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LAST UPDATED: March 19th, 2021

PenFed, which stands for Pentagon Federal Credit Union, is a military based Credit Union. Many of its members are active members of the military, state and local government leaders, government contractors, and school employees. With over 1.4 million members, many other American citizens are members as well. PenFed's mission is to help members "do better" every day to reach their financial goals. PenFed is available in all 50 states through its online portal, which is open 24/7. PenFed also owns several branches scattered across the United States to make banking in-person more convenient for members in those areas. Established in 1935, PenFed has been around for 80 years as one of the country's strongest and most stable financial institutions.

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The Good

  • Widespread Availability
  • Industry-Standard Max Loan Amount
  • Same-Day Approval

Widespread Availability

PenFed is available to citizens who live in all fifty states of America as well as in the District of Columbia. In addition to that, PenFed serves members on military bases in Guam, Puerto Rico and Okinawa. PenFed has 28 branch locations across the United States on many military bases and in government buildings. Several locations are placed on military bases in other countries to provide convenience for military members. As with any online company, though, members at PenFed can access banking worldwide via its online website.

Industry-Standard Max Loan Amount

The maximum amount for a personal loan can be as high as $25,000, which is fairly standard for personal loans. A loan term can be as long as 60 months and will always have fixed monthly payments. Again, other loan options are available through PenFed to provide flexibility in loaning abilities.

Same-Day Approval

Online banking definitely has its benefits and one of the best benefits it offers to its customers is the fast loan approval time and fund availability. PenFed provides these benefits to members by having loans approved the same day as they were applied for and having the funds available by the next business day. This is a great convenience for their customers who are looking to get access to needed money quickly; however, in order to apply for and be approved for a loan with PenFed, a membership is needed.

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The Bad

  • Potential for High APR
  • Must Sign Up for Additional Accounts

Potential for High APR

PenFed's interest rates start at 9.99%. These rates are constantly updated depending on the month, so a customer might be able to receive a better rate depending on when a loan is acquired. The interest rates at PenFed also vary depending on the type of loan a member would like to apply for. Credit Card generally has higher interest rates, and auto loans have much lower. Any questions or inquires about interest rates on specific loans can be directed either through the online message, phone, fax or mail.

Must Sign Up for Additional Accounts

PenFed does require any person looking for a loan to first have a membership through their Credit Union. This means that customers must sign up for a checking and savings account to receive a loan through PenFed. As with any financial institution, there are fees associated with the banking system. PenFed does have ways to waive fees, but it takes research or time spent asking questions with a representative. If a customer is looking to apply for a fast, easy loan, PenFed might not be the best choice.

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The Bottom Line

The Pentagon Federal Credit Union is a large bank that is used across the 50 states of America and is a wonderful institution provided for military men and women as well as citizens of the United States. Its website is available 24/7 for online banking and personal loans can be applied for right on their homes page; however, in order to apply for a loan, a membership with PenFed is first needed. Once a membership is obtained, approval time for a loan is fast with same day approval and funds can be made available the very next business day. Personal loans can be given for up to $25,000, and loan terms can last as long as 60 days with fixed monthly payments. PenFed is a great banking option for people across the United States. 

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