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PenFed Credit Union: 2023 Home Equity Review

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At a glance

NMLS: 401822

Info We are in the process of gathering reviews for this lender and will have them available starting October 2023
Bankrate Score
Rating: 3.6 stars out of 5
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Bankrate Score

Customer Rating
This lender has 0 reviews.

Loan amount

$25,000 to $500,000

Credit Good

Min. credit score required



Repayment terms

10-year draw period and 20-year repayment period

Funds available in

Not specified

PenFed Credit Union features

Here's a breakdown of some of the benefits and drawbacks of PenFed Credit Union home equity loans.

PenFed Credit Union overview

Pentagon Federal Credit Union, or PenFed for short, was established in 1935 and serves 2.8 million members (and counting). The financial institution operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and primarily works with members of the military community and government employees. However, it’s possible to join even if those criteria don’t apply to you. A PenFed membership can give you access to several perks, including home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

PenFed Credit Union snapshot

Home equity loan types Home equity line of credit (HELOC)
Loan amounts $25,000-$500,000
Credit score minimum 680
Repayment terms 10-year draw period and 20-year repayment term
Average time to approval Undisclosed

How Bankrate rates PenFed Credit Union

Bankrate Score 3.6
Affordability 3/5
Availability 3.2/5
Borrower experience 4.5/5


To create our Bankrate Scores, we evaluated lenders based on availability, affordability and borrower experience. Availability was assessed based on the minimum loan amount required, time to approval, days to close, minimum draw requirements, minimum credit score requirements and loan types offered. Affordability was assessed based on minimum APR, discounts and promotions offered and associated fees. Borrower experience was assessed based on online application and account availability, customer support, auto payment availability and mobile app availability and ratings.


  • With a PenFed HELOC, you can lock in a fixed APR on some or all of your balance (with a minimum of $10,000) during the draw period.
  • The maximum loan amount and combined loan-to-value (CLTV) ratio can vary by loan, but you’ll have the flexibility to borrow as little as $25,000 or as much as $500,000 with CLTV ratios as high as 85 percent on owner-occupied properties and second homes (80 percent in Texas on owner-occupied properties). 


  • Unlike banks and other lenders, credit unions require you to join as a member before being eligible for a loan (or in this case, a HELOC). While it’s possible for anyone to join PenFed, it’s an extra complication that could be a deal-breaker for some.
  • PenFed covers most of the closing costs on its HELOCs, but if you close your account within three years, you’ll be required to reimburse the lender for the closing costs it paid on your behalf.

Types of fees charged

PenFed doesn’t charge any lender fees at closing for its HELOCs. However, you might be on the hook for taxes, notary fees and an appraisal fee if required, and you’ll have to reimburse closing costs if you pay off or close your loan within 36 months of opening the line of credit. You’ll also be charged a $99 annual fee, but this can be waived if you pay $99 in interest within the preceding 12-month period.

Other regular fees to be aware of are a returned check fee of $20, a late fee of 5 percent and an over credit limit fee of $10.

Home equity loan products offered

PenFed’s home equity lines of credit range from $25,000 to $500,000 and include a 10-year draw period followed by a 20-year repayment period. There are, however, some limitations. For example, the CLTV ratio limit is 85% for loans on both primary and secondary residences.

PenFed’s HELOCs can also be converted to a fixed-rate option, allowing you to freeze some or all of your HELOC balance at a fixed interest rate, with a minimum of $10,000 per fixed-rate advance. You can have three separate fixed-rate advances open at a time, with a maximum of two new advances per year. The repayment terms for these advances is 20 years.

How to qualify for a HELOC with PenFed Credit Union

For a HELOC, PenFed requires a minimum credit score of 680 and a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of no more than 50 percent. PenFed also requires proof of income, at least one year of W-2s, at least two months’ of your most recent bank account statements and a mortgage statement for all properties owned. You might also need to provide documentation for current debts and self-employment income. Remember that you do need to be a member of the credit union to receive funds.

How to get started

You can start the application process with PenFed online, including applying for membership. To become a member, you’ll need to maintain a $5 savings account with the credit union.

Alternatively, you can request a call from a loan officer. For any questions during the application process, you can call customer service at 800-970-7766, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET or Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET, or send a secure message online.

Pentagon Federal Credit Union customer ratings and reviews


NMLS: 401822

This lender has 0 reviews.

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