Editorial Review

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

Navy Federal Credit Union offers its members an 18-month grace period for repayment, but no deferment options.

Anna HelhoskiJanuary 16, 2020

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Student loan ratings

Navy Federal
  • Student loan refinancing

  • Private student loan

The bottom line: Navy Federal Credit Union requires members to be connected with the military. It began offering student loans in 2015. Its refinancing loan is an option for members of Navy Federal Credit Union, especially those who have an associate degree. Its private loan is an option for members of Navy Federal Credit Union who can make small payments while in school.

Student loan refinancing review

Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance

Navy Federal Student Loan Refinance

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Fixed APR

4.29 - 12.46%

Variable APR

4.96 - 12.84%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Pros

  • Forbearance of 18 months is longer than many lenders offer.
  • Greater-than-minimum payments allowed via autopay.

Cons

  • Available only to existing Navy Federal Credit Union customers
  • Students cannot refinance a parent PLUS loan in their name.
  • You can’t see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

An option for members of Navy Federal Credit Union, especially those who have an associate degree.

Full Review

Navy Federal's consolidation loan replaces one or more student loans with a single, lower-rate loan. It's one of the few refinance loans available for borrowers who have an associate degree. It allows borrowers to get up to 18 months of forbearance. There are no other deferment options.

Navy Federal Credit Union student loan refinancing at a glance

  • Only available to existing Navy Federal Credit Union customers.

  • Borrowers cannot refinance PLUS loans or a parent's loan in their own name.

  • Up to 18 months of forbearance.

How Navy Federal student loan refinancing could improve

Navy Federal Credit Union could improve by offering additional programs, such as:

  • Additional repayment or deferment options.

  • Refinancing for borrowers without a degree.

  • Personalized rate estimates without affecting credit.

How much can refinancing save?

Navy Federal student loan refinancing details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: No.

  • Loan terms: 5, 10 or 15 years.

  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $125,000 for undergraduate debt or $7,500 to $175,000 in graduate or combined student loan debt.

  • Can transfer a parent loan to the child : No.

  • 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.

Compare Navy Federal’s range of interest rates with other student loan refinance lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer’s — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Navy Federal Credit Union will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: Did not disclose.

  • Minimum income: Without a co-signer, a borrower must have a minimum annual income of $24,000. With a co-signer, a borrower must prove a minimum annual income of $1,200 and the co-signer must prove a minimum annual income of $24,000.

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.

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

  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Location: Available in all U.S. states.

  • Must have graduated: Yes, with at least an associate degree.

  • Must have attended a school authorized to receive federal aid: Find all eligible schools when you begin your application.

  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: <40%.

  • Forbearance: If you have difficulty making payments, Navy Federal offers up to 18 months of forbearance in increments of up to six months. Navy Federal does not offer deferment. Forbearance can be used for several different circumstances, including unemployment, financial difficulty, enrollment in school and active-duty military service.

  • Co-signer release available: Yes. The borrower must submit a request, meet the twelve (12) consecutive on-time monthly payment requirements, provide proof of income, and pass a credit check.

  • Death or disability discharge available: No.

repayment preferences:

  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

  • Loan servicer: LendKey.

  • In-house customer service team: No.

  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.

  • Average time from approval to payoff: Up to two days for disbursement to be scheduled.

How to refinance with Navy Federal Credit Union

You can apply for a Navy Federal Credit Union refinanced student loan on its website. Before deciding on a student loan refinance lender, compare multiple student loan refinance 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 borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If you’re ready to refinance with Navy Federal Credit Union, you can apply on its website.

How does this loan compare?

LendKey Student Loan Refinance
PenFed Student Loan Refinance
Check RateCheck Rate
Fixed APR

3.39 - 7.75%

Fixed APR

3.23 - 5.53%

Variable APR

1.90 - 7.89%

Variable APR

2.23 - 6.97%

Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Credit Score

670

Private student loan review

Navy Federal Private Student Loan

Navy Federal Private Student Loan

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Fixed APR

6.49 - 12.84%

Variable APR

5.32 - 11.72%

Min. Credit Score

Does not disclose

Pros

  • Forbearance of 18 months is longer than many lenders offer.

