Navy Federal Credit Union has a diverse mortgage program for members. They offer membership to current and retired members of the armed forces, their families and household members, Department of Defense personnel, and more.
The mortgage lending arm of Navy Federal both originates and services your loan, so you can trust their reputation for every step of the home loan process. They’re also committed to helping first-time homebuyers with plenty of resources.
Navy Federal Credit Union Background
A Brief History of NFCU
Founded in 1933, Navy Federal Credit Union has grown to become the largest credit union in the United States, with over 12 million members worldwide. Originally serving Navy personnel, NFCU has expanded its membership to include all branches of the armed forces, Department of Defense (DoD) civilians, and their families.
To be eligible for NFCU membership, you must be:
- Active duty, reserve, or retired military personnel
- A DoD civilian employee
- A family member of someone who meets the above criteria
Mortgage Application Requirements
Navy Federal has a national scope, so you can be house hunting in any state and apply for a home loan. Like any lender with a broad offering of mortgages, the qualifications vary for each one.
Navy Federal uses alternative credit data, including cell phone and rental payments. So, even if you don’t have a substantial credit history or some negative items, you could still potentially qualify. They don’t advertise a minimum credit score and typically allow you to qualify for a lower loan amount than most other lenders.
Home Loan Types Available from Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal breaks down its mortgage offerings into seven distinct categories, although there are even variations within each one.
For Navy Federal members who are military service members, the VA loan offers a 0% down payment option and low mortgage interest rates. It comes with fixed interest rates, and you won’t need to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). Plus, you can access terms ranging between 10 years and 30 years.
With slightly higher rates than a VA loan, the Military Choice option offers more accessible qualifications. Similarly, it provides 100% financing, so you don’t have to worry about a down payment, and there’s also no PMI. With a fixed rate, you can also select loan terms between 16 years and 30 years.
Navy Federal Credit Union offers conventional fixed-rate mortgages for all credit union members. There’s a minimum down payment of 5%, and you don’t have to add PMI to your monthly payment. In addition, the loan terms are flexible, from 10 to 30 years.
100% Financing HomeBuyers Choice
Another fixed rate option, this program for first-time homebuyers, helps you get a mortgage with no down payment. You can even qualify for a jumbo loan of up to $1 million. This option allows you to waive the 1.75% funding fee if you increase your interest rate by 0.375%.
Adjustable Rate Mortgages
An adjustable-rate mortgage starts you off with a low, fixed rate for the first portion of the loan and then adjusts each year, which can go either up or down depending on where rates are at the time. Down payments can be anywhere between 0% and 10%. There’s no PMI, and they also offer options for conforming, interest-only ARMs, and jumbo loans.
Home Equity Loans
Navy Federal offers fixed-rate home equity loans with 5-, 10-, 15- and 20-year terms. They also offer a home equity line of credit (HELOC) with a variable interest rate. You can borrow up to 95% of your home’s equity. There’s no application or origination fee for either product.
Navy Federal Mortgage Rates and Fees
Explanation of Mortgage Rates
Mortgage rates are determined by various factors, including the borrower’s credit score, loan-to-value ratio, loan type, and market conditions. NFCU offers competitive rates, often lower than those of traditional banks.
Current Rates for Various Mortgage Products
While mortgage rates change frequently, as of the time of this writing, NFCU’s rates are as follows (subject to change):
- Conventional loans: Starting at 5.375% APR
- VA loans: Starting at 5.500% APR
- Military Choice: Starting at 7.125%
- Homebuyers Choice: Starting at 7.250%
- Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs): Starting at 5.297% APR
- Home equity loans: Starting at 6.640% APR
Closing Costs and Fees
Closing costs are the fees associated with finalizing your mortgage, and typically range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. Common closing costs include:
- Loan origination fees
- Appraisal fees
- Title insurance and search fees
- Recording fees
- Prepaid interest and taxes
NFCU’s closing costs and fees are competitive with industry averages. Additionally, they offer a one-time “credit up to $1,000” for first-time homebuyers to help offset some of the closing costs.
