The Navy Federal Credit Union serves the men and women of the U.S. defense establishment and their families. Established in 1933 with only seven members, NFCU has grown to more than three million members since then.
NFCU abides by the rule “once a member, always a member.” Those eligible for membership include members and retirees of the Armed Forces, including the Reserves and National Guard; the U.S. Coast Guard; and Department of Defense civilian employees and contractors, as well as their family members. In addition, once a family member joins – a spouse, sibling, parent, child, stepchild or other household member – their family members become eligible too.
As a credit union, NFCU exists for the benefit of its members, rather than to generate profit for shareholders. In addition to mortgages and other types of loans, its offerings include all the services you would expect from a bank, including checking, savings, credit cards, investments, insurance and business services.
NFCU has 210 branch locations, many of them located at or near military installations. While that may seem rather limited, it has an unlimited reach through its 45,000 ATMs worldwide, and mobile and online banking services that allow members to manage their accounts and apply for mortgages and other loans wherever they may be.
The Navy Federal Credit Union traditionally provides mortgage rates that are significantly less than most private banks. With the lower interest rates, these can save the consumers tens of thousands of dollars over the course of their loan. Standard rates for borrowers with good credit are posted online and updated regularly.
Both fixed- and adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are available, as well as jumbo mortgages for home loans in excess of $417,500.
NFCU is an authorized VA lender, of course, and is authorized for FHA mortgages as well. There are special loans available for those currently on active duty with the military, as well as a 100 percent financing option (zero down payment) through its HomeBuyers Choice mortgage program.
Special rates are also available for HomePath financing, a Fannie Mae program offering for sale properties that have been repossessed.
Refinancing through NFCU
Navy Federal Credit Union has very flexible standards for mortgage refinancing, allowing borrowers to refinance at loan-to-value ratios as high as 97 percent. NFCU also participates in the Home Affordable Refinance Program, a federal initiative that enables qualified homeowners to refinance their mortgage even if they are underwater on the loan (owe more than the property is worth).
Refinance mortgage rates are similar to those for home purchases, assuming similar borrower credit and other characteristics.
In addition, with the Navy Federal Credit Union, members can utilize the benefits of becoming approved for a loan of this type with low fees, no private mortgage insurance, affordable payments and no prepayment penalties. There are never any hidden fees with Navy Federal Credit Union and they never sell the loan to another bank.
Home Equity Loans
Navy Federal Credit Union has very generous guidelines for home equity loans, allowing borrowers to tap up to 95 percent of their equity on a standard home equity loan and 90 percent on a home equity line of credit. Interest rates are quite favorable, and borrowers can obtain a 0.25 percentage point discount on all home equity loans by signing up for automatic payments.
There are no lender closing costs on any NFCU home equity loans.
Standard home equity loans are offered at a fixed-rate of up to 20 years, while home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) are offered as adjustable rate, with the credit line staying open for up to 20 years. Both loans are also offered as interest-only options for qualified borrowers.