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Navy Federal Credit Union: Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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Navy Federal Credit Union checking account options

Flagship Checking

Standard checking account that allows you to earn tiered dividends based on your balance.
APYMinimum balance amount
0.35%
$0.00 - $9,999
0.40%
$10,000 - $24,999
0.45%
$25,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1
  • ATM fee refund: $10 per statement cycle
  • Overdraft fee: $0

Navy Federal Credit Union’s Flagship Checking account has some noteworthy features. It is an interest-bearing account with tiered dividends (the credit union equivalent of interest) based on your balance. There’s a big jump from the lowest to the highest tier, which at $25,000 will give you a 10-basis-point bump to the highest APY.

There is no minimum opening deposit, but you’ll pay a $10 monthly fee if your balance is below $1,500 during the statement period. Another benefit of this account is that deposits to your account are generally available the same day or the next business day. If a check deposit will be available the following business day, the first $200 is made available on or before the first business day following the deposit.

In terms of making withdrawals, members with a Flagship checking account can withdraw from their account for free when using any Co-Op Network ATM. There is a $1 charge for any PLUS System ATM (overseas included). Be mindful that the owner of a non-Navy Federal Credit Union ATM may charge a fee, but the credit union will refund up to $10 in ATM fee charges per statement cycle.

Like all Navy Federal Credit Union checking accounts, this account has free online banking, online deposits, direct deposit, online statements, and checking protection options.

Flagship Checking would be a good option for someone looking for an interest-bearing account with extra perks and who can maintain enough funds in the account to avoid the monthly fee.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Flagship Checking account

Applying for a Flagship Checking account is easy and you can do it online. You’ll be able to create your own account and join the Navy Federal Credit Union if you haven’t done so already.

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on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Free EveryDay Checking

An interest-bearing checking account with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
APYMinimum deposit amount
0.05%
$0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $0 -$1
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $0 but optional $20 protection

While the free EveryDay Checking account doesn’t have any fees or minimum opening deposit requirements, the interest rate is quite low and there are no rate tiers like the Flagship Checking account.

There also isn’t an ATM refund or credit for out-of-network fees. There is an Optional Overdraft Protection Service (OOPS) for $20 that enables members to authorize overdraft transactions and avoid non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees of $29 per transaction.

This account would be ideal for a member who just wants a basic checking account with no fees and minimum balance requirements.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Free EveryDay Checking account

Applying for a Free EveryDay Checking account is easy and you can do it online. You’ll be able to create your own account and join the Navy Federal Credit Union if you haven’t done so already.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

e-Checking

An interest-bearing online checking account with low fees.
APYMinimum deposit amount
0.05%
$0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $10
  • Overdraft fee: $0

Navy Federal Credit Union’s e-Checking account is similar to their Free EveryDay checking account in terms of interest rate and $0 minimum opening deposit.

This account does have a $5 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived if you set up direct deposit or make 20 Visa debit card transactions per statement cycle.

If you want to make sure you avoid the monthly maintenance fee, you might be better off with the Free EveryDay Checking unless you plan on setting up direct deposit and making at least 20 debit card transactions per month anyway.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s e-Checking account

Applying for an e-Checking account is easy and you can do it online. You’ll be able to create your own account and join the Navy Federal Credit Union if you haven’t done so already.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Free Active Duty Checking

Offers unique benefits for active duty military members.
APYMinimum deposit amount
0.05%
$0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: up to $20 per statement cycle
  • Overdraft fee: $0

This checking account allows early access to military pay with direct deposit. The interest rate is very low, so if you’re looking for a better return on your money, you may want to consider the Flagship Checking account.

Still, this account comes with free personalized checks, no monthly service fees, and ATM fee rebates of up to $20 per statement period.

There’s also no minimum opening deposit, making it accessible to many active duty members of the credit union.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Free Active Duty Checking account

Applying for a Free Active Duty Checking account is easy and you can do it online. You’ll be able to create your own account and join the Navy Federal Credit Union if you haven’t done so already.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Campus Checking

A checking account for full-time students.
APYMinimum deposit amount
0.05%
$0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1
  • ATM fee refund: $10
  • Overdraft fee: $0

This account is ideal for full-time students from ages 14 – 24. There is no minimum balance requirement and no minimum opening deposit.

If you withdraw funds at non-Navy Federal Credit Union ATMs and incur an ATM fee, the credit union will refund it up to $10 per billing cycle.

