Navy Federal Credit Union Student Loans: What? Why? and How?

This article allows you to learn about Navy Federal Credit Union, its student loan and student loan refinancing features and eligibility criteria. Pros and Cons of Navy federal credit union. And a few final thoughts on Navy Federal Credit Union Student Loan.

Updated by Kanishkar P on 17th July 2020

Federal Government and Private Banks are the major lenders of student loans. Both help students to achieve their goals by providing financial support in the form of loans. But these are not the only firms that offer student loans there are other financial firms also that offer student loans and other associated services. One such firm is the Credit Union. Online lenders are also such lending bodies.

All of these have their own rules and regulations in terms of their services. Best student loans can be sought by choosing the best option among these financial institutions and lenders. On the verge of finding the best student loans, you may come across Credit Unions which offer student loans at best rates. If you have only lesser knowledge about credit unions, and if you are looking forward to know more about student loans offered by the credit unions, then this article helps you explore more on Navy Federal credit union and Navy Federal Credit Union Student Loans. 

Table of contents 

What is a credit union?

Credit Unions are financial institutions that help people achieve their goals by providing financial assistance. Credit unions don’t aim at earning profits, instead, the main purpose of credit unions is to serve their members. Credit Unions offer low fees, low-interest rates on loans, they provide higher interest rates on your savings. At a credit union, one member’s savings can become another member’s loan. Credit Unions are owned by the members and they elect a volunteer board of directors. Becoming a member of the credit union is very essential to avail of the privileges offered by it. Usually, a one-time membership fee and a deposit of up to $25 is enough to stay as a member. Membership does not guarantee you with all the available services, there might be eligibility criteria that a member must possess to qualify for specific benefits or services. 

Know more about credit unions and credit union student loans to clear your doubts on credit unions.

Navy Federal Credit Union was found in the early 1930s. It has been serving the military community since 1933. It has been helping its members by offering loan discounts, 100% mortgage financing, and other benefits on the loan. It offers retirement plans for its members who have served in the military. 

Recently, NFCU has started providing student loans, student loan refinance program, and a few other programs to help students to achieve their goals. Navy Federal Credit Union offers better interest rates and terms. But it is mandatory to be a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union to apply for a student loan, and unfortunately, it is not very easy to become a member of NFCU. Navy Federal Credit Union has strict membership plans.

The Navy Federal Credit Union holds most of its features on student loans similar to student loans offered by any other lender.



Easy to apply

You can apply for your student loans online on the NFC’s website within just 15 minutes.

No organization fee

NFCU doesn’t charge you any fee for processing your loan application, and there is no need to pay any sort of organization fees. 

loan amount

An undergraduate student can borrow up to $120,000, and a postgraduate student can borrow up to $160,000 

Interest rates

Variable rates: as low as 4.62% APR

Fixed rates: as low as 5.99% APR 


A 0.25% reduction in the interest rate when you set up recurring monthly payments.

Payment options

You can choose to pay only interests or can make small payments of $25 every month when you are in school.

Repayment terms

Repayment terms allowed on student loans is 10years 

Cosigner release

After 24 months of consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest, you can expect your cosigner to be released from the loan.   

Except for a few features, others are most likely to be favorable for the borrower. 

Different credit unions may have different features and may offer a different loan amount with more benefits on student loans.

Eligibility for NFCU Student Loans

You need to meet the eligibility criteria specified by the Navy Federal Credit Union in order to qualify for the student loan. In addition to the Navy Federal Credit Union’s underwriting criteria, the following eligibility criteria play a major role in fetching you a student loan. 

  • You and your cosigner(if applicable) must be US citizens or permanent residents of the US.

  • You must be a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union while you apply for a student loan at NFCU. At least become a member during the online application process. 

  • You must be a legal adult in your state of residence(at least 18 years old). 

  • You must have enrolled in an eligible school, at least for half-time.

  • You must have a GPA of at least 2.0.

  • You must have satisfactory remarks on your academic progress as defined by your school.

Application process

The application process is carried out online, which will take around 10 to 15 minutes to submit the details. Go to the Navy Federal Credit Union website and complete a few personal details like graduation date, academic period, end dates, school name, GPA, and the amount required as loan. 

