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Navy Federal Personal Loans: 2023 Review

Updated on October 18, 2023
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At a glance

Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

Navy Federal personal loans are best for current members of the credit union and borrowers who meet the membership requirements.

Loan amount $250-$50,000
APR from 7.99%
Clock Wait
Term lengths Up to 60 months

A Navy federal Credit Union personal loan is best for active duty, retired or veteran members of the military, Department of Defense employees or their immediate family or household members. 

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Best for military members

Former and current service members and their families in need of a personal loan with a wide loan amount range would best benefit from a Navy Federal loan.

Navy Federal pros and cons 


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    Small minimum loan amount.

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    Co-signers and secured options available.

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    Potential rate discounts.


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    Must meet the membership requirements.

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    No prequalification option.

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    Minimum financial requirements not disclosed.

Do you qualify? 

Although Navy Federal doesn't disclose its minimum annual income or credit requirements, it does disclose that borrowers must meet the following requirements to qualify for a personal loan. 

  • Have served — or currently serve — in the U.S. armed forces, Department of Defense or have a relative who has. 
  • Be at least 18 years old. 
  • Have an active credit card, bank account or routing number. 
  • Have a valid Social Security number. 
  • Provide your current home address.
  • Provide a U.S. driver's license or a government-issued ID.

What Navy Federal doesn't allow loan funds to be used for 

You can use a Navy Federal Credit Union personal loan for nearly every legal expense. However, it does state on its website that you can't use the funds for education-related expenses. 

The specific use requirements may vary depending on the loan type, so read the terms and conditions carefully before accepting your offer.

How this lender compares

Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
Loan Amount
Term Length
Up to 60 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
8.99% – 35.99%
Loan Amount
$2,000 – $50,000
Term Length
36 to 60 months
Min Credit Score
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
Loan Amount
Term Length
24 to 84 months
Min Credit Score

Navy Federal vs. PenFed

PenFed is another credit union that offers loans with a similar interest rate range, starting at 7.99 percent. However, PenFed may be easier to qualify for in general, as no military service is required for membership. Both lenders offer similar loan amounts and benefits so the best loan for you could hinge primarily on your military affiliation or involvement. 

Read a full review about PenFed

Navy Federal vs. USAA Bank 

USAA is a credit union that also requires its members to be affiliated with the U.S. military, but its loans are more expensive than Navy Federal's. USAA's APR range starts at 9.84 percent and climbs up to nearly 19 percent, but it does offer a larger maximum amount of $100,000. That being said, a Navy Federal personal loan, while smaller, will cost less in the long-run for the most creditworthy borrowers. 

Read a full review about USAA Bank

Navy Federal: in the details 

What we like and what we don't like 

Navy Federal's personal loans are great financing tools for its members who are in need of a smaller amount. However, like every other company, there are things that we aren't too crazy about.

What we like 

  • Small minimum loan amount: Its loans start at $250, which is much lower than what most lenders offer. 
  • Co-signers and secured options available: While it doesn't disclose its minimum credit requirements on its website, Navy Federal does allow for co-signers and offers secured loans for those with less-than-stellar credit. 
  • Potential rate discounts: Active Duty or retired military members may qualify for a 0.25 percent APR discount on a personal loan. 

What we don't like

  • Must meet the membership requirements: To qualify for a personal loan with Navy Federal, you must first become a member of the credit union, which requires meeting its membership criteria. 
  • No prequalification option: Unlike many lenders and credit unions, Navy Federal doesn't offer prequalification, which allows you to see your predicted rates and eligibility odds before applying. 
  • Minimum financial requirements not disclosed: The minimum credit score and annual income requirements — two major considerations for approval — aren't disclosed on its website. 


How to contact Navy Federal 

Navy Federal's customer service department is accessible by phone 24/7 at 1-888-842-6328. You can also get in contact with a representative through its secure messaging system on its website, in-person at one of its brick and mortar locations, through its online chat feature or through social media messaging. 

As a rare perk, its mobile app also has an online chat and e-messaging features and is compliant with Android and iOS accessibility features.

How to apply for a personal loan with Navy Federal 

Here's what you can expect from the application process:

Navy Federal features and additional perks 

If you're an active duty (or retired) service member, you may be eligible for a 0.25 interest rate discount. To get this perk, you must apply in-person or over the phone.

Fees and penalties 

Navy Federal has a minimal fee structure and doesn't charge any origination or prepayment fees. However, it does charge a late fee of $29 and a returned payment fee of $29.

Navy Federal frequently asked questions 

How Bankrate rates Navy Federal

Overall Score 4.7 Explanation
Availability 5.0 Same-day approval and co-signers allowed, but no disclosed minimum credit score.
Affordability 4.8 Competitive minimum APR and minimum fees, but there's not too many discounts available.
Customer Experience 5.0 Online application and convenient mobile app, plus 24/7 customer support.
Transparency 4.0 Not all requirements are listed and there's no prequalification option.


To select the top personal loan lenders, Bankrate considers 20 factors. These factors include credit requirements, APR ranges, fees, loan amounts and flexibility to account for a wide range of credit profiles and budgets. Bankrate reviewed over 30 lenders and gave each a Bankrate rating, which consists of four categories:

  • Availability: What the minimum loan amounts are, its eligibility requirements and loan turnaround are considered in this category.
  • Affordability: The interest rates, penalties and fees are measured in this section of the score. Lower rates and fees and fewer potential penalties result in a higher score.
  • Customer experience: This category covers customer service hours, if online applications are available, online account access and mobile apps.
  • Transparency: This category is measured by how accessible credit requirements, rates and fees are on the lender's page. We also took into account whether prequalification was available, as all these factors are key for consumers to make an informed decision.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by 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.