Navy Federal vs. Discover: Which Personal Loan Is Right for You?

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Edited byAshley Jacobs
Edited byAshley Jacobs

Updated: July 25, 2023

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Your specific needs and financial objectives will decide the best personal loan for you. However, if you need quick cash, Navy Federal and Discover are good options. Although Navy Federal's maximum APR is lower, these loans are only available to National Federal Credit Union (NFCU) members. If you have an excellent credit score and a steady income, Discover might be your best choice.

MoneyGeek provides comprehensive and current information about reputable U.S. personal loan lenders, allowing you to compare lenders and choose the one that best meets your requirements.

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Navy Federal or Discover: Overview

While Navy Federal personal loans come with a higher maximum loan amount, Discover offers smaller loans with more flexible terms. However, the appropriate lender for you will be determined by your specific financial objectives and requirements.

Before making a final decision, it is essential to compare Navy Federal vs. Discover in terms of their APRs, credit score requirements, loan amounts and repayment terms.

Our research breaks down the similarities and differences between these lenders to help you decide which is a better fit for your funding needs.

Navy Federal

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Discover

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APR Range

Lender
APR Range

Navy Federal

7.49% to 18%

Discover

5.99% to 24.99%

The annual percentage rate (APR) is the annual interest as well as any additional fees charged by the lender. Your APR is influenced by numerous variables, including your credit score, loan type, loan size and the lender's assessment methodology. APRs vary between lenders.

Additionally, keep in mind that APRs are constantly changing. APRs for Discover personal loans range from 5.99% to 24.99%. Furthermore, a minimum credit score of 720 is required to be eligible for a Discover personal loan. The APR range for Navy Federal is 7.49% to 18%. However, Navy Federal personal loans are only offered to NFCU members.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

While Discover’s maximum APR is higher than Navy Federal’s, it does have a lower minimum APR. That said, Navy Federal wins in this comparison since borrowers will ultimately have to pay less than they would with Discover if their APR is on the higher end of the range offered by these two lenders.

Before obtaining a loan, you must also consider the lender's repayment schedule, loan amounts and credit score terms in addition to the APR.

Minimum Credit Score

Lender
Credit Score

Navy Federal

None

Discover

720

When it comes to deciding whether or not you are qualified for a loan, your credit score will play a big role. A higher credit score will enable you to obtain loans with more favorable terms, including a lower APR. Building credit takes time and requires responsible financial behavior over an extended period of time. This includes making regular payments on your credit card bills.

Discover mandates a minimum credit score of 720, which is very high in comparison to other lending institutions. Navy Federal does not necessitate a credit score. Additionally, you must have a strong credit history to qualify for a Discover personal loan, as the lender does not accept borrowers with new or no credit.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

Due to the fact that the minimum credit score requirement for a Discover personal loan is 720, which is very high in comparison to the requirements of other lenders, this option is probably the best choice for candidates with good credit scores if they want a low APR. However, since Navy Federal does not need a minimum credit score, it is easier to qualify for a loan with this lender.

It must be stressed that individuals with poor credit continue to be subjected to higher interest rates and less favorable terms. Consequently, borrowers should ensure that the loan's terms are reasonable and meet their needs.

Loan Amount Range

Lender
Loan Amount Range

Navy Federal

$250 to $50,000

Discover

$2,500 to $35,000

The loan amount range represents the minimum and maximum amounts a lender is willing to lend a borrower. Discover allows users to borrow between $2,500 and $35,000, whereas Navy Federal's loan range is $250 to $50,000.

Compared to other companies with loan amounts of at least $100,000, both Navy Federal and Discover have smaller maximum loan amounts. To make it easier to keep track of your overall commitments and payments, it is preferable to find a lender whose product line encompasses all of your borrowing requirements as opposed to taking out various small loans from multiple lenders.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

Navy Federal offers a far more adaptable range of personal loan amounts, from $250 to $50,000. However, due to the fact that the Navy Federal personal loan is only available to NFCU members, it is not the best option for everyone.

Whether or not these loans are useful to you depends on your choices and requirements. Your loan amount is one of many considerations. Consequently, it is smart to conduct extensive research on prospective lenders prior to making a decision.

Repayment Terms

Lender
Repayment Terms

Navy Federal

12 to 180 months

Discover

36 to 84 months

How soon you have to pay back a loan is determined by the repayment term, often known as the payback period. In general, shorter repayment terms are associated with lower APRs. However, other factors, such as your credit score, may still be relevant. Navy Federal offers a greater range of payback terms, from 12 to 180 months, compared to Discover's 36 to 84 months.

Take into account that a lengthier repayment time does come with some drawbacks. Even with a low APR, a longer payback time will result in higher interest payments. As a result, keep this in mind while assessing a personal loan lender's repayment schedule.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

The flexible repayment options offered by Navy Federal give borrowers more choice over how long it takes to pay back the loans. Discover’s repayment period is much more limited.

If you have a poor credit score, you might be required to adhere to the limitations imposed by your provider. Your credit score will also play a key role in determining whether you qualify for this option. Moreover, if you can afford higher monthly payments, a short repayment term is recommended.

Time to Receive Funds

Lender
Time to Receive Funds

Navy Federal

Next day

Discover

Next day

The normal turnaround time for conventional lenders ranges between a few days and a couple of weeks. Navy Federal and Discover fund loans the next day.

Given that there is no difference between the two companies in terms of the time it takes to receive your funds, your choice of lender may rely on other variables, such as the APR, repayment conditions and amount of your authorized loan.

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MONEYGEEK’S VERDICT

If your lender is able to quickly release your cash, you will be able to put them to use more quickly in the event of an emergency. Both Navy Federal and Discover fund loans on the next day.

Although a speedy loan disbursement is advantageous, you should not base your decision solely on this factor.

Final Thoughts

Navy Federal and Discover both provide personal loans with quick funding times and can be considered the best options. Each provider has unique features, such as APR ranges, minimum credit score requirements, loan amounts, payback terms and timeframes for receiving funds.

Ultimately, Navy Federal is the superior choice between the two lenders as it has better APRs, credit score requirements, loan amount ranges and more.

However, Discover might be the better option for you if you are not a member of Navy Federal Credit Union.

Keep in mind that this analysis is based on a general borrower profile. Your specific needs and financial goals will determine the personal loan provider that is best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Loan Lenders

Take the time to carefully weigh your options before applying for a personal loan. To assist you, MoneyGeek has provided answers to frequently asked questions concerning personal loan lenders below.

What documents do I need to provide to personal loan lenders?
How do I know what my credit score is?
Do lenders conduct a hard inquiry?
Are interest rates on personal loans the same for all lenders?
Do lenders charge fees for personal loans?
What are the advantages of applying for a personal loan online?
Is prepayment allowed on personal loans?
sources
Shield Insurance

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.