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How to refinance my PenFed CU auto loan?

PenFed CU targets the segment of American car shoppers with moderate to great credit and we observed an average auto loan interest rate of 5% (within a range of +/- 1%). If you have a PenFed CU auto loan and have not looked into refinancing your car loan yet, you should do so now!

PenFed CU car loan rates vary a lot by credit score. Our PenFed CU auto loan calculator can help you get a sense for how much you can expect to save from a PenFed CU auto refinance.

Refinance your PenFed CU auto loan

To lower your monthly payments on your PenFed CU auto loan, you need to find a lender that offers you a lower rate. Usually, lenders offer you a lower rate for one of two reasons:

  1. When you bought your car, the dealer marked up your rate to make more money
  2. You improved your credit over time and now qualify for a lower rate

Both of these reasons allow you to save a lot of money. You improved your credit from near prime credit (i.e. between 600 and 700) to prime (i.e. above 700), you're not facing any financial difficulties and therefore, your new lender will be likely one of the following ones:

  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • State Employees Credit Union
  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union
  • BECU
  • Schools First Credit Union
  • First Technology Credit Union
  • ... or any other Credit Union in your county.

You successfully got out of the near-prime credit segment (a FICO between 600 - 700) and moved into the prime segment (FICO above 700). Now Credit Unions commercial and regional community banks will accept you as a member. These lenders have a community charter and are non-profits. Therefore, the rates are as low as they get.

In the following, we will walk you through the exact steps to pay off your PenFed CU loan.

PenFed CU loan payoff amount

First and foremost, we need to pull up your PenFed CU loan payoff statement. The loan payoff statement is not your outstanding balance. Instead, the loan payoff statement summarizes the following data points:

  • your payoff amount (usually your loan amount balance plus a few small fees)
  • the date until your payoff is valid (usually 10 days from when you requested it)
  • the per-diem (how much of daily interest your loan accumulates)
  • your account number (the new lender needs that to payoff your loan)
  • the payoff address (the new lender needs to know where to mail the check to)

All the above information can be found on the official payoff statement. The next step is to locate the document. You have three ways to locate the payoff statement from PenFed CU services:

  1. Call the PenFed CU customer service phone number at 1-800-247-5626 and ask to be connected to the loan payoff department.
  2. Log into the online banking at Log In (https://www.penfed.org, login on the right) and browse to the 'Loan Payoff' tab. You will be able to download a PDF.
  3. Do a three-way call with the new lender and PenFed CU at 1-800-247-5626, which allows the new lender to ask PenFed CU all the questions necessary to pay off your existing loan.

Should you plan to payoff your loan, you can overnight a check to this address:

PenFed CU
2930 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria VA 22314

How soon can you refinance a PenFed CU loan

You're eager to refinance your PenFed CU loan? Great, you should absolutely work towards lowering your PenFed CU payments through refinancing.

Dealers make most of their money on finance and insurance products. Therefore, there's a good chance that you can already save money through refinancing the day you drive off the lot. That said, you will save the biggest amount of money from refinancing after you made 12 to 18 payments.

Take a look at our auto loan refinance calculator and the paragraph about negative vs. positive equity.

Savings from refinancing a PenFed CU loan

We performed a study on the top 40 auto loan companies to refinance and found that the average PenFed CU loan rate is around 5% (within a range of +/- 1%). If you made your payments for 6 / 12 / 18 consecutive months, you're guaranteed to be able to save money on your PenFed CU loan.

Your new interest rate should be on the order of 1% or below. That means you will save $100 every year / $8 every month if your remaining loan balance is around $10,000 and you refinance. Usually, we see higher loan balances when refinancing our customers, e.g. around $15,000. If your loan balance is around $15,000 you will save $150 every year / $13 every month when you lower your rate by 4%.

We built an auto loan refinance calculator to help you get a quick overview of what your monthly payments could / should be based on your credit score and the term of the loan you choose. Just click on the link, select your vehicle (Year, Make and Model) and you'll be able to adjust a few parameters to get a sense for your future monthly payments.

For a guaranteed rate in less than 2 minutes, open WithClutch.com, enter your phone number, select your goal (e.g. 'Lower my monthly payment') and click on 'Apply Now'. Our process will not hurt your credit and you'll receive a firm and guaranteed rate with not more than 5 clicks.

Things to know about PenFed CU

If you currently have a loan with PenFed CU, you most likely got the loan at the dealership where you bought your car and you can make your payments online at Log In. PenFed CU announced a new program to work with consumers directly in 2015. However, the direct-to-consumer efforts didn't yield a lot of success.

79% of all Americans with auto loans get their auto loan at the dealership. People shop for cars, they don't shop for loans. As a result, car dealers have a lot of power and authority when it comes to giving car shoppers loans.

The challenge is this:

  1. the number 1 goal of a car dealer is to sell a car
  2. the number 2 goal of a car dealer is to sell the car at the highest possible margin

As mentioned above, PenFed CU is an auto loan company that specializes on the segment of Americans with prime credit. If your credit score slipped in to the area below 700 - be it because of medical bills, a divorce, job loss etc. - and you recovered by making your payments on time, you likely qualify for a PenFed CU vehicle loan.

Other loans you might have also qualified for could have been with one of the following auto loan companies:

  • Bank of America
  • Chase
  • US Bank
  • Ally Financial
  • CapitalOne
  • ... and a few more

If you bought your car at a Franchise Dealership, you may have qualified for a loan with one of the Captive Finance companies (i.e. the auto loan companies that are owned by the respective car brand), e.g.:

  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Nissan Infiniti Financial Services
  • GMF Americredit
  • Hyundai Financial Services
  • Kia Financial Services
  • ... and a few more

All of the above lenders work with Americans who temporarily have challenged credit. That said, you don't want to be stuck in neither a PenFed CU nor any other high-interest loan. The auto loan interest rate of those financing companies is very high and if you make your payments diligently, you will quickly qualify for a better rate.

After you've made your first 6 / 12 / 18 payments, your chance to refinance your loan and lower your monthly payments has come. The challenge with refinancing is that most auto loan companies require you to visit their branch before they can give you any indication of how much money you will be saving. Fortunately, we can help with that.

PenFed CU car loan refinance rates

We can help you get the following PenFed CU refinance rates:

Credit ScoreNew carUsed car
Below 55022.00%22.00%

As mentioned above, PenFed CU car loan rates vary a lot by credit score. We therefore recommend taking a look at our PenFed CU auto loan calcuator.

Refinance your PenFed CU loan now

Haven't explored refinancing yet?
WithClutch.com is a fully digital platform that lets car owners like you do so from the comfort of their own home. No need to set a foot in a bank or credit union. You can lower your rate or get cash in as little as 20 seconds.

Follow three simple steps to refinance your auto loan, get approved in seconds and save thousands in minutes.



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Tempe, AZ 85282