Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Northwest Federal's products and services.

If you need further assistance, please contact our Member Service Center at or call 703-709-8900 (844-709-8900 toll-free), M–F: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm and Saturday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm ET. 

Q&A Topics

What should I do if my card is lost or stolen?

Report immediately:

  • Call our Member Service Center: 703-709-8900 (844-709-8900 toll-free) 
  • Use Telephone Banking: 703-709-6917 (800-932-7666) and choose “5” from the main menu options. 

When calling from outside the US, you cannot use the toll-free number on the back of your card. 

  • To report a lost or stolen debit card while outside the US, call 909-941-1398.
  • To report a lost or stolen credit card while outside the US, call collect 703-251-2140. 

I have forgotten my debit card or ATM PIN, what can I do?

For security purposes, Northwest Federal does not store PINs.

  • Visit a branch to have your PIN reset.
  • Contact our Member Service Center at 703-709-8900 (844-709-8900 toll-free) to request a new debit or ATM card and PIN. 
  • Reset your PIN in the CardControl+ app 

How can I change my credit card PIN?

  • Call 888-891-2435 (toll-free). You’ll be asked to enter your card's current PIN in order to request a PIN change. 
  • Bring your Northwest Federal credit card, your driver's license or other form of ID into a branch to speak with a Member Service Representative. 
  • Reset your PIN in the CardControl+ app 

Can I use my credit, debit or ATM card when I travel abroad?

Yes. Northwest Federal cards are accepted at merchants worldwide. To ease any card issues while traveling, please log-in to Online Banking to place a travel memo on your credit cards with your planned travel dates and destinations. 

How can I pay my credit card bill?

  • Login to Online Banking
  • Call Telephone Banking: 703-709-6917 or 800-932-7666 (toll-free)
  • Visit a Northwest Federal branch or shared branch
  • Use a Northwest Federal-owned ATM
  • Mail payments to:
    Northwest Federal Credit Union
    P.O. Box 4200
    Woburn, MA 01888-4196

Do you offer a credit card with reward points?

Yes. Our NOW REWARDS Visa offers reward points among other valuable cardholder benefits. 

How do I earn points on my NOW REWARDS Visa®?

Cardholders who meet monthly qualifications can earn premier points of 2% cash back on purchases. For monthly qualification details, visit

If monthly qualifications are not met, you will still earn 1.25x the points for every $1 spent on qualifying purchases made everywhere with your NOW REWARDS credit card. Bonus points are available when you finance an auto or home loan with Northwest Federal.

What can I use my points for?

Points can be used for travel, a variety of adventurous experiences and events, gift cards, merchandise, cash back or donation to a charity. You can also “pay with points” at participating gas stations and other merchants.

Do NOW REWARDS points expire?

Yes. NOW REWARDS points will expire 5 years from the end of the month in which points were earned. Cardholder point balances that were carried over to NOW REWARDS on October 1, 2018 will expire five years after October 1, 2018. 

How can I redeem my NOW REWARDS Visa® points?

To access your NOW REWARDS account and view/redeem points, log-in to Online Banking and click on the NOW REWARDS button. To get your points balance or to redeem reward points by phone: 

NOW REWARDS Visa® Point Redemption 
Website:, log-in thru Online Banking to access NOW REWARDS site to view/redeem points
Program inquiries: 888-207-2234 available 24/7. After-hours voicemail messages will be returned the following business day. 
Customer service specialists are available: M-F 8:00 am-11:00 pm ET; Weekends 8:00 am-8:00 pm ET
Travel redemption specialists are available: M-F 9:00 am-10:00 pm ET; Weekends 9:00 am-5:00 pm ET
Closed on New Year's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

My debit or credit card is nearing expiration, when can I expect to receive my new card?

Your current card is valid through the last day of the expiration month. You should receive a new card by the middle of the expiration month. When you receive your new card, we suggest you call the activation number immediately to activate your new card and then destroy your old card.

If I close/replace my card, but I have the old card number set up for automatic monthly payments, what should I do?

If you change or cancel a card that is set-up for automatic monthly payments, contact the merchant immediately to notify them of the new card number. 

How can I request a credit card limit increase?

To request a credit card increase: apply today, contact our Member Service Center or visit a branch.

How can I get an additional card for an authorized user for my credit card account?

Complete and return a Credit Card Authorized User Designation form to:
Northwest Federal Credit Union
ATTN: Card Services
P.O. Box 1229
Herndon, VA 20172-1229

What should I do if a purchase appears on my account multiple times?

