5 Best Personal Loans for Veterans and Active-Duty Military

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How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

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Most Americans face financial challenges as they go through life, but if you’re a veteran or active-duty member of the armed forces, your service entitles you to special resources that could prove to be a big help.

From consolidating credit card debt to financing a cross-country move, you might be wondering if personal loans for veterans or military members could help you reach your financial goals.

Taking on debt is a big decision that requires careful consideration by veteran and military families. With that in mind, here are the loan options that are a great fit for current and former military personnel.

Best personal loans for veterans and military members

When comparing personal loans for veterans and military personnel, it can be hard to know where to turn first. To give you a head start, we researched options — from military lenders to traditional banks — to find those that meet a variety of needs.

Here are the best military personal loans of 2018.

LenderBest for
USAA
Strong military service member benefits
LendingClub
Affordable peer-to-peer loans
Avant
Low credit score requirement
Navy Federal Credit Union
Both secured and unsecured loans with longer repayment terms

USAA: Best active-military benefits for personal loans

Many military veterans and service members already bank with USAA, which could make it a great choice for personal loans.

It doesn’t offer the lowest rates out there, but it does allow borrowers to request a range of loan amounts and terms. And while many lenders will increase rates for longer terms, USAA personal loans carry the same base annual percentage rate (APR) on personal loan terms of one to six years.

If you take out a USAA personal loan and then enter active duty, the lender offers an upgraded Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) benefit. Most lenders will lower active-duty servicemembers’ rates to 6.00%. But USAA borrowers who qualify for the SCRA benefit get a 4.00% rate instead.

Here are some additional details for USAA personal loans:

  • Loan amounts of $2,500 to $20,000 or more

  • Repayment terms of 12 to 84 months

  • Personal loan rates starting at 8.99% APR, as of June 8, 2018

  • Lower 4.00% rate for borrowers who qualify for the SCRA benefit
  • No origination or application fees

Visit USAA

LendingClub: Flexible personal loans for military members

When it comes to flexibility, LendingClub has a few options that can make it a smart choice. This peer-to-peer lending platform will accept loan applicants with FICO scores as low as 600.

Even better is how the lender spells out benefits it offers to military service members and their families. LendingClub personal loans follow all guidelines set by the Military Lending Act.

LendingClub sets a maximum 6.00% rate for military personnel who meet SCRA requirements. Here are some other highlights of LendingClub’s loans:

  • Loan amounts from $1,000 to $40,000

  • Repayment terms of 36 or 60 months

  • Personal loan rates between 10.68% and 35.89%

  • An origination fee of 1% to 6%

Visit LendingClub

Avant: Apply for a loan with imperfect credit

Avant doesn’t offer the cheapest personal loans for veterans or military members. But if you’re worried about getting denied for a personal loan, consider starting with Avant. The lender considers applicants with credit scores as low as 580, which means that you could get a loan with less-than-perfect credit.

You also don’t have to guess whether you could qualify for an personal loans through Avant. Avant can use a soft credit check to give you a preview of your loan options. A soft check won’t affect your credit score.

Avant also offers SCRA loan benefits to active-duty military members.

Here are some additional details about loans through Avant:

  • Loan amounts from $2,000 to $35,000

  • Repayment terms of 24 to 60 months

  • Personal loan rates between 9.95% and 35.99%

  • Administration fee of up to 4.75%

Visit Avant

Navy Federal Credit Union: Secured or unsecured loans

While most personal loans are unsecured, Navy Federal Credit Union also offers secured loans guaranteed by a borrower’s asset. These secured loans are easy to qualify for, even with poorer credit.

Navy Federal Credit Union offers low rates on its savings-secured loan. Rates start at 2.25% APR as of June 8, 2018. The credit union offers unsecured loans, too.

The credit union’s loan terms are some of the longest available. That could help you nab more affordable monthly payments. Here are some additional details of Navy Federal Credit Union’s personal loans:

  • Loan amounts of up to $50,000
  • Repayment terms of up to 180 months
  • Personal loan rates of 7.99% to 18.00% APR on unsecured loans, or the deposit rate plus 2.00% for secured loans, as of June 8, 2018. For the latest rates, click here.

Visit Navy Federal Credit Union

Choosing the best military personal loan for you

If you’re considering a personal loan for veterans or service members, you must keep in mind how borrowing will affect your finances both now and in the future.

Here are some key factors to look at when choosing a personal loan.

  • Creditworthiness: Some lenders will offer personal loans for those with weaker credit scores. Others only provide financing to applicants with excellent credit. If you know your FICO score, you can identify lenders that are a good match and more likely to approve you.

  • Loan terms: Figure out how much you want to borrow and calculate your personal loan payments to ensure you can afford that amount. Choose a loan term that balances getting out of debt fast with keeping monthly payments affordable.

  • Military benefits: Ask if the lender offers specific benefits on personal loans for veterans and military members. It should be able to tell you if it has SCRA rate discounts or other help for military personnel.

  • Interest rates and fees: Lastly, consider what you’ll pay to borrow from each lender. Request and compare personal loan rates from lenders that will provide one using a soft credit check. Watch for other costs such as origination fees.

Not every lender will be perfect for every applicant. A USAA loan might make the most sense for an active-duty service member, for example.

The best way to know whether a lender is a good fit is to compare personal loan options. By doing so, you can find a solution that matches your needs and lifestyle as a military member or veteran.

Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to personal loans. None of the financial institutions mentioned have provided or reviewed the information shared in this article.

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How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

RATES (APR)loan amount
5.99% – 18.85%1 $5,000 to $100,000
7.86% – 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000
5.94% – 35.97%* $1,000 to $50,000
99.00% – 199.00%2 $500 to $4,000
5.99% – 24.99%3 $5,000 to $40,000
7.99% – 29.99%4 $7,500 to $40,000
compare rates on Lendingtree now
NMLS #1136: Terms & Conditions Apply
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.85% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 19, 2020 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.
  5. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.

Opploans Disclosures

Direct Deposit required for payroll.

Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.

  1. To qualify, a borrower must (i) be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; (ii) reside in a state where OppLoans operates; (iii) have direct deposit; (iv) meet income requirements; (v) be 18 years of age (19 in Alabama); and, (vi) meet verification standards.
  2. NV Residents: The use of high-interest loans services should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction.

  3. OppLoans performs no credit checks through the three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Applicants’ credit scores are provided by Clarity Services, Inc., a credit reporting agency.

  4. Based on customer service ratings on Google and Facebook. Testimonials reflect the individual’s opinion and may not be illustrative of all individual experiences with OppLoans. Check loan reviews.

  5.  

    Rates and terms vary by state.

3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.
4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. The loan terms presented are not guaranteed and APRs presented are estimates only. To obtain a loan you must submit additional information and documentation and all loans are subject to credit review and our approval process. The range of APRs is 7.99% to 29.99% and your actual APR will depend upon factors including your credit score, usage and history, the requested loan amount, the stated loan purpose, and the term of the requested loan. To qualify for a 7.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available. All loans are made by Cross River Bank and MetaBank®, N.A., Members FDIC.
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s lending partners. Information on Upgrade’s lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.