BECU Student Loan Refinance Review

Our Rating: C- (Compare)

Founded in 1935 as Boeing Employees’ Credit Union, BECU may be a good option for borrowers who are affiliated with a BECU partner, either through employment or membership. LendKey services BECU refinance loans.

Loan Limits $10,000 – $125,000*
Fixed Rates 4.99%† – 9.99%
Variable Rates NA
Terms 5, 10, or 15 years
Min. Credit Score Undisclosed
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*Borrowers with undergraduate degrees may borrow up to $100,000; parent borrowers and borrowers paying off graduate degrees may borrow up to $125,000.
Lowest rates always include the 0.25% interest reduction for enrolling in auto-pay.

Skip to: Rates & Fees | Eligibility Requirements | Repayment Options | Consumer Reviews & Complaints | FAQ

Loan Refinancing Options
Private student loans
Private parent loans (in parent’s name only)
Federal student loans
Federal Parent PLUS loans (in parent’s name only)

BECU Refinance Rates & Fees

BECU’s fixed rates are between 4.99% and 9.99%. Note that the lowest rates always include the 0.25% interest reduction for enrolling in auto-pay.

In 2022, BECU’s lowest available fixed rate for new loans has increased 11.1% (from 4.49% APR) while its highest fixed rate has increased 5.3% (from 9.49% APR).

Student & Parent Refinance Loan Rates
Term Fixed Rate
5 Year 4.99% – 8.99%
10 Year 5.49% – 9.49%
15 Year 5.99% – 9.99%

Additional information about BECU refinance rates:

  • Checking your rate with BECU may affect your credit score. While BECU’s web site includes an eligibility check, it does not specify whether this check involves a soft or a hard credit inquiry (learn the difference).
  • BECU does offer a discount for setting up auto-pay: 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  • BECU does not offer a variable rate.

Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

Based on advertised rates, use the calculator below to determine what your new monthly payment and potential savings may be if you refinance with BECU.

Additional Fees

Beyond interest rates, there are a number of fees a refinance lender may charge up-front or during the loan servicing period. Below is a list of these fees that BECU does or does not charge.

Fee Type Amount Charged
Application Fee None
Loan Origination Fee None
Disbursement Fee Undisclosed
Prepayment Penalty None
Late Payment Fee Undisclosed
Returned Payment Fee Undisclosed
Collection Fee Undisclosed
  1. Application fee – fee to apply for rates & approval.
  2. Loan origination fee – fee to create the new loan.
  3. Disbursement fee – fee for distributing funds to lenders to pay off loans that have been refinanced.
  4. Prepayment penalty – fee for making extra payments to reduce a refinance loan balance or pay it off early.
  5. Late payment fee – fee for making a late payment.
  6. Returned payment fee – fee for failed payments due to insufficient funds, also known as a “bounced check”.
  7. Collection fee – fee for collection activity on a defaulted debt.

Current Promotions & Offers

BECU occasionally offers discounts for new members or referral bonuses. Check the official BECU web site for updates on deals and discounts for student loan refinancing and other services.

BECU Refinance Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for refinancing with BECU, all borrowers must meet the criteria below.

  • Citizenship Requirement: U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.
  • Income Requirement: $24,000 annual minimum income.
  • Credit Score Requirement: unspecified, though borrowers are required to have an established credit history (usually 24 months).
  • Graduation Requirement: bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Location Requirement: dependent on membership status (see below).

Additional restrictions apply for specific individuals and loans. In order to refinance student loans, a borrower must be a member of BECU. BECU membership is restricted to individuals who meet the criteria below.

  • Employees, volunteers, or retired employees (and their family members) of BECU or Boeing Company.
  • Donors, members, employees, volunteers, or retired employees of the following organizations:
    • University of Washington Alumni Association.
    • Washington State University Alumni Association.
    • NW Credit Union Foundation.
    • KEXP (nonprofit organization).
  • Residents and business owners in the following locations:
    • The State of Washington.
    • Oregon counties Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington and Yamhill.
    • Idaho counties Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce and Shoshone.