This account doesn’t really offer any significant benefits or features that would set it apart from the other checking accounts, besides the fact that it is available to minors. Still, an under-18 customer may find a much better interest rate on a checking account at another bank.

How to get a Navy Federal Credit Union’s Campus Checking account

Applying for a Campus Checking account is easy and you can do it online. You’ll be able to create your own account and join the Navy Federal Credit Union if you haven’t done so already.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Navy Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

When it comes to Navy Federal Credit Union’s checking account interest rates, you can get a much better rate at other banks. In fact, some of the best online checking accounts have much higher rates and low minimum opening deposits.

It’s clear that their Flagship Checking account is the best in terms of APY, but you have to deposit $25,000 to reach the highest APY tier. The low rates and the monthly maintenance fees on some of Navy Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts can lead military members and their families to consider other banking options.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s savings account

Basic Savings

No fees and simple requirements, but low returns as well.
APYMinimum Deposit Amount
0.25%
$5.00
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1
  • ATM fee refund:
  • Overdraft fee: None

The Basic Savings account comes with membership to Navy Federal Credit Union. There are no monthly service charges and any charges that might trigger an overdraft will get rejected.

The interest rate is very low compared to their certificates and even their Flagship Checking account.

There is a $3 inactivity fee per quarter if members age 24 and over have less than $50.00 in their account, no activity in 12 months, and no other Navy Federal Credit Union products.

All in all, you’d probably be better off storing your savings in one of Navy Federal Credit Union’s certificates or money market accounts.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Basic Savings account

This account comes with your membership to Navy Federal Credit Union. All you’ll have to do is apply for become a member and deposit your funds.

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on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Navy Federal Credit Union’s savings account compares

Navy Federal Credit Union’s savings account falls pretty low on the scale when compared to some of the best savings account rates offered by other banks.

Banks like Synchrony Bank, American Express, and Barclays all offer savings accounts with very competitive rates and no fees or minimum opening deposit requirements.

If you’re looking to get the best return for your money, you’d be better off with a higher-yielding savings account.

Navy Federal Credit Union CD rates

Share Certificates

A fixed-rate CD with short and long-term savings options.
Term$1,000-$99,999.99$100k+
3 months0.50%
0.55%
6 months1.01%
1.05%
9 months1.01%
1.05%
12 months1.50%
1.55%
18 months1.40%
1.45%
24 months1.40%
1.45%
3 years1.40%
1.45%
4 years1.45%
1.50%
5 years1.45%
1.50%
6 years1.45%
1.50%
7 years1.76%
1.80%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

Navy Federal Credit Union’s share certificates are their most-standard type of certificate of deposit. While the credit union does offer variable CD rates, this one provides customers with a guaranteed fixed rate.

The rates are pretty competitive, but you must meet the minimum opening deposit to open an account and it’s pretty steep. The other downside is that there’s only a slight rate increase for deposits at or over $100,000. That’s a lot of money that might gain a better return in another investment as opposed to a CD.

Dividends are compounded daily and credited monthly. There is an early withdrawal penalty if you need to take money out before your CD matures so it’s important to choose your term wisely and base it on by when you’d want to start using the money.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Share Certificates

Opening a share certificate with Navy Federal Credit Union is easy and can be done online. You need to either be a current Navy Federal Credit Union member and/or have online banking with the credit union to apply.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Special EasyStart Certificate

A flexible short-term savings certificate with the best rate.
TermAPY
12 months3.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $50
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

The Special EasyStart Certificate is a 12-month CD with a much-higher interest rate than the credit union’s share certificates. The minimum opening deposit is also very low and reasonable allowing more people to open an account despite what their budget is.

Another perk of having this account is that you can make additional deposits (up to $3,000) at any time. Generally, CD products only allow you to make an initial deposit then lock in your rate for a specific term. With the Special EasyStart Certificate, you can add more money as you go.

This account would be great for someone who wants to see a guaranteed return on short-term savings.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Special EasyStart Certificate

Opening a Special EasyStart certificate with Navy Federal Credit Union is simple and can be done online. You need to either be a current Navy Federal Credit Union member and/or have online banking with the credit union to apply.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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EasyStart Certificate

A step down from the Special EasyStart certificate in terms of interest.
TermAPY
12 months1.35%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

The EasyStart Certificate has a lower rate than the Special EasyStart Certificate and it has a higher minimum opening balance.

