Pentagon Federal Credit Union
ConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
I opened an account with $5. They gave me a tiny credit limit with a $500 credit score. After 2 months I asked for an increase. They asked for my tax returns. Within 1 hour they offered me a $20000 limit and now I keep $30000 in 2 accounts with them that pay more interest than most 1 year CDs. They also have great mortgage rates. My plan is to use them for my mortgage. I have never had a problem with them.
I only created this account to write this review. Reason being, I just accidentally stumbled over a web link that showed review after review of negative comments or ratings towards my bank PenFed. I am shocked and amazed. About me: I am a retired disabled Veteran. I've served in two wars and would go to a third one if my country called on me.
I only mention this because in the past I’ve banked with several banks, the last one before PenFed was for over 9 years. It was a large nationally known bank that treated me like garbage. I paid my bills on time, I never asked for anything from that bank. Ever! Then one day after all those years of banking with them, I wanted a credit card, not a large amount cc, just a credit card from that nationally known - well commercialized on TV, bank.They rejected me. RIDICULOUS!! That's the thanks I got for all those years of banking with them. Now I know my FICO score wasn't the highest, but it wasn't the lowest either. Still, some thanks.
Then I read about PenFed on one of my Veteran's forums. Boy am I glad. They have changed and enhanced my life immensely... more than my words can EVER express. I had never heard of them before now. I called them up and WOW! They were AWESOME to me on the phone. (Even with my rejected mediocre credit score that that popular well nationally known bank didn't like.) Hands down. One of the best experiences I've ever had with a bank or business for that matter.
I opened a checking account with them right then on the phone... with $5 in it. That was over two years ago. Now, they now own my ** Dodge Ram loan, I have an AWESOME credit card with them with an AWESOME credit limit... AND with an incredible low APR. They have my savings account, AND my two personal loans. They are the kind of bank that if I call them up on the phone and tell them I need a loan for something, they simply say, the checks in the mail. I love them!!
I'm getting ready to refinance my new Harley Davidson motorcycle with them... sorry Harley Davidson Finance, your finance manager was hot, but my PenFed treats me way better. (I only promised her I'd keep the loan with y'all for a few months anyways... but then I'd be refinancing with my bank, PenFed, just to get that AWESOME great price on my new Street Glide that you gave me. Thank you for that! She knew... so I don't feel bad but damn she smelt good!)
Anyways, I'm a guy, but if PenFed said have my baby... hell... I'd find a way for a guy to have a baby and I'd have it for them. I really do love this bank and all - ALL of its employees. Funny part is, I've never EVER stepped foot into any of its branches. Never ever met one of its employees. All of my transactions have been over the phone or over the internet. They treat me like a king too!! I am very grateful.
So you see when I come across a web link bad mouthing my bank it disturbs me greatly. It frigging perturbs the hell out of me actually. Hence, the reason I created this account with ConsumerAffairs, and am writing this review and sharing my experience with my bank, PenFed. My opinion after reading those folks' negative reviews and them bad mouthing my bank, is those folks don't really have their personal finances in check. Probably no honor either.
If you're an honorable hard working decent person, who's the type of man or woman, who when you give your word to someone or shake their hand on a deal, by God it's a deal. You pay your bills on time and you honor your commitments. If you're that type of person, PenFed is your kind of bank. I highly recommend them.
Especially if you're a Veteran, LEO, or Emergency Medical Services personnel. It seems to me that PenFed knows and appreciates the kind of person it takes to have selfless service and sacrifices, and rewards us for being that type of person. I hope my bank can help you and you will write an awesome review praising PenFed as well. Once again, I highly recommend my bank, Penfed. PenFed is hands down the BEST bank I've ever dealt with in my life.
I called to have money transferred from my Wells Fargo acct to Pen Fed. After a week and payment had not came out of Wells Fargo I called Pen Fed and the CSR stated that the last person doing my transaction had transposed a number. At this time the rep says I will refund late fee and do transaction again. Well he refunded late fee after trashing his co-worker but failed to post payment again. After calling 5 times and holding for over 30 minutes each time we got payment resolved. Then they put a manual hold on dep that had returned in their error and caused another return. Worse place I have ever done business with. Closing acct today!!!
