PenFed Powered by Purefy Student Loan Refinancing Review

PenFed is one of the few lenders to allow married couples to refinance together.
Ryan LaneJul 6, 2021

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Pentagon Federal Credit Union, or PenFed, offers student loan refinancing for its members, with loans issues by online lender Purefy. It's best for married couples who want to refinance their student loans into a single one.

Best Student Loan Refinancing Overall, Best Student Loan Refinancing for Fast Payoff

PenFed Student Loan Refinance
Check Rate

on Purefy's website

Fixed APR

2.89 - 5.08%

Min. Credit Score

670

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Married couples can refinance student loans into a single loan.
  • You can refinance parent PLUS loans in your name.
  • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.

Cons

  • Estate is still responsible for the loan if the borrower dies.

Compare to Other Lenders

PenFed Student Loan Refinance
LendKey Student Loan Refinance
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinance
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Check RateCheck RateCheck Rate
Fixed APR

2.89 - 5.08%

Fixed APR

2.49 - 7.75%

Fixed APR

2.49 - 5.79%

Variable APR

N/A

Variable APR

1.90 - 5.25%

Variable APR

N/A

Min. Credit Score

670

Min. Credit Score

660

Min. Credit Score

650

Full Review

Pentagon Federal Credit Union, known as PenFed, offers student loan refinancing for its members. PenFed stands out because it allows married couples to refinance student loans together.

PenFed also lets you release a co-signer after 12 on-time payments. That's much faster than many lenders offer, making PenFed a good option if you can't qualify to refinance on your own. However, spouse co-signers are ineligible for this option.

Online lender Purefy is the exclusive provider of PenFed student loans. Purefy was previously part of the Bank of Virginia, issuing student loans under the name CordiaGrad. It became a separate company in 2016.

Like other five-star lenders, PenFed isn't perfect. It could improve by offering additional programs such as:

» MORE: 

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 flexibility they offer borrowers who are struggling to make payments.

If PenFed denies your refinance application, the lender . Depending on the reason, you may want to consider other lenders, including those that allow a co-signer.

NerdWallet recommends before you apply. This will let you know which lenders you may be eligible with, without affecting your credit.

NerdWallet believes the best student loan is one you can repay at the lowest interest rate you can get. That’s why NerdWallet’s student loan 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 .

Frequently asked questions