When you’re brave enough to risk it all for your country, there’s no excuse to be left in a sticky financial situation once you’re back in your civvies. But unfortunately, unemployment and poor credit are financial realities facing many of our veterans today.
Veterans transitioning to civilian life often face financial challenges, such as loss of military benefits or difficulty finding a job. They may need to rely on grants or other financial assistance, or perhaps take out a personal loan.
There are, however, some lenders and financial companies out there waiting to connect you with the resources you need even if your credit leaves something to be desired.
Getting a personal loan requires a few steps, including checking your credit score and shopping multiple lenders, especially if you have bad credit. Options include online lenders and credit unions, some of which cater to veterans and may offer lower rates and more flexible terms for bad credit borrowers.
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.
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
Omni Financial has 45 years of experience providing military loans to members of the Coast Guard, Marines, Army, and Navy. This lender helps active and career-retired individuals get money for whatever they need.
Loan amounts range from $500 to $10,000, and repayment periods range from six to 36 months. If you change your mind after taking out the loan, you can cancel it within 15 days at no cost.
And don’t let bad credit stop you from applying. This lender understands the credit difficulties service members face and will work with you.
Before submitting an application to BadCreditLoans.com, you must have consistent income for the previous 90 days. There is flexibility with the source, however, which can come from employment, disability, or social security payments. You’re not guaranteed to receive a loan offer, but if you do, you also aren’t required to accept if you don’t like the loan terms.
Features and Benefits
-No obligation or fee to check loan approval
-High approval rate despite credit history
-Funds available as soon as next business day
-Assisting people with bad credit since 1998
•Loan Amount — $500 – $5,000
•Loan Term — 3 to 60 months
•APR — Varies
Pentagon Federal Credit Union could be a good bet for small expenses. PenFed requires a lower minimum and maximum than most of the competition. It also operates offices in all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and even Okinawa, which is great for active-duty members that move around a lot.
You’ll could have a hard time qualifying if your credit is less than stellar, however.
•Loan amounts: $500 to $25,000
•APR range: 6.49% to 17.99%
•Loan terms: 12 to 60 months
•Eligibility: At least 18 years old, US citizen or permanent resident, good credit standing and PenFed member
LendingPoint is an option if you have bad credit and need fast cash for an emergency, with funding as fast as the next day in some cases. The lender requires a minimum credit score of 600, but it also considers factors such as employment status, credit history and debt-to-income ratio.
•APR: 15.49% – 35.99%
•Loan amount: $2,000 – $25,000
•Loan terms: 2 to 4 years
•Minimum credit score: 600
•Time to funding: Next day, in some cases
•Fees: Origination fee of up to 6% of loan amount; fees for late payment.
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union, which was founded in 1933, has a long history of serving current and former military members. The credit union offers various financial products, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards and personal loans.
At Navy Federal Credit Union, you can apply for a personal loan of up to $50,000. Interest rates are tiered based on the loan terms.
Your creditworthiness will determine the interest rate on your loan. If you are approved for a loan, you may be able to get it deposited directly into your checking or savings account. As with USAA, you will need to become a member of Navy Federal Credit Union to use its services.
As our nation’s first line of defense, our veterans and military members shouldn’t have to worry about dealing with a financial headache once they’re back on homeland soil. So choose one of the personal loans or credit union memberships above to help you get yourself back on your financial footing and managing your wealth on your own terms.