However, it’s lower than regular certificate shares with Navy Federal Credit Union so you can open this account if you can’t meet the $1,000 minimum opening deposit requirement.

With this account, you can also make deposits at any time of at least $10 or more to grow your savings. This certificate could be a good option for someone looking to ladder their savings. For example, instead of opening one 5-year certificate for $20,000, you could open five certificates for $4,000 at various different terms.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s EasyStart Certificate

Opening an EasyStart certificate with Navy Federal Credit Union is simple and can be done online. You need to either be a current Navy Federal Credit Union member and/or have online banking with the credit union to apply.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

SaveFirst Account

High-yield savings with the lowest minimum opening deposit.
TermAPY
3 months - 5 years0.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

Navy Federal Credit Union’s SaveFirst Account is ideal for members looking for a high-yield savings vehicle, but without a lot to contribute to the minimum opening deposit.

The APY isn’t as high as some of Navy Federal Credit Union’s other certificates and there are only two terms to choose from, but you only need a $5 deposit.

Dividends are compounded daily and you can make deposits to your account at any time to grow your account.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s SaveFirst Account

Opening a SaveFirst account with Navy Federal Credit Union is simple and can be done online. You need to either be a current Navy Federal Credit Union member and/or have online banking with the credit union to apply.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

3-Year Variable share certificate

A variable-rate certificate you can add to over time.
TermAPY
3 years0.48%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

This certificate has a variable APY which sets it apart from the other certificates. The rate is pretty competitive, but the downside is that it can fluctuate on the 12th and 24th month from the purchase date.

The minimum opening deposit is higher than the SaveFirst and Easy Start certificates and members can only add funds to their account on its 12-month and 24-month anniversary dates.

If you opened an account with a smaller opening balance and could only add funds annually, you may not see much of a return on your investment.

This account would be ideal for a member who doesn’t want to have a locked savings rate for several years.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s 3-Year Variable share certificate

Opening a 3-Year Variable certificate account with Navy Federal Credit Union is simple and can be done online. You need to either be a current Navy Federal Credit Union member and/or have online banking with the credit union to apply.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Navy Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Navy Federal Credit Union’s CD rates are pretty competitive when compared against some of the best rates currently offered by other banks.

The $1,000 minimum opening deposit for standard share certificates is a middle-of-the-road option: it isn’t the highest, but it’s not the lowest market offering right now. One clear benefit is that the credit union offers different options for certificates, flexible terms, and the ability for members to add funds to their certificate after opening, but before the maturity date.

The one major downside is that Navy Federal Credit Union’s competitive certificate rates aren’t an option for just anyone. You must be a service member, employed by the Department of Defense, or related to someone who is in order to qualify.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts

Standard Money Market Savings account

Tiered interest rates for higher balances, but a high minimum balance to earn APY.
APYMinimum balance amount
0.60%
$0 - $9,999
0.65%
$10,000 - $24,999
0.70%
$25,000 - $49,999
0.75%
$50,000+
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Minimum balance to receive APY: $2,500
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1 (Out of network ATM may charge their own fee)
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: Non-sufficient funds fee of $29 is charged

The Standard Money Market Savings account has tiered interest rates based on your account balance. In order to earn interest, your account must have a minimum balance of $2,500.

Interest is compounded monthly and credited monthly. Federal Reserve Regulation D allows a maximum of six transfers and/or withdrawals per calendar month.

Navy Federal Credit Union will honor any checks or ACH debits that exceed the monthly limit, but an excessive item fee per check will be debited from your account. This is why it’s best to limit your withdrawals to six per month or fewer with a money market account.

This account’s higher minimum balance requirement to earn APY may not appeal to some people. If you’re looking to earn interest right away and can’t deposit $2,500 to your account just yet, you may want to consider other options for money market savings.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Standard Money Market Savings account

You can apply for Navy Federal Credit Union’s Standard Money Market account easily online. Just click the orange ‘Open Now’ button for the money market account you’re interested in and complete the online application.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Jumbo Money Market Savings account

There’s not much of a interest rate reward for this account’s highest balance tiers.
APYMinimum balance amount
$0 - $99,9990.25%
$100,000 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000+1.10%
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1 (Out of network ATM may charge their own fee)
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: Non-sufficient funds fee of $29 is charged

While Navy Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo Money Market Savings account provides an interest rate on-par with other money market accounts, members need to maintain a six-figure balance to earn it.

