Navy Federal Credit Union Review: Overview, Facts, Features, Plans, Pros and Cons

Navy Federal Credit Union Review: Overview, Facts, Features, Plans, Pros and Cons

You probably won't be surprised to learn that the United States has over 6,000 banks and another 6,000 credit unions. You'll pass at least a dozen different banks while driving down the road. It can be challenging to find a new bank when you're looking for one. Each bank or credit union will have its own set of products, accounts, and interest rates. If you're like most people, you'll start your search with the big national banks, but you can be missing out on some of the best options if you don't check out the best credit unions. You're making a significant error if you don't include credit unions on your list. This article will examine Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) to see if they are the proper financial organization for you.

What is Navy Federal Credit Union?

The Navy Federal Credit Union has a long history. The Navy Department Employees' Credit Union of the District of Columbia was founded in 1933. They were founded as a credit union for Federal Employees Union members who worked for the Navy. President Roosevelt enacted the Federal Credit Union Act a year later, in 1943, laying the groundwork for credit unions. In 1947, the Navy Department Employees' Credit Union of the District of Columbia was dissolved and renamed Navy Department Employees Federal Credit Union, an official federal credit union. They also invited all Navy employees and personnel in the Washington region to join at this time. Navy Federal Credit Union was established in 1954, 21 years after it was founded. All enlisted personnel were allowed to join them at this point. They have continued to change and evolve over the years. They have continued to expand and improve their offerings. They've grown to be one of the market's largest and most potent credit unions. They now have over 7 million members and over $78 billion in assets around the country.

Banking with NFCU

If you're looking for a credit union with a wide range of financial services, NFCU is ideal. You can choose from a variety of account settings. Each one is unique in some way. I won't go over all the possibilities, but I will touch on the most popular ones.


One of the most popular accounts at NFCU is the e-Checking account. This account includes a monthly cost, but you can avoid it if you sign up for a direct deposit. If you're like the majority of individuals, you'll be using direct deposit regardless. These e-checking accounts pay a low dividend rate and offer up to $10 in ATM charge rebates on each statement. This is a good choice for you if you don't plan on walking into a physical branch.

Flagship Checking

The Flagship Checking account is one of NFCU's most prestigious accounts. Compared to the other accounts, this account's APY will be much greater. The dividend method under this plan is tiered and depends on your account balance. Although there is no minimum deposit required to open the account, you may be charged a monthly fee. Dividends are not paid if your account balance is less than $1,500. You won't have to pay any monthly fees if your balance is greater than $1,500. This is an excellent option for anyone who plans to keep a large amount of money in their checking account and wants to earn money off of it.

Campus Checking

As you would assume from the name, this account is for students who want to start saving. Any student between the ages of 14 and 24 can open this account, and there are no service fees or minimum balance requirements. It's never too early to open a bank account for your youngster. It's an excellent approach to instill in children the value of prudent financial management.

Free Active Duty Checking

Free Active Duty Checking account offers a competitive APY and dividend rate and early access to your military pay, ATM charge rebates, and free personalized checks. In comparison to competitors, this checking account is an excellent alternative for active-duty military personnel because it has no monthly fees. It also includes all standard checking account features, such as ATM access, a debit card, internet banking, direct deposit, and mobile banking.

Free EveryDay Checking

Navy Federal Credit Union offers free everyday checking as the most basic banking option. There is no monthly fee, and there is no minimum balance requirement. This is a fantastic option if you want a simple checking account with no fees. This account pays a low 0.05 percent annual percentage yield (now), and you'll have access to all of the other accounts' features, such as thousands of ATMs. NFCU also offers several savings accounts. They provide three types of savings accounts: primary, education, and SaveFirst. The simple savings account does exactly what it says on the tin. It provides low-interest rates with no costs. This is the account to choose if you want a simple savings account. One of their more fascinating savings accounts is SaveFirst. This account allows you to pick a maturity date for the account, deposit $5 to create it, and have dividends compounded daily.

Navy Federal Credit Union loan specifics

The identity of the Navy Federal Credit Union is reflected in its mortgage rates. As a credit union dedicated to serving military families, it may offer cheap rates and a choice of mortgage alternatives with no or low down payments. Because Navy Federal is a credit union, you must meet its membership requirements to join. Individuals who are members of the military forces, veterans, civilian workers of the United States Department of Defense (including contractors), or family members of any of these categories are eligible. Navy Federal has an eligibility wizard to help you get started if you're unsure if you qualify.

