PenFed Personal Loan Review: Co-borrowing, Next Day Financing
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Personal loans can be useful when consolidating or financing large amounts, but they are often just as useful for small costs like moving expenses, home improvement projects, or unexpected medical bills.
CNBC Select found PenFed Loans be the best option for consumers looking for small personal loans: While many lenders start at a minimum of $ 1,000, PenFed finances loans as low as $ 500.
You do not need to be a member of the credit union to apply, but you must be a member to receive the funds. Membership in a credit union is available to anyone, and once you are approved for a loan, you can apply to become a PenFed member online. (You’ll need to keep a minimum of $ 5 in a qualifying savings account to keep an active subscription.)
Below, CNBC Select took a look at PenFed personal loans, looking at the APR, benefits, fees, loan amounts, and length of terms. (Learn more about our methodology below.)
PenFed Credit Union personal loan information was independently collected by CNBC and was not reviewed or provided by the bank prior to posting. PenFed is insured at the federal level by the National Credit Union Administration.
Annual percentage rate (APR)
Purpose of the loan
Debt consolidation, home improvement, medical bills, auto financing and more
Find the best personal loans
Your APR will vary depending on your credit rating and application, but PenFed loans have APRs between 6.49% and 17.99%. The rate you qualify for will be your fixed rate for the term of your loan.
Unlike some personal loans, PenFed loans give you the option of applying to a co-borrower.
A co-borrower is any additional borrower whose name and financial information appears on the loan documents and is also responsible for repaying the loan. If either borrower fails to make the loan payments, both credit scores will be affected.
Having a co-borrower can be advantageous when applying for a loan, as the combined profiles and income of two borrowers could offer you more favorable terms.
For those with lower credit scores, co-applying with someone could help you qualify for a better APR. Applying with a co-borrower is therefore a good option for couples or family members who want to take out a loan together.
PenFed requires borrowers to make a minimum monthly payment of $ 50.
You will be charged a late fee of $ 29 if you miss a payment, but there are no fees or penalties for paying off your loan sooner than expected. There is no creation fee.
Loans can be as low as $ 500 and the maximum loan amount is $ 20,000. Once you have approved a loan, you can get your funds within one to two business days. PenFed only issues loans in the form of physical checks, which you can withdraw at any of its 45 branches in 35 cities or enter the mail. (For overnight funds, expedited shipping charges may apply.)
Payment terms for the PenFed loan can be up to 60 months (five years). Terms are subject to a minimum monthly payment of $ 50.
With the ability to apply with a co-borrower, PenFed loans are well suited for couples and / or family members looking to finance life events or even pay off debt.
Small warnings for PenFed Loans are that you must be a member of the credit union to accept a loan, and PenFed only grants loans in the form of a physical check. If there is a branch near you, you can pick up your check in person, but if not, you will need to pay for expedited shipping to receive your check the next day.
If you have good credit and / or need a larger loan, LightStream personal loans might be a better option for you. For eligible applicants, LightStream offers the lowest APR on the CNBC Select list.
To determine which personal loans are the best, CNBC Select has analyzed dozens of personal loans in the United States offered by online and physical banks, including major credit unions, that have no set-up or enrollment fees, fixed-rate APRs, and cash amounts. and flexible loan terms to suit a range of financing needs.
When selecting and ranking the best personal loans, we focused on the following features:
- No creation or registration fees: None of the lenders on our best-of list charge borrowers an upfront fee for processing your loan.
- Fixed rate APR: Variable rates can go up and down over the life of your loan. With a fixed rate APR, you lock in an interest rate for the life of the loan, which means your monthly payment stays the same, making it easier to plan your budget.
- Flexible minimum and maximum loan amounts / conditions: Each lender offers a variety of financing options that you can customize based on your monthly budget and the time you need to pay off your loan.
- No prepayment penalty: The lenders on our list do not charge borrowers for prepayment of loans.
- Simplified application process: We looked at whether lenders offer same-day approval decisions and a fast online application process.
- Customer service: Each loan on our list offers customer service available by phone, email or secure online messaging. We have also opted for lenders with an online resource center or advice center to help educate you about the personal loan process and your finances.
- Disbursement of funds: The loans on our list deliver the funds quickly by wire transfer to your checking account or in the form of a paper check. Some lenders (which we have noted) offer the option of paying your creditors directly.
- Autopay discounts: We have noted lenders who reward you for signing up for automatic payment by lowering your APR from 0.25% to 0.5%.
- Creditors payment limits and loan amounts: The above lenders provide loans in a range of sizes, from $ 500 to $ 100,000. Each lender advertises their respective payment limits and loan size, and a pre-approval process can give you an idea of ââyour interest rate and monthly payment for that amount.
After reviewing the features above, we sorted our recommendations based on overall financing needs, debt consolidation and refinancing, small loans, and next day financing.
Note that the advertised rates and fee structures for personal loans are subject to fluctuation based on the Fed rate. However, once you agree to your loan agreement, a fixed rate APR will secure the interest rate and the monthly payment will remain constant for the life of the loan. Your APR, monthly payment, and loan amount depend on your credit history and creditworthiness. To take out a loan, lenders will conduct a rigorous credit investigation and request a complete application, which may require proof of income, identity verification, proof of address and more.
Editorial note: The opinions, analyzes, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.