Review: Navy Federal Credit Union debt consolidation
After serving in the military, you deserve a certain level of service from your country. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
But there is one area where military personnel can expect specialized treatment: financial services through organizations like the Navy Credit Union.
This non-profit credit union offers a wide range of services to military members, veterans, and their families, including Navy Federal debt consolidation.
According to a recent survey, more than a quarter of service members carry over $10,000 in credit card debt. If you are one of them, a Navy Federal debt consolidation loan could help minimize the cost of that debt.
And, if you are willing to go outside this military credit union in pursuit of better terms, you’ve got other choices for debt consolidation as well.
What is the Navy Credit Union?
The Navy Credit Union is a member-owned not-for-profit organization with over 350 branches around the world.
It boasts 13 million members across branches of the military, including the Department of Defense, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, and Veterans and their families.
In addition to Navy Federal debt consolidation, other services offered by this credit union include:
- VA mortgage loans and servicing
- Financial education presentations for military recruits
- Around the clock support from the member service team
- Early payday for active duty service members with direct deposit
- Free active duty checking and discounts
Nearly three-quarters of its members rely on digital banking through Navy Federal’s mobile app and online version. According to the credit union, members earned and saved a combined $3.8 billion in 2022.
Navy Federal rates
Similar to a traditional bank, the rates on Navy Federal Credit Union’s loans vary from product to product. Here’s an overview of Navy Federal’s rates as of mid-2024:
Auto loan APRs for a new vehicle range from 4.54% to 7.84% depending on the term of the loan. Used vehicle APRs range from 5.44% to 5.84%.
If you’re in the market for a boat, motorcycle, or recreational vehicle (RV), APRs range from 7.45% to just over 10%, depending on criteria such as whether it’s a new or used item and the term of the loan.
Navy Federal is behind a lineup of credit cards, too, with APRs ranging from 10.99% to 18%. The credit union also offers military personnel a choice of mortgage loans, including a 15 year, 15 year jumbo, 30 year, and 30-year jumbo with interest rates ranging from 6.250% to 6.625%.
One of the main features of any credit union, including Navy Federal, is the dividends.
Navy Federal pays dividends to its members across a wide range of products, including EasyStart certificates, short and long-term certificates, money market savings accounts, saving accounts, and checking accounts. Details about these can be viewed on this table.
Navy Federal debt consolidation
A Navy Federal debt consolidation loan lets borrowers pay off pricey debt and streamline their balances into a single payment at a fixed interest rate. A fixed rate is beneficial in a rising interest rate environment in which variable rates will increase and cost you more money.
Navy Federal Credit Union’s debt consolidation program consists of loans between $250 and $50,000 with terms up to 36 months, and APRs ranging from 7.99% to 18%.
For debt consolidation Navy Federal loans with a term between 37 and 60 months, APRs range from 15.29% to 18%. Navy Federal describes the monthly payment amounts as “affordable.”
Keep in mind that a debt consolidation loan can save you money if the interest rate on the new loan is lower than those attached to your existing loans.
Navy Credit Reviews
Navy Federal Credit Union has over 130 reviews on Yelp, with an average rating of 1.9 out of five.
Among the themes that were highlighted among happy customers were good customer service, although that depends on which branch location is used.
Customer service reps are described as “friendly,” “helpful” and “accommodating,” with customers appreciating tellers who do their jobs with a smile.
Security is another strong point, with Navy Credit’s quick response saving one customer $3,000 in fraudulent charges.
On the negative side, customers complain about having to pay an upfront fee of between $250 and $500 simply for submitting a mortgage application. Another complaint is the wait time and long lines to see a teller.
The technology appears to be a point of frustration for many users, with debit cards being declined for no apparent reason and verification emails not working properly.
Customers bemoan a two-day hold on check deposits over a certain amount and don’t appreciate jumping through hoops in the identity verification process, especially for military members.
Debt consolidation alternatives
If you'd like to see how the Navy Federal debt consolidation loan stacks up against the competition, we’ve identified some competing products with similar offerings:
SoFi: SoFi is a fintech company that also has a banking license to operate online. SoFi’s debt consolidation loans range in size from $5,000 to $100,000, designed to slash monthly payments and help consumers save money.
Applicants can learn the interest rate they qualify for in a matter of seconds and if all goes well could have the funds in their account the same day.
LightStream: Lightstream is an online lender that also offers debt consolidation options. The APRs begin at 8.99% for borrowers with excellent credit and who are willing to sign up for autopay
Borrowers have a say in the funding date and repayment terms. And there are no prepayment penalties or fees to worry about.
LightStream’s debt consolidation loans range in size from $5,000 to $100,000, and interest rates are fixed.
Discover: If you’ve ever had a Discover credit card, you may be interested in their debt consolidation loans. Discover offers loans between $2,500 and $40,000 to go toward debt consolidation with APRs between 7.99% and 24.99%.
Repayment terms range from 36 to 84 months.
As a military service member, whether you choose to go with Navy Federal Credit Union debt consolidation or something else, there are plenty of alternatives when it comes to streamlining your debts and saving money.