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Some questions on PenFed
Old 07-07-2008, 11:24 AM   #1
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Some questions on PenFed

I noticed Pentagon Federal Credit Union mentioned several times and I was hoping to get a quick primer on them from anyone who has experience.

I'm looking to refinance my home mortgage and was curious why so many here seem to endorse Pen Fed. Is it the rates or security or ... ?

Finally, my father was in the Navy and my brother is still an F-16 pilot in the Air Force, I assume that would be enough to join? Would applying impact them in any way if I used them as a reference? Credit checks, phone calls etc...

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 07-07-2008, 12:57 PM   #2
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PenFed is excellent. I have my mortgage with them (4.625% 15 year fixed, $788.40 out-of-pocket for the refi of ~$175K) as well as their credit card - 5% back on gas, 2% on groceries, 1.25% on everything else, automatically credited on my monthly statement, with no minimums or maximums and no hassle.

Their rates are superb and usually the best or among the best. I have approximately 40 active credit cards from all the major issuers and the PenFed card is the one that's actually in my wallet.

They're a large, well-respected credit union.

I'd read up on their membership requirements. They won't ask for your father's or brother's information and they won't contact them or check their credit. It's basically an honor system. If you don't qualify through your father or brother, you can pay a one-time fee of $20 I think to join the National Military Family Association. Then once you're a member of PenFed you can drop the NMFA membership if you wish and still remain a customer of PenFed.

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Old 07-07-2008, 02:07 PM   #3
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While PENFED is good, if youre gonna refi, make sure your existing mortgage holder won't give you a deal as well... I think penfed is currently paying most of the closing costs for new primary residence loans.

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Old 07-07-2008, 02:59 PM   #4
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They are a good place for a credit card and loans. I pay the credit card off every month and don't borrow money because I hate debt. I also feel that jobs nowdays are shaky and I do not want to be in debt. You might says my father was like Dave Ramsey. On that note Penfed does have some good cd's.
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Old 07-07-2008, 05:06 PM   #5
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DW and I just moved to a new home 3 weeks ago and I used PenFed for a new mortgage based on their very competitive rates, up-front transparency on (low) costs, and great reputation from others here. I wasn't disappointed.

It can be challenging to compare total cost across lenders based on what they merchandise/sell but it's very important to do so. I did a couple of quotes from other lenders and while a few matched or barely beat PenFed on rate and points it wasn't even close when I factored in the extra closing fees the others wanted to tack on....

FWIW, I got a 5.75% 30-yr fixed for 0.875 points. We intend on staying in this house a LONG time so were willing to buy down the baseline 6.0% rate a little.

Lastly, if you use PenFed it's worthwhile to check the rates page online every morning after 11:30am ET when they are typically updated. My eyes were glued to that page for a few weeks back in April / May as I eyed when I should lock my rate in.
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Old 07-08-2008, 05:41 PM   #6
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Thanks very much everyone. Appreciate it.

jblack I'm shooting for something similar to what you got myself. I'll keep an eye on their page.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:42 PM   #7
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Been with them for 33 years now. Primary financial institution through that period. Never a problem. Some of my kids have used them recently for Mortgages and are completely happy with the services and costs. I believe they are #3 in size for all CU in the USA and did not get caught up in the "sub prime lending" BS.
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:03 PM   #8
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I don't have any experience with their mortgages, but the auto loans are amazing.

4.5% when the best rate my car dealer had was 5.9%. They looked at each other and said "Wow, we are pretty proud of our rate, but that beats us hands down."

I applied at PenFed online at 10PM, checked the next morning and the app status was "Approved". I called to ask them what was the next step and the girl said, "Your check has already been mailed out."

Oh, and the top-of-the-line extended warrantee (5 yrs/60K miles) was $1145 vs. the dealer's $2300.
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