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Are there eligibility restrictions for these loans?

To qualify, applicants must meet credit and underwriting criteria and be a:

  • member of Navy Federal Credit Union (see if you're eligible)
  • current student or graduate of an eligible school (excluding parent refinance loans)
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • legal adult in the state in which they reside (age 18 in most states)

Co-signers must also meet credit and underwriting criteria and be a:

  • member of Navy Federal Credit Union (see if you're eligible)
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • legal adult in the state in which they reside (age 18 in most states)

What's a co-signer, and who should have one?

A co-signer on a loan can help the borrower qualify, especially those who are in school full-time and don't have income of their own. Having a co-signer can also help get a lower rate, which will decrease the cost of the loan.

Who can be a co-signer?

The qualifications for co-signers are that they must be a member of Navy Federal Credit Union, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, a legal adult in the state in which they reside (age 18 in most states), and able to pass a credit check. A co-signer can increase the chance of loan approval and may help lower the interest rate of the loan.

Can Navy Federal Private Student Loans be used at any school?

When applying for a loan, check to see which colleges or universities are eligible, as not all schools qualify. You can view a list of eligible schools on the first page of the application.

Are there any schools or students not eligible for a Navy Federal Private Student Loan?

We don't offer loans for:

  • certificate programs
  • trade schools
  • for-profit colleges
  • foreign institutions
  • schools that don't certify the cost of attendance
  • K-12 schools
  • students enrolled less than part-time

What's the difference between a Federal Student Loan and a Private Student Loan?

Federal Student Loans follow guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Education and typically offer fixed and lower interest rates and more repayment options compared to private student loans. However, federal loans, unlike most private loans, have borrowing limits, which may not allow a student to borrow enough to cover the entire cost of education. Private loans help students fill the funding gap between the cost of attending school and the amount of federal loans, grants and available scholarships. Both Private and Federal Student Loans typically allow students to defer full principal and interest payments while in school, and some offer economic forbearance options once a student completes school. Unlike federal loan programs, private lenders assess the creditworthiness of the borrower and co-signer (if applicable) before making a loan.

What information do I need to apply?

Applicants will need to provide their:

  • Social Security Number
  • permanent address, phone number and email addresses
  • basic information about their academic standing (when applying for a student loan)

What's the school-certified cost of attendance?

School-certified cost of attendance is the amount of money your school believes is required to attend their institution. It includes tuition, fees, room and board, and other education-related expenses. Your school's financial aid office can provide this figure for you. Keep in mind that Private Student Loans are meant to bridge the gap between the cost of attendance and the funding you've received from Federal Student Loans, scholarships and grants. Navy Federal requires that all credit-approved loans go through the school certification process and reserves the right to approve a lower amount than the school-certified amount or withhold funding if the school doesn't certify Private Student Loans.

How long does the application process take?

This depends partly on your school. Applying online and receiving a preliminary decision takes less than 15 minutes. Then, you’ll need to wait for your school to complete the certification process. Each school has its own processes and timelines, but a good estimate is approximately 4 to 6 weeks from when you apply to when your school receives the funds.

Need your loan sooner? You can talk to one of our student loan specialists at 1-877-304-9302, M-F, 8 am - 8 pm, ET.

What costs are covered by Navy Federal's Private Student Loans?

Our loans can be used for tuition, dorm room costs or off-campus housing (e.g., rent for an apartment), textbooks and supplies, laptops, food costs (e.g., meal plans or groceries), transportation and other education-related expenses certified by your school.

Can I borrow for the whole school year or should I borrow by semester?

You can do either. The benefit to applying for the whole school year is that you’ll only need to apply once and will have only one credit check. If, however, your plans are uncertain, we also welcome applications for one semester at a time.

One thing to know: Interest only accrues on the funds that have been disbursed, and there’s no penalty to cancel any additional future disbursements.

How can I know if I'm borrowing enough money to cover my college expenses?

You can calculate how much you’ll need by using your school’s cost of attendance minus any grants, scholarships, personal savings and federal loans. You should be able to find the cost of attendance on the financial aid section of your school's website. Please note that during the certification process, your school will verify the loan amount requested.

Can I use a co-signer who doesn’t live in the United States?

To be eligible to apply, a co-signer must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and a Navy Federal member.

