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PenFed Credit Union Mortgage Review 2022

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At a glance

PenFed Credit Union


Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
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Bankrate Score

Mortgage Percent

Loans offered

Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate; rate-and-term, cash-out and streamline refinancing; home equity line of credit (HELOC)


Nationwide Availability

Available in all U.S. states

Credit Good

Min. credit score required

650 for conventional loans; 700 for jumbo loans; 620 for FHA loans; 620 for ARMs; 660 for HELOCs

Pros and cons

Checkmark Pros

  • Doesn’t charge lender fees
  • Offers lender credits up to $2,500
  • Covers closing costs (including funding fee) on VA IRRRLs

Close X Cons

  • No USDA loans
  • Must complete a form with your information to get a rate estimate online
  • Higher minimum credit score requirements

PenFed Credit Union overview

PenFed Credit Union has been around since 1935. Today, the credit union is the second-largest in the U.S. and serves 2.8 million members worldwide. If you’re a member of the credit union and qualify for a mortgage, you can get preapproved online and won’t have to pay any lender fees. PenFed also offers lender credits up to $2,500, depending on the size of the loan. For first-time homebuyers, PenFed offers a few notable options, including low-down payment loans and the First Time Home Buyer Advantage program, which rewards borrowers with $500 when they make their 60th on-time loan payment.

PenFed Credit Union is good for

Borrowers who want to avoid lender fees and want to join a credit union; especially good for borrowers with VA loans who want to refinance

Breakdown of PenFed Credit Union overall score

  • Affordability: PenFed Credit Union doesn’t charge fees on mortgages, which saves you some money at closing. You won’t learn what rate you qualify for until you connect with the credit union directly, however.

  • Availability: You’ll need to be a member of the credit union to apply for a mortgage, and some of its loan products have more stringent requirements compared to those of other lenders.

  • Borrower experience: If you’re in need of assistance with a mortgage (or any other product the credit union offers), PenFed has a wide range of business hours seven days a week.


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.

Affordability: 3/5

PenFed Credit Union doesn’t display daily rates online for new purchases or refinances; you’ll need to fill out a form with your personal information to get a customized rate quote. For HELOCs, however, the credit union does share variable rates based on loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and amount borrowed. Notably, the credit union doesn’t charge any lender fees.

Availability: 4.5/5

PenFed Credit Union operates across the U.S., but you’ll need to become a member to take advantage of its products or services. These include conventional mortgages (both conforming and non-conforming), FHA loans and VA loans. To become a member, you’ll need to establish a savings account with at least a $5 balance.

Borrower experience: 5/5

PenFed Credit Union has served its members for decades. It isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but has received an A+ rating from the organization, albeit along with some negative feedback on the BBB website. On Trustpilot, though, PenFed has received high marks. When evaluating mortgage lenders and testimonials, take into account both the positive and negative experiences.

You can apply for preapproval with PenFed Credit Union online, or you can submit a call-back request to talk to a loan officer. Additionally, you can share more information for a customized rate quote. The PenFed website includes a few calculators to help borrowers estimate monthly payments, along with a knowledge center of educational content for homebuyers.

Refinancing with PenFed Credit Union

You can refinance your mortgage with PenFed Credit Union, but the credit union doesn’t post refi rates online. The credit union can be an especially good option for military service members, veterans and eligible spouses, since it covers all closing costs on VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs).

Alternatives to PenFed Credit Union

  • Navy Federal Credit Union mortgage review – Also specializes in loans to military members, veterans and spouses, plus no mortgage insurance required on conventional loans with down payments less than 20 percent
  • USAA mortgage review – Another lender focused on serving members of the armed forces and their families, with lots of praise from customers
  • Carrington Mortgage Services review – Considers non-traditional credit data, accepts much lower credit scores and offers non-QM loans — but also charges fees

PenFed Credit Union consumer reviews



Rating: 2.6 stars out of 5

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Customer service rating

Rating: 2.8 stars out of 5
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Rating: 3.3 stars out of 5
Rating: 2.6 stars out of 5
Rating: 2.6 stars out of 5

40% of reviews would recommend this lender

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The consumer reviews posted on ("Bankrate") are individual, subjective opinions of reviewers, and not of Bankrate. Bankrate does not endorse any of the opinions expressed by reviewers or any responses to reviews.

To help serve you with relevant information the consumer reviews shown below are limited to only those that this advertiser has received during the past 12 months.

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Written by

David McMillin

Contributing writer

David McMillin is a contributing writer for Bankrate and covers topics like credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes and travel. David’s goal is to help readers figure out how to save more and stress less.

Edited by

Suzanne De Vita

Arrow Right

Mortgage editor