Navy Federal Mortgage Review for 2020


Navy Federal Credit Union is a full-service mortgage lender offering a broad range of mortgage solutions for members of the Armed Forces, DoD civilians, veterans, and their eligible families. 

Founded in 1933 and headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, Navy Federal has over 300 branches and more than 9 million members. 

Navy Federal is ranked as a “Top 5 Lender” for VA loans, so their loan officers have extensive experience assisting military families.

They’re committed to helping each borrower find the right mortgage for their situation.

Navy Federal mortgage rates 

The following table compares average mortgage rates and fees from several lenders in 2019.

Compared to the other major lenders, Navy Federal Credit Union offered its customers slightly lower rates (in 2019) on a 30-year VA loan.

These borrowers also paid considerably less in loan origination fees.

Average 30-year VA mortgage rates at major lenders

Wells Fargo
Quicken Loans
Avg. 30-year VA Loan Rate, 2019
3.56% 3.84% 3.88% 3.68%
Monthly P&I Payment*
$1,131 $1,441 $1,447 $1,419
Median VA Loan Costs, 2019
$5,884 $5,613 $5,293 $6,251
Median Origination Charges, 2019
$0 $949 $1,199 $2,805

Keep in mind that average mortgage rates fluctuate from year-to-year based on market conditions, so the rate you receive today will likely be higher or lower than the ones shown.

Average rate and fee data were sourced from public rate and fee records required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

*Monthly principal and interest payment based on a $250,000 home price, with 0% down, at each company’s average 30-year VA interest rate for 2019. Your own rate and monthly payment will vary.

Verify your new rate (Oct 7th, 2020)

Navy Federal mortgage review for 2020

Navy Federal Credit Union isn’t only committed to helping its members find the right mortgage — the lender also strives to help borrowers save money.

Down payments and closing costs are two of the biggest obstacles to homeownership, but Navy Federal can lessen these financial burdens.

Zero-down home loans

It’s notable that Navy Federal offers other zero-down mortgage options in addition to the federally-backed VA loan.

The Homebuyers Choice Loan is a zero-down mortgage for military borrowers who have already exhausted their VA home buying benefit.

Rates run about 1% higher than the standard VA loan, and the credit union charges one-half percent in discount points. Still, this is a great deal for veterans who do not have VA loan entitlement remaining.

Keep in mind that this loan does not require private mortgage insurance (PMI). This lowers the mortgage payment considerably compared to an FHA or conventional loan. 

There are even refinance and jumbo loan options available. Few other lenders go this far to ensure the availability of home financing for veterans.

Navy Federal Credit Union also has a ‘rate-match guarantee’ that can be helpful to borrowers who shop around.

If another lender offers a lower rate on your mortgage, Navy Federal will match this rate or give you $1,000. 

No minimum credit score

What’s noteworthy, too, is that Navy Federal doesn’t set a minimum credit score for mortgage approval.

According to a credit union representative:

Navy Federal is a relationship-based lender, which means we work closely with our members to find the right mortgage for their needs. We make every effort to perform “true underwriting,” and a member’s approval isn’t determined by just one number — but by several factors.” 

Of course, if your score is particularly low or you have red marks on your credit report, it may still be difficult to qualify for a mortgage.

But Navy Federal could be helpful for borrowers with borderline credit or thin credit history.

If you’re thinking about applying for a mortgage with Navy Federal, you must become a credit union member before you’re eligible for a loan mortgage.

Membership is open to: 

  • Active-duty military members
  • Retirees and veterans of the Armed Forces
  • DoD civilians
  • Eligible spouses and family members of service members

Even though the credit union provides various mortgage solutions, it’s clearly tailored to military needs.

For example, it doesn’t offer FHA home loans or USDA home loans, which are popular low-down-payment mortgages for buyers who don’t qualify for a VA loan.

Processing may be a bit slower

And according to some customer complaints, mortgage approvals can be slow. So don’t expect a notably fast process.

Navy Federal acknowledges this weakness on its website, stating “due to a high volume of applications, it may take longer than normal to respond.”

