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. Founded in 1933, the credit union is headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, and serves more than 10 million members and operates over 345 branches worldwide. In addition to a broad range of loans, Navy Federal provides loan servicing, title services and real estate services, and offers banking products, credit cards, auto loans, student loans and personal loans. It also offers customized financing options for members with its own portfolio products.
Navy Federal has 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 for free if rates fall before closing. In some cases, borrowers can get preapproved instantly through Navy Federal’s home loan management platform, HomeSquad. After applying, you can expect a response from a loan officer within six to 10 days. For a purchase, closings typically take 30 to 35 days. Refinance closings can take 60 to 75 days.
Military members and veterans and their families looking for competitive rates and other credit union services
- Military Choice
- Homebuyers Choice
- Rate-and-term, cash-out and streamline refinancing
- Home equity line of credit (HELOC) (Currently suspended)
- Home equity loan (Currently suspended)
- Investment property
Navy Federal Credit Union charges an origination fee for certain types of loans, and offers the option to waive the fee in exchange for a higher interest rate. (While this can be helpful if you don’t have much cash to close, you’ll pay more for your loan overall with a higher rate.) There are no processing or underwriting fees, and no 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.) For most VA loans, you’ll be responsible for paying the VA funding fee. The credit union’s VA loan option allows the seller to contribute to closing costs (up to 4 percent of the value of the home).
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.
Navy Federal Credit Union has a 4.7 out of five “Excellent” rating from Trustpilot.
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 platform, 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
Navy Federal Credit Union tends to offer competitive refinance rates, and its refinancing options include the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL, or streamline refinance). You can apply for a refinance online using your membership login.
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Breakdown of Navy Federal Credit Union overall review score
- Affordability: 5/5
- Availability: 5/5
- Borrower experience: 5/5
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.