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PenFed was the mortgage/refi darling for years on this forum.  Seems like their rates and service have taken a turn for the worse.  We used Penfed for our current house but that was about 9 years ago.  Their rates doesn't seem much better than anyone else's, and the fees seem high.   Looking for a good lender for a new purchase.  Any recommendations beyond Zillow?  Looking to buy a house around $360k, with 20% down.  Initially thinking fixed 30, but if there's a competitive 15 year fixed rate, we might consider that.  This is going to be our 'long term' house, so I'm not sure if the ARMS I've used in the past will be the best move this time around.  

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There CC bonuses are awful too now. Probably new management

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I joined Penfed just for the auto loan rates which were better than everything I found published. Of course the moment i mentioned that we were preapproved at a rate, the dealer beat that rate without asking me for any other evidence. We just refinanced our house again with aimloan and I checked Penfed first and was shocked at the terrible fees and higher interest rate. So... I have an unused account with about $20 sitting there just in case I might want their auto loan for the next car. Maybe it's the end and we were late to the party. This happened to me too here in California with Travis credit union. Best rates around and reasonably nice service. Now their rates are not competitive at all for auto or home and they have money plowed into huge multi story office buildings in many towns.

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PenFed holds our current mortgage and we are in the process of refinancing, and we chose NOT to use PenFed again because their rates/fees were not competitive.  We asked them about any retention offers, and the reply was "We can't do that anymore."

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Penfed has specials when they want a lot of new business, and when they are not its "business as usual." They will stay this way for a while and then have some OTHER new special that will be a major draw. Last time it was the Defender and Promise card introduction -- before that it was the 5/5 ARMs. They seemed to think their new checking account was going to be a big hit, but it was not particularly exciting to me.

(background, I have been a member for around 25 years or so -- well before the "internet" days and they decided to grow)

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I also kicked them to the curb with the latest refi, and my only remaining relationship is via a used car loan. They just don't care to be competitive or grow at the moment.

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Penfed is not even good for churning.

they have a 5% cashback gas card which is great and if you have an exxon speedpass you can get 5% cb in store. that's it though.

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Penfed started to suck about 3 years ago... I'm not sure the reason, but I've stopped doing new loans with them.

Even if their rates are close to someone else, the craptacular service at Penfed will make you regret using them.

Note that their gas 5% cash back card had the redemptions "devalued" so that it's actually only a 4.25% gas card now.

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slappycakes said:   Penfed started to suck about 3 years ago... I'm not sure the reason, but I've stopped doing new loans with them.

Even if their rates are close to someone else, the craptacular service at Penfed will make you regret using them.

Note that their gas 5% cash back card had the redemptions "devalued" so that it's actually only a 4.25% gas card now.

  
Not true.  I have had their Platinum Cash Rewards Card for years, which is their 5% cash back card and only offers cash back on gasoline.  While the 1.25% cash back on all purchases and 2% on supermarkets is gone, they pay 5% cash back on gasoline at the pump every month. 

A completely separate card, the Platinum Rewards Visa card is a POINTS card and the point redemption was devalued in 2013.  Note that this card earns points on all purchases, with higher amounts for certain merchant types like gasoline. 

But the gas 5% on their Platinum CASH rewards card, which is their best card for gasoline  is still in play. 
 

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I did a lot of rate shopping the past couple years, including consulting two brokers each time. Ultimately I have had a very solid experience with both Costco Finance (first two mortgages) and with Better.com (latest refi). Better was super efficient, has an easy to use website, and their rate was better than the initial quote (LTV went from 76% to 74% so they gave me better rate sheet). Costco Finance has clear fees and rates and their stable of lenders works really hard to stay on your good side so you don't complain to the cash cow of Costco...have been among or the lowest each time I looked. Better beat them by just a bit this time and processed things quickly and painlessly.

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I did a HELOC with them and the service was awful. When I called in to speak to a manager, the person that answered was extremely rude and told me they were busy.

I think they have more business than they can handle, so they have little incentive to offer better rates and fees.

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PenFed has always been useless.

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NEDeals said:   
But the gas 5% on their Platinum CASH rewards card, which is their best card for gasoline  is still in play. 

  
agree. works good with exxon speedpass too.

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I'm willing to put up with a lot for a major reduction in my large mtg - honestly I've only had minor pains with PenFed, and when they reduced my mtg to 2.6875 for another 5 years for $250 I happily accepted.

They may not have a great current promotion but they will *always* be on my radar because when they have a special promo it's often a doozy. Luckily I won't be looking too hard until 2021.

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Their 5/5 product is still the best on the market, IMO. Better rates than the handful of others that offer it.

No way I'd use them for a 30 or 15 yr fixed product.

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NEDeals said:   
slappycakes said:   Penfed started to suck about 3 years ago... I'm not sure the reason, but I've stopped doing new loans with them.

Even if their rates are close to someone else, the craptacular service at Penfed will make you regret using them.

Note that their gas 5% cash back card had the redemptions "devalued" so that it's actually only a 4.25% gas card now.

  
Not true.  I have had their Platinum Cash Rewards Card for years, which is their 5% cash back card and only offers cash back on gasoline.  While the 1.25% cash back on all purchases and 2% on supermarkets is gone, they pay 5% cash back on gasoline at the pump every month. 

A completely separate card, the Platinum Rewards Visa card is a POINTS card and the point redemption was devalued in 2013.  Note that this card earns points on all purchases, with higher amounts for certain merchant types like gasoline. 

But the gas 5% on their Platinum CASH rewards card, which is their best card for gasoline  is still in play. 

Agree with you on that one particular card, which I use also (the "grandfathered-in" card).  It's actually easier to just use that card for all gas, which is always 5% cash-back at the pump with no "points" crap, versus having to remember what "quarter" it is for the quarterly cards (if they even have gas as a 5% option anymore).  

But the rest of PenFed's offerings have declined - no doubt about it.

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I've often thought about the viability of opening a credit union and restricting it to members with really high (750+) FICOs, just to be able to issue credit cards and give all the merchant fees back to the members. You could expand from there to issuing CDs, mortgages, checking accounts etc.

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Kevo171 said:   I've often thought about the viability of opening a credit union and restricting it to members with really high (750+) FICOs, just to be able to issue credit cards and give all the merchant fees back to the members. You could expand from there to issuing CDs, mortgages, checking accounts etc.
  Funny you said that.... LONG before FW was sold (and sold again), we considered the idea of starting the FWF CU.

Try checking archives for the threads (I'll post any I can find, after I finish a term paper)....

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There have been several posts and threads over the years... here's a post from FWF icon SIS: https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/702066?showmessage=1014...

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