That said, this is true of many lenders at the time of writing this review, as low mortgage rates have caused high application volumes all around.

Working with Navy Federal Credit Union

Once you’re a member of the credit union, you can apply for a mortgage in-person or online.

If you’re applying online, Navy Federal makes it simple and convenient to submit documentation via a portal.

Information you’ll need to apply for a mortgage includes:

  • Social Security number and date of birth
  • Navy Federal Credit Union account number 
  • Recent paycheck stubs
  • W2s and complete tax returns from the past two years 
  • Current bank account statements and information on other assets

HomeSquad is the online tool you’ll use to track your loan status, from either your mobile device or computer.

Rather than visit a loan advisor in-person, simply upload your paycheck stubs, tax returns, and other necessary documentation for review. 

Instead of printing multiple bank statements, you can link your bank accounts to the online system. From here, underwriting can verify your assets.

Depending on your location and the settlement company, e-closing might be an option, too.

Navy Federal customer service reviews

According to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, Navy Federal Credit Union ranks high for overall borrower satisfaction — a score of 882 on a 1,000-point scale.

That puts it just above Quicken, the 10-year winner for non-military-specific mortgage lenders.

Mortgage Originations 2019 
CFPB Complaints 2019 
Complaints per 1,000 mortgages
2019 JD Power Rating7
196,000 95 0.48 882/1,000
115,206 49 0.43 900/1,000
Quicken Loans
774,900 187 0.24 880/1,000
Wells Fargo
1,026,800 342 0.33 837/1,000

The credit union also has a low number of customer complaints filed with The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for 2019. 

Unfortunately, a number of customer complaints on Navy Federal’s Trustpilot page involved slow response times when applying for original mortgages and refinances.

Mortgage loan products at Navy Federal 

Navy Federal Credit Union’s home loan options include:

  • VA loan — Get a 10- to 30-year VA loan with no money down. The seller can contribute up to 4 percent of your closing costs
  • Conventional fixed-rate loan — Apply for a 15- to 30-year conventional loan with a minimum down payment of 5 percent
  • Military choice — An ideal solution if you’ve exhausted your VA loan benefit. Choose a 16- to 30-year term with no money down. The seller can contribute up to 6 percent of your closing costs
  • Homebuyers choice — Get a 16- to 30-year term with no money down and no private mortgage insurance. The seller can contribute up to 6 percent of your closing costs
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage — Do you plan to move within the next five years? Enjoy a low initial fixed-rate and no mortgage insurance. Down payments range from 0 percent to 10 percent
  • Home equity solutions — Navy Federal Credit Union also has home equity lines of credit and home equity loans, but new applications for both programs have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19

This list is heavily focused on military homebuyers.

However, Navy Federal’s membership requirement means the restrictions on these loan types won’t be an issue for most applicants.

Navy Federal mortgage refinance options include:

Refinancing your home loan can reduce your mortgage rate and monthly payment, as well as decrease your loan term. You can even borrow cash from your equity. 

Refinance terms range from 10 to 30 years, and you may be eligible with a loan-to-value ratio of up to 95 or 100 percent (depending on the loan type).

Where can I get a mortgage with Navy Federal Credit Union? 

Unlike some credit unions, which only have branches in a few states, Navy Federal Credit Union has branches and ATMs nationwide and internationally. 

The credit union currently operates 341 branches around the globe, including 26 international locations and 75 military base installations. They also have a network of more than 30,000 fee-free ATMs.

Is Navy Federal the best mortgage lender for me? 

If you’re eligible for membership and you’re looking for a no money down mortgage, Navy Federal can reduce your out-of-pocket expense when buying a home.

The lender offers competitive rates, zero-down loans, no private mortgage insurance, and a rate-match guarantee.

But just because Navy Federal is best for some military home buyers, doesn’t mean it’s best for all.

Always shop around and get additional rate quotes from at least three lenders.

Verify your new rate (Oct 7th, 2020)

Published at Wed, 07 Oct 2020 11:45:39 +0000

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