That’s a lot of money and could likely get a much better return with a smaller deposit at another bank.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo Money Market account

If you still want to look into applying for Navy Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo Money Market account easily online. Just click the orange ‘Open Now’ button for the money market account you’re interested in and complete the online application.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Navy Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

While Navy Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts offer free checks and tiered interest rates with no monthly maintenance fees, they can’t hold a candle to some of the best money market accounts offered by other banks.

Banks like CIT, Ally, Virtual Bank, and Sallie Mae all offer a much higher rate than Navy Federal Credit Union and they require a smaller deposit or no minimum opening deposit at all.

If you already bank at Navy Federal Credit Union and enjoy some of their benefits, it may seem convenient to get one of their money market accounts, but you can certainly find better terms and rates elsewhere.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA accounts

IRA CD Rates

Get a guaranteed rate of return for your retirement savings along with flexible certificate terms to choose from.
Term$1,000-$99,999.99$100k+
3 months0.50%
0.55%
6 months1.01%
1.05%
9 months1.01%
1.05%
12 months1.50%
1.55%
18 months1.40%
1.45%
24 months1.40%
1.45%
3 years1.40%
1.45%
4 years1.45%
1.50%
5 years1.45%
1.50%
6 years1.45%
1.50%
7 years1.45%
1.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

Traditional IRAs are tax-deferred retirement plans meaning you don’t have to pay taxes on contributions until you withdraw funds. Roth IRAs are funded with already-taxed dollars meaning you don’t have to pay any taxes when you withdraw your money.

Some people don’t like the risk involved with investing in the stock market with an IRA. This is where IRA Certificates can come in pretty handy. You can set your term and you’ll earn a fixed rate of interest.

Navy Federal Credit Union offers flexible terms ranging from three months to seven years to accommodate anyone’s savings goals.

There are withdrawal restrictions meaning you can’t take funds out of the account early or you’ll face a penalty.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA certificates

Opening an IRA Certificate and can be done online. Just go to the IRA certificates page on their website and click the orange ‘Open Now’ button under the account you wish to open to start your application.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

EasyStart IRA Certificate

A competitive APY with a lower minimum opening deposit.
TermAPY
12 months1.35%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

Navy Federal Credit Union’s EasyStart IRA Certificate currently has the same APY as their regular IRA certificate.

However, the minimum opening deposit is much lower allowing members to start saving for retirement with less money. Members can also make deposits at any time to grow their account balance. An early withdrawal penalty will apply if you try to take funds out before the end of the 12-month term.

This is a good option for members who are looking to open an IRA Certificate, but can’t afford the $1,000 minimum opening deposit for Navy Federal Credit Union’s standard IRA Certificate.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s EasyStart IRA Certificate

Opening an IRA Certificate and can be done online. Just go to the IRA certificates page on their website and click the orange ‘Open Now’ button under the account you wish to open to start your application.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

3-Year Variable IRA Certificate

This IRA certificate has a variable rate with a capped minimum and uncapped maximum rate.
TermAPY
3 years0.48%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

The minimum opening deposit for this IRA Certificate is a little higher than the EasyStart IRA Certificate, but it currently has a better interest rate and a longer term. The interest rate is subject to change each year, but is locked for a 12-month period. You can continue to add unlimited funds on the 12-month and 24-month anniversary dates after opening your certificate account.

Even though this rate is variable, the fluctuating rate will never fall more than half a percentage point below the initial rate and there is no maximum rate limit.

This IRA certificate would be ideal for someone looking to maximize their return and willing to take a small risk with a variable rate certificate.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s 3-Year Variable IRA Certificate

Opening an IRA Certificate and can be done online. Just go to the IRA certificates page on their website and click the orange ‘Open Now’ button under the account you wish to open to start your application.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates are competitive, but they are a little behind some of the best IRA rates offered by other banks.

This all depends on which certificate term you’re looking for. Navy Federal Credit Union has much lower rates for shorter terms 12-months and under. Their rates generally get better the longer you plan to save.

