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Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU), established in 1933, is the largest natural member credit union in the United States regarding asset size and membership. Headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, it operates under the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) regulation. As of November 2023, Navy Federal boasts assets totaling $168.4 billion, serving over 13 million members.
NFCU Mortgage Products
Navy Federal Credit Union offers a diverse range of mortgage products tailored to meet the needs of various borrowers, including military members, veterans, and first-time homebuyers.
VA Loans cater to eligible servicemembers, veterans, and their spouses, with backing from the Department of Veterans Affairs. These loans are notable for requiring no down payment, a significant benefit for those looking to purchase a home without waiting to save.
Military Choice and Homebuyers Choice
Military Choice and Homebuyers Choice are loan options unique to Navy Federal. They are similar to VA loans, offering $0 down and no PMI, but are not backed by the federal government.
Without backing, Choice program interest rates typically fall on the higher side and still come with a funding fee. Choice loans may be a good option for homebuyers who’ve exhausted their VA loan entitlement and still wish to put $0 down.
Conventional Fixed Rate
Navy Federal also offers conventional fixed-rate mortgages. Conventional loans are for buyers seeking a stable and predictable monthly mortgage payment over the long term but come with down payment requirements.
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) start with a low, fixed interest rate for an initial term, then adjust according to a financial index. ARMs are suitable for buyers planning to stay in their homes for a short period and desiring lower initial payments.
Outside of mortgages, the credit union offers various services, including checking, savings, retirement accounts, credit cards, personal loans and more.
NFCU operates branches both domestically and internationally, totaling 354 locations as of July 2023. NFCU members can access services through the CO-OP network of ATMs without incurring fees.
Navy Federal History
Originally named the Navy Department Employees’ Credit Union of the District of Columbia (NDCU), NFCU was founded on January 17, 1933, catering exclusively to Navy Department employees and their families. Following the enactment of the Federal Credit Union Act by President Roosevelt in 1934, the organization broadened its membership scope and was federally chartered in 1947 as the Navy Department Employees Federal Credit Union (NDEFCU).
The credit union underwent several name and charter changes, eventually becoming Navy Federal Credit Union in 1954. NFCU expanded its membership to include all Navy and Marine Corps personnel. By 1962, NFCU had become the world’s largest credit union, a title it still holds. In 2003, membership was extended to Navy contractors, and by 2020, it included all branches of the military, Department of Defense (DoD) employees, and contractors.
Navy Federal has shown consistent growth over the years. From 2018 to 2022, its assets grew from $96.9 billion to $156.6 billion. The credit union has also seen a significant increase in its loan portfolio, with loans outstanding rising from $75 billion in 2018 to nearly $110 billion in 2022. Membership growth has been steady, reaching over 12 million by 2022.
Navy Federal has faced legal challenges, including a class action lawsuit in 2017 over unwanted phone calls and a similar lawsuit in 2020 concerning unwanted text messages. In 2021, it settled a lawsuit over non-sufficient funds fee charges.
Membership at Navy Federal is diverse, including all uniformed personnel of the DoD, reservists, retired military members, DoD civilian employees, contractors, and family members. The membership base also includes honorably discharged veterans.
Navy Federal Credit Union has established itself as a major player in the credit union sector, particularly known for its mortgage services. With a strong commitment to serving the military community, it remains a significant financial institution with a growing global presence.
You can contact Navy Federal Credit Union 24/7 at 1-888-842-6328 or on their website here.