates shown are typically available only to borrowers with good or excellent credit (a FICO score of 690 and above).

We also ask lenders for their highest rates, which typically reflect rates available to borrowers with fair or bad credit (a FICO score in the mid-600s or below). The highest interest rates result in higher monthly payments and more total interest paid.

Actual rates received by this lender's auto loan borrowers may be different from the rates shown in this review.

How do we review direct lenders for auto loans?

NerdWallet's review process surveys companies that offer any combination of new car purchase loans, used car purchase loans, auto refinance loans (traditional and/or cash-out) and lease buyout loans. These companies include direct lenders and aggregators; the latter group doesn't have in-house loan products but matches borrowers to third-party lenders within a network. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs. We adhere to strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

Our survey for direct lenders has different questions than the survey for aggregators, but each includes more than 60 data points. NerdWallet independently confirms product details and, when necessary, follows up with company representatives. At least two writers and an editor verify the facts for every lender review to ensure data are accurate.

To receive a star rating, a lender must respond to NerdWallet’s annual auto loans survey. Star ratings are then assessed from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars).

For more details about the categories considered when rating direct lenders and our process, read our full methodology.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Navy Federal Credit Union provides some current auto loan rates on its website for new and used purchase loans and auto refinancing loans. The rates displayed are broken down by loan term and are “as low as” rates typically available only for applicants with excellent credit. Borrowers with fair or bad credit will not qualify for the lowest rates shown.

  • The Navy Federal Credit Union website has a robust offering of auto loan calculators, including a monthly car payment calculator, new car vs. used car calculator and auto refinance calculator.

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