4 credit unions for refinancing student loans September 2021

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If you are considering refinancing a student loan, there are several lender options to choose from, including credit unions. Because credit unions are not-for-profit organizations, a credit union student loan refinance may come with lower interest rates than banks.

Here’s what you need to know about refinancing student loans with a credit union:

4 credit unions for refinancing student loans

Here are some credit unions that offer student loan refinancing. Note that PenFed is a credible partner lender.

Lender Fixed rates from (APR) Variable prices from (APR) Min. credit rating Eligibility
First Tech Federal Credit Union Check with the lender Check with the lender Check with the lender
  • Become a member of First Tech
  • Have federal or private student loans from a qualified school
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Federal Navy Credit Union Check with the lender Check with the lender Check with the lender
  • Be a federal member of the Navy
  • Have federal or private student loans
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
PenFed* 2.89% + N / A 670
  • Be a PenFed member
  • Have private or federal student loans
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have at least $ 7,500 in student loans
Credit union services Check with the lender Check with the lender Check with the lender
  • Be a member of Service Credit Union
  • Have private or federal student loans during repayment or grace period
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Graduate from an accredited public or private non-profit school

All APRs reflect auto-pay and loyalty discounts where applicable

* To note: This lender is a credible partner.

First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union offers student loan refinancing for private and federal student loans, including Parent PLUS loans.

Refinancing with First Tech might be a good option if you expect to earn more income in the future. You can start with lower monthly payments with the First Tech Balloon Loan or Interest-Only Loan, then make larger payments later.

Federal Navy Credit Union

With Navy Federal Credit Union, you can refinance private and federal student loans. Parents also have the option of combining loans for several children.

If you have a small income, refinancing with Navy Federal might be easier to qualify – you must earn at least $ 24,000 per year (or $ 1,200 if you have a co-signer).


PenFed offers both fixed rate refinancing for any federal or private student loan. As of 2020, PenFed is also the only lender that allows spouses to refinance their loans together.

PenFed could also be a good option if you are looking for a short co-signer release period – you can apply for the co-signer release after 12 months of consecutive on-time payments.

Credit union services

If you graduated from a public or private non-profit school, you may be eligible to refinance your student loan with Service Credit Union. Refinancing your loans through Service Credit Union can be a good idea if you are looking for flexible repayment terms.

Learn more: When to refinance student loans

How to refinance student loans with a credit union

If you’re wondering how to refinance student loans with a credit union, follow these four steps:

  1. Shop and Compare Credit Unions: Make sure you compare as many credit unions as possible to find the loan that’s right for you. Consider not only interest rates, but also repayment terms and fees charged by the credit union. Remember that you will also need to join the credit union to be eligible for refinancing, so make sure you are eligible for membership.
  2. Choose the loan option you prefer: After comparing credit unions, choose the loan option that suits your needs.
  3. Complete the request: At this point, you will need to complete a full application and submit all required documents, such as pay stubs or tax returns. The lender will examine your credit and your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to determine your eligibility and ability to repay the loan. Keep in mind that each lender has their own minimum credit score for refinancing.
  4. Sign for your loan: If you are approved for refinancing, you will need to sign up for the loan. Make sure you keep making payments on your old loans until your new loan is processed.
Keep in mind: While you can refinance federal student loans, you will lose your federal benefits and protections, including access to income-based repayment plans and student loan cancellation programs.

On the other hand, refinancing private student loans might be a good option. You may qualify for a lower interest rate on student loans through refinancing, which will lower the overall cost of your loan. Since private student loan forgiveness unfortunately does not exist, refinancing could be an easy way to pay off your loans more easily.

You can use our calculator below to see how much you can save by refinancing your student loans.

Step 1. Enter your loan balance

Step 2. Enter the current loan information

Step 3. Enter your new loan information to start calculating your savings

Lifetime savings
Increased lifetime cost

New monthly payment

Monthly savings
Increased monthly cost

If you are refinancing your student loan at
interest rate, you
can save
will pay extra

monthly and repay your loan in
. The total cost of the new loan will be

Does refinancing make sense to you?
Compare offers from major refinance lenders to determine your actual savings.

Consult the personalized rates

Checking rates will not affect your credit score.

To verify:

How Credit Unions Are Different From Other Lenders

While credit unions may seem similar to banks and online lenders, there are also a few important differences to keep in mind.

Credit unions Banks Online lenders
For profit No Yes Yes
Physical branches available Yes Usually yes No
Site Local or national Local or national At national scale
Banking services available Yes Yes Depends on the lender
Online loan available Depends on the lender Depends on the lender Yes

One of the most positive things about credit unions is that they are not-for-profit organizations. Unlike banks and online lenders, credit unions operate primarily to serve their members. This means that credit unions could offer lower interest rates and lower fees than other lenders.

However, credit unions also have their own drawbacks. For example, credit unions are often smaller organizations, which means you might not take advantage of as wide a range of services as a bank.

They also sometimes lag behind online banks and online lenders specializing in technology and online user experience.

Learn more: Pay off student loans

Compare multiple lenders to get the best student loan refinance rate

Before refinancing your student loans, it is essential to consider as many lenders as possible to find the loan that is right for your needs. It will also help you get a rate that works best for you.

Advice: If you have already decided to refinance with a credit union, it is a good idea to research local credit unions in your area, as they may offer more perks and benefits.

You can also easily research your refinancing options through Credible. After filling out just one form, you can compare your prequalified rates with multiple lenders online, including PenFed, in two minutes.

Find out if refinancing is right for you
  • Compare actual rates, not rough estimates – Unlock the rates of several lenders in about 2 minutes
  • Will not impact credit score – Checking rates on Credible will not impact your credit score
  • Data confidentiality – We do not sell your information, so you will not receive calls or emails from multiple lenders

See your refinancing options
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About the Author

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg is an expert in personal finance. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Investopedia, The Balance, The Huffington Post, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Mint.com and more.

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