If you’re looking to save long-term in an IRA certificate, Navy Federal Credit Union’s rates are still pretty good. If you’re looking for a shorter term, you can probably find better rates at another bank.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA money market account options

Standard IRA Money Market Savings Account

The IRA version of Navy Federal Credit Union’s standard Money Market Savings account.
APYMinimum Deposit Amount
0.60%
$0.00 - $9,999
0.65%
$10,000 - $24,999
0.70%
$25,000 - $49,999
0.75%
$50,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None from Navy Federal Credit Union, but the IRS will charge a penalty if you’re not at least 59 ½ years old

There’s really not much of a difference when you compare this to the standard Money Market Savings Account. It also has tiered interest rates based on your account balance and a high minimum balance requirement to meet in order to earn interest on your savings.

If you’re looking to invest in retirement, you’d probably be better off with Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA Certificates or a traditional IRA or Roth IRA account if you’re comfortable with more risk.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s standard IRA Money Market account

To apply for Navy Federal Credit Union’s standard IRA Money Market account, go to their website then click the orange ‘Open Now’ button under the account you want to apply for.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Jumbo IRA Money Market Savings Account

Better returns with a much higher minimum deposit.
APYMinimum Deposit Amount
0.25%
$0.00 - $9,999
1.00%
$100,000 - $249,000
1.10%
$250,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: None
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None from Navy Federal Credit Union, but the IRS will charge a penalty if you’re not at least 59½ years old

Navy Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo IRA Money Market savings account offers a higher rate than the standard IRA money market account, but it also requires a much higher account balance in order to earn it.

If you don’t have a six-figure balance to earn the jumbo rate, the standard IRA money market account with tiered interest rates would be better.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo IRA Money Market account

To apply for Navy Federal Credit Union’s Standard IRA Money Market account, go to the website then click the orange ‘Open Now’ button under the account you want to apply for.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

IRA Savings Account

This account earns much less than their standard Money Market Account.
APYMinimum Deposit Amount
0.25%
None
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: None
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None from Navy Federal Credit Union, but the IRS will charge a penalty if you’re not at least 59 ½ years old

With Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA Savings account, you can get the tax benefits associated with investing in a Roth, SEP, or Traditional IRA without all the stock market risk.

This account has no fees and no early withdrawal penalty from the credit union.

However, this account’s interest rate is quite low meaning it may not provide the best return for your money.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA Savings account

Applying for Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA Savings account is easy and you can do it online if you’re a member. If you’re not a member, you can call the credit union to open an account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Overall review of Navy Federal Credit Union’s banking products

Navy Federal Credit Union offers a wide selection of banking products with no fees or at least waivable fees for members of the military and their family.

While the bank serves an exclusive customer base, they don’t offer exclusive banking features or highly competitive rates outside of their certificates and variable rate products. Their certificates have fair rates and terms with flexible offerings to accommodate anyone’s savings goals.

However, military families can get better rates for savings accounts, money market accounts, and IRA savings at an online bank.

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Auto Loan, Reviews

LightStream Auto Loan Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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Reviewed By

If you’re in the market for a quick, affordable and hassle-free way to finance your next car, a LightStream auto loan should definitely be on your radar. It’s particularly well-suited for deal-seekers with good credit who don’t mind working with an online company when it comes to financing their cars. If you’d rather work with a local company that can offer in-person support, however, you might want to skip this lender.

How LightStream auto loans work

LightStream offers a wide range of options for financing your next ride, including:

  • Purchase of a new or used car, either from a dealer or an individual
  • Auto loan refinance (except it does not refinance its own loans)
  • Auto lease buyouts
  • Loans for motorcycles, as well as boats and RVs
  • Classic car loans

Auto loans at a glance:

  • Starting APR range: 3.49%–9.49%
  • Fees: None
  • Loan amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • Terms: 24–84 months
  • Credit requirements: Minimum 660 credit score
  • Mileage or vehicle restrictions: None

LightStream offers the same starting rate whether you’re buying a new or used car from a dealer, something you don’t see at other lenders. But keep in mind that the lowest rates go to those with the best credit who opt for the shortest loan terms possible and use autopay to make their car payments.

Satisfaction guarantee

If you see a lower rate elsewhere, LightStream will beat any verified offer with a rate that is .10 percentage points lower. It also promises a $100 guarantee within 30 days if you aren’t satisfied with your loan experience.

How to apply for a LightStream auto loan

The only way you can apply for a LightStream auto loan is through its online form. It is an online lender, after all, so you should be comfortable with handling your business details — including the loan application — online. You’ll need to:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of LightStream’s statement on the use of electronic records.
  2. Agree to receive electronic records.
  3. Agree to use electronic signatures to sign your loan documents.

You’ll also need to have a Visa or Mastercard credit card to apply, which LightStream uses during the verification process.