Do not put a checking acct with them. Today I pull up my acct and they have posted someone else’s transactions to my acct!!! Again I have been on hold twice for over 30 minutes. They really need to train their employees better and they need more help, they are always short staffed. Be careful if you call in a payment. Every time I have it has posted wrong or they stick it in your savings and it doesn't get posted.
Purchased a new truck and had it financed with PenFed due to the low interest rate. I finally received a statement online to pay my first payment, however it does not have an account number or address. I managed to get one person on the phone after calling for nearly a week and they could not discuss my account without a pin. They mailed me a PIN number to use when I call. Now I have the pin and can't get anyone on the phone to get my "member" number so I can pay by car payment. My payment will most likely be past due by the time I get someone back on the phone. I also emailed about 2 weeks ago and have yet to receive a reply. This is a joke!!! Will never be using them again for anything!
During the past four months, I have been dealing with PenFed on a refinance, line of credit and making a wire transfer. First it is very difficult to reach PenFed and at times even the main line is busy. If you get though, it can take 10 to 20 minutes to reach a representative. The mortgage representative was very good and after about 100 emails over two months, the mortgage was approved May 11, 2017. However, the process was very, very cumbersome. I then applied for a small line of credit. This was a horrible process. PenFed had all of my documentation from the mortgage application but kept requesting documentation they already had over and over. It is now June 19, 2017 and it still has not been approved.
Lastly, I requested wire transfer from my PenFed IRA account that is typically overnight but got all screwed up. Initially I was told it was sent out on Wednesday, then on Friday and today they said it went out on Thursday morning. I needed it to get to my other IRA agency by today or pay taxed on the roll over. They are now contacting the federal agency that handles wire transfers to see where it is. Some of the representatives were very helpful but in my opinion considerable work needs to be done on the systems for processing mortgages, lines of credit, wire transfers, etc. Many, many hours and much frustration!!!
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I was on the phone with PFCU for approximately 35 minutes try to get a skip pay. The first lady I talked passed me on to someone else. The next person I talked has me on the hold for approximately 10 minutes the first? Then put me on hold for another 5 minutes and then she passed me on to someone else. Then this lady had me on the phone for a while telling me I was close too on the date and she needs to talk to someone else, I stop her right there. The skip pay was for only 148.00. They has no problem in the past. I have been with PFCU for 33 years and this has never happen. Very dissatisfied!
From day one I've been dealing with a lady by the name of Judy **. It's hard for her to answer any of my questions. She tell me one then days later it's something different. All I'm trying to do is understand what I'm doing, the type of mortgage I'm getting & the amount I need to finance with my down payment & she can't do that. She had the nerve to tell me ("I have 40 another customers I'm dealing with,") like my money & credit isn't good enough & don't matter. Really??? Maybe mortgage loan people or dealing with too many customers at one time. Not fair to the next person like me??? Supposed to be a great experience buying a house. Not this one, the worst. This not my first buying a home this my first financing one... This company will lose a lot of business because of nasty attitude & being rude to the customers. That's not how a company support to do business. My first & last time dealing PenFed for anything.
Pentagon Federal closed my credit card when I was not late, and was paying on time. They said it was because my credit rating had fallen, and they had no information about what they were talking about.
PenFed is described as very bad business. My experience with PenFed Credit Union was awful, unprofessional, several lost documents, given incorrect fax numbers and nothing but lies told to me...many apologies. I would never ever recommend this credit union. They recommend that I apply with joint and then faxed documents more than three times as well as emailed twice as many... Still couldn't locate documents then get e-mail from chief executive officer K.L. Myers stating that we need certain documents. I called to find out the decision wasn't good but all this time wasted on sending document after document for eight days when it only takes 24 to 48 hours for a decision... LETS JUST SAY PFCU IS BAD NEWS TO DO BUSINESS WITH AND I'M GLAD TO KNOW NOT TO GIVE THEM MY BUSINESS! Even after I've been told a decision I'm still receiving emails saying my application is still being processed...lol. Worst Credit Union ever. - RISING INVESTOR
Retired, my wife and I have credit scores over 800. Minimum debt. Applied for pre-approval. Complied with all paperwork requirements and offered to withdraw more money monthly from savings to boost income if necessary, as we are able to live off little and leave our retirement funds alone. Told to just reduce loan amount request. Offered to put down 50% of purchase price. Denied! Then the clown asks, didn't I say I could increase my income? He resubmitted but I was told too much time had elapsed. Lesson learned - Don't conduct important business with near minimum wage call center employees or businesses that would ask you to.
