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Whether you’re trying to pay for a move or cover the cost of a major home renovation as a veteran, a personal loan can give you the money you need, when you need it. And there are a number of veteran loans designed just for you.
Here’s what you need to know about your personal loan options and other financial resources:
Lenders that work specifically with veterans
There are two financial institutions that cater exclusively to military personnel, veterans and their families.
If you are a military service member, veteran, or spouse of a military member or veteran, or if your parents were USAA members, you may also be eligible for USAA membership. USAA is a full-service bank that offers checking accounts, savings accounts, and loans.
Loans range from as little as $2,500 to over $25,000. If you sign up for automatic payments, you may qualify for lower rates with USAA. If approved for a loan, the loan can be paid into your bank account the very next day.
Federal Naval Credit Union
The Navy Federal Credit Union is a credit union rather than a bank. Since credit unions tend to have less stringent requirements than traditional banks, you are more likely to qualify for a loan than with a bank, when you have less than stellar credit.
The Navy Federal Credit Union is open to veterans, active duty military personnel, civilian employees of the Department of Defense, and family members of current members. With Navy Federal Credit Union Personal Loans, they offer a loan amount of up to $50,000 with loan terms of up to 60 months.
Lenders who work with veterans with bad credit
Here are Credible’s partner lenders who work with borrowers with poor to fair credit. Credit unions and online lenders may be suitable for you in this case if your credit history is not the best.
LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lender, which means that individual investors pool their resources to offer loans to people like you. The application process is quick and easy, and you can find out if you’re approved for a loan in minutes.
LendingClub offers loans between $1,000 and $40,000, with up to five years to repay the loan. Even better, the company’s minimum credit score is only 600. They offer rates between
7.04% – 35.89% APR
Although Avant has higher interest rates than other lenders, it can still be a smart choice. They work with lower credit scores than many other lenders; so you might qualify for a loan with a score as low as 580. They offer loans from $2,000 to $35,000 to pay for your needs, with up to five years to pay it off, and rates between
9.95% – 35.99% APR
Lenders who work with veterans with good credit
If you have good to excellent credit, you should compare the best personal lenders to ensure you get the most favorable terms. You can work with an online lender and get the money you need in a day or two. Here are Credible’s partner lenders who work with borrowers with good credit.
LightStream offers several types of personal loans, from loans for kitchen or bathroom renovations to debt consolidation loans. Their auto finance rates, for example, are pretty amazing. Depending on the type of loan you choose, and if you subscribe to automatic payments, you may be eligible for rates between
2.99% – 19.99% APR
. And, if you qualify to borrow more than $25,000, you could have up to 12 years to pay off the loan.
SoFi is another great option for veterans with good credit. If you have a big expense coming up — like a roof repair — and need quick access to big bucks, SoFi might be for you. The company offers loans up to $100,000.
As a SoFi customer, you also have access to a suite of benefits that could be particularly beneficial for veterans entering the civilian workforce, such as career coaching and networking events.
Other Financial Resources for Veterans
Before submitting your personal loan application, it’s a good idea to exhaust all your other options first so you don’t go into unnecessary debt. As a veteran, you may qualify for low-interest loans, grants, and other forms of support.
Department of Veterans Affairs
If you are a veteran and need money to pay for a major purchase or consolidate debt, one option to consider is to take out a VA refinance loan from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). With a VA home loan, you can borrow against the equity in your home to meet major expenses. Since your home serves as collateral, you may be able to qualify for a much lower interest rate than if you had taken out an unsecured personal loan.
If you’re struggling to make ends meet and need short-term financial assistance, such as help with a monthly payment like your mortgage or utilities, contact 2-1-1. This is a national information and referral hotline that can put you in touch with local organizations that provide financial support to veterans.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
If you are experiencing unexpected financial hardship as a result of deployment or military-related activities, you may be eligible for an Unmet Need Grant from the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. If you qualify, you could get a grant of $1,500 to meet necessary expenses. It’s a grant, not a loan, so it never needs to be repaid.
Apply for a Loan as a Veteran
Before applying for a loan as a veteran, be sure to shop around and compare pre-qualified rates from multiple personal lenders. By comparing purchases, you can make sure you get the best low interest personal loan for your situation.