How To Become A Navy Federal Member

How To Become A Navy Federal Member


There Are Different Levels Of Membership

Become a Navy Federal Member | Best Secure Credit Cards

Yes! Not all USAA members qualify to have their spouse or children become USAA members.

To help explain this principle, Im going to create two new terms here:

  • Level 1 USAA Member: a USAA Member with basic checking/savings
  • Level 2 USAA Member: a USAA Member , but who also holds USAA auto or property insurance.

If you are a Level 1 USAA Member, your children and spouse are not eligible to become a USAA member.

Once you become a Level 2 USAA Member, your children and spouse are now eligible to become a USAA member.

Another key point is that military status and history no longer matter once you gain Level 2 USAA Membership. Once you are a Level 2 USAA Member, the following apply:

  • Your spouse and children are eligible for USAA Membership
  • Your spouse and children can also become Level 2 USAA members
  • If your spouse and children become Level 2 USAA members, their spouses and children are also eligible, and on and on it goes

Remember that I just made up the terms Level 1 and Level 2 to keep things separate. USAA doesnt actually use these terms.

What Is A Credit Union

NFCU is a military-oriented financial institution that operates as a credit union, meaning account holders arent customers only they own a stake in the credit union. Each member has a vote, and only members can use NFCU banking services.

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Nfcu Checking & Savings

Navy Federal account services include the following options:

  • Checking & Debit Card
  • Education Savings
  • Prepaid and Gift Cards

All members have some form of free checking offered. There is an active duty free checking program, and similar options for students and for everyday checking uses.

Those with Active Duty checking accounts are eligible to receive their direct deposit payment from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service a day early. The savings account options include retirement and education savings whatever your future financial needs might be in these areas, there are options.

The retirement savings account features include Roth IRAs, Traditional IRAs, SEP accounts, and more. For education savings accounts, there are multiple choices including the Coverdell Education Savings Account and the 529 Plan.

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Active/former Military Does Not Equal Usaa Member

Serving in the U.S. military does not make you an automatic USAA member. You actually have to sign up to become a USAA member.

So, if you have a parent or spouse who served or currently serves in the U.S. military, then you should encourage them to sign up!

As mentioned aboveonce they sign up, they are a only Level 1 USAA Member until they get auto or property insurance. At that point, theyll be a full-fledged Level 2 USAA Member.

How To Join The Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Membership Eligibility

The Pentagon Federal Credit Union offers a variety of great credit cards. But in order to qualify for the card you have to be a PenFed member. If youre in the military, its easy to join. But even if you dont serve in the armed forces, becoming a member of PenFed is pretty easy. Here are the ways you can qualify to join the PenFed Credit Union:

  • United States Military & Uniformed Services: One way to become a Pentagon Federal Credit Union Member is to be part of the United States Military. If you are an officer of the United States Public Health Services Commissioned Corps or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , you are also eligible to become a member of Pentagon Federal Credit Union by joining the Military Officers Association of America .
  • Member of an Eligible Association, Military Officers Association of America , or the Reserve Officers Association : The are a number of eligible associations in which members will qualify to be part of the PenFed credit union. Click here to see a complete list of eligible associations.
  • United States Government Employees: If you are an United States Government Employee you are eligible to become a member. Such department include the Department of the Army, Department of the Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, and more.
  • There is a list of geographic locations you can choose from a list to see if you are eligible.
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    Welcome Email And Debit Card

    Within a week after I sent the paper application and the supporting documents by mail, I received a welcome email from Navy Federal Credit Union. Another few days later I received a debit card and a PIN mailer in separate mails. However, I wasnt able to activate the debit card because the activation system asked for an Access Number, which I didnt have.

    The Access Number is similar to the membership number at other credit unions. The welcome email from Navy Federal showed a truncated Access Number. I couldve called customer service to get my full Access Number but I deliberately avoided calling. I just wanted to see what would happen if I didnt call.

    Navy Federal Credit Union Review

    Navy Federal Credit Union was established in 1933. Since that time it has grown out of a membership in the single digits to a financial institution with more than nine million customers. NFCU was open only to Navy members until 2008 when membership was opened to include all those associated with the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard.

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    What Business Banking Products Does Navy Federal Credit Union Offer


    • Business Checking. The Navy Federal Business Checking account features a 0.01% APY and dividend rate alongside 30 free transactions monthly and no maintenance fees.
    • Business Plus Checking. An $8 monthly service fee applies, but youll receive 50 free monthly transactions and a 0.05% APY and dividend rate.
    • Premium Business Checking. This account has tiered interest rates of 0.35% to 0.45% and comes with 100 free monthly transactions. You can waive the $20 monthly maintenance fee by maintaining an average daily balance of $5,000 or more.


    • Business Money Market Savings. There are no term restrictions associated with this account but youll need a minimum account balance of $2,500 to earn daily dividends.
    • Business CDs. Open a business CD with as little as $100 with terms of three months to seven years available and no maximum purchase amount.