For the past 1 and 1/2 hour I dialed 8002475626 in vain. First is busy and then automatically cut off after few rings. Though I have in the past accomplished much when a representative talked to me, ** trying to call to no avail overshadows past good experience. TEAM PenFed: wake up your employees! Yes... 800 numbers can be busy but one and half hour is unacceptable! Never been so frustrated... And I sent an email, still no answer.
In January 2008, my husband and I bought what was to be our retirement home. In May we refinanced our primary residence to get some equity out. In August my husband died. I kept up with the mortgage payments on both homes until 2010 when I decided I had to let the retirement home go. After having the house on the market for a year with no offers, I asked PenFed for a Deed In Lieu (a quit claim deed in lieu of foreclosure). They denied my request. When they had difficulty in the title search as part of the foreclosure process, they had the audacity to ask for my help, which would have meant hiring (and paying) an attorney. I said no. They said that if I did, they would "reconsider" my request for a deed in lieu. Notice reconsider, not approve. I declined.
They foreclosed in 2012. I had moved out of my primary residence in 2009 and rented it out. The tenants destroyed my home. I put it on the market in 2012 but got no offers at a fair market value. I asked PenFed to approve a short sale for $25K less than what I owed. They said that if I gave them $20K they would approve it. If I'd had $20K I wouldn't need to ask for a short sale!! They foreclosed in 2014. And I had thought working with a credit union would be a more personal experience than a bank or mortgage company. Ha! Joke's on me.
I became a member with PENFED back on or about October 10. I opened one checking account, one saving, a car loan and a credit card. I setup my account to receive my payroll from the place I just to worked. On or about November 10 I receive a phone call from their fraud department a guys name "Alex" unprofessional person. Starting asking questions that how get my money from the place I worked? I explain him my fund are the works I was done. Then Alex stated that he is going to returning all my fund back to the payroll services, but I did not agree on that two days later I received a letter stated that everything was resolved in my favor. But the following day the Alex disregarded the letter from his own coworker and returned the money back. Since that day all became personal from Alex.
Then I decided to trade my vehicle and the BMW dealership send them a cashier check to pay off the car but Alex decided to hold their check. Not only that went I trying to pay my credit his keeping refusing my payment, with the only reason to screw my credit. Even more when I asked to talk to their manager they keeping refusing the call, so I did send them several email but never answered. Not matter what, think twice before open or became a member with this credit union.
The experience setting up a new account is completely insane. You won't be able to transfer money in online for 6 months. Transfers in are restricted to $50 which you have to do over the phone and you're not able to create a checking account either. On top of this asinine situation which you're stuck with for 6 months, their website and app experience are absolutely terrible as well. The worst part is that NONE of this is disclosed upfront. Wouldn't touch this steaming pile of garbage with a 10 ft pole.
Wasted two months trying to get a mortgage with this company. Lost my paperwork once. Forgot about me completely and changed the closing date three times. I finally cancelled the application. I have perfect credit and was refinancing a VA loan which is a very simple process except with Penfed. I had to open a savings account with them to get the loan and I am now trying to get my five dollars back and close the account. Fortunately I did not deposit more money with them because I just found out that their maximum withdrawal amount per day is fifty dollars! This company is the worst ever.
I have been a member of this CU for over 30 years and have finally decided to sever ties because they now could care less about Military Service Members or their families. I used this institution for 3 mortgages. Over those years and have sizable deposits including IRAs and am treated like a felon by these people. I just helped my daughter process a preliminary re-finance with both Penfed and Navy FCU. NFCU was helpful throughout the process and PenFed was atrocious. NFCU has no origination fees, $0.00 while PenFed charged $3562.50. That was enough to withdraw the application but PenFed had another surprise.