BECU Student Loan Repayment Options

Lenders vary greatly on the benefits and options provided to borrowers during the loan servicing period. Additionally, benefits may only be available on a case-by-case basis. BECU offers some relief options.

Deferment & Forbearance

BECU does offer some debt relief options for borrowers under certain circumstances. Interest always continues to accrue on deferred loans, and any auto-pay interest rate reductions may be suspended. While their loan is deferred, any other credit lines a borrower may have with BECU will be frozen.

See BECU’s conditions for deferment and forbearance below.

Condition Coverage
Returning to grad school Undisclosed
Disability rehabilitation Undisclosed
Active military duty Undisclosed
Involuntary unemployment Unspecified
Economic hardship Unspecified
Natural Disaster Undisclosed
Temporary Hardship Undisclosed

Additional Options

BECU may offer other opportunities for relief or contract modification.

  • COVID-19 relief is available in the event of lost income due to COVID-19; borrowers may apply for up to 90 days of deferment.
  • Co-signer release is available after 24 consecutive qualifying payments.
  • Death / disability discharge is available in the unfortunate circumstance that a borrower passes away or suffers total permanent disability.

BECU Reviews, Complaints & Lawsuits

Beyond our own findings, our team also collected the most genuinely insightful customer experiences we could find, including any instances of legal action against the company in which the details became public.

BECU Online Reviews

There are few BECU customer reviews readily available on public forums. We’ve included what material we found here for its value as unedited, uncensored, and unsolicited user experiences. Note that these reviews are unverified, may include inaccuracies, and may provide outdated information (about rates, bonus offers, etc.).


“Despite we’re their long time customers with good credit scores, their refi rate is still not competitive. We left them within a year.”Anna on WalletHub, 11/9/2020


“I’m a becu person. My boyfriend just swapped from [a national bank] to Becu and loves it.

Swapping is a pain but a worthy one in my opinion. The checking interest rate from becu is better than the savings interest rate at chase. Their savings rate is always better.

The main reason he actually swapped though was use-ability. The loan rates are better so he gets his loans there and it’s easier to pay them with a becu account. He also prefers their app and likes that you can use any atm with the fee covered. His chase cards were also incredibly low quality and he had to get them replaced twice a year (big pain). The becu cards are high quality and don’t wear out as fast.

Thank you for coming to my unsponsored ad.”kmccan on reddit, 11/8/2019


“Credit Unions are where it’s at! I use BECU and jyst a few months ago, they sent me a notice that they were lowering my car payment based on good credit and such. I didn’t have to go to them.”cnotethepyro on reddit, 7/19/2018


More (unfiltered) customer reviews of BECU are available at TrustPilot.com (2.3 out of 5).

BECU Consumer Complaints

As consumer finance companies, student loan refinancing lenders fall under the jurisdiction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency. As part of their mission, the CFPB allows consumers to log official complaints. These complaints are publicly available on the CFPB official website.

Since November 1, 2013, consumers have submitted 376 complaints about Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU) to the CFPB, which is equivalent to one (1) complaint every eight (8) days and 14 hours; that is 564.4% higher than the average daily complaint rate among reviewed lenders.

In 2021, BECU received 59.8% more complaints than it does in an average year. In 2022, the complaint rate is 115.1% higher than average as of this writing.

In 2020, BECU received 62 complaints, which is equivalent to one (1) complaint for every $11.606 million in that year’s corporate revenue or two (2) complaints for every 69 employees.

The allegations made in these complaints are unverified, are not necessarily representative of all consumers’ experiences with BECU, and may contain outdated information (about rates, bonus offers, etc.). Note that a lender with a large customer base is likely to also have a higher number of complaints when compared with smaller lenders.

Line Graph: BECU Consumer Complaints, 263 Public Complaints Filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2011 (0), 2012 (0), 2013 (3), 2014 (16), 2015 (28), 2016 (32), 2017 (33), 2018 (35), 2019 (38), 2020 (62), and 2021 (68)

Below we’ve included 3 of the most recent complaints (as of this writing) in which the consumer consented to sharing their details.