    Other products

    • Both Navy Federals Visa Business and Mastercard Business cards have no annual fees, earn rewards points and offer rates as low as prime plus 5.9% APR.
    • Loans. Expand your business capital with business lines of credit and commercial vehicle, commercial real estate, investment property and secured and unsecured term loans.
    • Insurance. Navy Federal offers both retirement and health insurance with 401 profit-sharing plans, group insurance, dental coverage and vision plans. You can also apply for group life insurance, accident packages and short- and long-term disability coverage.

    Am I Eligible For Penfed Membership

    How to join Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) WITHOUT a sponsor!

    Advertiser Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the authors alone. This article may contain links from our advertisers. For more information, please see our .

    PenFed Credit Union is one of the largest military-oriented financial service companies in the United States whose stated mission is to help its members achieve financial well-being. Read on to determine if youre eligible for a PenFed membership, and how PenFed differentiates itself in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

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    Why You Should Join

    The Navy League depends on passionate individuals like you to support those currently serving and advocate for the sea services. Local councils adopt ships and shore commands, reward and honor enlisted personnel, host dinners and celebrations for military personnel, and support family members left behind when spouses and parents are deployed. At the national level, membership allows you to help our legislative affairs team fight on behalf of our sea services and educate government officials. No prior military service is required to be a member.

    Download our membership brochure to learn more or join by check.

    How To Become A Usaa Member Even If You Arent In The Military

    **This post contains affiliate links, see disclosure about affiliate links here. Thank you for your support.**

    USAA is a fantasticfinancial institution with so many upsides, such as outstanding customer service and an unparalleled online platform.

    I highly recommend you check them out for investments, insurance, or banking in general.

    Unfortunately, USAA doesnt do a stellar job of clarifying membership eligibility requirements. So I have taken the time to outline them here and provide my insight as a USAA member.

    So lets begin by discussing a common myth about USAA membership:

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    Who Is Eligible To Join Penfed

    PenFed membership is available to current or prior servicemembers and government employees , or family members of both groups. Additionally, people who live or work at an eligible location are eligible to join PenFed. Finally, you can be eligible for membership by being a member of one of over 50 different associations.

    For example, an individual with no military or government service, or family connections could join an eligible advocacy association in order to qualify for PenFed membership.

    Can I Pick The Agent That I Would Like To Work With

    Navy Federal Credit Union Student Loans Review 2021

    RealtyPlus connects you with a highly qualified agent who is affiliated with our brands, all of whom have a 96% satisfaction rating or better. These agents are from the most recognized real estate brands, including Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, ERA Real Estate, and Corcoran. If for any reason you are not satisfied with your agent, your RealtyPlus Coordinator can assist and request another agent.

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    What Is Navy Federal

    Navy Federal Credit Union is the largest retail credit union in the world, with close to $127 billion in assets and membership reaching an impressive 9.2 million members in 2020. Founded in 1933 for Navy employees and headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, Navy Federal is a member-owned, not-for-profit credit union, meaning that it is effectively owned and operated by its participants. Income generated by Navy Federal is therefore re-invested into the enterprise to fund projects or services that can benefit its members.

    In addition to its size, Navy Federal differentiates itself from other military-oriented banks and credit unions by placing a special emphasis on financial literacy through its MakingCents web portal and associated videos. Navy Federal also offers personal financial counseling, which is free and available to all members.

    Navy Federal Credit Union $100 Referral Bonus

    Get a $100 bonus for referring friends. Up to $500 in referrals!

    Navy Federal Credit Union is offering a $100 bonus when you refer new Senior NCOs to the credit union. There is no expiration date listed.

    • Account Type: Personal Account
    If you’re looking for more advanced features for a checking account, you may want to compare this offer to the following: HSBC Premier Checking , Huntington 25 Checking , PNC Bank Virtual Wallet , as well as the TD Bank Beyond Checking .


    • Refer new Senior NCOs to the credit union
    • Senior NCOs are considered Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves E-7 through E-9 and be at least 18 years of age.
    • Once account is open get $100, up to $500 in referral bonus
    • Stateside member reps are here for you 24/7.
    • Access to excellent member benefits, including competitive rates, superior service and free checking options.
    • Low Fees

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    Im A Usaa Member And Neither My Wife Nor I Served In The Military

    Short and sweet:

    1. My wifes dad was in the military.2. He became a USAA member AND got auto insurance3. At this point, my wife became eligible for membership4. My wife became a USAA member AND got auto insurance5. After we got married, I became eligible for membership6. Now that we have kids, they are eligible!

    Once A Member Always A Member

    How To Become a Navy Federal Credit Union Member Step By Step What You Need

    Navy Fed members who have already joined using this backdoor should not be concerned about losing their membership. One fundamental principle of credit unions is that once a member, always a member. The qualification to join doesnt have to be maintained to continue to be a member of the credit union. You just have to maintain the minimum balance in the share savings account to keep the membership active. This principle is stated in the Federal Credit Union Act:

    1759 e Retention of membership.Except as provided in section 1764 of this title, once a person becomes a member of a credit union in accordance with this subchapter, that person or organization may remain a member of that credit union until the person or organization chooses to withdraw from the membership of the credit union

    It should also be noted that the Navy League backdoor used to be a legitimate method of gaining Navy Fed membership. The backdoor rules were disclosed by Navy Fed representatives. Thus, everyone who had joined by following these rules should feel that theyre legitimate members.

