Navy Federal Credit Union Mortgage Review 2021

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At a glance

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4.9

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Bankrate Score

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Loans offered

Conventional, jumbo, VA, Military Choice, Homebuyers Choice, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, rate-and-term, cash-out and streamline refinancing; home equity line of credit (HELOC) (currently suspended), home equity loan (currently suspended); investment property
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Nationwide availability

Available in all U.S. states
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Min. credit score required

620 for conventional loans; 620 for VA loans

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Specializes in loans for military members and their families
  • Online application with quick preapproval
  • Allows up to two rate relocks if rates go down
  • Offers cash back for using its real estate services
  • Provides rate-match guarantee or pays $1,000

Cons

  • Membership is required
  • No FHA or USDA loans

Navy Federal Credit Union overview

Navy Federal Credit Union is a credit union and full-service lender specializing in loans for military members, veterans and their families. In addition to a broad range of loans, it provides loan servicing, title services and real estate services. Founded in 1933, Navy Federal Credit Union is headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, and serves more than 10 million members and operates 345 branches worldwide. Along with mortgages, it offers banking products, credit cards, auto loans, student loans and personal loans. The credit union also offers a number of incentives for members who use its mortgage services. For example, members who pair with a real estate agent through its RealtyPlus tool can get cash back after closing on their home. It also offers a rate-match guarantee, matching a better rate found at another lender or paying you $1,000 after closing. In addition, it allows borrowers to relock their rate if rates fall before closing their loan. In some cases, borrowers can get preapproved instantly through Navy Federal’s home loan management platform, HomeSquad. After applying, borrowers can expect a response from a loan officer within six to 10 days. According to the credit union, closings typically take 30 days.

Good for

Military members and veterans and their families looking for competitive rates and other credit union services

Loan types

  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • VA
  • Military Choice
  • Homebuyers Choice
  • Fixed-rate
  • Adjustable-rate
  • Rate-and-term, cash-out and streamline refinancing
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC) (Currently suspended)
  • Home equity loan (Currently suspended)
  • Investment property

Lender fees

Navy Federal Credit Union doesn’t charge processing or underwriting fees, and also doesn’t charge a fee to relock your rate on purchases or refinances. As part of its Freedom Lock feature, you can relock your rate up to two times if rates improve. The credit union’s VA loan option allows the seller to contribute towards closing costs (up to 4 percent of the value of the home). It also offers customized financing options for members with its own portfolio products. For its no-down payment loan options, Navy Federal Credit Union might charge an additional funding fee.

Rates

Navy Federal Credit Union advertises mortgage rates online and updates them daily. The quotes on the credit union’s main rate page appear to lag at least a day behind the rates showcased loan-specific pages.

Reputation 

Navy Federal Credit Union doesn’t have a rating yet from the Better Business Bureau. It has a 4.7 out of five “excellent” rating from Trustpilot.

Online services

Navy Federal Credit Union allows you to get prequalified, preapproved and apply for a mortgage all online. You can communicate with the lender through secure messaging online, via chat or through social media. You can also sign certain loan documents using e-sign, and pay your mortgage through the credit union’s app. You can also take advantage of Navy Federal’s HomeSquad tool, which allows you to connect accounts to verify assets and track your loan status, among other capabilities.

Minimum borrower requirements 

Navy Federal Credit Union generally follows Fannie Mae’s underwriting guidelines for conventional mortgages. That means you’ll typically need a credit score of 620 or better, a down payment of at least 5 percent and a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of no more than 43 percent. One notable feature of the credit union’s conventional loan offering is that it doesn’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI) for down payments less than 20 percent. VA programs through Navy Federal Credit Union also require no down payment and no mortgage insurance. While there is no credit score requirement, either, you’ll likely need a credit score of 620 or better to qualify. You’ll also need to meet income and DTI requirements.

Refinancing with Navy Federal Credit Union 

Borrowers looking to refinance with Navy Federal Credit Union will find that the credit union tends to offer very competitive rates that fall below market averages. You can apply for a refinance online using your membership login.

Not sure if Navy Federal Credit Union is right for you? Consider these alternatives 

Breakdown of Navy Federal Credit Union overall review score

  • Affordability: 15/15
  • Availability: 19/20
  • Borrower experience: 15/15

Review methodology

To determine a mortgage lender’s Bankrate Score, Bankrate’s editorial team rates lenders on a scale of one to five stars based on a variety of factors relating to the lender’s products and services. Bankrate’s partners compensate us, but our opinions are our own, and partner relationships do not influence our reviews. Here is our full methodology.

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Written by
Dhara Singh
Mortgage reporter
Dhara Singh is a former mortgage reporter for Bankrate.
Edited by
Mortgage editor