Founded in 1935, the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, commonly known as PenFed, is a large financial institution with branches in the United States and on military bases around the world. Although PenFed is aimed at military members and their families, its membership is not limited: anyone can join the credit union and use its variety of banking products and services.
PenFed is well known for its student loans, offered by a third party, Sally Maeand its student loan refinancing program, which it funds and administers directly.
Keep reading to learn more about PenFed loan rates and terms.
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Spouse Loan Refinance
Transparent income and credit requirements
Generous co-signer release policy
Competitive interest rates
Bachelor’s degree required
Limited loan conditions
Restrictions apply on loan amounts
No official forbearance or disclaimer policy
The benefits explained
- Joint loan refinancing: PenFed Credit Union is the only direct lender to allow couples to jointly refinance their loans. For couples with one spouse who is not working, or where one person earns significantly more than the other, a spousal loan can be very useful, as the lender looks at the combined income of the couple rather than the income of the spouse. ‘individual.
- Transparent income and credit requirements: PenFed openly states its income and credit requirements, so borrowers and co-signers know if they meet the lender’s criteria before applying.
- Generous co-signer release policy: Co-signers of PenFed loans may be eligible for termination after only 12 months of consecutive, on-time monthly payments. In contrast, many lenders require three to four years of payments before co-signers can apply for release, and some offer no release at all.
- Competitive interest rates: PenFed rates start at 6.74% for fixed rate loans. And the range on APR is around two percentage points.
- Bachelor’s degree required: To qualify for a loan, applicants must have at least a BA or BS. If you are not a graduate or have only an associate degree, you are not eligible for a loan.
- Limited loan conditions: While some lenders give you 20 or 25 years to pay back, PenFed Credit Union’s longest offer is 15 years. Shorter loan terms generally mean higher monthly payments.
- Restrictions apply on loan amounts: Unlike some lenders, PenFed sets limits on how much you can refinance. The maximum is $300,000, and there is also a minimum of $7,500, which is a bit high.
- No official opt-out or disclaimer policy: PenFed has no procedures in place for borrowers in financial difficulty.
PenFed Credit Union Refinance Loans Available
PenFed allows college graduates and parents to refinance student loans.
Student Loan Refinance
If you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you may qualify for student loan refinancing through PenFed. You can refinance up to $300,000 and have up to 15 years to repay.
If you are married, you can also take advantage of spousal loan refinancing. PenFed Credit Union is the only lender that allows married people to refinance their loans together, or one partner can take over the other’s loans, transferring them into their own name.
|Student Loan Refinance|
|Fixed Rates||7.74% to 9.93%|
|Loan amounts||$7,500 to $300,000|
|Loan conditions||5, 8, 12 and 15 years old|
Parental loan refinancing
If you took out student loans to pay for your child’s education, you can refinance them through PenFed.
PenFed also allows your child to apply for student loan refinance and assume a parental loan on their behalf, removing your obligation to repay.
|Parental loan refinancing|
|Fixed rates||7.74% to 9.93%|
|Loan amounts||$7,500 to $300,000|
|Loan conditions||5, 8, 12 and 15 years old|
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you become eligible for a loan?
To qualify for student loan refinance through PenFed Credit Union, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a US citizen
- Have a bachelor’s degree or higher
- Be the age of majority in your state
- For loans up to $150,000: You will need a co-signer if your credit score is between 670 and 675 and/or your annual income is between $25,000 and $41,999. Your co-signer must have an annual income of at least $42,000 and a credit score of 720 or higher.
- For loans over $150,000: You will need a co-signer if your credit score is between 670 and 724 and/or your annual income is between $25,000 and $49,999. Co-signers need an annual income of at least $50,000 and a credit score of 725 or higher.
- Have at least $7,500 in student loans to refinance
Is loan prequalification available?
You can use PenFed’s prequalification tool to check your rates. Getting a quote will not affect your credit score.
Are co-signers required?
Although a co-signer is not required, you may need one if your credit score is between 670 and 699 and your annual income is between $25,000 and $49,999. Having a co-signer can help you qualify for a loan and get a lower interest rate.
You can request a co-signer release after 12 months of consecutive, one-time monthly payments.
How long does it take for approval and release?
According to PenFed, it can take up to 14 days for your previous loan servicer to receive the loan repayment funds and apply the money to your previous student loans. If your account is not deleted after 14 days, contact PenFed for a status update.
How to Apply for PenFed Credit Union Refinanced Student Loan?
You will need the following information at hand to apply for a loan from PenFed:
- Social Security number
- Date of Birth
- Phone number
- E-mail address
- Current address
- Monthly income
- Housing costs
- Employer Information
- Current loan repayment statement
- loan account number
PenFed does not charge application fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties.
PenFed does not offer any loan discounts, such as automatic payment discounts or loyalty discounts.
Loan forbearance and release options
PenFed does not have a clear forbearance or disclaimer policy. However, it does encourage borrowers to contact customer service to discuss options if they are facing financial hardship or another emergency.
You can reach customer service by email at [email protected] or by calling 202-888-4320. Its hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.
As student loan refinancers, PenFed Credit Union has a lot to offer. Its requirements, policies and conditions are clear and clearly stated. Not only are its interest rates competitive, but their range is also incredibly short: about two percentage points between the lowest and highest APR (none of those 12-point ranges that tease you with a low rate but end up giving you a two digit one).
Then there are its unique features, like spousal loan refinance, which allows a couple to combine all of their debts into one big loan. And other generous features, like allowing parents to transfer loans they’ve taken out for their child into the child’s name.
In exchange for its largesse, PenFed sets certain limits on loan minimums and maximums, graduation status, and income and cosigner requirements. However, co-signers can be released from their obligation in as little as 12 months, which is very generous. The lack of a formal loan forbearance or loan release policy is sobering, especially given how transparent the credit union is, but there’s no reason to doubt they’d be willing to work with members in distress.
The big question is the idea of refinancing in general. While refinancing your student loans can help you save money and pay off debt faster, there are some disadvantages to consider, especially if you have federal student loans. If you decide to refinance, as strong as PenFed Credit Union is, it’s always wise to shop around and compare rates and terms from other lenders. To help you get started, we have identified the best student loan refinancing companies of 2022.
Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, full reviews student lenders and refinance lenders. We’ve collected over 45 data points from over 15 lenders, including interest rates, fees, loan amounts and repayment terms, to ensure our content helps users make the right decision. borrowing decision for their educational needs.