Complaint 5557922
5/13/2022
Washington

“On XX/XX/2022, a transaction for {$1500.00} was externally transferred from my savings account at Boeing Employees Credit Union ( BECU, routing number XXXX ). This transaction is marked as ” XXXX CREDIT CARD CSQRPAYMENT – PAYMENT ” I have no business with XXXX, nor do I hold any related card. ( My card holdings are with XXXX, XXXX, and XXXX XXXX XXXX, XXXX co-branded with XXXX XXXX XXXX. ) On the evening of XX/XX/XXXX, I was doing routine account maintenance and noticed the missing money. On the morning of XX/XX/XXXX, I contacted the fraud department regarding an erroneous transaction. The agent identified the account name as ” XXXX XXXX ” ( I am not XXXX XXXX, nor do I know any such person ). I completed voice authorization for a ” written statement of unauthorized debit ” and was told this would take 2-5 business days to complete. BECU created a new savings account and transferred the remainder of my savings funds, but has not restored the missing amount. Further, the new savings account is of a different account type ( ” XXXX XXXX ” instead of ” Member Advantage ” ), which is forfeiting premium interest rates, free services, ATM fee refunds, and other services of value. It is now Friday, XX/XX/XXXX, and I have received no further communication or update from BECU, and have not had my money returned.”


Complaint 5496823
4/26/2022
Florida

“XXXX and BECU have improperly re-aged an account on my credit report to XX/XX/XXXX, have continued to report it past 7 years since Date of First Delinquincy, and I have suffered damages in my attempt to get a mortgage after inaccurate reporting reduce my credit score. A closed and paid derogatory BECU account ending in XXXX was disputed by me in XX/XX/XXXX as too old since Date of First Delinquincy and BECU alleged the information was accurate and still reportable. In the attachment you can see that the payment history for XXXX is vacant and unreported even though BECU claims the date of first delinquency was XX/XX/XXXX. The actual date of first delinquency was in XXXX of XXXX. Instead of leaving the line as it was, XXXX and BECU alleged the line was validated and then re-aged the line as new delinquency at the end of the dispute ( see attached new reporting date ), which resulted in a XXXX point drop in my XXXX Score XXXX ( see attached score alert ). The decrease to my XXXX XXXX score ( which happened solely due to the re-aging of the BECU line after the dispute ) resulted in higher interest rates for a mortgage loan I applied for, another score drop for an inquiry, and a resulting higher loan payment for the new loan I applied for. I, therefore, suffered damages for which I am consulting legal advice. I am requesting that XXXX and BECU delete the line which is now 7 years past Date of First Delinquency and is being reported in violation of the FCRA limitation on derogatory reporting, or alternatively restore the prior version of the report by BECU which existed prior to XX/XX/XXXX, with complete and accurate payment history since the loan was established in XXXX. I have again disputed these XXXX matters directly with XXXX XXXX XXXX, confirmation number XXXX, and I expect XXXX and BECU to now take the time to review my dispute by looking at the payment history and reviewing the accuracy of this line on my report, instead of just copying and pasting the claim of valid reporting by BECU. I am hoping the CFPB process can resolve this issue.”


Complaint 5494656
4/25/2022
Washington

“I received a report that I was added as an authorized user on a credit card without my consent or knowledge. I contacted the bank and they would not provide me any information on how this happened nor allowed me to remove myself as an authorized user.”


For a full list of the complaints made against BECU in the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database, click here.

BECU Lawsuits

BECU has been subject to multiple lawsuits in the 20th Century, most of which were dismissed or found in favor of BECU.

Note that while this information is updated regularly, ongoing legal action is subject to change.

