Navy Federal Credit Union Mortgage Review 2021

By Mitch Strohm

Please note: In response to the coronavirus pandemic, lenders are changing their requirements continuously. Although we strive for accuracy at the time of publication, please be sure to check with the lender for updated details on down payments, credit scores, etc.

At a glance

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Loans offered

Conventional, VA, Military Choice, Homebuyers Choice, fixed, adjustable-rate (ARM); refinancing options include rate-and-term refinancing and cash-out refinancing; home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) (both currently suspended)
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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


  • 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


  • Membership is required
  • No FHA or USDA loans

Navy Federal Credit Union overview

Navy Federal Credit Union is a 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 nine million members of the military community and operates 342 branches worldwide. Along with mortgages and home equity loans, it offers banking products, credit cards, auto loans, student loans and personal loans. The credit union 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 — it will match a better rate found at another lender or pay $1,000 after closing. Navy Federal Credit Union also allows borrowers to relock their rate if rates fall before closing on their home.

Loan types

  • Conventional
  • VA
  • Military Choice
  • Homebuyers Choice
  • Fixed
  • Adjustable-rate (ARM)
  • Rate-and-term refinancing
  • Cash-out refinancing
  • Home equity loans (Currently suspended)
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC) (Currently suspended)

Lender fees

Navy Federal Credit Union doesn’t charge processing or underwriting fees for its loans. It also doesn’t charge a fee to relock your rate on purchase or refinance loans. 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 may charge an additional funding fee.

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 at least 43 percent. A notable feature of its conventional loans is that it doesn’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI) for down payments of less than 20 percent.

VA programs through Navy Federal Credit Union require no down payment and no PMI. There’s also no credit score requirement, but you’ll generally need a credit score of 620 or better to qualify. You’ll also need to meet income and debt requirements.

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