- Military service members in the armed forces, the immediate family of service members, and Department of Defense civilian personnel
- Borrowers with $125,000 or less in undergraduate student loans, or $175,000 or less in graduate student loans
Navy Federal Credit Union serves over nine million members nationwide, catering mainly to members of the U.S. armed forces and their families
With Navy Federal Credit Union’s student loan refinancing options, both college graduates and parents can refinance their debt. And if borrowers apply for refinancing with a cosigner, they might qualify for cosigner release in as little as 12 months.
In this Navy Federal student loan refinance review:
- Navy Federal Credit Union interest rates and loan details
- Navy Federal Credit Union student loan refinancing review
- How Navy Federal Credit Union compares to other lenders
- How to refinance student loans with Navy Federal Credit Union
- How Navy Federal Credit Union can improve
Navy Federal Credit Union interest rates and loan details
Navy Federal Credit Union has a lower loan maximum than some other lenders, but it offers a unique perk: Parents who took out student loans for multiple children can consolidate their debt into one loan, simplifying their repayment.
Whether you’re a parent borrower or a college graduate, you can choose between fixed- and variable-rate loans, and you might have up to 15 years to repay your debt after refinancing student loans.
|Loan terms||5, 10, 15 years
|Loan types||Federal and private student loans|
|Interest rates||Fixed or variable|
($1,200 if applying with cosigner)
|Residency||U.S. citizen or permanent resident|
|Cosigner release||Applications accepted after 12 consecutive, on-time monthly principal and interest payments|
Navy Federal Credit Union student loan refinancing review
Navy Federal Credit Union has two student loan refinance programs:
- Student Refinance Loans: If you have undergraduate or graduate student loans, you could consolidate and refinance your federal and private student loans with a Student Refinance Loan.
- Parent Refinance Loans: Parents with Parent PLUS Loans or private parent student loans can refinance their debt — even if their child hasn’t graduated from college yet — with a Parent Refinance Loan.
Under both loan programs, you can apply with a cosigner to increase your chances of qualifying for a loan and getting a lower interest rate.
Navy Federal Credit Union also allows borrowers to apply for cosigner release after a relatively short amount of time. While other lenders require you to make payments for three or even four years before you can potentially qualify for cosigner release, you can apply for cosigner release with Navy Federal Credit Union after making just 12 consecutive, monthly principal and interest payments.
How to qualify
To be eligible for refinancing with Navy Federal Credit Union, you first need to be a member of the credit union. Navy Federal Credit Union membership is limited to service members of the U.S. armed forces, immediate family members of service members, and Department of Defense civilian personnel.
You must also:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Have a monthly income of at least $2,000 per month
- Have a good credit score
- Have an established credit history (at least 21 months or more)
If you’re applying with a cosigner, you need to have at least $100 in monthly income, and your cosigner needs to earn at least $2,000 per month.
Learn More: Student Loan Refinancing With Bad Credit
The Navy Federal Credit Union student loan refinancing program is serviced by LendKey. If you sign up for automatic payments, you’ll get a 0.25% automatic payment discount.
While Navy Federal Credit Union and LendKey don’t have a formal forbearance or financial hardship policy, you should contact LendKey if you’re facing an emergency (like a job loss or medical crisis) and can’t afford your payments. You might be able to work out an alternative repayment plan or temporarily postpone your payments.
Learn More: How to Reduce Your Student Loan Interest Rate
How Navy Federal Credit Union compares to other lenders
|Navy Federal Credit Union||INvestEd||PenFed|
|Fixed rates from (APR)||Check with lender||5.18%+4||5.49%+|
|Variable rates from (APR)||Check with lender||2.45%+4||N/A|
|Loan repayment terms (Years)||5, 10, 15||5, 10, 15, 20||5, 8, 12, 15|
|Loan amount||$5,000 to $250,000||$7,500 to $300,000|
|Min. credit score||Check with lender||670||670|
|Cosigner release?||Yes, after 12 months||Yes, after 48 months||Yes, after 12 months|
|Loan servicer||LendKey||American Education Services (AES)||PenFed|
|Best for||Borrowers with multiple parent loans||Borrowers who didn’t finish their degree||Parents who want to transfer their loans to their child|
How to refinance student loans with Navy Federal Credit Union
If you’re looking to refinance your education debt and are eligible for membership with Navy Federal Credit Union, student loan consolidation with Navy Federal could be a good option. It offers competitive interest rates as well as a short cosigner release period.
It’s a good idea to consider not only Navy Federal Credit Union for refinancing but as many lenders as possible. This way, you’ll be able to find the right loan for you. With Credible, you can easily compare your rates from multiple refinancing lenders in two minutes after filling out one simple form.
How Navy Federal Credit Union can improve
- Offer loans to broader customer base: Credit unions are only able to lend within their field of membership. To qualify for a loan with Navy Federal Credit Union, you must be a member. Only U.S. armed forces service members, their families, and Department of Defense personnel are eligible for membership.
- Offer higher loan limits: The maximum refinancing amount for undergraduate loans is $125,000. For graduate loans, it’s $175,000. This is relatively low — though it might work if you only need to pay off a small amount of student loan debt. If you have a substantial amount of student loan debt — which is common for lawyers and healthcare professionals — then Navy Federal Credit Union probably isn’t the right lender for all of your refinancing needs.
- Allow parents to transfer loans to children: While parents can combine the loans they took out for multiple children, they can’t transfer these loans into their children’s names.
Learn More: Private Student Loan Consolidation