1. Navy Federal Credit Union
error This company may not service all states.
Founded in 1933 and headquartered in Virginia, Navy Federal Credit Union has over 6 million members and is the largest credit union in the world. Navy Federal offers private student loans and consolidation loans, among other services. Navy Federal partners with LendKey for its student loan and consolidation services.

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The Good

  • Variable rates
  • Cosigner release
  • Calculator
  • Branch locations

Variable Rates

The credit union offers variable rates as low as 2.99 percent (assuming the borrower chooses auto payments). The repayment period begins immediately after the loan is disbursed. With Navy Federal, borrowers can consolidate a minimum of $7,500 and a maximum of $125,000 in undergraduate debt, and a maximum of $175,000 in graduate debt or combined student debt.

Cosigner Release

Not only do Navy Federal borrowers have the option to add a cosigner, but the credit union allows cosigners apply for release after only 12 months of consecutive, on-time payments. This is shorter than the average release period in the student debt industry.

Calculator

On its website, Navy Federal provides a helpful calculator tool that allows borrowers to input loan balances, rates, and monthly payments to get an estimated new monthly payment. The calculator also provides a helpful feature that allows borrowers to input multiple loans.

Branch Locations

Navy Federal has 260 branches. The company aims to provide services for active on-duty, reserve, and retired military personnel. It also focuses on serving the Department of Defense civilian personnel and military dependents.

The Bad

  • Website lacks transparency
  • Strict eligibility requirements
  • No fixed interest rates

Website Lacks Transparency

Navy Federal's corporate website lacks transparency in many areas. For example, the website does not provide any information on fees, school eligibility, interest rate maximums, or term length minimums.

Strict Eligibility Requirements

In order to use Navy Federal's student loan consolidation program, one must be a Navy Federal Credit Union member. To become a member, individuals must be affilated with the Armed Forces, DoD, Coast Guard, or National Guard or be a relative of a Navy Federal member. Additionally, in order to apply without a cosigner, applicants must consistently make at least $2,000 per month.

No Fixed Interest Rate Maximum

Navy Federal only offers variable interest rates. In addition, the company does not consolidate federal student loans.

The Bottom Line

Navy Federal Credit Union offers variable interest rates and allows borrowers to add on cosigners, who can apply for release after only 12 months. However, Navy Federal requires borrowers to meet eligibility requirements and does not offer maximum fixed interest rates.

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