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Personal Loans

PenFed Personal Loans Review

PenFed Credit Union
at PenFed’s secure website
Editorial Rating

Editorial Rating

What we like:

Military member benefits

Fixed rates (APR)As low as 6.49%
Loan Terms1 – 5 years
Loan Amounts$500$25,000
FeesOrigination fee: None
Compare our top rated personal loan lenders

A personal loan can be an affordable way to manage financial needs such as debt consolidation, home improvement, or unexpected medical expenses.

One of the lenders providing personal loans to qualified borrowers is Pentagon Federal Credit Union. Better known as PenFed, this Virginia-based lender was established in 1935 and has since grown into a well-known credit union with more than 1.8 million members in all 50 states.

PenFed personal loans are only available to current or eligible PenFed members. You may be eligible for PenFed membership based on association membership, your employment, a military affiliation, or something else.

In this review:

PenFed personal loans: At a glance

PenFed personal loan
Loan amount$500 – $25,000
Term lengths36, 48, or 60 months
Interest ratesStarting at 6.49%
Origination fee$0

Overall, a PenFed Credit Union personal loan is a great choice for those in need of quick cash. Borrowers need to first be members of the credit union to qualify, and they must also have relatively good credit histories and credit scores to be eligible for the lowest rates.

For those who meet these requirements, a PenFed personal loan is a smart choice.

Borrowers of PenFed personal loans can use loan funds for any reason they see fit, including paying off credit card debt, vacations, vehicle or home repairs, and medical bills.

Pros & cons of a PenFed personal loan


  • The credit union operates in all 50 states, making it easy for those who qualify for membership to get the financing they need no matter where they live.

  • PenFed makes the application process simple.

    Borrowers can apply online, in person, or over the phone, and approval can be fast for the most qualified applicants after a review of their credit information.

  • Lower rates are a notable feature of PenFed personal loans.

  • PenFed is federally insured through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

  • Autopay is available via PenFed checking account or savings account.

  • Five-day grace period for monthly payments.

    Otherwise, late payment fees are 20% of the amount you pay in interest each month.


  • Borrowers who apply for a PenFed personal loan and want the lowest possible interest rate must have excellent credit to qualify.

    Borrowers with less-than-perfect credit may qualify but at higher rates.

  • PenFed only offers personal loans up to $25,000.

    This amount may not be high enough to cover the financial needs of every borrower.

  • All borrowers must be members of the credit union first.

    PenFed has expanded its membership requirements to allow more individuals to become eligible, but restrictions still apply.

Applying for a PenFed personal loan

Obtaining a personal loan with PenFed starts with a brief application process. Borrowers can submit a loan application online, in person at a branch location, or over the phone, so long as they have the following required personal information:

  • Name, date of birth, and Social Security number
  • Home address
  • Employment information
  • Income sources
  • Amount of loan requested
  • Reason for the loan
  • Identification, such as a driver’s license or passport

Current PenFed members can simply log into their online banking account to apply for a personal loan. The financial institution can review and approve a loan instantly; upon credit approval, you’ll gain access to the funds the same business day.

If you are not a current PenFed member, you can still apply for a personal loan. If approved, you will need to fill out a membership application and pay a one-time $5 membership fee before you can receive your funds.

PenFed is a more conventional lender compared to online personal loan providers. This means that although the application process is quick and easy, the credit requirements for getting a PenFed personal loan are a bit more stringent than alternative lenders. Borrowers may qualify if they have a strong credit history, a high income, or a combination of the two.

Where to find PenFed personal loan alternatives

If you can qualify for a PenFed personal loan, you are likely to get an affordable loan with a predictable repayment schedule that can help you take care of your financial needs.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. Borrowers who have good credit scores are likely to find comparable or better terms from any of the best personal loans we’ve rated for good credit.

Likewise, if you only have fair credit, you should compare PenFed’s rates with quotes from some of the best personal loans for fair credit.