You must first contact the merchant and inquire about the additional charges. If the issue is not resolved with the merchant, fill out the online Cardholder Dispute Form, or complete/return our paper Cardholder Dispute Form no later than 60 days after receiving the first bill on which the problem appeared and send it to:

  • Northwest Federal Credit Union
    ATTN: Card Services
    P.O. Box 1229
    Herndon, VA 20172-1229

I made a purchase with my Visa® Debit yesterday. Why hasn't the transaction cleared my account yet?

The delay in posting Visa® Debit transactions will depend on how often the merchant processes his/her debit card transactions. Northwest Federal has no control over how quickly these items post and a hold is placed on your account for the amount of the purchase when the merchant swipes your card. Depending on when the merchant processes the transaction, the money will usually be cleared from your account within 1-5 days.

How can I find an ATM near me?

Use our ATM Locator Wizard or call 1-888-SITE-COOP (1-888-748-3266) to access a voice-activated CO-OP ATM locator service. Simply say a street address or cross street to hear the location of your nearest CO-OP ATM.

How can I avoid paying ATM surcharge fees?

For free ATM transactions:

  • use a Northwest Federal-owned ATM
  • visit a CO-OP Shared Branch
  • use a CULIANCE®, CO-OP ATM or Alliance One ATM.

To find one of the 30,000+ free ATM locations nationwide click on our ATM Locator Wizard.

Why should I get pre-approved for my car loan?

Our Pre-approved Auto Loans (PAL checks) let you shop up to 45 days for your vehicle with “cash” in hand. You’ll know exactly how much money you can spend and you won’t be delayed at the dealership having to fill out financing paperwork. Apply today, call 703-709-8900 (844-709-8900 toll-free), or stop by a branch. 

Does Northwest Federal offer any car buying services?

Yes. We have a couple options for you, depending on the type of vehicle you’re looking for:

TrueCar – search online for a new or pre-owned car

  1. Get a guaranteed price on the vehicle you choose
  2. Arrange for your Northwest Federal financing directly from TrueCar’s site
  3. Go to the dealership to finalize your purchase and drive home in your new ride

Carvana – shop and purchase your pre-owned car completely online

  1. Apply today for a pre-approved auto loan
  2. Shop Carvana to purchase your Carvana certified pre-owned car online
  3. Enjoy convenient delivery right to your driveway

How can I determine a fair price for my trade-in?

Research the value of your car through a variety of online resources including Kelley Blue Book, NADA and Edmunds.

I'm interested in purchasing car insurance. Do you have any information that would be helpful?

NW Insurance Agency is a fully-licensed, independent agency, that can compare coverage and rates from its network of national insurance carriers. Click here to obtain a no-obligation quote from NW Insurance Agency.

What is GAP insurance?

If your car is totaled or stolen, your insurance company may only pay the actual cash value of your vehicle, an amount often less than your loan balance. With Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP), you won’t have to come up with the out-of-pocket cash to pay the loan principal deficit. To learn more, contact us or get a quote online

What is Major Mechanical Protection?

Major Mechanical Protection is an extended service contract covering the cost of certain repairs and problems. If you’re buying from a dealer, be sure to comparison shop to make sure you’re getting the best warranty for your money. Major Mechanical Protection is offered on both new and used cars. To learn more, contact us or get a quote online

How can I make my car payment?

Learn more about your loan payment options.

If I payoff my car loan early, is there a penalty?

No. Northwest Federal doesn’t penalize our members for early payoffs.

I financed my vehicle with another financial institution. Can I refinance it with Northwest Federal?

Yes. Refinancing with us could help lower your monthly payment. Apply today

What types of savings accounts are available?

We offer a variety of accounts, including:

  • Savings
  • Money Market
  • Certificates
  • Custodial Accounts
  • IRAs
  • Youth Club Accounts

To learn more, visit the “Banking” tab at the top of the page

What types of checking accounts do you offer?

We offer different checking options designed to meet our members’ personal financial needs and preferences. Visit the “Banking” tab to compare checking accounts and choose the account that works best for you.

What is Northwest Federal’s ABA routing number?

256075025. You’ll need this number when setting up direct deposit through your employer or when establishing automatic account withdrawals for monthly bill payments.

How can I order more checks?

  • Login to Online Banking, select “Checkings” on the Accounts Summary screen, then click on “Order Checks”
  • Contact our Call Center
  • Visit a branch

How can I get a copy of a cancelled check?

  • Login to Online Banking, click on the check number in your checking account history, and print the image. Images are available for a period of 6 months after the check has cleared; images aren’t available for checks cashed in one of our branches or processed as an ACH.

  • You can also visit a branch to request a copy of the cancelled check. There is a $2.00 fee for each check copy requested. 