Federal Student Loans Guide helps you understand the various key factors before you make any decision regarding your student loans. The application process and eligibility criteria can save a good deal of your time. Knowing the types of suitable loan can help you take advantage of the relief program each offers you in times of crisis. Choosing the right repayment options will help you make an informed decision to manage your expenses in the future.

Cosigner program for NFCU

Cosigner programs are not really recommended as it can cause a burden to both cosigners and the loan borrower. For instance, if the cosigner dies, the borrower is demanded to pay off the balance, or the loans can go to delinquency that can destroy your credit scores. But if you have good credit scores, you will get loans for very low-interest rates. Else you will need a cosigner who is willing to help you with your debt. NFCU provides cosigner release, for student loans cosigner must pay 24 consecutive on-time payments on both principal and interest and for consolidation, it must go up to 12 consecutive payments. If all the criteria are met, NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION releases the cosigner on the requested time.

A better way to lower the interest rates on your student loans is Student loan refinancing. Navy Federal Credit Union offers student loan refinancing in addition to its other services. NFCU allows you to consolidate both your federal and private student loans. Eligibility criteria for NFCU student loan refinancing are similar to the criteria for student loans. You need to have a good credit score to qualify for student loan refinancing.

You can consolidate $7,500 to $125,000 in undergraduate student loans or up to $175,000 in graduate or combined student loan debt.

The interest rates on the consolidated loans are,

  • Variable APR: As low as 3.43%

  • Fixed APR: As low as 4.29%

You get a choice to select between different repayment plans, ranging from 5 to 15 years. You’ll also qualify for a 0.25% interest rate reduction if you sign up for autopay.

 Note: APRs listed above include this rate reduction.

If you apply with a cosigner, even the cosigner must have a good credit score. And the cosigner will be released after 12 consecutive on-time monthly payments.

There are other credit unions that refinance student loans. You can compare the options to select the best fit for your requirements. 

Pros and Cons of NFCU Student loans

Like any other student loan, NFCU Student Loan also has its own advantages and drawbacks. Here are few such pros and cons of NFCU student loan listed, 




  • Forbearance: NFCU offers an 18months of forbearance period on student loans. This is a longer period you can get when compared with most of the other lenders.

  • Discount: Enrolling in autopay on your repayments will reduce the interest rates on your loan. NFCU offers you a choice of auto payment with a benefit of a 0.25% reduction on your interest rate.

  • Cosigner release: Both in NFCU’s student loans and student loan refinancing cosigner release is made available. The cosigner is not stuck to the loan until the loan amount is paid in full.

  • No charges: You don’t need to pay anything in extra such as processing fee on your application, organization fee. 

  • Borrow what you need: You can borrow up to the specified maximum amount, but it is your wish to decide how much to borrow. Borrow based on your needs.


  • Membership is must: To borrow or to apply to borrow from NFCU, priorly you must be a member of NFCU. Without the membership, you won’t be eligible for any service offered by NFCU.

  • Not the best rates: NFCU offers good interest rates on student loans. But still, this is not the best among the available lenders. You can find better options with lower rates.

  • Restricted Repayment Terms: There is only one repayment term available for student loans: 10 years.

  • No Complete relaxation: There is no complete relaxation during school or grace period. When you are in school, you need to make small payments at least

  • Hard credit check: Hard credit check is a must to qualify for the NFCU student loan. While there are other lenders who do a soft credit check before approving your application. 

Mind the pros and cons of any student loan program before deciding to apply.

Navy Federal Credit Union can adopt few measures to improve by:

  1. By increasing their forbearance period beyond 18 months.

  2. By helping users refinance PLUS loans or a parent's loan in their own name.

  3. Proving deferment options.

  4. Introducing other repayment options feasible for its borrowers.

Concluding thoughts

As a credit union, Navy Federal will be a better choice when compared to other options for student loans. But it can’t be declared as the best among the choices. You can choose among various credit unions, and also you can choose among other lender options, such as federal government, private banks, and online lenders. Before sticking on to one, look around for the best student loan options that are available. Navy Federal Credit Union will definitely be a better choice for your student loan and student loan refinancing if you do not find a better lender than this. 

If you wish to get in touch with the Navy Federal Credit Union to get your doubts cleared, use the information given below,

Contact details

Phone: 877-304-9302

General Mailing Address

Navy Federal 

P.O. Box 3000

Merrifield, VA 22119-3000