They issued her a denial letter due to "lack of funds for closing". This false claim had to be corrected by the mortgage department head. Closing is process where a member shows up with funds not some imaginary concept by incompetent loan lackeys. This issue is being pursued further by legal counsel. Avoid contact and membership with Pentagon Federal Credit Union. They are incompetent criminals who should be eliminated from NCUA, our Federal financial insurer of deposits.
I have been a loyal PenFed saving account and credit card member for over 10 years. About a month ago, I applied, attempted for the first time to apply for one of the loan programs they're always emailing me about. I did an online application for a somewhat small home equity loan. It was the worst experience I've ever had with a bank.
To set up the scenario, I have a 750 credit score, and make a terrific salary. The trouble is, in PenFed eyes, my salary was comprised of mostly commission income. Yep! God forbid, being a salesperson wanting an equity loan. You would have thought, I was the first person to ever apply for loan here. After submitting 3 years of full tax returns, 2 years of W-2, a full autobiography of my work experience over the last 10 years detailing a consistent and stable income (no really, I had to write an essay), after nearly a month of back and forth, and working with what seemed like the most incompetent loan processor (Lisa **) and underwriter in the business, I was told by the underwriter I would be approved and that my DTI and salary was sufficient to meet their guidelines for an equity loan.
I get a call today informing me, they were not able to offer me a fixed equity loan, due to the algorithm they use in calculating how they factor commission income. They could only offer me an adjustable rate loan. WTF, who wants an adjustable rate loan nowadays? Complete waste of time and energy! They could have told me from the start they have different / more stringent algorithm if you have a commission component to your income. I am moving all my financial accounts away from this bank. They are incompetent and I would not trust them with 10 cents, let alone my life savings.
Your company is very incompetent and should not be in the mortgage lending business. You lack time management skills. There is no sense of urgency to get things done. They were constantly changing the closing date. The amount to bring to closing was changed over 4 times. The supervisor, underwriter, and the loan processor did not know what they were doing. The underwriter was constantly asking us for the same information that we had already sent, and she also do the same thing to my husband's former employer. Finally, on the day before the closing, they cancelled it because they said we needed flood insurance which we did not due to the fact that the HOA already has flood insurance on the entire subdivision. I will never ever get a mortgage with this company again.
To improve you all need to work with consumers the way you would want someone to with you. You need to manage your time better, make list and email it to your customer of potential documents they would need, be more organized and don't ask for the same information over and over, crunch your numbers properly as to not have your customers scrambling to get extra cash for closing. This experience was very frustrating.
One last thing, we went from needing to put down 30% to nearly 55%. This is ridiculous and unacceptable. I am a college graduate with a medical degree. My salary is in the top 5% in America, my credit score is 730. I started with a 30-35k downpayment. By time we got to closing they say I will need to put down 87k to move forward because I have the assets. After that they wanted proof that I had over 120k in reserve before they can do anything. My original closing day was 7/20/16. It's 8/26/16 and I still have not close. I was supposed to close today but it got push back because PenFed was requesting that I get flood insurance before they can move my loan to closing, even though I submitted the master insurance from HOA over a month ago. So when I spoke with title company they emailed PenFed and that's when they decided to submit to closing.
What on earth happened to this formerly great financial institution? As a veteran and member for over 40 years, I have watched this organization become one of the most customer-unfriendly financial organizations currently operating. Last week I decided to contribute money to my annual ROTH IRA; however, because there is an annual limit I needed to know if and/or how much I have contributed to Pen Fed in a ROTH for 2016. Unlike most banks, this information is not readily available on the PFCU website. So I contacted "customer service". Their reply, "We don't have that information now but will get back to you. One week later: no response. The moral of the story: INVEST MY ROTH $$ ELSEWHERE!
Yesterday I opened a five-figure, joint owned CD with Pen Fed (the joint owner is also a Pen Fed member). Today I began receiving emails from Pen Fed indicating that they needed to verify the joint owner's identity. But when calling "customer service" I was told that the new CD was solely-owned by me, but that only the CD department could view all of the related information concerning the CD. Yet when I asked the rep to transfer me to the CD department I was told that I was not allowed to speak with them.
