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Navy Federal: 2022 Auto Loan Review

2022-05-24 07:45:00

At a glance

4.3

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
  • Affordability
  • Customer experience
  • Transparency
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About Navy Federal

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    $250 to $500,000

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • Rates

    APR from

    1.79% to 2.89%

  • Funds available in

    Not specified

Pros and cons of Navy Federal auto loans

Consider these benefits and drawbacks of a loan with Navy Federal before submitting an application.

PROS

  • Checkmark

    24/7 customer support

  • Checkmark

    Large range of loan amounts and repayment terms

CONS

  • Close X

    Membership requirements

  • Close X

    Undisclosed APR maximums

Navy Federal has been serving military members and their families since 1933 after opening as a credit union for naval employees. It now offers checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, credit cards and more to 11 million members.
 
Navy Federal’s mission still drives the organization; to apply for any of its products, you must be a member of the armed forces, a veteran, an immediate family member of someone who served or a Department of Defense civilian employee. If you qualify, Navy Federal offers competitive rates and high maximum financing amounts for new car loans, used car loans and auto loan refinancing. Along with this, Navy Federal has partnered with TrueCar to create its Car Buying Service, which can help you find and compare vehicles completely online.
 

Pros and cons of Navy Federal auto loans

Pros

  • Variety of term lengths. Navy Federal offers more than five repayment terms, with terms of up to 96 months. This wide range means that you can choose a payment option that fits your budget and needs, with a maximum that’s much higher than that of competitors.
  • Low APR. If you are looking to purchase a new vehicle or refinance your current auto loan, you may qualify for an APR as low as 1.79 percent. This is significantly lower than the minimum APR of many other lenders.
  • Car Buying Service. Through TrueCar, Navy Federal’s Car Buying Service lets you compare MSRPs, receive price offers on local inventory and even have your car delivered to you.

Cons

  • Membership required. Auto loans are available only to those who qualify for Navy Federal membership: active duty service members, immediate family members, veterans and Department of Defense employees. To become a member of Navy Federal, you must also maintain a Navy Federal savings account with at least a $5 balance.
  • Maximum APRs not disclosed. Though Navy Federal has extremely low starting APRs, it does not list its maximum interest rates. If you have poor credit, it’s possible that Navy Federal may not be the most affordable option.
  • Restrictions for older used vehicles. While used vehicles with 2020, 2021 and 2022 model years qualify for rates as low as 2.19 percent, any car older than that or any car with over 30,000 miles has starting rates of 3.79 percent.

Who is Navy Federal best for?

An auto loan with Navy Federal is likely the best option for military members and their families, especially those with good credit who can qualify for some of the lowest rates in the business. It’s also a great choice for drivers looking for expensive new cars; Navy Federal’s maximum loan amount is $500,000, meaning you could drive off in a brand-new vehicle with all the bells and whistles.

Types of auto loans offered

Navy Federal offers financing for new and used vehicles, along with auto loan refinancing. The loan amounts offered for new and used vehicles are the same, falling between $250 and $500,000. Refinancing has a minimum loan amount of $5,000, but Navy Federal does not specify a maximum.

For new car purchases and refinancing a new car, you can choose a term between 36 and 96 months. For used car purchases and refinancing a used car, you can choose between 36 and 72 months.

Interest rates and terms

Unlike most other lenders, Navy Federal does not advertise a discount for setting up automatic payments. Your interest rate will depend on your creditworthiness, finances and requested loan term.

Loan product Interest rate
New car purchase Starting at 1.79% APR
Used car purchase Starting at 2.19% APR
Auto loan refinance Starting at 1.79% APR

How to apply for a loan with Navy Federal

You can apply for an auto loan with Navy Federal online, via the Navy Federal app, over the phone or at a branch. In most cases, you should receive a decision within a few minutes of submitting your application.

To apply, you will need some information on hand:

  • Your phone number and email (and those of your co-applicant, if applicable).
  • Your current housing, employment and income information (and that of your co-applicant, if applicable).
  • Your car’s trade-in information, such as title and registration.
  • The amount you expect to finance.
  • Your requested loan term.

If you’ve already decided on a vehicle or if you’re refinancing, you’ll also need to supply the vehicle VIN number, the registration state, the exact mileage and the dealer name.

Following approval, you will receive your check in the mail, or you can pick it up at a Navy Federal branch.

Auto loan requirements

Navy Federal does not specify any credit or income requirements. However, you will need to become a member of Navy Federal. You may qualify if you’re in one of the following categories:

  • Active-duty member of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard or Space Force.
  • Delayed Entry Program.
  • DOD Officer Candidate/ROTC.
  • DOD Reservist.
  • Veteran, retiree or annuitant.
  • Parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, child, grandchild or household member of one of the above categories.
  • DOD civilian employee.
  • U.S. government employee assigned to a DOD installation.
  • DOD contractor assigned to a U.S. government installation.
  • DOD civilian retiree or annuitant.

You must also open and maintain a savings account with Navy Federal with a $5 minimum balance.

Customer service

Navy Federal has a few different customer service options for its members. Member representatives are available 24/7 over the phone at 888-842-6328, or you can get questions answered through a live chat feature on the website. If you prefer in-person communication, Navy Federal has 350 branches worldwide where you can talk face-to-face with a customer support agent.

How Bankrate rates Navy Federal

Overall score 4.3  
Availability 4.7 Navy Federal auto loans are available for a wide range of amounts and don't require borrowers use a specific dealership.
Affordability 3.8 While Navy Federal has a low minimum APR, it also relies on traditional underwriting and doesn't offer an autopay discount.
Customer experience 4.6 Support is available 24/7 and there are several ways to make payments, including a recurring option.
Transparency 4.0 Rates, fees and terms are available online. While pre-approval is available, you will need to be a member first.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.
Written by
Rebecca Betterton
Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase a car.