Is there a cost to use Online Banking and Bill Pay?

No. Online Banking and Bill Pay is completely free for our members.

How do I enroll in Online Banking?

Click “Login" located in the top right section of our website and follow the instructions. You’ll need your savings account number and your email address.

How can I change my Online Banking password?

Within Online Banking, select SETTINGS and then the Security tab.

What if I forget my Online Banking login password?

After entering your username, follow the guidance to reset your password.

How do I enroll in eStatements?

To switch from monthly paper statements to eStatements, login to Online Banking and click the EDOCS widget.

With our free eDocuments through Online Banking, you can receive your:

  • Monthly account eStatement
  • First mortgage eStatement
  • Required notifications
  • Tax forms

How do I view my monthly eStatement?

eStatements are available on the first business day of the month. You’ll receive an email notification letting you know that your eStatement is ready to view. Log in to Online Banking at your convenience to view your eStatement.

How do I change my account email address for the eStatement notification?

To update your email:

  • Log in to Online Banking
  • Click “My Profile”
  • Click “Change email”
  • Click “Submit”

Want to enroll in eStatements for your Northwest Federal credit card account?

You can enroll in credit card eStatements within Online Banking. 

How do I enroll in account activity alerts?

To enroll in our free account alerts:

  • Login to Online Banking
  • Click “Services” at the top of the page
  • Choose the type of alerts you’d like to receive and click “Add Subscription” to enroll

What types of alerts are available for my Northwest Federal accounts?

Within Online Banking, you can select from a variety of transactional alerts, including:  when your account drops below a specified amount, a reminder alert when your loan payment is due, notification when a specific check number clears, and much more. 

Who is eligible for Northwest Federal membership?

Our membership is diverse and includes members from certain federal government agencies, hundreds of local and national businesses, area organizations and Chambers of Commerce. Learn more about membership eligibility.    

You’ll need the following items to apply for membership:

  • Driver’s license
  • US Social Security Number
  • Previous home address (if you’ve lived at your home address for less than two years)

Can a member of my household or immediate family join Northwest Federal? 

Yes! Once you’ve joined, your immediate family members (spouse, children, siblings, parents, grandparents and grandchildren) and household members are eligible for Northwest Federal membership. Household Members are defined as persons living in the same residence who maintain a single economic unit. This includes any person who is a permanent member of and participates in maintenance of the household (for example, two people sharing an apartment could be considered a household). When it's time for your family or roommate to join, simply have them list your name and your relation on the membership application under "Eligibility." Please note, you are not financially liable for those you sponsor for membership.

Can I still be a member if I change jobs or leave the area?

The best part of Northwest Federal membership is that once you join, you’re a member for life. Our Online Banking, Mobile Banking, large network of ATMs coast to coast, and shared branching makes it easy for members to bank with us no matter where they live. 

Do I need to have an Online Banking account in order to use the mobile app?

Yes, you must be a registered Online Banking user with a valid email address on file with us. You’ll use your existing username and password to access your account.

Can I use Northwest Federal’s Mobile Banking Application on my device?

Our Mobile Banking app runs on Apple® iPhone®/iPad®/iPod®/iPod Touch®, Android™ and Blackberry® devices.

Do I need to be on a WiFi network to use the mobile banking app?

You need Internet connectivity either through a WiFi network or cellular network.

How do I log in to the Mobile Banking app?

You log in to the app with the same credentials you use to log in to your Online Banking account. The first time you log in, a 4-digit one-time PIN will be emailed to the email address we have on file for you. You’ll need to check your email to retrieve the one-time PIN and log in again adding the PIN to the end of your password. Future logins will not require this PIN.  Please confirm your correct email is on file by logging in to Online Banking and selecting “My Profile”.

I did not receive a 4-digit PIN, what should I do?

Check your Spam/Junk mail folder in case the email with the PIN went there.  If you still cannot find it, contact our Member Service Center so that another one can be sent.  Please validate the email we have on file is your current email address by logging in to Online Banking and the selecting “My Profile”.

What is the time limit for a One-Time PIN to expire?

24 hours.

If my password has been reset to the default, can I update it in the Mobile Banking app?

No, it must be done in Online Banking.

Can I use the mobile app with multiple Online Banking accounts?

Yes, if you tap on the Users button you may add multiple Online Banking usernames.  When signing in, you can tap on the Users button to choose the account you wish to access.

When trying to make a transfer, some accounts are missing. Why is that?

You will not see IRA accounts or external accounts at other institutions as transfer options in the mobile app.  These features are only available in Online Banking.

Can I schedule future dated transfers between my accounts?

No, currently future date transfers are not supported. This is an Online Banking feature.