I inquired, "Are you telling me that I can invest tens of thousands of dollars in your credit union but can't speak directly with your investment department?" "That is correct, sir". Lord help the Pen Fed investor!! With the excellent investment rates Pen Fed offers, it's hard to say goodbye even though they do NOT deserve my loyalty. My advice to a potentially new customer, if you can find another credit union that offers nearly as much as Pen Fed, GO FOR 'EM WITHOUT HESITATION!!!
I have been a member of Pentagon Federal Credit Union since 1988. It wasn't until I made a loan against funds in my account that I had a problem. I set my payments up on auto pay. This was in 2014, since then I have late payments charged to my account repeatedly. Not to mention the phone calls over and over telling me my payment is late. The payment should come out of my account automatically. I'm writing this review for two reasons: 1. Now they say they have no record of the auto pay I setup. 2. FYI PenFed has a B rating on BBB. PLEASE WRITE A COMPLAINT ON BBB.
I could write pages about the horrible customer service provided by the PenFed lending department, but I'll just summarize and affirm that my experiences were right in line with other negative reviews here. I have email records of all this nonsense and how paperwork was sat on for nearly a month without being opened or looked at whatsoever.
PenFed was given well over their 45 day requirement to effectively diddle around until a week before closing, then ask for copies of the same (already submitted) documents repeatedly, and ultimately fail to provide proof of financing less than a week before closing. This cost me 10k additional earnest money to extend closing for a SECOND time, so I could move forward with another lender. The sellers had already moved out. There's more to the story, such as bait and switch tactics on their 5/5 ARM after jumping through all of their hoops. Credit and income was no issue. Being put in the position of convincing employees to get their co-workers on the ball, and then bouncing around with managers who couldn't care less, isn't exactly what I had in mind when choosing this lender. I would highly recommend staying clear of this lender and going with someone local.
I regret not reading the Consumer Affairs complaints about PenFed mortgage process. All the complaints I've read are spot on. My anticipated closing today, 5/6/2016, was completely blown off as my loan processor went on leave without ever letting me know and had dropped the ball. My calls to her supervisor finally got the ball rolling and I'm expected to close on 5/11. Unfortunately, I'm scheduled to fly back home 5/12. This leaves me no time to take over the utilities from the developer and various other things I needed to do requiring the closing docs. I specifically flew in since 4/27 to Las Vegas, in anticipation of closing 5/6. Now, I'm left with no choice but to extend my hotel stay (additional $450 in lodging), and pay $250 change fee to change my return airfare ticket. As I read through the comments, I am really appealed that PenFed high ups have not addressed to improve their service.
My assigned loan processor is of no help, and I seriously question her competency in carrying out her duties as a processor. I get more information from other PenFed reps and supervisors than my assigned loan processor. Unbelievably unresponsive, irresponsible and does not care about the predicament she has put me in. I'm so dismayed to just learn that my wife (who is back home) needs to sign the closing docs. The Title Co was nice enough to provide a way to hopefully get this accomplished by emailing the docs, get it signed with notary and sending the docs back via FedEx. None of this critical information was given to me by the processor. I'm really worried at this point that there may be other important steps/process/docs that my processor have yet to tell me that would prevent an extended closing date beyond 5/11. This will be my first and last mortgage loan with PenFed and will close all of my accounts with them once I close on this loan.
I will demand stringent corrective actions directly from PenFed VP who visited Guam for the grand opening who promised to treat Veterans with dignity and respect. Take it from a 32-year AF Veteran. DO NOT PURSUE PENFED MORTGAGE LOAN originating from Alexandria, VA. Save yourself the stress and worries. Go somewhere else!
I'm sick of them wasting my time, so I'll just copy here the post I wrote for Yelp: This organization is horrific! There is no single interaction with their customer service that went even somewhat satisfactory for the more than 10 times I had to deal with their CS. They might be a good lender or money manager (even though there is no substantial evidence for that either) but they are horrific in dealing with issues. They will tell you things like: well, if we don't do what you asked us for, give us a call in few weeks. And that often does not help either! They will also say things like: well you send us that document by email twice and by mail too, but we can't find it now and don't have the time to look for it, so please go prepare those documents again and send it again, by mail and email.