Cons

  • Available only to existing Navy Federal Credit Union customers.
  • Only one repayment term: 10 years.
  • Payment required while in school and during the grace period.

An option for members of Navy Federal Credit Union who can make small payments while in school.

Full Review

Navy Federal Credit Union's undergraduate private student loans are available only to members of the credit union. The lender says it takes a “holistic approach” to creditworthiness, factoring in a member’s entire financial relationship with the credit union. Navy Federal Credit Union requires borrowers to make small payments while in school and during the grace period.  

Navy Federal Credit Union private student loans at a glance

  • Interest-only or $25 minimum payments due while enrolled in school and during the six-month grace period.

  • Co-signer release available after 24 consecutive on-time payments.

  • The only loan repayment term available is 10 years.

How Navy Federal's private student loan could improve

Navy Federal Credit Union could improve its private student loan by adding programs, such as:

Navy Federal private student loan details

  • Soft credit check to qualify and see what rate you’ll get: No.

  • Loan terms: 10 years.

  • Loan amounts: $2,000 minimum to $120,000 for undergraduates, or $160,000 for graduate students.

  • 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.

Compare Navy Federal's range of interest rates with private student loan lenders. Your actual rate will depend on factors including your — or your co-signer's — credit history and financial situation. To see what rate Navy Federal Credit Union will offer you, apply on its website.

Financial

  • Minimum credit score: Did not disclose.

  • Minimum income: Without a co-signer, $15,000 annually. With a co-signer: no minimum, but co-signer must earn $15,000 annually or more.

  • Typical credit score of approved borrowers or co-signers: Did not disclose.

  • Typical income of approved borrowers: Did not disclose.

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

  • Can qualify if you’ve filed for bankruptcy: Yes.

Other

  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Location: Available in all U.S. states.

  • Must be enrolled half-time or more: Yes.

  • Types of schools served: Find all eligible schools when you begin an application.

  • Percentage of borrowers who have a co-signer: >90%.

In-school repayment options

All Navy Federal 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. Borrowers can choose from two in-school repayment options:

  • Fixed repayment: Pay $25 every month while enrolled in school and during the grace period.

  • Interest-only repayment: Make interest-only payments while in school and during the grace period.

Post-school repayment options

  • Grace period: 6 months. Interest-only or $25 proactive payment is still due during this time.

  • Forbearance: If you have difficulty making payments, Navy Federal offers up to 18 months of forbearance in increments of up to six months. Navy Federal does not offer deferment. Forbearance can be used for several different circumstances, including unemployment, financial difficulty, enrollment in school and active-duty military service.

  • Co-signer release available: Yes, after 12 consecutive on-time payments.

  • Death or disability discharge available: Yes for student loans that originated after November 20, 2018.

Repayment preferences

  • Allows greater-than-minimum payments via autopay: Yes.

  • Allows biweekly payments via autopay: No.

  • Loan servicer: Firstmark Services.

  • In-house customer service team: Yes.

  • Process for escalating concerns: Yes.

  • Borrowers get assigned a dedicated banker, advisor or representative: No.

  • Average time from application to approval: Up to 9 days.

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

How to apply for a Navy Federal student loan

You can apply for a Navy Federal Credit Union student loan on its website. Before taking out a Navy Federal Credit Union student loan or any other private student loan, exhaust your federal student loan options first. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, to apply.

Compare your private student loan options to make sure you’re getting the best rate you qualify for. In addition to interest rates, look at lenders’ repayment alternatives and the flexibility they offer to borrowers who struggle to make payments.

If you’re ready to borrow with Navy Federal Credit Union, you can apply 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.