    Thanks to the DA readers who posted in the forum and comments of these changes, and thanks to DA reader, Kaight, who posted the excerpt of the Federal Credit Union Act.

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    Nfcu Loans And Credit Cards

    • Home Equity Loans
    • Motorcycle, Boat & Leisure Vehicles

    Navy Federal credit card options are typical of what you might expect from any credit card program rewards, cash back options, and variable APRs. What makes these cards different than some commercial cards?

    No annual fees. There are three levels of credit card service with the lowest interest rates reserved for those who qualify for the NFCU Platinum card.

    Auto loans are offered for both new and used vehicles, and there is also a refinance option. What some military members may be interested in here? Motorcycle, boat, and leisure vehicle loans.

    Why are these NFCU loans particularly helpful? Because some military members and veterans find out the hard way that VA mortgage loans are not available for houseboats, Recreation Vehicles , campers, and other vehicles that can technically act as a dwelling but have no permanent foundation.

    A VA loan cannot be used to buy a house boat or RV because they cannot be classified or taxed as real estate. Thats where the NFCU Motorcycle, Boat & Leisure Vehicles loan comes in.

    And while were discussing VA mortgages, Navy Federal offers them in addition to some other home loan programs with similar features in some case . Home loan options include:

    Home loans arent the only lending choices you have. Navy Federal offers student loans with the following basic terms:

    Who Is Eligible To Join Navy Federal

    Navy Federal is committed to serving those who serve, which means that current and former members of the military are immediately eligible.

    However, membership eligibility criteria have expanded significantly in the past two decades to include the following four groups:

    • Active-Duty, Retired, & Veterans: This includes all Department of Defense and Coast Guard active-duty personnel, veterans and retirees, reservists, and those in officer candidate programs and Delayed Entry Programs.
    • Immediate Family Members: This category includes parents, grandparents, spouses, siblings, children , grandchildren, and household members .
    • Department of Defense Civilians: DoD civilian employees and retirees as well as U.S. government employees assigned to DoD installations and DoD contractors assigned to U.S. government installations are all eligible for membership. This includes employees of Select Employee Groups NAASCO and BAE .
    • Minors: Existing members can pass on the gift of membership to children and grandchildren.

    The key differentiator in Navy Federals membership program is that all prospective members must have some tie to the U.S. armed forces, either directly, through family, or through employment.

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    Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loan Review Highlights

    • : 7.49% – 18.00%
    • Loan sizes: $250 to $50,000
    • Payoff periods: Up to 60 months
    • : Not disclosed
    • Origination fee: None Other fees: $29
    • Reputation: NFCU scores an A+ with the Better Business Bureau, has few complaints filed against them with the CFPB, and has a 4/5 user rating.

    Overall, Navy Federal personal loans are a great option if youre eligible for membership in the credit union. Below, you can see how WalletHub rates Navy Federal in our three major categories: Terms, Requirements & Application, and Reviews & Transparency.

    Who Can Join Navy Federal Credit Union

    How To Find and Use Your Navy Federal Login

    NFCU is open to those who have a connection to the United States military including:

    • Active duty members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force
    • Active duty members of Coast Guard
    • Active Duty Air National Guard
    • Recruits in the Delayed Entry Program
    • DoD Officer Candidates
    • Retirees and annuitants
    • Qualifying family members of the above

    The Navy Federal official site anticipates that the qualifying family members eligibility question is more complicated than just inviting parents, children, or spouses with military connections to join. NFCU lists the following family members and related individuals as being eligible to join:

    • Household members of current NFCU account holders
    • Parents

    The Navy Federal official site describes the credit unions programs as follows:

    • Checking & Savings
    • Services
    • Resources

    Of the four, the Resources section is aimed more at education in areas such as retirement planning, military life, taxes, etc. The other sections showcase NFCU account options, etc.

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    Navy Fed Ends A Backdoor Way To Qualify For Membership

    Last December I reported on a little-known way to qualify for Navy Federal Credit Union membership. This backdoor to Navy Fed membership has been closed. The backdoor involved joining the Navy League, San Diego Council and then going through a special Navy Fed membership application process. This weekend I confirmed the closure of this backdoor with a Navy Fed membership service rep in an online chat session:

    Ken: Can one join navy league of San Diego and become eligible to join NFCU?

    Rep: Unfortunately, no. We had a membership change.

    In December, I had speculated that this backdoor may not last. As the largest credit union in the nation, Navy Fed probably doesnt see the need to aggressively pursue new members. Theres little to gain with promoting a backdoor to membership, and theres a lot of potential bad publicity if the backdoor makes news.

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