United States military personnel and their families enjoy a number of benefits, one of which is access to the United Services Automobile Association (USAA). USAA provides banking, investing, and insurance services. At one time, it also offered student loans.
Like other student loan lenders that have changed their product offerings in recent years, USAA also stopped providing student loans. This change left some borrowers confused about how to handle their student loans and about what benefits, if any, are available to military personnel.
To help answer any lingering questions, here’s everything you need to know about USAA student loans.
Started in 1922, USAA is a now a Fortune 500 company with over 12 million members. It offers financial products and services with attractive rates and perks.
Membership is open to the following groups:
- Active, retired, and honorably separated members of the U.S. military
- Cadets or midshipmen in training academies within the U.S.
- Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) members
- Adult children of current or former USAA members
- Widows, widowers, and former spouses of members who had an established USAA membership while married
USAA student loans
USAA once offered private student loans through a partnership with Wells Fargo. USAA members automatically received a 0.25% interest rate discount.
However, in December 2016, the company announced it would no longer offer member discounts for new Wells Fargo student loans. It advised borrowers to explore their student loan options through Wells Fargo directly. Additionally, USAA noted that the change had no impact on existing Wells Fargo student loans.
What to do if you have USAA student loans
Borrowers with USAA student loans should follow the original repayment schedule and direct any questions to Wells Fargo by calling (877) 336-1316.
You might choose to refinance your student loans to get a better interest rate or repayment terms or a lower monthly payment, but it isn’t necessary if you’re happy with your current terms from Wells Fargo.
How to refinance your USAA student loans
When you refinance your student loans, the new lender will pay off the remaining balance on your current student loans and issue you a new loan. The new loan might offer a lower interest rate or better repayment terms.
If you’re interested, here are some options to refinance your USAA student loans:
|Loan||Interest Rates||Loan Terms||Details|
|Earnest||2.57% - 6.32%||5 to 20 years||Earnest provides the flexibility to pick any monthly payment and term from five to 20 years with no set income requirements. You also can refinance your loan for free, change payment dates, and skip a payment once a year and make it up later.|
|Citizens Bank||2.90% - 7.34%||5, 10, 15, or 20 years||Citizens Bank offers an interest rate reduction on a new Education Refinance Loan if you or your co-signer has a qualifying account with Citizens at the time of application. It claims student loan customers have saved an average of $1,536 per year.|
|EDvestinU||3.85% - 7.89%||5, 10, 15, or 20 years||With EDvestinU, you can refinance your student loans while you’re in school and pay only the monthly interest while enrolled at least half time. You also can get an interest rate reduction for setting up automatic monthly payments. There’s a minimum income requirement of $30,000.|
Our student loan refinancing calculator can help you make a decision, as it allows you to compare your current student loan rates with multiple student loan refinancing options.
If you’re looking for a new student loan
Since USAA no longer provides student loans through Wells Fargo, you might be looking for something comparable.
But first you should see what federal aid you’re eligible to receive by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After you apply, you’ll find out which grants, work-study opportunities, and federal student loan options are available to you.
If you still need money to finance your education, private student loans might help you fill the gap. Here are some private student loan options:
|Loan||Interest Rates||Loan Terms||Details|
|Sallie Mae||4.00% - 11.85%||5 to 15 years||Not only does Sallie Mae offer multiple in-school repayment options, but it also has dedicated military customer service representatives to help answer questions about your student loans.|
|Citizens Bank||3.80% - 11.99%||5, 10, or 15 years||In addition to refinancing student loans, Citizens Bank also offers private student loans. You can borrow between $1,000 and $295,000 depending on your education level.|
|LendKey||4.53% - 9.69%||10 years||LendKey might consider your academic credentials when it determines your interest rate. Bonus: You’ll never have fees, and LendKey offers co-signer release to creditworthy borrowers.|
This information is just a starting point for finding the best private student loan to finance your education. Thoroughly comparing prospective lenders to find out which ones have better terms, lower fees, and competitive interest rates can make it easier for you to manage your debt when it’s time to repay the money you borrowed.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
1 = Citizens Disclaimer.
2 = CollegeAve Autopay Disclaimer: All rates shown include the auto-pay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
3 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
|3.54% - 12.07%2||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CollegeAve|
|4.11% - 12.19%||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Ascent|
|4.00% - 11.85%*3||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SallieMae|
|2.93% - 9.67%||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CommonBond|
|3.80% - 11.99%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit Citizens|
|4.53% - 9.69%||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit LendKey|