PenFed Personal Loan Review Summary
PenFed personal loans offer extremely competitive rates, with APRs ranging from 5.99% - 17.99%. PenFed does not charge an origination fee, either, which makes their loans even cheaper than those of many competing lenders. Despite these excellent terms, PenFed personal loans aren’t especially hard to get. Though the credit union does not disclose a minimum credit score requirement, multiple third-party sources report it is around 600.
PenFed personal loans are only available to people who join Pentagon Federal Credit Union. But while the credit union used to be exclusively for military/government personnel and their families (as well as people who donated to certain organizations), free membership is now open to everyone.
Below, you can see how WalletHub rates PenFed personal loans in three major categories: Terms, Requirements & Application, and Reviews & Transparency. We also compare PenFed loans to some alternatives from major competitors.
PenFed Credit Union Personal Loan Terms
|APRs||5.99% - 17.99%|
|Loan Amount||$500 - $35,000|
|Loan Terms||6 - 60 months|
|Late Fee||$20 - $25|
|Minimum Credit Score||N/A*|
|Minimum Income||Not disclosed|
|Loan Purpose||Debt Consolidation, Home Improvement, Big Purchase|
|Time to Receive Loan Money||1 - 3 business days|
PenFed Personal Loan Rates, Fees & Other Terms
Category Rating: 5/5
PenFed personal loan rates go from 5.99% - 17.99%. The reason they are so inexpensive compared to most other lenders is that all federal credit unions are required to cap their personal loan APRs at 18%. PenFed’s APRs are fixed, which means they will remain the same for the entire life of the loan.
When it comes to fees, PenFed does not charge origination fees or prepayment fees on personal loans. But if you pay late, you will owe a late fee, which will be a minimum of $20 but no more than $25.
And in terms of loan amounts, PenFed offers a bit less funding compared to most similar lenders, giving $500 to $20,000. However, they do have long payoff periods, ranging from 6 to 60 months.
PenFed’s extremely low costs are the main contributor to its perfect score in this category.
PenFed Personal Loan Requirements & Application Info
Category Rating: 3.8/5
In order to be eligible to receive a PenFed personal loan, you will need to be a member of Pentagon Federal Credit Union. Anyone can join for free, but to become a member, you’ll also need to open a PenFed savings or share account with at least a $5 initial deposit.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union does not disclose credit score requirements or income requirements for their personal loans, though several third-party sources say you will likely need a credit score of 600. Most other personal loans require a credit score of at least 660 for approval, so PenFed personal loans may be easier to get.
There are a few other requirements for getting a personal loan from PenFed, which include being at least 18 years old and being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You’ll also need to have either a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to apply.
If you would like to apply, you can do so online, by phone, or at a PenFed branch. You may apply with a co-applicant, too. However, the one major area where PenFed loses points in this category is that they don’t offer a way to pre-qualify for loans and see your potential rates before you apply.
PenFed Personal Loan Reviews & Transparency
Category Rating: 4/5
- Better Business Bureau: PenFed is not accredited with the BBB but gets an “A+” rating.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: There are fewer than 20 complaints about PenFed personal loans filed with the CFPB, as of March 2021. Some of the most recent complaints deal with having trouble applying for the credit union’s hardship program and having incorrect information reported to the credit bureaus.
- WalletHub: PenFed has earned an average user score of 3.8 out of 5 stars across more than 5,800 reviews.
- Transparency: PenFed is very upfront about the terms of their loans, though they are not very transparent about what credit and income you need to qualify.
PenFed’s great reputation earns the company a good score in this category, though they lose a few points for their lack of transparency on certain loan requirements.
Summary: PenFed Personal Loan Score by Review Category
|Rates, Fees & Other Terms||5/5|
|Requirements & Application Info||3.8/5|
|Reviews & Transparency||4/5|
PenFed Personal Loans vs. Popular Competitors
PenFed Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union
|APRs||5.99% - 17.99%||7.49% - 18%||7.24% - 17.65%|
|Loan Amounts||$500 - $35,000||$250 - $50,000||$2,500 - $20,000|
|Loan Terms||6 - 60 months||Up to 60 months (up to 180 for home improvement)||12, 24, 36, or 48, 60, 84 months|
|Minimum Credit Score||N/A*||Not disclosed*||Not disclosed*|
|Winner||PenFed Credit Union|
In order to provide the most accurate LendingClub personal loan review, WalletHub used 17 key metrics grouped into three overall sections: Terms, Requirements & Application, and Reviews & Transparency. We rated each section on a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being the best, and then averaged the scores of the three sections to produce an overall rating for the loan.
- The “Terms” section includes information about how expensive the loan is, including rates and fees. It also takes into consideration how much consumers can borrow and how quickly they must pay it back. For companies where APR and fee ranges differ greatly by state, we used data from the most populous state serviced by the company. PenFed personal loan terms do not fluctuate significantly by state, however.
- The “Requirements & Application” section examines how easy it is to apply for a loan and how long it takes to receive the money. It also looks at exactly who is eligible to apply.
- The “Reviews & Transparency” section measures the loan provider’s reputation as well as how clearly the lender discloses its terms and requirements. This takes into account user reviews and information from watchdog organizations.
The average of these three scores reflects how close a loan offer is to WalletHub’s definition of a 5-star loan. For more information, please read WalletHub’s full methodology.