What can be deposited using Mobile Deposit®?

You can deposit checks payable in U.S. dollars and drawn at any U.S. bank, including personal, business, and government checks. They must also be payable to, and endorsed by the account holder.  International checks, U.S. savings bonds, U.S. postal money orders, remotely created checks, (whether in paper form or electronically created) convenience checks, (checks drawn against a line of credit) and cash are not eligible for Mobile Deposit®.

When I make a Mobile Deposit® how soon will the funds appear in my account?

Funds are posted by 11:00 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday (excluding holidays).

Can a Mobile Deposit® be stopped once successfully submitted, if I decide I’d rather deposit the check in person?

No, once submitted the deposit cannot be stopped.

What should I do with a check that I’ve deposited through Mobile Deposit?

After verifying the deposit on your statement, we recommend that you retain your check for 30 days. Then, please securely destroy the check.

How long does Mobile Deposit® check history and the images of the deposited checks stay in the app?

You can view your Mobile Deposit® checks for 90 days.


To get help with Mobile Banking, call us toll-free at 844-709-8900.  Qualification criteria apply for mobile deposit. Mobile Deposit is available for iPad3, iPhone4 and newer and most Android devices enabled with a camera using the Apple and Android apps. iPhone and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Mobile Deposit is a trademark of Mitek Systems, Inc. The trademark of Blackberry is owned by Research In Motion and is registered in the United States and may be pending or registered in other countries. NWFCU is not endorsed, sponsored, affiliated with or otherwise authorized by Research In Motion Limited.

What are the costs of owning a home?

The monthly mortgage payment isn't the only cost to consider when deciding if you're ready to buy. You should also keep in mind: 

  • Homeowner's insurance
  • Homeowner association or condo dues
  • Property taxes
  • Maintenance costs

What do I need to take with me when I apply for a mortgage? 

When you apply for a Northwest Federal mortgage loan, we'll need the following:  

  • Borrower(s) information: Social Security number(s), age(s) and Northwest Federal /bank account number(s)
  • Recent employment history with proof of income
  • Assets and debts, including institution name, account type and balance / estimated value

What is the difference between being pre-qualified and preapproved?

Getting pre-qualified means you receive an estimate from a lender that details how much you can likely borrow, based on information about your income, liabilities and debt. Keep in mind that a pre-qualification is just an estimate, and carries no commitment from the lender. 

Getting preapproved takes it a step further; it means that you have submitted a complete loan application, provided all your salary and credit information and the lender has committed to a loan approval amount.

Is it possible to browse through home listings in my area on my own?

Yes! Through our HomeAdvantage® program, Northwest Federal members have unrestricted access to the home listing database real estate agents use. Search online for local homes for sale, research neighborhoods, check comparable sales prices in your area and more with HomeAdvantage®. Enroll in this free program to find an experienced real estate agent in the HomeAdvantage network and to earn HomeAdvantage Cash Rewards* when you buy or sell your home using a HomeAdvantage agent.

What is an escrow account?

An escrow account is a savings account used to pay for expenses such as property taxes, mortgage insurance (if applicable) and homeowner's insurance premiums. At Northwest Federal, we keep two months of escrow funds in reserve. Each year on the anniversary month of your closing date, we perform an escrow analysis to ensure that your current monthly deposits are sufficient to pay these fees. If there is a shortfall or surplus, we raise or lower your monthly mortgage payment accordingly.

What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is special insurance required by a lender if the borrower puts less than a 20% down payment. PMI protects the lender against loss in the event that the borrower defaults.

What will happen at closing?

At closing, you'll sit down with your agent, the seller's agent, the seller and a settlement agent who will administer the paperwork for you to sign. Once that is completed, you'll give your down payment and closing cost money to the settlement agent.

How can I get homeowners insurance?

Northwest Federal members can get home owners insurance through our subsidiary NW Insurance Agency. Visit their website to get details and to request a quote.

Do you offer settlement services?

We offer settlement services through Northwest Title and Escrow (NWTE), a subsidiary of NW Capital Management.  Visit their website for details. 

*The HomeAdvantage program is made available to you through your membership with Northwest Federal Credit Union. Cash Rewards are available to members who register to use HomeAdvantage and who use a real estate agent in the HomeAdvantage network to buy or sell their home. Using Northwest Federal Credit Union for a mortgage is not a requirement to earn Cash Rewards. Cash Rewards amounts are dependent on the commissions paid to the agent. Northwest Federal Credit Union may have specific rules on how your Cash Rewards will be paid out. Cash Rewards are void where prohibited by law or the lender. Please consult with your credit union to get details that may affect you.