You can shoot yourself in the head just listening to their excuses, explanations and "we got it all sorted" while you still continue to have the same problem for which you wrote them 6 times explaining something simple word by word. That is not to say, that other, or especially big banks are much better or have better service. Not at all. But this stands out in stupidity of a management and employee performance hardly measurable!
And this all is for considerably simple issues, like you find suspicious payment (because they are labeled in a moronic way which does not clearly state who is made to) and ten minutes later write them - you found to whom this payment was made and ask them for proper naming of the payments on your statement while asking them to cancel the complaint.
Several hours later they still cancel the payment and lock you from the account because they didn't get what was happening... they couldn't grasp it from several emails with just as clear as possible again and again explanation of the problem (and with solid indication that they also do not read the messages you as customer send them!!). Simply... horrific. No words. When I try to picture myself how much time and trouble this has cost me and how much more it will too, when I try to leave them, my stomach hurts.:((
I wrote this in error. I believed that penfed was at fault, but it turns out that mercer did not inform me that their actions were different then what I requested. This made me believe that penfed was not doing a good job. Penfed acted properly and efficiently in retrospect and everything is fine now that I corrected everything at mercer.
I cannot believe how arrogant, ineffective, inefficient PenFed and the IRA department is. I have been trying for weeks to have my 401k rolled over to no avail. How dare me call and request the IRA department put my funds in the proper account let alone create the certificate I requested, they should be fired for their incompetence.
I called alicha x5562 Monday 2/29. She assured me it would be taken care of and I called this morning 3/4 and was told it would be taken care of today. They had the funds since last Thursday. Nothing. The ira department is horrible. I will never take out the mortgage and car loan I was planning because such incompetence. I don't know if I can transfer my 401k out of PenFed to another bank without IRS issues but as soon as I can I will have nothing to do with penfed. You are an idiot if you have anything to do with this credit union.
Avoid home financing of any kind. Incredibly inefficient. Delayed closing. Extremely poor at returning phone calls and emails. Loan officer was constantly losing paperwork. If you fax them documents or mail them they will lose it. You have to email them. Then if you're lucky they'll actually put it in their system. Multiple times I had to resend the same information. I swear I don't think they worked on it at all unless I was directly on the phone with them while they were doing it. Very short and they always acted put out and was rude if I asked them for anything even including updates or inquiries or asking if they received the info I faxed and emailed.
Here's what happened with the delay. We were closing on 11/06/2015. On 11/02/2015 they called me and told me they couldn't approve the loan until I added flood insurance to the property. This was literally the first I'd heard about it being in a flood plain (A zone A flood plain with no water source within several miles mind you). I was floored and I asked for something showing it was in a flood plain. The loan officer told me she "just found out that day". Well, when she faxed me the proof of the flood plain it was dated 45 days earlier. She had this for a month and a half and didn't even look at it until 4 days before starting the closing process on our loan and called me to demand I either purchase flood insurance (which was $2200) on the day of closing or they would deny me.
I called around and found out fema sets these prices and that I would have to pay a surveyor to come out and get the home with a statistical elevation survey. Fine. I found out from Fema I could get a refund on the unused period of coverage after the property was removed from the flood plain. I started the process of purchasing home flood insurance and then on November 2nd The bank calls me back and tells me they failed to run my Equifax credit score 3 months earlier and that it made my average credit score 676 which meant I couldn't get the 3% interest rate they promised me. Now this is 3 days before closing. I sold my other home. I had just closed it on and was supposed to be out on November 6th. There was nothing I could do. Why in the world did they wait until 4 days before my close date to check this? They then wanted me to re-apply for 30 yr ARM mortgage. I told them to shove it and hung up.
I went with Mortgage lenders of America and it was smooth as silk. 33 days from start to finish to close the loan. No problems at all and they were nice! And were on top of things. I can't express to you how bad PenFed's home finance department is. Auto loans seem better as I had one for 3 years with them but the home mortgage department is full of rude, lazy and incompetent people. I swear I think their business motto is "Penfed. Where Apathy meets incompetence. We don't know and we don't care". I will never do business with them again. NEVER.