Barrera et al v. Boeing Employees Credit Union Case No. 2:19-cv-01197

This class action lawsuit filed in 2019 alleges BECU violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act and their own contract forms. Such violations include charging excess fees, such as multiple non-sufficient funds fees (NSF fees) and overdraft fees on a single item presented for payment and with accounts that did have sufficient funds.[1]

As of September 2019, this case was assigned to the US District Court for the Western District of Washington Judge Richard A. Jones presiding with a motion from the Defendant (BECU) to dismiss (a lack of further updates indicates that this case may have been dismissed).[2]


Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most common questions consumers have about student loan refinancing with BECU.

  • Is BECU good for refinancing student loans?
    BECU may be a good option for borrowers who are employed by or are members of a BECU partner, or if they live in the states of Washington, Oregon, or Idaho.
  • Does BECU have a minimum credit score requirement to refinance student loans?
    BECU does not disclose a minimum credit score required to qualify for student loan refinancing, but applicants are required to have an established credit history (24 months suggested).
  • How do I become a member of BECU?
    BECU makes it easy to become a credit union member in the course of applying for a refinance loan as long as the applicant meets membership requirements.
  • Are BECU loans federal?
    No, BECU refinance loans are not federal. BECU has no affiliation with the federal government or the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Does BECU charge a prepayment penalty?
    No, there is no penalty for making early payments or repaying a loan in its entirety before the end of its term.
  • Does checking your rates with BECU hurt your credit score?
    Checking your rate with BECU may affect your credit score. While BECU’s web site includes an eligibility check, it does not specify whether this check involves a credit inquiry.
  • Is BECU a bank?
    No, BECU is not a bank but a credit union founded by employees of Boeing in 1935.
  • Can I refinance a BECU loan?
    You can refinance a BECU student loan or a student loan from another private lender. There is no limit to the number of times a borrower may refinance with BECU. Note, however, that every new line of credit requires a hard credit check that may affect your FICO score.
  • Can I refinance just some of my loans with BECU?
    Yes, you can refinance some, all, or just one of your qualifying student loans with BECU. You may choose to refinance your private loans only or refinance private and federal loans together.
  • Can I refinance loans that have already been refinanced?
    Yes, you can refinance loans as many times as you want with BECU. Note that each time you refinance, you will have to submit a new application; every application requires a hard credit check that may affect your credit score.
  • Can my spouse and I refinance our loans together with BECU?
    No, BECU will only refinance loans where the student borrower was the primary borrower on the original loan.
  • How long does it take to refinance with BECU?
    BECU does not specify its time frames.
  • Who services BECU refinance loans?
    LendKey services BECU refinance loans for students and for parents.
  • Does BECU offer a grace period?
    BECU does not offer a grace period with its refinance loans.
  • Can I get any special rates or discounts with BECU ?
    BECU partners with multiple organizations, groups, and agencies to offer members special discounts or one-time bonuses. Check BECU’s web site for updates on deals and discounts.
  • What happens if I file for bankruptcy?
    BECU does not specify a course of action in response to bankruptcy; it is common practice among lenders to declare the entire loan amount due immediately upon a borrower’s declaration of bankruptcy.
  • Does BECU partner with any major refinance lender marketplaces?
    BECU partners with LendKey as part of its marketplace; LendKey also services all BECU student refinance loans.

Compare Student Loan Refinance Reviews

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LendKey B+
College Ave B
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Earnest B-
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MEFA B-
Sparrow B-
Yrefy B-
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First Tech Federal C
BECU C-
Navy Federal C-
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Discover D
Nelnet Bank D
PNC Bank D-
NaviRefi F

Sources

  1. Truth In Advertising, Case 2:19-cv-01197
  2. Justia, Dockets & Filings: Barrera et al v. Boeing Employees Credit Union
  3. BECU Student Loan Rates
  4. BECU, Refinance Student Loans
  5. LendKey, FAQ – Student Loan Refinancing
  6. CFPB, Consumer Complaint Database
  7. Dun & Bradstreet, Business Directory: The Boeing Employees’ Credit Union
  8. Better Business Bureau, Search Businesses and Charities