Navy Federal Credit Union HELOC Review 2024

Good for: Service members and their families, veterans and civilians who work for the Department of Defense looking for a long draw period and access to a high amount of equity.
Taylor Getler
Last updated on February 6, 2024
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed
Alice Holbrook
Edited by
✅ Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take


NerdWallet rating
The Nerdy headline:

Navy Federal Credit Union’s home equity line of credit, or HELOC, stands out for its long draw period (at 20 years, it’s twice as long as most) and a high combined loan-to-value ratio of 95%. However, you’ll have to be eligible to join the credit union. Borrowers must be current or former military personnel, Department of Defense employees or eligible immediate family members. A minimum draw of $10,000 is required.

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Navy Federal
Navy Federal: NMLS#399807

National / regional
Loan types and products
Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, VA, Home Equity


  • Long draw period of 20 years.
  • High CLTV of 95%.
  • No origination or annual fee.


  • Minimum draw of $10,000.
  • The only payback term length available is 20 years.
  • No rate discounts available.
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Full Review

Navy Federal Credit Union HELOC rates and discounts

Most home equity line of credit, or HELOC, interest rates are indexed to a base rate called the prime rate. The annual percentage rate, or APR, that you’re offered will include a margin the lender has added to the prime rate. Offered margins depend largely on factors such as credit score, existing debt and the amount you wish to borrow, but they will vary by lender.

Current prime rate

Prime rate last week

Prime rate in the past year — low

Prime rate in the past year — high





The lender is transparent about minimum HELOC rates, but it doesn't offer an option to browse customized rates. On the day we checked, the lender’s lowest APR offering was 0.25% above prime, a rate that requires you to pay at least 1% of the principal balance during the draw period. The lender’s interest-only option had a minimum rate of 1.25% above prime. At this time, Navy Federal Credit Union does not offer any rate discounts.

Applying for a Navy Federal Credit Union HELOC

Borrowers can begin an application online or over the phone. For borrowers who prefer an in-person experience, Navy Federal Credit Union has 350 branch locations, including overseas locations, which also support HELOC applications.

Navy Federal Credit Union has 24/7 customer service support, which can be especially useful for members stationed abroad. After a brief automated phone menu, we were able to connect with a customer service agent in less than a minute.

When we tried the live chat feature, we connected with a representative within minutes. The agent was able to quickly and thoroughly answer all of our questions.

Opening and using a Navy Federal Credit Union HELOC

The credit union’s website estimates up to 55 calendar days to close a HELOC after you apply, something to consider if you need funds sooner. Navy Federal services all of its own loans, and all payments will always be made directly to the lender.

Borrowers with HELOCs will receive checks, a card linked to the account and the option to transfer money from the account online. You could pay just the interest during the 20-year draw period, but your rate will be lower if you pay at least 1% of the principal balance during this time. Borrowers then have a 20-year period to pay back the rest of the balance.

Navy Federal does not offer a fixed-rate HELOC option. After you’ve had your HELOC for at least six months, Navy Federal offers the option to convert it to a fixed-rate equity loan. This locks in your interest rate from any potential increases in the future. However, after converting your Navy Federal HELOC to a fixed-rate equity loan, you can’t make any additional draws.

Alternatives to a Navy Federal Credit Union HELOC

Borrowers interested in a credit union experience with broader membership guidelines may want to consider a PenFed Credit Union HELOC. For borrowers interested in a fixed-rate option, a HELOC from Bethpage Credit Union can be a strong choice.

HELOCs offer a flexible way to access home equity over a period of time and pay interest only on the funds you withdraw. However, rising interest rates can bump up your monthly payment and, as with credit cards, it takes discipline to avoid overspending.

Alternatives to home equity lines of credit include a home equity loan, which offers a lump sum with a fixed rate or a cash-out refinance, which replaces your existing mortgage with a larger loan.

Navy Federal Credit Union offers a home equity loan, as well as a cash-out refinance option.

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NerdWallet’s HELOC star ratings are awarded by the editorial team based on the following evaluated factors: combined loan-to-value ratio, lender fees, transparency on key factors, whether a fixed-rate option is available, rate discounts, ease of application, whether a prepayment penalty may apply and whether an initial draw is required.

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