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Penfed membership

Established Contributor

Re: Penfed membership

Authorized user forms can now be uploaded.  At least according to the email they sent me trying to add one.  


I got in just as another CU to check when looking for an auto loan.  I can't use them for a mortgage due to the specialized government program I qualify for.  I now have a relatively high yield savings that I can dip into if necessary, a 2% CB CC and a PL that took out half my credit card debt.

EX700 TU 704 EQ 694 4/03/22
Cap1 QS-$4,500 Chase Freedom Flex- $800 Chase Freedom Unlimited- $1,000 Victoria's Secret- $1,200 Citi DC- $800 Amazon Store Card- $3,500 AMEX Hilton Honors-$1,000 Discover It-$1,000 Wal-Mart MC $290 Chase Sapphire Preferred-$5,000 NFCU Flagship $13,800 AMEX BCE-$1,000 AMEX Gold-$5,000 AMEX Delta Blue $1,000 Lowe's $5,000 Navy Platinum $17,000 AMEX BBP $2,000
Message 21 of 33
Regular Contributor

Re: Penfed membership

This was my experience with them a bit over a year ago. I joined but then they wanted every single page of our taxes (over 40 pages worth) and they did not have an easy way for me to get them to them. As someone else said, their technology is antiquated. I had to upload each page of our taxes, and could only do three at a time. They would not accept relevent pages like most places do. It took forever, and was a total mess. The only reason I did it was because I was stubborn and didn't want to give a hard pull for nothing. After that, they've been fine. 


I rate them one star for technology, and four stars for their service after the fact. 

@summerterrace wrote:

I joined Pen Fed for a potential mortgage and then didn't use their program.  I have the Power Cash and Pathfinder credit cards.  The Power Cash card is a great 2% card (if you can deal with the $500 deposits/shuffling required).  The Pathfinder is not that great.  The $100 airline incidental is only usable for a few things like seat charges, baggage charges, inflight food and lounge fees.  We don't always fly airlines with those charges so I don't always use the airline incidental fee.  The reward redemptions on the point earnings cards are sub-par.  Only .85 cpp and can only get gift cards in certain amounts.  The travel portal pricing is really high and the options are limited.  


My biggest beef with this Credit Union is their online presence.  Their website is very dated, and the app is not user friendly at all.  The Customer Service is adequate when I call in, but they really need to update their technology.  I had to mail in my authorized user forms, no reason that can't be electronic...


Their car loan and mortgage rates are very competitve and their High yield savings account is a .15 above NFCU rate.


In the garden until May 2022!!
Message 22 of 33
Regular Contributor

Re: Penfed membership

I just got off the phone with a representative and I asked her if joining was a hard or soft pull and she said anything that is not credit related like credit cards, personal loans & so forth is only a soft pull & checking & savings is only a soft pull as well as membership. I told her I closed my account last year but, I just reapplied for membership again this morning and I wanted to make sure that it's a soft pull only just like it was in 2020 when I became a member and she said it is. I checked my EQ this morning and there was no hard pull. Oh and I asked her if she could clear up the age old question about being bk friendly & yadda yadda. I asked her if she could tell me how many years is needed before you apply and she put me on hold and spoke to the loan officer and she came back and let me know that it's 1-2 years after discharge. Hope that helps everyone on here, it did me !

Message 23 of 33
Valued Contributor

Re: Penfed membership

I joined PenFed recently for a possible loan in a few months. I opened checking/saving without issue. No HP and no inquiry on chex. It looks to be a good CU. Shall I do anythig to improve my relationship, e.g. balance in my checking, to get a good loan?


I could not see the loan rate for the moment, without HP (taked over the phone with rep).

Fico8: EX~EQ~TU~810 (12 month goal~840).
BOA (Custom Cash Rewards, Better Cash Rewards, Premium Rewards), Chase (CFF, CSP, Amazon), US Bank (Cash+, Altitude Go,Ralphs), Affinity CR, Discover, Citi (Premier/SYW), Amex (BCE, HH), Walmart/Cap1, Barclay View.
Message 24 of 33
Frequent Contributor

Re: Penfed membership

@BearsCubsOtters wrote:

@Yasselife wrote:

I recently joined Penfed and would like to share with others that doing it online was very easy fast process, the steps are clear. Prior to applying, I read stories of people having difficulty when doing it on the phone with a representative, and later needing to provide some requests while dealing with slow service + "45" minutes in line waiting on the phone, it sounded like a big headache and made me doubt if I should try them. BTW I joined by choosing the $5 shared savings, it's not necessary to open a checking which requires $500 min balance to avoid maintenance fee.
   I joined Navy and Marcus online too, both went smooth... so, online is my preferred method for applying.

Is applying by phone becoming old fashioned like snail mail checks? 

my rate for Penfed so far: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I have not applied for any other product.


Yes.....I would argue for the past 10 years applying online was the norm. I joined PenFed in 2009 online....


My rate for Penfed after 12 years: ⭐️


They used to be great. 

They used to great ...???? PenFed offers very good service.. better rates vs big banks..offers loans to members to that others wouldn't much lower rates

Message 25 of 33
Valued Member

Re: Penfed membership

I applied.  It immediately kicked back that they couldn't read Equifax because of a freeze.  Based on Penfed's assurance that lifting the freeze would not affect my score, I gave access.  


Now this raises another question.  I thought freezes allowed for soft pulls.  Doesn PenFed/Equifax do something other than a soft pull, but that's not quite a hard pull?

Message 26 of 33
Regular Contributor

Re: Penfed membership

I thought that too until recently. 

I was playing around with capital one's car pre-approval and they denied me with the reason being they could not access my credit report.  Can't remember which report it was, but they all were frozen/locked at the time. 

Message 27 of 33
Frequent Contributor

Re: Penfed membership

@7774x  I have heard really nice things about PenFed. And I've especially heard extremely nice things about Navy Federal. But the ones I find myself leaning towards or considering for the future are the ones that offer a credit prequalification tool. In the end, I think they might be the ones that win my business.

Message 28 of 33
New Contributor

Re: Penfed membership

I didn't know this, although I already have a direct deposit going there, great info.



You can also avoid the fee with $500 a month in direct deposits.... I push money from my BECU account (free to send and receive) and PenFed considers that transfer a direct deposit waving the maintenance fee (I use PenFed checking to pay my PenFed accounts mostly, and the extra 0.5% cash back from my Power Cash Rewards for having the checking account makes it worth the extra couple minutes a month shuffling money).


Starting Score:Early 2021 Mid 400s
Current Score:Eq/Ex/Tu 740/743/734 Experian is -4 thanks to Comenity hard pull and their website “update” debacle
Goal Score: 800+

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Message 29 of 33
Established Contributor

Re: Penfed membership



You may have already seen but Penfed just started doing preapprovals for each of their cards. Would have saved myself a hard pull last week if I had a crystal ball to tell me it was coming lol.


Link to thread where it was recently found:

Message 30 of 33
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