Purchased third house so two prior purchase experiences and multiple refis and home equity loan experiences and been working in mortgage lending for over 10 yrs. This was by far the worst experience ever. THE DAY OF THE CLOSING WE WERE TOLD THAT DTI WAS TOO HIGH AND CLOSING WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Spoke with the loan originator and loan processor multiple times and advised that for a $580K+ house T&I could not be less than $100. But their answer was that they had been working in mortgages for over 10 yrs and knew what they were doing.
I've applied for and received 2 car loans with PenFed online with no issues. I recently applied for a mortgage loan to refinance my home and the process was by far the worst (and most expensive!) of all the companies I contacted. I submitted an application for a loan around 11:30AM on a Monday. There was an electronic disclaimer regarding an application/credit report fee. No problem... Navy Federal had the same thing and it was $12. The other 4 companies I applied with had ZERO application/credit report fees.
I anxiously waited to be contacted, but all I got was a generic email stating, "We received your application. Gather the following documents to expedite the process." Okay, no big deal. The next day, still nothing, until 7:30PM when I got an email from the PenFed mortgage processor that said, "I am the MLA on your application and before we can move forward there are some things I need from you.
Provide the contact information for the title and settlement agent you wish to use for this transaction. PenFed offers a preferred agent if you wish to utilize our affinity services. In what name(s) will the title be vested? Solely, joint or in a trust? If it is jointly provide the full name of the individual. If it is in a trust provide the name of the trust. Is the property income producing for you? Is the property currently under any construction? Has the property been listed on the market in the last 6 months? Is there any other email address you would like me to add to the application? For each borrower, please provide any other name variations (aliases) that have been used. Confirm the following: blah blah blah."
SERIOUSLY?? This is how PenFed Mortgage Dept does business? They NEED to know which settlement agent I want to use before they can move forward with my application? I HAVEN'T EVEN SPOKEN TO ANYONE AND MY LOAN HASN'T EVEN BEEN APPROVED YET!?! They don't contact the customer to discuss current rates, terms, closing costs, etc, to help them determine what is the best loan for them. They just send a uniform letter that says, "We can't proceed until you provide me with this extremely long laundry list of random info" right before they leave the office for a five day vacation? I was pissed. I replied back and said, "Never mind, I'll go with someone else." I never heard back from PenFed.
So then I check my credit card statement and see a $75 charge from PenFed. Why? Because I didn't close the loan with them ($65 + $10 credit report fee). I requested they waive this $65 fee AS A COURTESY (I was prepared to pay a credit report fee) since the mortgage processor didn't actually even assist me and the $65 "you didn't close the loan with us" fee was never disclosed, and they said no - twice - in very rude emails. "We followed proper procedures and the $65 is valid so get bent." (<---paraphrasing, but you get the point.)
PenFed Mortgage clearly gave me exceptional customer service and performed a bunch of work for me, right? Hitting "send" on that email asking me really important questions about my "aliases" right before leaving the office for vacation must have been exhausting and clearly should result in a hidden $65 fee since I decided to go with another mortgage company. I really think the PenFed also needs to look up the definition of the word "courtesy." PS - Quicken Loans has far superior customer service and a significantly easier, cheaper, efficient, and convenient mortgage process. Oh, and $0 application and credit processing fees.
How is it possible that a simple refinance takes 3 months?! I don't know, but it almost must take more effort to be as bad as the exhibited performance as to provide a satisfactory experience. I needed a refinance of my primary residence. My credit score is 800, ample of assets and income. Straightforward you think! It took over 30+ emails and over 40 calls to PenFed, mostly of which ended up either in a voicemail box or with an overworked switchboard operator. The responses were slow, often requiring the services of a "Resolution Coordinator". A timeline of all the events would require a small book! One example: Monday, I call to try resolve an issue with our Home Owner Association. I am told, "We will take care of it..." On Friday, I follow up to be told they cannot do, I need to do it myself. One week wasted! And so it goes on and on...
