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Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as “Credible” below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders, all opinions are our own.

Best if:

  • You want to borrow $20,000 or less
  • You have good to excellent credit
  • You can wait a few days until you receive your money

If you need a relatively small personal loan for debt consolidation, moving expenses, or home improvements, PenFed Credit Union could be a good choice.

It offers loans with competitive interest rates and loan terms as long as 60 months.

In this PenFed personal loan review:

PenFed interest rates and loan details

PenFed Credit Union offers fixed-rate personal loans to borrowers with good to excellent credit.

These loans can be used for a variety of personal expenses, including credit card consolidation, debt consolidation, home improvement, medical bills, or even your dream wedding.

Here are the most important features you should know about PenFed personal loans:

Fixed rates6.49% - 17.99% APR
Loan amounts$600 to $20,000
Loan terms1 to 5 years
Min. credit score650
Time to fund2 to 4 business days after verification
Cosigner permittedYes
Loan useSolely for personal, family, or household uses
Best forDebt consolidation or home improvement
All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | Read more about Rates and Terms

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PenFed personal loans review

Established in 1935, PenFed serves over two million credit union members. It offers personal loans to borrowers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Okinawa.

How to qualify

To get a personal loan through PenFed, you’ll need:

  • Good to excellent credit
  • Stable income with a debt-to-income ratio that shows you can comfortably afford your loan payments

While you don’t need to be a PenFed member to qualify for a loan, you’ll have to join the credit union if you decide to accept the loan. The process is easy and military affiliation is not required. When you receive your loan, PenFed will open a savings account for you preloaded with $5 to establish your membership.

Also keep in mind that PenFed is one of the few personal loan lenders that allows applicants to apply with a cosigner. This could help you get approved if you have less-than-perfect credit or have insufficient income. Applying with a cosigner might also help you qualify for a lower interest rate.

Learn More: Good Credit Personal Loans


PenFed’s personal loans have repayment terms ranging from one to five years. There are no prepayment penalties, so if you can afford it, you can pay off the loan early to save on interest charges.

Learn More: Personal Loans for Fair Credit

How PenFed compares to other lenders

Fixed rates6.49% - 17.99% APR6.49% - 29.99% APR6.95% - 35.99% APR
Loan terms1 to 5 years1 to 5 years3 to 5 years
Loan amount$600 to $20,000$5,000 to $35,000$2,000 to $40,000
Time to get funds2 to 4 business days after verification

Next business day

On average, within 5 days of accepting your offer
Min. credit score650740640
Origination feeNone0% to 2%2.4% to 5%
Best for
  • Debt consolidation
  • Home improvements
  • Debt consolidation
  • Major purchases
  • Debt consolidation
  • Home improvements
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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | Read more about Rates and Terms

How to take out a personal loan with PenFed

Getting a prequalified rate from PenFed will not affect your credit score. But before applying for a PenFed loan, be sure to shop around with as many lenders as possible to get a personal loan that’s right for you. Credible makes this easy. You can compare rates from multiple lending partners — including PenFed — in two minutes.

After you’ve chosen a lender, you can complete your application online, close your loan, and get the money you need.

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Credible makes it easy to find the right loan for you.

  • Free to use, no hidden fees
  • One simple form, easy to fill out and your info is protected
  • More options, pick the loan option that best fits your personal needs
  • Here for you. Our team is here to help you reach your financial goals

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Checking rates won’t affect your credit

How PenFed can improve

  • Use electronic deposits to transfer funds for all borrowers: One common complaint in PenFed reviews is how loans are disbursed. While most personal loan lenders offer electronic deposits and transfer the money into your bank account, PenFed sends loan funds through the mail. This means it could take more time to get your money. While you can get your money within one business day, you have to pay an additional fee for expedited shipping. You can also pick up a check from a PenFed branch. Existing PenFed members, however, do have the option to receive funds via electronic transfer.
  • Offer more flexible loan amounts: PenFed’s maximum loan amount is only $20,000, which is much lower than the maximum of other lenders. If you have a larger home improvement project or need more money to pay off credit cards, you’ll need to find another lender.

Keep Reading: Personal Loans for Bad Credit

The company above is one of Credible’s approved partner lenders. Because they compete for your business through Credible, you can request prequalified rates from them by filling out a single form. Then, you can compare your available options side-by-side. Requesting prequalified rates is free and doesn’t affect your credit score. Credible receives compensation if you close a loan with one of our partner lenders. The rates you receive and the fees you pay (if any) are not impacted by this compensation.

About Rates and Terms: Rates for personal loans provided by lenders on the Credible platform range between 4.99-35.99% APR with terms from 12 to 84 months. Rates presented include lender discounts for enrolling in autopay and loyalty programs, where applicable. Actual rates may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown and will be based on the lender’s eligibility criteria, which include factors such as credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history, and vary based on loan purpose. The lowest rates available typically require excellent credit, and for some lenders, may be reserved for specific loan purposes and/or shorter loan terms. The origination fee charged by the lenders on our platform ranges from 0% to 8%. Each lender has their own qualification criteria with respect to their autopay and loyalty discounts (e.g., some lenders require the borrower to elect autopay prior to loan funding in order to qualify for the autopay discount). All rates are determined by the lender and must be agreed upon between the borrower and the borrower’s chosen lender. For a loan of $10,000 with a three year repayment period, an interest rate of 7.99%, a $350 origination fee and an APR of 11.51%, the borrower will receive $9,650 at the time of loan funding and will make 36 monthly payments of $313.32. Assuming all on-time payments, and full performance of all terms and conditions of the loan contract and any discount programs enrolled in included in the APR/interest rate throughout the life of the loan, the borrower will pay a total of $11,279.43. As of March 12, 2019, none of the lenders on our platform require a down payment nor do they charge any prepayment penalties.