Navy Federal auto loans review (2023)

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Written by Ryan Wangman, CEPF; edited by Laura Grace Tarpley, CEPF



  • Pros and cons
  • How it works
  • Is Navy Federal trustworthy?
  • How Navy Federal auto loans compare
  • Frequently asked questions
Navy Federal auto loans review (1) Navy Federal auto loans review (2)

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Navy Federal auto loans review (3)

Navy Federal Auto Loans


4.5 out of 5 Stars

On Navy Federal Credit Union's website

Navy Federal auto loans review (4)

Navy Federal Auto Loans


4.5 out of 5 Stars

On Navy Federal Credit Union's website

Navy Federal Auto Loans

Navy Federal auto loans review (5)

On Navy Federal Credit Union's website


Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

New and Refinancing as low as 4.54%, Used as low as 4.54%


$29 late fee

Editor's Rating


4.5 out of 5 Stars

Pros & Cons


Top-notch interest rates

No prepayment penalties or origination fees

Many term lengths available

Wide range of loan amounts

Around the clock customer service

Mobile app


Membership required to qualify for a loan

Late fee

Online funding not available


More Information

  • Repayment terms between 12 months 72 months (used cars) or 96 months (new cars)
  • Customer service available 24/7 by phone
  • Borrow as little as $250 or as much as $500,000 on new and used cars. Minimum to refinance is $5,000, maximum not listed
  • Late fee of $29
  • Must be a member of the military community or a family member to qualify
  • You'll get your financing check through the mail or by visiting a branch
  • Loans are made by Navy Federal Credit Union

Pros and cons of Navy Federal auto loans

  • Extremely competitive interest rates

  • Multiple options for loan term length

  • No prepayment penalties or origination fee

  • Low minimum and high maximum loan amount

  • Mobile app

  • 24/7 customer service

  • Need to be a member to apply and qualify for a loan
  • You might not get money immediately; receive money at a branch or through the mail
  • Late fee

One of the biggest attractions of a Navy Federal auto loan is the credit union's low interest rates. Navy Federal also features an online Car Buying Center, where the company walks you through the process of financing, buying, researching, and insuring your next car.

Compare personal loans

How Navy Federal auto loans work

Navy Federal offers financing for new and used cars, and it has options for refinancing your car. Apply on Navy Federal's website, over the phone, or in person at a branch. In most cases, you'll receive a decision on your application instantly.

Unlike many other lenders, you need to be a member of Navy Federal to apply for and receive an auto loan. You're only eligible if you are an active military member or veteran, as well as an employee or retiree of the Department of Defense. Family members of any of the aforementioned groups also qualify.

Loan amounts range from $250 to $500,000 on new and used cars. The minimum you can borrow to refinance is $5,000, and Navy Federal doesn't list a maximum.

Loan terms start at 12 months and maximum term lengths vary depending on the type of car you're looking to finance. Your loan term for a new vehicle can be as long as 96 months, while used vehicles have a limit of 72 months. Keep in mind that the longer your loan term, the more likely you are to go upside down on your loan, meaning you owe more on your car than it's worth.

Navy Federal's rates vary depending on your term length, the model year of your car, and the number of miles on the vehicle.

New cars have the lowest rates. Late-model used vehicles — defined as 2021, 2022, and 2023 model years with 7,500 to 30,000 miles — have better rates than other used vehicles. If your vehicle is 20 model years or older, the vehicle is deemed classic or antique and subject to collateral loan rates.

The credit union has a mobile app in the Google Play and Apple Stores if you want to manage your loan on the go.

Is Navy Federal trustworthy?

Navy Federal Credit Union is not currently rated by the Better Business Bureau, because Navy Federal is in the process of responding to previously closed complaints.

The credit union used to have an A+ rating from the BBB. The BBB determines its score by looking at a company's response to customer complaints, honesty in advertising, and openness about business practices.

Navy Federal has been involved in a recent scandal. A Navy Federal employee alleged that the lender pressured mortgage underwriters to approve loans even without believing applicants could repay them. She then filed a lawsuit and said Navy Federal retaliated against her whistleblowing by altering her job duties. She dropped the casein late 2020.

How Navy Federal auto loans compare

How Navy Federal auto loans compare

  • Navy Federal auto loans review (6)

    Navy Federal Auto Loans

  • Navy Federal auto loans review (7)

    PNC Auto Loans

  • Navy Federal auto loans review (8)

    Bank of America Auto Loan

Editor's Rating


Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

New and Refinancing as low as 4.54%, Used as low as 4.54%

Editor's Rating


Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

From dealer: starts at 5.74%, From private party: starts at 7.89%, Lease buyout: starts at 5.74%, Refinancing: starts at 5.89%

Editor's Rating


Regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

New: Starts at 5.49%, Used: Starts at 5.69%, Lease Buyout: Starts at 6.29%, Refinance: Starts at 6.49%

Apply for a loan

On Navy Federal Credit Union's website

Apply for a loan

On PNC Bank's website

Apply for a loan

On Bank of America's website

Compared to the competition, Navy Federal has some of the best interest rates out there. Its rates start significantly lower than with from PNC and Bank of America.

PNC only offers financing for cars model year 2014 or newer — if you want to buy an older car, you won't be able to get a loan through PNC. Bank of America offers financing to cars fewer than 10 years old, while Navy Federal offers financing for cars less than 20 model years old.

Frequently asked questions

What credit score does Navy Federal require for auto loans?

Navy Federal doesn't list a required minimum score to get an auto loan, but as a rule of thumb, the higher your credit score, the lower your rate. That doesn't mean it's impossible to get a loan with a lower credit score, but you may need to enlist the help of a cosigner to qualify for a loan.

How long is Navy Federal's auto loan preapproval good for?

Your preapproval is good for up to 90 calendar days, so you have ample time to shop around for cars and find one that's the best fit for you.

Is a 72-month car loan bad?

While there's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, be careful before you take out a car loan with a long term length. Dealers may offer term lengths as long as eight years, but your payments might not be able to keep up with how fast your car depreciates, or loses value. The longer the term, the more money you'll pay in interest. Keep in mind that shorter term lengths come with higher monthly payments, though.

Ryan Wangman, CEPF

Loans Reporter

Ryan Wangman is a reporter at Personal Finance Insider reporting on personal loans, student loans, student loan refinancing, debt consolidation, auto loans, RV loans, and boat loans. He is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). In his past experience writing about personal finance, he has written about credit scores, financial literacy, and homeownership. He graduated from Northwestern University and has previously written for The Boston Globe. Learn more about how Personal Finance Insider chooses, rates, and covers financial products and services here >>

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