PenFed hired an out of area appraisal (My $465K appraisal was 3 months too old) and it was appraised at $330K. Ridiculous! (5000 sq. ft. house on 1 acre lakefront property). My realtor now sends comps to PenFed for the dispute process, which takes forever (after having supplied the wrong info to the arbitration board) and results in nothing! In order to finance my next project I now need to get another loan. More costs and aggravation. If I would have had more time, I would have stopped the process and went to another bank. Nothing is worth a few basis point better rate! I thought maybe my application is the exception, oh no.
I persuaded my son to apply for his mortgage at PenFed as well. Same substandard service (the service/competence was so bad PenFed finally transferred the application to Alexandria) and it took almost 3 months as well but not until his 30 year fixed mortgage was switched last minute to a 5 year ARM?! I could go on and on but the other reviews just confirm what we experienced. STAY AWAY from PenFed.
My father is a retired USAF Colonel and highly decorated Vietnam combat vet with late stage Parkinson's connected to Agent Orange who requires 24 hour care at a VA nursing home. He is past Commander of the Legion of Valor, an organization consisting of only Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross and the Army Distinguished Service Cross recipients. Of the 625,000 veterans in the North Texas region, there are only 8 members.
He has appointed me as his only surviving son, Durable POA, witnessed and notarized here in Texas. He has $1500 remaining at PenFed in a checking account that he wants to close as he consolidates his finances. Initially we called to close the account and answered all the security questions but at 84 years of age, he cannot remember his phone PIN so PenFed refused to work with us. We then wrote a check and deposited it in his brokerage account with Edward **. PenFed refused to honor the check.
When attempting to establish POA with PenFed they want the ORIGINAL copy of the POA which we refuse to send. We keep it in a safe deposit box. My father's condition could at any time deteriorate to the extent that he would be unable to sign a new one and as such we feel cannot risk the original being lost. PenFed will take a copy but it must be "CERTIFIED" which according to PenFed means the lawyer who wrote the POA. We wrote it ourselves with the help of lawdepot.com and had it witnessed and notarized as per Texas State law. It is a legally valid document. PenFed says they will not accept a notary verifying the authenticity of the copy.
My father cannot walk. He is losing the ability to swallow and speak. Every day it is extremely difficult to understand what he is attempting to say making it very challenging to talk on the phone. Every time he swallows he risks aspiration pneumonia. PenFed is unconcerned with my family's challenges during this difficult time and show no empathy whatsoever. My father deserves more compassion and better customer service than this. All we want is to close this account...
I apply for an Equity loan. The worst experience I ever had. I have multiple loans and multiple properties with other banks. Pentagon Federal Credit Union please train your underwriters to use all the info they have in their folders. Wow. It's funny how banks try to do business in a field that they don't know what they are doing.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union expert review by Barbara Friedberg
PenFed Credit Union provides financial services and quality customer care to military members, government employees and their families. Established in 1935, PenFed has over 1.4 million members and more than $20 billion in assets. Their members span the United States and military bases in Puerto Rico, Guam and Okinawa.
- Services and products: The PenFed offerings are tailored to their member population. In addition to typical checking and savings account products, PenFed has a suite of lending offerings for vehicle and home buyers along with personal loans.
- Credit card products: In addition to simple debit and credit cards PenFed has rewards cards and military credit cards.
- Auto loans: The credit union has loans for new, used and refinanced vehicles. Their additional auto loan products include a “payment saver” loan and a car buying service.
- Calculators: To help members take charge of the money, PenFed has a variety of online calculators including mortgage, card comparison, auto loan payment and savings certificate growth calculators.
- Home center: For members seeking to purchase a home, PenFed offers many tools. Their portal includes information for first time home buyers, a home ownership dictionary, rate comparisons as well as loan products.
- Deployment guide: Immediate deployment is a reality of military life. The PenFed site has a complete downloadable guide for deployed members to ease managing financial and life details.
- Financial Hardship Center: The PenFed Credit Union understands that life happens and offers guidance to help its members through tough times with specialized financial-assistance programs.
- Best for: PenFed is ideal for civil servants, government employees, military service personnel and their families.
Personal Finance Contributing Editor
Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union Company Information
- Company Name:
- Pentagon Federal Credit Union
- Year Founded:
- 2930 Eisenhower Avenue
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 247-5626