Penfed Review  

By loansmack

Key Features

  • Refinance student loans for former students and parents.
  • Can apply with & without a cosigner; cosigner release offered.
  • 5, 8, 12, 15 year repayment terms.
  • Refinance Rates: Variable Rates – 2.82% – 6.60%  Fixed Rates – 3.50% – 7.28%. 
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.

About Penfed

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed), established in 1935, offers a variety of banking services, including refinancing student loans.  The credit union typically serves government employees, but that is not a requirement to apply for a loan.


  • Spouse Loan Refinancing - When you apply for a couple loan, Penfed adds your incomes together and uses the higher of your two credit scores to maximize your savings. The spouse with the higher credit score should apply as cosigner.
  • Quick Application Process – You can apply in a few minutes.
  • No origination fees or prepayment penalties.


  • Rates – Depending on your credit or your cosigner's credit, you may not get your desired rate.  
  • No Auto Pay discount – Some companies offer a 0.25% rate discount with Auto Pay, but Penfed does not.  We recommend that you look at your overall rate, including any discount, when comparing lenders.

How to get started with Penfed

You can get started with Penfed through their online process. Remember, when you get a rate estimate from a lender, this involves a 'soft credit' check, which will not affect your credit score.  When you decide to actually apply for a loan, the lender will do a hard credit pull which will slightly affect your credit score.

Documents you'll need for when applying to most lenders:

  • Government ID (passport, driver's license, green card).
  • Income verification (if applicable); this can include pay stubs, W-2's, etc.
  • Social Security number.