Navy Federal Credit Union Home Equity Loan Review August 2022

Navy Federal Credit Union offers both fixed-rate home equity loans, as well as HELOCs. They have 350 branches, as well as an online and mobile app. The Navy Federal Credit Union home equity products are only available to members.
Peter WardenAug 4, 2022
Editor’s Note
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Best for Military Families

Navy Federal Credit Union
Overall rating:
3.8
Bills.com rating
Home Equity LoanHELOC
Amount$10,000 - $500,000$10,000 - $500,000
Term5, 10, 15, or 20 yearsUp to 20 year draw period and 20 year repayment period
Rates (APR)4.99% - 8.50%As low as 5.0% - 6.5%
Minimum Credit Scoren/an/a
Maximum CLTV100%90%
Fixed RatesVariable Rates

See Navy Federal’s website for full terms and disclosures

Pros
  • Great customer service
  • A broad range of banking services and products
  • Offer both home equity loans and HELOCs
  • Highly rated mobile app and robust website with great functionality 

Cons
  • Membership is not open to all
  • Limited branch network

Does Navy Federal Credit Union Offer Home Equity Loans or HELOCs?

Yes! Both. 

Members can get either a Navy Federal Credit Union Home Equity Loan or a Navy Federal Credit Union HELOC.

For clarity, your “home equity” is the amount by which the appraised value of your home exceeds your current mortgage balance. 

Both these forms of borrowing have outstanding rates compared to most other types of loans. But that's partly because your home secures the loans. If you fall too far behind with payments, this means you could face foreclosure.

Navy Federal Credit Union was founded in 1933 by seven Navy Department employees. Today, it has 11.2 million members and an excellent reputation. Its broad product range includes Navy Federal Credit Union home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), mortgages, several types of other loans, credit cards, various savings accounts, and general banking services. 

Navy Federal has 350 branches, a few of which are overseas. They tend to serve areas with a significant military presence, as you'd expect. However, many of its members rarely visit branches. Instead, they rely on the credit union's website and highly rated mobile app to do their banking. The credit union operates in all 50 states.

Eligibility

Because Navy Federal is a credit union, you have to be a member to access its products and services. And that's restricted to "officers and enlisted men and women of all branches of the military, veterans, DoD employees, and their family members." 

But "family members" is a broad category that runs from grandparents to grandchildren and includes siblings and household members. So check the membership eligibility webpage to see if you can join.

Navy Federal Credit Union Home Equity Loan

The main characteristics of Navy Federal’s home equity loan, which is ideal if you want a lump sum, are:

  • You may be able to borrow up to 100% of your equity with a VA loan (Your loan-to-value ratio (LTV) could be 100%)
  • Your annual percentage rate can be as low as 4.99%* (July 2022) – But see below
  • Your loan rate will be fixed – So no surprise hikes
  • You can borrow over five, 10, 15, or 20 years
  • Loan amounts range from $10,000 to $500,000
  • There are no application or origination fees – But there will likely be some closing costs 

* Interest rates quoted on Navy Federal’s website in July 2022 ranged from 4.99% for a five-year loan with a 70% LTV to 8.5% for a 20 -year loan with a 95% LTV. Click the link for a fuller list of sample rates. The rate you're offered will vary depending on your credit score and existing debt burden. 

This deal is appreciably better than most of the ones we review. So if you are – or become – a member, put Navy Federal at the top of your shortlist when you begin comparison shopping.

Navy Federal Credit Union HELOC

As its full name implies, a HELOC gives you a line of credit. In that respect, it's a bit like a credit card: you can borrow as much as you want up to your credit limit. And you can repay and re-borrow as often as you like. You only pay interest on your balances. 

The main characteristics of Navy Federal’s HELOC are:

  • Borrow up to 95% of your equity (95% LTV)
  • Loan credit limits range from $10,000 to $500,000
  • Your APR could be as low as 5.00%* (July 2022) – But …
  • Interest rates are variable, as they are with most HELOCs – They go up and down with the U.S. Prime Rate. At the time of this writing, the Federal Reserve was planning several rate hikes
  • No application, origination, or inactivity fees – but there are others. Navy Federal says, "For loan amounts of up to $250,000, closing costs that members must pay typically range between $300 and $2,000"
  • You can have a 20-year "draw" period, during which you can borrow and repay as you wish. But the "repayment" period kicks in at the start of year 21, and then you can only pay down your balance, zeroing it by year 40. 

* Interest rates quoted on Navy Federal’s website in July 2022 ranged from 5.00% for a 70% LTV to 6.50% for a 95% LTV. Click the link for a fuller list of sample rates. The rate you're offered will vary depending on your credit score and existing debt burden. And remember: These are variable rates. 

Again, Navy Federal's HELOC looks to be an excellent offering. If you're eligible, you should get a quote along with ones from other lenders. Don't be surprised if this is the best you get.

How to Apply for Navy Federal Credit Union Home Equity Loans

With only 350 locations,186 of which are on or near military installations, you may be unable to find a Navy Federal branch near where you live. But check the website’s branch locator

Of course, nowadays, many loan applicants prefer to work by phone (1-888-842-6328) or through the lender’s website or app. And Navy Federal does well with all those. 

Don't forget that you need to be a member to apply. So join if you're eligible. 

Start on the website with the helpful How to Apply for a Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit page. That walks you through the process and guides you to the typical timeline.

Navy Federal Credit Union Expert and Consumer Ratings

We visited ten websites that provide consumer and expert reviews of financial organizations. Of those that gave star ratings, the average score was 3.8 out of a possible five. 

However, one had only three consumer reviews, two from disgruntled customers. If you take out that tiny sample, the average across the remaining ones was 4.54 stars. 

That seems to align with our view that Navy Federal generally provides excellent customer service. And that's borne out by its score in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction StudySM, which polled 5,414 consumers. It came eighth for customer satisfaction among all the best mortgage lenders, above the industry average. 

Of course, any organization with 11 million customers will upset some. But Navy Federal fails fewer and delights many more.

Navy Federal Credit Union Pros

Some of the characteristics many experts and customers seem to like about Navy Federal are:

  • Great customer service
  • A broad range of banking services and products, including home equity loans and HELOCs
  • Highly rated mobile app and robust website with great functionality 

As you’ve gathered, we admire this lender.

Navy Federal Credit Union Cons

Commonly cited drawbacks include:

  • Membership is not open to all
  • Limited branch network

 These won't bother those eligible to join unless they both live a long way from a branch and hate new technologies.

Navy Federal Credit Union Alternatives

Just because we like the Navy Federal Credit Union home equity loan and HELOC, that doesn't necessarily mean one of those is best for you. It might well turn out that way. But you have to make sure. 

Interest rates on these products vary widely between lenders. And it's entirely possible that you'll be offered a lower one by one of Navy Federal's competitors. 

So form a shortlist of all the lenders that are good candidates. And ask each for a quote. It's easy then to compare your offers side by side and choose the deal that's best for you.