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Personal loans can be useful when consolidating or financing large amounts, but they are often just as useful for small expenses like moving expenses, home improvement projects, or unexpected medical bills.

Select found PenFed Loans be the best option for consumers looking for smaller personal loans: While many lenders start at a minimum of $ 1,000, PenFed finances loans as low as $ 600.

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 membership.)

Below, To select reviewed PenFed personal loans, examining the APR, benefits, fees, loan amounts and term lengths. (Learn more about our methodology below.)

PenFed Loan Review

PenFed personal loans

PenFed Credit Union personal loan information has been independently collected by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication.

  • Annual percentage rate (APR)

  • Purpose of the loan

    Debt consolidation, home improvement, medical bills, auto financing and more

  • Loan amounts

  • terms

  • Credit needed

  • Original fees

  • Prepayment penalty

  • Late charge


Your APR will vary depending on your credit rating and your application, but PenFed loans have APRs between 5.99% and 17.99%. Whatever rate you qualify for, it 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 one of the borrowers failed to make the loan payments, both credit scores would be affected.

Having a co-borrower can be beneficial when applying for a loan because the combined profiles and income of two borrowers could give you more advantageous conditions.

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 pay 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 origination fee.

Amount of the loan

Loans can be as low as $ 600 and the maximum loan amount is $ 35,000. After your approval for 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 in one of its 45 branches in 35 cities or receive by mail. (For next day funds, expedited shipping charges may apply.)

Term of office

Payment terms for the PenFed loan can be up to 60 months (five years). Terms are subject to a minimum monthly payment of $ 50.

At the end of the line

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 caveats to PenFed Loans are that you have to 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 otherwise you have 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.

Our methodology

To determine which personal loans are the best, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of US personal loans offered by online and traditional banks, including major credit unions, with no set-up or sign-up fees, with fixed rate APRs, and flexible loan amounts and terms to meet to 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 list charge borrowers an upfront fee for processing your loan.
  • APR at fixed rate: Variable rates can fluctuate 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 will not vary, 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 how long you need to pay off your loan.
  • No early repayment penalties: 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 provides customer service available by phone, email or secure online messaging. We have also opted for lenders who have 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 provide 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.
  • Automatic payment 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 offer loans of various sizes, from $ 500 to $ 100,000. Each lender advertises their respective payment limits and loan amounts, and a pre-approval process can give you an idea of ​​your interest rate and monthly payment for that amount.

After reviewing the above features, 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 your loan agreement is accepted, a fixed rate APR will guarantee the interest rate and the monthly payment will remain constant for the duration 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 serious credit check and ask for a complete application, which might require proof of income, identity verification, proof of address, etc.

Editorial note: Any opinions, analysis, criticism or recommendations expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the editorial staff of Select and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by any third party.

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