PenFed Review

ByAlex McomieMar. 07, 2021

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In a Nutshell

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 

APR2.99% (fixed), 2.16% (variable)
Loan Types In-school student loans, parent loans, student loan refinancing
Refinance amount No minimum
Repayment terms Generally 5-15 years with no prepayment penalty
Minimum credit score No specific minimum
Suitable forParents and students who want to apply for a new loan or refinance an existing one

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 2.99% to 5.20% while variable rates go from 2.16% to 4.46%.

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

PenFed customer testimonials

ExcellentReviews 97
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  • author
    Natasha Quailey
    a day ago
    A Bank that willing to help poor…

    A Bank that willing to help poor Ambitious people achieve something in life🙏🙏


  • author
    Daniel N
    2 days ago
    PenFed Application

    PenFed was recommended to me by a friend online application process took minutes, rates are great compared to other CC companies!


  • author
    Ed King
    3 days ago
    Great Easy Smooth CC Experience-Grade…

    Great Easy Smooth CC Experience-Grade Is 10 Stars, Cant Wait To Get Started With This PEN-Fed Credit Union Experience


  • author
    Mike Delk
    4 days ago
    I am absolutely impressed with the…

    I am absolutely impressed with the PenFed process. I've been trying to become a member of this credit union since the early 1990s. Your loans and programs are great. Because of recent events we don't get to go out and do things like we use to. But somehow, PenFed has made the banking process smooth. Keep up the great offers!


  • author
    4 days ago
    Applying online was easy

    Applying online was easy, low interest rates, credit limit generous and decision within minutes.