You will be asked to provide:

  • The purpose, term and amount of desired loan
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information
  • Annual income
  • Total amount of assets and equity in your home

From there, LightStream may contact you for more details and documentation. If approved, you’ll need to sign your loan documents electronically and provide LightStream with your bank account details. The money will then be deposited into your bank account, which means you’ll need to pass it along to the seller, whether that’s a dealer or private seller. LightStream will not send the money to the seller directly.

It’s important to note that LightStream doesn’t offer any preapproval options, but if you apply and are approved for a loan, you are under no obligation to accept the loan.

How to qualify for the best rates

LightStream requires good credit at a minimum, but looks for excellent credit when giving the best rates. It defines excellent credit as:

  • Five or more years of significant credit history.
  • A credit history with a variety of account types such as major credit cards (for example, Visa, MasterCard, Amex), installment debt (vehicle loans) and mortgage debt if applicable.
  • An excellent payment history with no delinquencies or other problems repaying debt obligations.
  • A proven ability to save as shown by some or all of the following: liquid assets (stocks, bonds, bank deposits, etc.), cash down payments on real estate, retirement savings and little, if any, revolving credit card debt.
  • Stable and sufficient income and assets to easily repay current debt obligations and any new loan with LightStream.

Pros and cons of LightStream auto loans

LightStream offers the convenience of an online lender with the backing of a brick-and-mortar bank as the online arm of Truist, the bank created by the merger of  SunTrust Bank and BB&T. But it’s important to weigh all of your options carefully when choosing an auto loan. It’s one of the biggest purchases you’ll make, after all.

Pros

  • Wide variety of loans: New, used, refinance and lease buyouts loans are available on a wide range of vehicles. Unlike other lenders, LightStream doesn’t place restrictions on your vehicle’s age, make, model or mileage.
  • Decent rates: We’ve seen lower starting rates at credit unions, but you’ll have to meet membership requirements. LightStream has no membership requirements and provides the same starting rates for new and used vehicles as well as refinance loans.
  • No down payment required: LightStream finances up to 100% of the car’s cost. Of course, it’s always best to put down as much as you can afford on an auto loan. This will help you save money over the life of your loan and avoid becoming underwater on that loan.
  • Quick funding: If you complete the application process and are approved by 2:30 p.m. EST, you could receive funds the same day.
  • Good reviews: LightStream auto loan reviews are generally positive.

Cons

  • Good credit required: To qualify for a LightStream auto loan you’ll need a credit score of at least 660 or better.
  • No preapproval process: Unlike many lenders, you’ll have to complete a full application in order to see your rates and terms. Still, the process is fast, and if you complete your rate shopping within a certain time period, multiple applications should not impact your credit any more than a single application.
  • No face-to-face service: If you’re the type of person who likes to seal the deal with a handshake after signing the documents, you’ll want to stick with some place local.

LightStream vs. Capital One

If you’d like a bit more of a guided approach to the car-buying process,  Capital One’s Auto Navigator loan options might be better for you. Rather than sending you cash directly that you can use on whatever car you want to buy, Capital One’s Auto Navigator service lets you first get prequalified for financing, and then shows you which dealers in your area may offer based on the type of car you want to buy and the financing you can afford.

If any of the offerings pique your interest, you can then finish the application and buy the car. It’s still a good idea to compare the offer with other new and used car loan rates.

LightStream vs. Carvana

Carvana works similarly to Capital One Auto Navigator in that you can prequalify for financing and browse real cars in your area that you may then be able to buy. It’s important to remember that Carvana only sells used cars and its financing is only available on Carvana cars. But it is possible to finance here with poor credit — Carvana requires borrowers to be 18 years old, have no active bankruptcies on their credit report and earn at least $4,000 per year.

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Credit Cards, Reviews

CreditStacks Mastercard Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a unique opportunity for individuals with little or no U.S. credit history – such as recent college graduates or professionals relocating to the U.S. for employment – to be approved for a credit card.

That’s because instead of requiring a Social Security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) as most traditional credit cards do, the CreditStacks Mastercard allows applicants to apply using a valid passport or U.S. government-issued ID, a U.S. visa or a permanent resident “green” card (if applicable), as well as proof of income. The CreditStacks Mastercard also allows you to apply up to 60 days prior to starting your new job in the U.S.

