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Established Contributor
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Registered: ‎07-05-2008
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PenFed membership open to everyone...

Not sure if people already know this, but thought it might be worth sharing since credit union membership is where it's at.

 

I'm a Navy Federal member and unfortunately the membership requirements for NavyFed are pretty rigid, but PenFed has some loopholes that will let anyone join.

 

If you want to join PenFed, you can get in by joining an eligible military association for a small one-time membership fee. The only military association PenFed recognizes that citizens can join, as far as I know at least, is the National Military Family Association (NMFA): http://www.nmfa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=join_renew.

 

Just go to their website and sign-up and pay the one-time fee of, I think $25. When it asks your military affiliation you just say "Concerned Citizen". Then once you're signed-up you use your NMFA information to apply for PenFed membership. Once your NMFA membership expires you're already a PenFed member so you don't have to renew it.

 

PenFed has a much different business model than NavyFed and other credit unions in that it doesn't take on as much risk when lending to others and usually only makes very prime loans. As a result of their strict underwriting standards and extremely low default rate they're able to offer great rates on both long-term deposit products as well as long-term loan products like mortgages and HELOCs.

 

Also they've got a great credit card.

 

I personally prefer Navy Federal because they tend to have more products and services and more generous credit lines, but it's better to have membership the second-best credit union than a bank that's going to rate-jack you and change you fees out the wazoo.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,749
Registered: ‎08-18-2007
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Re: PenFed membership open to everyone...

Thanks Jaybird

 

Also you can join Penfed if you are American Red Cross volunteer as well.

Established Contributor
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Re: PenFed membership open to everyone...

Apologies for the poor grammar and spelling errors. I'm too lazy to fix them... Smiley Happy
Valued Contributor
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Re: PenFed membership open to everyone...

[ Edited ]

I would agree it's better to have membership in the second-best CU than any bank - but I think I recall a thread here a few months ago about how CU accounts are coded. I thought the bottom line is CU's are considered by FICO as being slightly lower than uber bank cards.

 

I have 2 cards from NFCU, but think 2 (or maybe 3) will be my limit for CU cards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message Edited by cobra19 on 01-23-2009 11:12 AM
New York Yankees - 2009 World Series Champions. 27... and counting.....
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,749
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Re: PenFed membership open to everyone...


cobra19 wrote:

I would agree it's better to have membership in the second-best CU than any bank - but I think I recall a thread here a few months ago about how CU accounts are coded. I thought the bottom line is CU's are considered by FICO as being slightly lower than uber bank cards.

 

I have 2 cards from NFCU, but think 2 (or maybe 3) will be my limit for CU cards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message Edited by cobra19 on 01-23-2009 11:12 AM

 

With generous CL's to help util% and better customer service, i will take that anytime over a small pt difference.

 

The help in util% will over ride the difference in CU vs uber bank pt difference

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Posts: 28,095
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: PenFed membership open to everyone...


cobra19 wrote:

I would agree it's better to have membership in the second-best CU than any bank - but I think I recall a thread here a few months ago about how CU accounts are coded. I thought the bottom line is CU's are considered by FICO as being slightly lower than uber bank cards.

 

I have 2 cards from NFCU, but think 2 (or maybe 3) will be my limit for CU cards.



You're correct, CU cards bring fewer points Smiley Mad , but we've been told that it's a very tiny difference.

My card count goal is 3 CU cards (already have) and 4-5 cards from traditional banks. This will involve dumping 3-4 cards, so it will take a while before I'm there. (I'd like to have enough open CC accounts to counter my installment counts, which always have balances, of course.)
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 456
Registered: ‎07-09-2008
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Re: PenFed membership open to everyone...

Maybe a CU credit card does score a few points lower than a prime bank card in FICO.  But there's the flip side that's pure inspiration:  The case of a certain Credit Union guru on another board, who has tons of CU cards in his cc portfolio, a BK showing on all 3 CRs from 2001, 3 years avg age of accounts, and is at 798 and 800 FICO on two of his 3 CRs for Jan, 09.  Not too shabby!  Smiley Wink

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