USAA Student Loans Are No More — Here Are the Alternatives

 January 30, 2020
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USAA student loans

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Private Student Loan rates starting at 2.49% APR

2.49% to 13.85% 1

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2.55% to 11.44% 2

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3.25% to 13.59% 3

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  • Variable APR

USAA no longer offers student loans through its partnership with Wells Fargo. Borrowers with USAA student loans qualified for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount with Wells Fargo until December 2016.

Whether you have older USAA student loans or are looking for a lender with similar offerings, here’s what you need to know…

… if you have USAA student loans
… if you want USAA student loans
What to know before you borrow

If you have USAA student loans

The discontinued program from USAA, which offers membership to military service members and eligible family, has no impact on your repayment. But if you’re unhappy with your loan experience, you could consider refinancing your student loans.

How to repay USAA loans

Wells Fargo always managed USAA student loans, so nothing changed when the program stopped. Your student loan repayment would have the same terms and due dates. If you have any questions about your account or need to make a payment, contact Wells Fargo at 800-658-3567.

USAA partnered with Wells Fargo to offer discounts to its members. Previously, USAA members qualified for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount, in addition to the same discount for signing up for automatic payments.

How to refinance USAA loans

To refinance your student loans, work with a private lender to take out a loan for the amount of your existing debt. Your new loan will have different repayment terms, including:

  • Interest rate
  • Length of repayment
  • Minimum monthly payment

You may be able to reduce your interest rate and save money If you have good credit or a cosigner with good credit. Or, you can extend your repayment term to reduce your monthly payment.

If you’re dissatisfied with your loan experience with Wells Fargo, or if your credit score has improved since you applied for a loan, compare offers from refinancing lenders to get your best offer.

If you want USAA student loans

You’re out of luck since USAA student loans are no longer an option, but there are private student loan lenders that offer similar interest rates, perks and discounts. These are some of the options to consider.

1. College Ave

College Ave offers private student loans with variable and fixed interest rates, as USAA did.

With fixed-rate loans, the interest rate stays the same for the entirety of the loan. With a variable-rate loan, the interest rate starts off low but can increase over time. If you’re looking for the lowest rate possible to pay off your loan aggressively, opting for a variable-rate loan could make the most sense.

College Ave student loan borrowers can choose from the following repayment terms:

  • 5 years
  • 8 years
  • 10 years
  • 15 years

The lender offers several different repayment options, including deferred and interest-only payments, so you can decide what works for you. You can get an interest rate quote in just a few minutes without impacting your credit score. College Ave is the only lender among the ones we’ll highlight that allows you to get a rate quote before officially applying.

2. Citizens Bank

With a Citizens Bank student loan, you can lower your interest rate by 0.50 percentage points through loyalty and autopay discounts. That’s the same total you could get with the discounts previously offered by USAA and Wells Fargo.

Citizens Bank offers a multi-year approval program. With this program, you’ll know how much money Citizens Bank will lend you over the course of your education. After your first year applying for a loan, the application process is simpler so you can get the money you need faster.

Citizens Bank offers fewer repayment terms (five, 10 and 15 years) than College Ave. Borrowers who need a cosigner could seek cosigner release after 36 on-time payments.

3. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo still offers student loans, but USAA members no longer qualify for a membership discount when they apply.

With a Wells Fargo student loan, you can qualify for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate discount if you’re an existing banking customer. Repayment terms are typically 15 or 20 years.

The lender does offer a loan targeted at students attending two-year or nontraditional schools or career training programs.

What to know before you borrow

When it comes to paying for college, federal student loans should always be your first choice. Federal loans tend to have lower interest rates and better repayment options than private loans. However, you may not qualify for enough federal aid to cover the total cost of attendance. If that’s the case, private student loans can play an important role in your education.

While USAA student loans are no longer an option — the company still offers insurance, banking, investment and retirement products — you can find offers from our private student loan lender partners.

Jordi Lippe-McGraw contributed to this report.

Need a student loan?

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Variable APRDegrees That QualifyMore Info
2.49% – 13.85%1 Undergraduate

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