We break down the pros and cons of the CreditStacks Mastercard, and show how it compares to the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, which is also designed to help individuals establish or rebuild credit.

CreditStacks Mastercard pros

No credit history required. With the CreditStacks Mastercard, you can apply without a Social Security number and with little or no U.S. credit history. Once you obtain your Social Security number, you must provide it within 60 days of account opening. At that point, CreditStacks will begin reporting your credit activity to the Equifax and TransUnion credit bureaus.

Note, if you have been living in the U.S. for more than one year, you will be required to provide a Social Security number when applying for the card. A credit check may also be performed.

Decent credit limit. The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a credit line of up to $5,000 – which is a generous amount for an unsecured credit card that doesn’t require credit history.

Your credit limit will be determined by the proprietary underwriting procedures of CreditStacks, which will consider your current employment situation and additional factors, instead of your credit score.

No annual fee. The CreditStacks Mastercard comes with a $0 annual fee.

Additional CreditStacks Mastercard benefits:

  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection(™). Access free identity theft resolution services, as well as Mastercard ID Theft Alerts(™).
  • Extended warranty. Receive an extended warranty of up to one year past a manufacturer’s warranty of 12 months or less.
  • Purchase protection. If you are dissatisfied with a purchase, you may be eligible to receive a full refund for up to 60 days from the date of purchase.
  • Price protection. Get reimbursed for the difference if you find a lower price for an eligible new item within 60 days of purchase using your CreditStacks Mastercard.
  • Purchase assurance. Cardholders receive coverage if an item is lost, damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase.
  • Travel protections. The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a MasterRental(R) collision damage waiver, lost or damaged luggage insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance and trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. Plus, receive access to exclusive experiences and offers through Priceless Cities and special travel offers through Mastercard’s online booking tool.
  • Cellphone insurance. If you use your CreditStacks Mastercard to pay your monthly cellphone bill, you can receive coverage against theft or damage of up to $600 per claim and up to $1,000 per 12-month period.

CreditStacks Mastercard cons

No rewards program. The CreditStacks Mastercard does not offer a sign-up bonus or rewards on the purchases you make using the credit card. That said, when trying to build or rebuild credit, it’s best to focus on paying your bill on time and in full (when possible) each month, rather than racking up rewards.

No intro APR on purchases. The CreditStacks Mastercard does not offer a 0% intro APR on purchases – meaning, if you don’t pay your balance in full each month, you will be subject to interest charges at a rate of 15.49% Variable APR.

That said, the card’s ongoing APR for purchases is reasonable – considering that some cards designed for individuals with little or no credit come with APRs upwards of 26.99% (variable).

Compare it to the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Similar to the CreditStacks Mastercard, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is designed for individuals with little or no credit. However, because it is a secured credit card, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® requires a refundable security deposit of $49, $99 or $200, for an initial credit line of $200.

If you deposit more money before your account opens, you may be eligible for a higher credit line, up to $1,000. Additionally, you can be given access to a higher credit line after demonstrating responsible card usage by making your first five monthly payments on time.

While the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® does not require U.S. citizenship to apply, it does require a valid SSN or ITIN, as well as a residential address in the U.S. or a U.S. military location.

See how the cards compare side-by-side in the table below.

CreditStacks Mastercard vs. Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

 CreditStacks MastercardCapital One® Secured Mastercard®
Annual fee$0$0
Rewards rateN/AN/A
Credit lineUp to $5,000$200-$1,000
Deposit requiredNone$49, $99 or $200
Regular purchase APR15.49% Variable26.99% (Variable)

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® also comes with a number of benefits, including auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, extended warranty and 24-hour travel assistance services. As a Capital One member, you will also have access to virtual card numbers and account alerts from Eno, as well as access to your credit score and fraud monitoring through CreditWise.

But if you plan to carry a balance on your card, you’ll be better off with the CreditStacks Mastercard, since the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® comes with a substantially higher APR of 26.99% (Variable).

Read our: Capital One Secured Mastercard review

Which credit card is best for me?

If you haven’t yet established credit in the U.S., the CreditStacks Mastercard could be a good fit. In addition to not requiring a Social Security number for approval, the card helps build your credit by reporting to two major credit bureaus.

But if you’re in the market for a secured credit card and already have a SSN or ITIN, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a good alternative. While the card offers a much lower credit line than the CreditStacks Mastercard, it does offer a variety of useful benefits that aren’t common for a secured credit card.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.