Navy Federal Credit Union Mortgage Application Process
- Determine eligibility for NFCU membership and mortgage products
- Gather necessary financial documents, such as pay stubs, W-2 forms, and bank statements
- Contact NFCU to discuss your mortgage needs and get pre-qualified or pre-approved
- Complete a mortgage application online or in-person with the assistance of an NFCU loan officer
- Await underwriting and approval of your loan
- Schedule a home appraisal to determine the property’s value
- Secure homeowners insurance and finalize loan terms with NFCU
- Close on your new home and sign the mortgage documents
To streamline the application process, gather the following documents before starting your application:
- Proof of income (pay stubs, W-2 forms, tax returns)
- Employment history (past two years)
- Bank statements and other financial assets
- Information about your current debts (credit card balances, student loans, etc.)
- Identification and proof of eligibility for NFCU membership
Tips for a Smooth Application Process
- Ensure you meet NFCU membership requirements before applying
- Check your credit report and correct any errors before starting the mortgage process
- Have all necessary documents organized and readily available
- Respond promptly to any requests for additional information from NFCU
- Keep track of your application status and follow up with your loan officer as needed
Because Navy Federal is a popular option among DoD employees and families, you may experience longer-than-average closing times. The best thing you can do is ask for an estimate early on in the process so you know what to expect. Also, make sure you’re not slowing things down by neglecting to submit outstanding documentation requests.
Pros and Cons of Navy Federal Mortgage Loans
- Competitive rates: NFCU offers attractive interest rates, often lower than traditional banks.
- Wide range of mortgage options: Their diverse mortgage products cater to various financial situations and homebuying needs.
- Special programs for military members: NFCU’s military-focused services provide unique benefits, such as VA loans and additional discounts for eligible borrowers.
- Personalized customer service: As a credit union, NFCU is known for its member-centric approach and commitment to providing personalized support throughout the mortgage process.
- Limited physical branch locations: While NFCU has a strong online presence, their physical branches are fewer than those of larger banks, which may be a disadvantage for some borrowers.
- Membership eligibility requirements: NFCU’s mortgage products are only available to eligible military members, DoD civilians, and their families.
- Possible longer processing times: Due to their focus on member satisfaction and personalized service, some borrowers may experience longer processing times compared to online lenders.
Compared to traditional banks and online mortgage lenders, NFCU stands out for its personalized, member-focused approach. While some online lenders may offer faster processing times, NFCU’s commitment to customer satisfaction ensures borrowers receive the support they need throughout the homebuying process.
Navy Federal Credit Union stands behind its mortgages so much that it offers a rate match program. If you find a better interest rate from any other mortgage lender, then they’ll match it. If they can’t for some reason, they’ll give you $1,000 after closing on your home loan with them. It’s a pretty good incentive to keep customers happy and save money.
Customer Experience and Support
Overview of Customer Service Options
NFCU offers various customer service channels to support their members during the mortgage process:
- Online and mobile tools: Borrowers can apply for mortgages, upload documents, and check their application status through NFCU’s website and mobile app.
- Phone support: Mortgage specialists are available by phone to answer questions and guide borrowers through the application process.
- In-person assistance at branches: For those who prefer face-to-face support, NFCU branches provide personalized assistance with mortgage applications and other financial needs.
Navy Federal Credit Union Mortgage Reviews
NFCU consistently receives positive feedback for their customer service and mortgage products. Borrowers often praise the credit union for its competitive rates, responsive support, and dedication to serving the military community.
Navy Federal Credit Union currently has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A+, indicating excellent customer service. They also have very few complaints. You can find more Navy Federal Mortgage reviews at other review sites as well.
Alternatives to NFCU Mortgages
While NFCU offers attractive mortgage options for eligible borrowers, it’s essential to compare their offerings to other lenders:
- Other credit unions: Local and national credit unions may provide similar benefits to NFCU, such as competitive rates and personalized service. Research credit unions in your area and compare their mortgage products.
- Traditional banks: Banks like U.S. Bank, Bank of America, and Chase offer a wide range of mortgage products and may have more physical branches than NFCU. Compare their rates, fees, and customer service to determine the best fit.
- Online mortgage lenders: Companies like Rocket Mortgage and Better.com provide a streamlined mortgage application process and may have faster processing times. However, they may lack the personalized service and military-focused benefits offered by NFCU.
If you’re one of Navy Federal Credit Union’s 7 million customers — or eligible to become one — then their mortgage program could be a strong fit. There are plenty of options available for people of all income brackets and with just about any type of savings.
The downside is that you may have to be prepared to wait a longer time to close. Whatever your financial priorities are, Navy Federal considers them when helping you find the best way to finance your next home purchase.