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PenFed Review

Reviews 1,477
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Reviews 1,477
Alex Mcomie
Dec. 25, 2022
3 min read
Alex McOmie
PenFed Summary
PenFed is one of the largest credit unions in the United States. It offers competitive student loans and student loan refinancing options for students, parents, and spouses through a partnership with Sallie Mae. With no prepayment fees, a variety of loan options, and a convenient online application, it’s one of the top lenders to consider in 2020.


  • No prepayment fees
  • Possibility to consolidate partner’s loan through spouse loans


  • May require a strong credit history
  • Not a direct lender

PenFed at a glance

Editorial score

Online experience

Has learning resources, access to rates, mobile app

Customer services and support

Multiple ways of reaching lender, wide range of hours

Repayment flexibility

Offers multiple repayment plans- but no special repayment programs

Loan Types Covered

Covers most student loan types


Doesn't cover bad credit, low income borrowers

PenFed  PenFed View Rates

Suitable For?

Whether you’re looking for a new student loan, a parent loan, or refinancing on an existing loan, PenFed provides affordable rates and an easy online application. It also allows partners to consolidate their own separate loans into a combined spouse loan with one easy payment.

Loan Features

PenFed offers a number of loan types through a partnership with Sallie Mae. Along with loans for parents and undergraduate students, they also provide targeted loans for graduate students attending business school, medical school, dental school, law school, and more. Many loans come with four free months of Chegg study, which includes solutions to textbook questions and 24/7 professional availability.

The Application Process

When you select a PenFed loan, you’ll be redirected to the Sallie Mae website to complete their online application. After choosing a loan type, the form will ask for some basic information including your status (student/cosigner/sponsor), the school you’re attending. From there, it will provide details about the available loans and ask if you want to continue.

All things considered, the application process is relatively seamless, and you’ll be able to receive a result in as little as 15 minutes. Remember that Sallie Mae is the creditor for PenFed student loans—you’ll be applying to, getting money from, and making payments to Sallie Mae rather than PenFed.

It's important to note, that while PenFed is a credit union, you do not need to be a member in order to apply. If you choose to accept the loan you will become a member for free. 

Loan Terms

PenFed offers a variety of loans together with Sallie Mae, and your loan may have different terms depending on what you’re looking for. That said, most new loans have flexible maximums, allowing borrowers to take out anywhere from $1,000 up to the full cost of attendance as certified by their institution.

Repayment Terms

The specific terms of your loan will depend on a number of factors including your credit and the type of loan you’re applying for. For refinancing loans, fixed rates range from 7.74% - 9.93%.

Furthermore, there are no prepayment fees, so you’ll have the opportunity to pay off the loan more quickly in order to save money on interest. Most loans run from between five and fifteen years, but again you can always pay it off more quickly if you have extra cash on hand.

Sallie Mae also offers deferments for up to 60 months for undergraduate loans and 48 months for most graduate student loans. Keep in mind that interest will continue to accumulate throughout the deferment, which could lead to greater total interest payments.

How Safe Is It? 

As mentioned earlier, PenFed offers student loans through a partnership with Sallie Mae, which is one of the largest and most well-known student loan providers in the United States. While Sallie Mae is a private lender, it’s still a safe option if you’re looking to borrow money.

Similarly, PenFed itself is one of the largest credit unions in the United States, and it has a strong reputation that dates back to the 1930s. Make sure to enable two-factor authentication on your account in order to keep your information as safe as possible. The platform’s secure messaging options will also enable you to contact support without putting any sensitive data at risk.

Help & Support

PenFed offers an informative set of 29 FAQ articles covering common questions about their services. There are also several ways to contact their team directly for additional assistance—you can call, fax, send an online message, or securely upload a support request. 

Phone support is available in the United States from 7 AM to 11 PM Eastern on weekdays, 8 AM to 11 PM on Saturdays, and 9 AM to 5:30 PM on Sundays. Their contact phone numbers are 724-473-6333 and 1-800-247-5626.


PenFed has everything most borrowers are looking for in a student loan provider: competitive rates, a reliable lending history, numerous loan and refinancing options, and an easy online application process. Whether you’re looking for a student loan, parent loan, spouse loan, or refinancing, PenFed is a good place to start—particularly if you have a strong credit history.

Physical Address

2930 Eisenhower Avenue

Alexandria, VA 22314

13220 Fort Street

PenFed  PenFed View Rates

Alex McOmie
Written by
Alex Mcomie
Alex serves as the Managing Editor for Money Done Right and covers personal finance topics for Eleven Writing. He’s particularly interested in the way seemingly small adjustments can transform a person’s financial outlook. He writes for BestMoney and enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market.‎
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Trustpilot reviews
See what some customers are saying about PenFed
Excellent • Reviews 1,477
We upload 100 to 400 Trustpilot reviews to our website daily, displaying them by default from "best" to "worst". You have the option to adjust the sorting criteria. If you wish to see all reviews, you can visit Trustpilot's website here.
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David Lail
3 hours ago
Outstanding Performance
Very easy with the process and not a bunch of ropes to jump through!
Hector R Leon
3 days ago
Amazing experience with professional…
Amazing experience with professional touch. Great service
Rafael Nigaglioni
1 week ago
PenFed is without question the best
PenFed is without question the best, most professional/caring and genuinely customer oriented financial institution that I have worked with in over 29 years
1 week ago
Lynn Osborne
1 week ago
Great customer service
Easy application process and excellent customer service!