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LAST UPDATED: June 3rd, 2022

Navy Federal Credit Union was established in 1933 with only seven original members. Now, Navy Federal boasts over 5.5 million members, making it the world's largest credit union. They have over 250 branches and locations and over 500 ATMs scattered across the United States, with the main concentration along the East Coast and across the southern half of the country. They are also located worldwide with one-third of their employees working in their branches in:

  • Australia and New Zealand
  • Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom
  • Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan
  • Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines

Consumers that choose Navy Federal should remember that they must have a credit score of 550 or higher.

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The Good

  • Non-Profit Institution
  • Military Ties
  • Collateral
  • Services

Non-Profit Institution

Navy Federal is dedicated to serving members of the Armed Forces and their families. As a credit union, they are a non-profit institution without shareholders; instead, their members are owners. They offer a full range of services, such as checking and saving accounts, 24-hour telephone access, internet and mobile banking, home and car loans, credit cards, and equity loans. They also offer business services and loans to their members.

Military Ties

Navy Federal Credit Union is open exclusively to members of the Armed Forces and their families. In order to become a member of Navy Federal, an applicant or a member of the applicant's family or household must be part of one of the following organizations:

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Marine Corps
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard
  • Department of Defense (DoD)

Both regular active duty and reservists are eligible to apply. Once applicants become members of Navy Federal, their family and household members are eligible to apply as well. Family members include:

  • Spouses and children, including adopted and stepchildren
  • Parents and siblings
  • Grandparents and grandchildren
  • Other household members

Navy Federal offers members a range of business services, support, and financing options in the form of:

  • Secured and unsecured term loans
  • Commercial vehicle loan
  • Business line of credit
  • Commercial real estate loan
  • Investment property loan


Collateral is required for everything except the unsecured business loans, and general business assets, vehicles, real estate, and CD accounts can be used to secure funding.


Navy Federal also has a selection of business convenience services, including mobile deposits, bill pay, and payroll processing. Before applying for any funding, Navy Federal recommends that businesses research their competition, evaluate whether or not they have a viable product, and commit to making their business succeed through creating a strong business plan.


The Bad

  • Exclusive to Military Personnel and Their Families
  • Customer Service

Exclusive to Military Personnel and Their Families

Because membership with Navy Federal Credit Union is exclusive to members of the Armed Forces, not everyone can use their services. Members of the Armed Forces and DoD who become members of Navy Federal can then "sponsor" family and household members; however, the application process is closed to everyone else. That being said, they are widely available to members of the military branches and are the largest credit union worldwide.

Customer Service

Despite their worldwide and extensive presence, it can be very difficult to reach customer service to find out more information about Navy Federal's business services. All business service inquiries must go through a regional representative, and there are no direct contact methods for those representatives. There is one Business Services phone number that will redirect incoming calls to a local representative; however, if the representative is unavailable, the caller is stuck waiting for a call back or making multiple attempts to reach someone.


The Bottom Line

Navy Federal Credit Union offers a full range of business banking and financing for small business owners. Navy Federal offers both secured and unsecured loan options, as well as SBA loans to applicants who qualify. Navy Federal's memberships and services are specifically available to servicemen and women in the Armed Forces, DoD personnel, and their extended families and household members. There is an apparent lack of quality customer service available, especially for the business services department. However, customer reviews for Navy Federal Credit Union are needed to determine how the company stacks up against other lenders in regards to the customer experience. 

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8 Reviews

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JL Palatine, IL

I am a realtor and I was representing the seller in a transaction and the buyer was using Navy Federal. I also had interaction with them through the purchase process and I must say that everything went well and they were able to close fast. They offer various loans and one of the loans is a zero down payment which was the loan used to purchase my seller's home. As far as being only military or family is not accurate. A person can qualify for a loan as long as they have a relationship/friendship with someone who was a veteran and that person doesn't not even need to belong to the Navy Federal credit union. So this leaves qualifying wide open and to just about anyone. Who doesn't know somebody that is or was in the military. If you do go with a no money down loan expect to pay about another 1% than the going rate for your loan interest rate and the seller will have to credit a predetermined closing credit amount. Ours was about 4% which most sellers will do if they are getting full asking price. They also do not issue the typical pre-approval letter style so you may get a question from the seller's agent as I did myself, I had contacted Navy Federal to verify its validity. In the end I would recommend them and say that they are a very good company and I will recommend them to my clients that would fall into this type of need.

5 years ago


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Mario Martin Huntsville, TX

Well over 30 years ago, I had wanted to open my own barber shop. I was a young man, and had as about the same experience with business loans. I really didn't have the necessary advisors to help me to process a small business loan. Because I was member of the US Navy and also a member of Navy Federal, I sought the help of a Navy Federal representative. My educational process was life changing. Navy Federal had provided me with the opportunity to not only secure the business loan, but the Navy Federal representative had advised me through the loan process with reliable service, knowledge, professionalism and integrity way past my expectations. Because I had been appropriately educated and advised, my loan process was less difficult and stressful than I had worried initially. That experience was 30 years ago, and I still maintain a very healthy relationship with Navy Federal today.

2 years ago


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Chelsea Pleasant Grove, UT

Always competitive with their interest rate on loans, excellent customer service and their process is so easy! Have always gone for any needs of loans, banking. Etc. Will soon to have other products through them since I they are so great!

2 years ago


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Bella Mee LA

I really appreciate the clear communication of the company the informative ability the company provides and it's willingness to satisfy the consumers.

2 years ago


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Phillip Stephens North Las Vegas, NV


2 years ago


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Erik Lewis Atlanta, GA

We had a completely virtual experience. Online application and one phone call got us a business improvement loan in about a week.

2 years ago


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Miguel Suarez Los Angeles, CA

Very fast pace online application, follow up with a representative was very smooth . Got the funds without any hassle

1 year ago


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Victoria Mcculler FL

Bank is amazing and really helps you in the process . They educated me every step of the loan.

2 years ago Edited May 3, 2022