Members of Navy Federal Credit Union have access to a wide range of consumer-friendly loan options, including:

Navy Federal Credit Union VA loans: These mortgages, which have maturities ranging from 10 to 30 years, are meant for qualifying service members. A VA loan from Navy Federal requires no down payment and has interest rates as low as 4%. APRs as low as 4.53 percent are possible. Navy Federal Credit Union's Conventional Fixed Rate loans: This fixed-rate mortgage has no PMI and is available for refinancing and jumbo loans. This loan necessitates a 5% down payment on the house. Navy Fed mortgage rates as low as 4.25 percent for this loan are available, with APRs as low as 4.494 percent. Navy Federal Credit Union's FHA loans: The FHA loan is backed by the Federal Housing Administration and is meant for first-time homeowners. It requires a 3.5 percent down payment and can be set up as a 10 to 30-year fixed loan or a 30-year adjustable-rate mortgage. For this loan form, mortgage rates as low as 3.875 percent are offered. Navy Federal Credit Union's 100% Financing Homebuyers' Choice loans: When it comes to first-time buyer mortgages, this one requires no money down, has interest rates as low as 5.25 percent, and a fixed-rate structure that may be customized for a 10- to 30-year period. Navy Federal Credit Union's Adjustable-Rate Mortgage loans: Borrowers like adjustable-rate mortgages because they provide flexibility without refinancing. They're set up with fixed rates for a set length of time, after which rates can rise or fall depending on market conditions. The initial interest rate on this mortgage is as low as 2.375 percent, with an APR of less than 5%. These loans are available in jumbo, conforming, and interest-only formats. This loan is ideal for purchasers who may not be able to stay in their house after the fixed time has ended. Navy Federal Credit Union's Interest Only loans: These loans are available with fixed or adjustable rates, but they demand a 20% down payment and 30-year durations. Whether you're looking for a primary or secondary residence, they can be an excellent choice. Navy Federal Credit Union's Military Choice loans: These loans are specifically designed to support the needs of military households, with interest rates starting at 5.625 percent, APRs below 6%, no down payment required, and no PMI. It includes a simplified qualification process as well as discounted pricing.

Becoming a Member of NFCU

The prerequisites for membership vary for every credit union. For the most part, it's if you "live, work, or worship" within the credit union's city or county bounds. Some of the biggest credit unions have relaxed their membership restrictions and made joining easier. Navy Federal probably provides the most methods for becoming a member of any credit union, but they don't let just anyone in. You can become a member of NFCU in a variety of ways, including:
  1. Active Duty military.
  2. DoD Officer.
  3. Veteran.
  4. Be a contractor to U.S. Government Installations.
  5. Retired DoD employee.
  6. Be a relative of one of the aforementioned.
  7. Delayed Entry Program.
One of the more intriguing aspects of NFCU is its demand for family membership. They have fewer restrictions than typical credit unions. Most of them cover "immediate family," but NFCU goes further. They permit:
  • Grandparents
  • Spouses
  • Siblings
  • Grandchildren
  • Household members
  • Adopted Children and stepchildren
  • Drawbacks of Navy Federal
There are numerous advantages to joining the NFCU — the excellent interest rates on their loans and checking accounts. The savings account at NFCU is one of their issues. Their basic savings account pays a low annual percentage yield. Sure, it's still higher than some of the larger banks, but there are credit unions that provide considerably better savings rates. Another downside of NFCU is the minimum amount to avoid flagship checking fees. You'll have to pay the monthly fee if you don't satisfy the balance minimum. There are dozens of additional credit unions that provide no-fee high-yield checking accounts. There is nothing wrong with this account as long as you plan to keep the $1,500 in it, but it is something to be aware of. Take the time to read customer reviews before joining a credit union or a bank. Seeing what former or present members have to say about a firm is one of the finest methods to learn about it. Customer service is one of the most prevalent complaints about NFCU. Several customers stated that they could not contact their customer service department or were unable to receive the assistance they required. Take these reviews with a grain of salt at all times. You are unaware of the entire story and what occurred. Don't let the negative feedback deter you from joining the ideal credit union. We are aware of the number of branches, as are most other credit unions. Credit unions, unlike big banks, do not have many branch locations.

Final verdict on NFCU

Unlike some other credit unions, NFCU has no membership requirements, and anyone can join. Some of the larger credit unions allow you to join organizations or make a donation to qualify for membership. That is not anything NFCU does. You won't be allowed to join if you don't have a family member or are not in the military yourself. If you meet the requirements for membership, I strongly advise you to join. Everyone is different, and everyone has different financial demands and preferences when it comes to banking. Thousands of banking options are available, and sorting through them can be challenging. It's critical that you choose the finest option for you. Don't worry if NFCU isn't the ideal fit for you; there are many other possibilities.

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