What if a school I’m interested in attending isn't on the list of approved schools?

It's likely that the school doesn't meet the eligibility criteria. For example, we don’t offer loans to cover costs of for-profit or foreign institutions or for those colleges that don’t certify the cost of attendance. You can call us with questions at 1-877-304-9302, M-F, 8 am - 8 pm, ET.

Who is LendKey?

LendKey is our servicer for student loans. Navy Federal has partnered with LendKey to leverage their expertise in working with schools to ensure the best experience for our members.

How does the school get paid? Do you send the money to me or directly to the school?

The funds will be sent to the school. Typically, they'll apply the money to your balance and will send you the remainder. It can take between 5 to 7 business days from the date you accept your final disclosure for your bill to be paid (unless the school requests a later date).

Is the interest tax deductible?

Yes, interest on student loans is tax deductible with some restrictions. An in-depth explanation is available on the IRS website.

What is SOFR?

SOFR stands for the Secured Overnight Financing Rate.  This is a broad measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight collateralized by Treasury securities.  Navy Federal’s student, refinance and parent refinance loans will vary based on the 90-day average of the daily SOFR rate, as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as of two business days immediately preceding the quarterly adjustment date.  Variable interest rates will adjust quarterly on the first day of January, April, July and October.

What's the loan repayment term for Private Student Loans?

Private Student Loan terms are up to 15 years. Students are given up to 4.5 years of in-school time and a 6-month grace period before entering the 10-year full repayment period. This means that the loan term will vary depending on how far along a student is in his or her studies. For example, a student who is taking out a loan for her junior year will have 20 months of in-school time (assuming her loan is disbursed in August 2020 and she graduates in May 2022), 6-months of grace, then the 10-year repayment period. Her total loan term will be 146 months.

What's the Career Assistance Program?

The Career Assistance Program provides access to an exclusive online job search training system and resources, making it easier for you to find a job that’s a great fit. It includes aggregated job boards, assessments and job search training with a multimedia curriculum.

How do I access the online Career Assistance Program?

If you have a Navy Federal education loan, you’re eligible. To get started, sign in, then select Explore Career Assistance under the My Info tab and sign up.

Can I refinance Parent PLUS or private parent loans with Navy Federal?

Federal and private student loans can both be refinanced with Navy Federal.

Do I lose any benefits if I refinance my federal student loan with Navy Federal?

When you refinance your federal student loans with Navy Federal, certain benefits of your Federal Student Loans won’t carry over. These are:

  • certain forbearance and deferment options
  • loan forgiveness for public service
  • income-based repayment plans. 

If you want to preserve those benefits, consider consolidating into a Federal Direct consolidation loan with the Federal Government. A full explanation of federal student loan benefits and consolidation options can be found at

What types of loans can be refinanced?

Private Student Loans can be refinanced with Navy Federal.

Federal Loan Consolidation

The government has suspended eligible federal student loan payments and interest through Jan. 31, 2022. At this time, we're pausing the option to refinance federal student loans to ensure members won’t lose access to these and other government benefits. If you’d like to consolidate your Federal Student Loans without losing these benefits, you may be able to get a Federal Direct consolidation loan. You can find a full explanation of Federal Student Loan benefits and consolidation options at

I'm thinking about refinancing my student loan(s). How can I decide if that’s the right move for me?

While refinancing private and federal student loans is often a smart idea, it isn’t necessarily the right decision for everyone. There’s a lot to consider. We can help you understand if  refinancing student loans makes sense for you.

What’s the difference between refinancing and consolidating student loans?

  • Consolidation. Student loan consolidation is a U.S. Department of Education (DOE) program that allows you to combine the federal student loans you already have into one. Your new loan’s interest rate will be a weighted average from your previous loans’ rates. You can’t include your private student loans (those you received from private sources like banks, credit unions or online lenders) in the DOE’s program.
  • Refinancing. Student loan refinancing is done through a private lender like a bank or credit union. You can combine the private and/or federal student loans you already have into one new loan. You can also refinance just one loan for a lower rate or more convenient terms. Even if you previously consolidated or refinanced your student loans, you still may be able to refinance. 

Need help?

Contact a loan specialist at the Student Loan Center today. 1-877-304-9302, M-F, 8 am - 8 pm, ET or