PenFed Student Loans Review | Find the Best Loan for You

The PenFed Credit Union has been granting refinanced student loans and refinanced parent loans through a partnership with the fintech company Purefy since 2016. PenFed does not provide traditional student loans, but does refer clients to student loans from Sallie Mae Bank.

PenFed – the acronym for Pentagon Federal Credit Union – was founded in 1935 and has more than 2.0 million members, serving customers in all 50 states, Washington, DC and US territories.

  • No setup fees or application fees.
  • Spouses can refinance their loans together.
  • Get approval for a co-signer after 12 consecutive months of on-time payments.

  • The credit requirements are high without a co-signer.
  • There are no special savings for automating payments or making payments on time.

Find the best lenders for student loans

PenFed refinances all types of student loans including federal, personal, and federal parent PLUS loans through Purefy.

Refinancing of PenFed Student Loans is supported by Purefy and offers an online application process. You start by using the Find My Rate tool to go through a pre-approval application, which takes about 15 minutes. You will be asked about your school background, credit rating, whether you would like to have a co-signer, and other basic information.

The tool then generates the interest rates that you might qualify for depending on the repayment terms. When you are satisfied with any of the options, you can proceed to the official loan application.

The next step is to submit documents to verify your identity, schooling, and income. The process is done online and you can upload photos and screenshots of the requested documents, including:

  • Income documents – pay slip, tax return, W-2s.
  • Identification – driver’s license, passport, or government ID.
  • Payout Review – Servicer statements with forecasted payout amounts.
  • Final exam – diploma or certificates.

You must also apply for PenFed membership as part of the overall loan application, but anyone can join.

After your application is received, you can always check the credit status by logging into your PenFed account. If approved, PenFed will send payments to complete your existing loans and these will take anywhere from three to 14 days to process. You must pay your first PenFed bill 30 days after the loan disbursement date.

PenFed does not charge any application, subscription, or prepayment fees to its refinancing borrowers. Borrowers have the option of choosing between a five-year, eight-year, twelve-year or 15-year term.

When refinancing student loans, the interest rates are determined by the loan and the type of deal the borrower has, but the loan amount has no effect.

The range of fixed annual percentages is 2.89% to 5.08%, while the variable interest rates are 2.13% to 4.75%. For loans with a variable interest rate, the maximum amount is 9% for terms of five and eight years or 10% for loans of 12 and 15 years; the minimum variable interest rate is 2%.

PenFed does not offer any programs or incentives such as an APR for setting up Autopay or for a specific number of consecutive payments.

All borrowers and co-signers must be US citizenship, and borrowers must be employed. Starting August 4th, borrowers can qualify with an associate degree or higher.

For prequalified applicants, their creditworthiness is checked and they also have to submit documents to check their income.

Unsigned borrowers applying for loans of up to $ 150,000 must have an annual income of at least $ 42,000 to qualify. To borrow from a co-signer, you must have a minimum income of $ 25,000 and your co-signer must make a minimum of $ 42,000. To apply for loans greater than $ 150,000, you must have an income of at least $ 50,000 or you must earn $ 25,000 along with a co-signer who earns at least $ 50,000.

To refinance the Parent Direct PLUS loan, applicants need a solid credit rating, reliable income and at least one outstanding education loan.

For all refinanced loans, the minimum loan amount is $ 7,500 and the maximum is $ 300,000.

Creditworthiness is an important factor in borrowing with PenFed and in many cases a co-signer may be required. So it collapses.

Loans up to $ 150,000: If your credit score is between 670 and 675 (or you don’t meet the income criteria) you will need a co-signer with a credit score of 720 or above (who also meets the income requirements). .

Loans Over $ 150,000: You will need a co-signer for borrowers with scores between 670 and 724. This person’s score must be 725 or higher for approval (provided the person meets the income requirements).

Once approved, your interest rates will be set based on your creditworthiness and type of deal.

PenFed is headquartered in Tysons, Virginia. The credit union operates across the country and all U.S. residents can apply for membership and / or student loan refinancing.

PenFed has an A + rating from the Better Business Bureau but is not accredited. PenFed has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 on TrustPilot. In 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received four complaints about PenFed regarding student loans. All were closed in time.

PenFed provides customer service by phone Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Members can also reach each other at any time via email or SMS. It also responds to questions on Twitter. PenFed offers free consultations for those interested in student loan refinancing.

PenFed does not officially offer a deferral or deferral program, but will work with borrowers on a case-by-case basis should an exceptional situation arise. Borrowers are encouraged to contact you immediately to work out either a repayment plan or other remedial action if they experience financial distress.

The entire refinancing application process can be handled digitally, from preparing the offer to uploading documents to electronic signing. Once the loan is paid off, you can automate your payments through your online account and monitor the progress. You can also make payments and manage your account using the PenFed mobile app.

  • Graduates with multiple student loans looking to consolidate.
  • Those who prefer an online loan process.
  • High credit borrower and / or a co-signer.


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