Are you in need of a personal loan to help cover some of your expenses? Looking for the best VA personal loans available? Maybe you need to consolidate debt, fund a home improvement project, or pay off expensive medical bills.
Whatever your reason may be, as a veteran, you have a few more choices than the average citizen. Several personal loan lenders that specialize in serving members of the military, some of which offer unique benefits.
But can they offer you the best deal?
Below you’ll discover what you should look for in a personal loan, our picks for the top VA personal loans of 2018, and some useful tips to help you find the best lender for your specific situation.
Best VA Personal loans for veterans
When choosing a personal loan, there are a few key factors to consider. First, why do you want one?
“Is it going to help you get on your feet or put you into a deeper hole?,” says Katie Ross, Education and Development Manager of the American Consumer Credit Counseling Organization.
Before taking out a loan, Ross advises you to consider whether or not your reason for doing so is a responsible one.
4 vital factors to consider when shopping for a personal loan
If you decide a personal loan is the right move, here’s what you need to know before purchasing one.
1) Loan amounts, loan terms, and interest rates
With each lender, you will want to find out the loan amounts, loan terms, and interest rates that are available.
- The loan amount minimum and maximum limits need to suit the amount you need.
- Loan terms will vary as some lenders will offer longer terms than others. Longer terms can lower your monthly payments and give you more time to pay back the loan, but can also cost you more in interest in the long run.
- Interest rates will vary in amount and type. Lenders may offer fixed rates, variable rates, or both. Fixed rates offer security because your payment amount will always be the same, but the rates usually start higher than variable rates. Be sure to check the rate ranges a lender offers and get a free quote (where available) to find out what rate you will get.
These factors will allow you to calculate the base cost of your personal loan.
Another important factor to consider is the fees. The four main fees to look out for are those for application, origination, prepayment, and late payments. Most companies no longer charge application or prepayment fees, but make sure to check.
Late fees are standard but shouldn’t be out of line, compared to other lenders. Origination fees can be a game-changer. These can range from one to 10% of your loan. They are often bundled in, so you don’t have to pay them out-of-pocket. However, they do significantly add to the cost of borrowing.
3) Customer experience
Beyond the basics, the experience you will have with a lender is important.
How easy is their application process? How long does it take to get the money? Can you manage your loan online? How is the customer service? Are there any programs in place if you fall behind on payments for some reason?
All of these questions should be asked of potential lenders. You can also learn a lot from reading real-user reviews on loan companies.
One benefit of lenders that specialize in serving military members (both active and retired) is that they can be more flexible with approvals.
3 Best VA personal loans of 2018
USAA was founded in 1922 by 25 army officers who couldn’t get insurance for their vehicles. It has since grown into an organization that now provides financial services and insurance to 11.4 million members.
One of its offerings is a personal loan for veterans. It is an unsecured loan, and the proceeds can be used for any purpose.
To apply, you go online and fill out the simple application. There is no application or origination fee and, in most cases, you will get an instant decision with funding available the next day.
Loan amounts start at $2,500 and go to $20,000+, while loan terms range from 12 to 84 months. Interests rates are fixed-only, and there are programs to help you if you fall behind on payments.
| Pros|| Cons|
2) Omni Financial
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, from loans to help veterans pay bills to loans for active members who need to pay for emergency expenses.
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 to you.
And don’t let bad credit stop you from applying. This lender is understanding of the credit difficulties service members face and will work with you.
| Pros|| Cons|
Pioneer Services is the military loans division of the MidCountry Bank with over 30 years of experience serving the military community. It provides personal loans to active duty, medically-retired, and career-retired service members. When determining eligibility, Pioneer looks beyond just credit history and weighs several other factors unique to military life.
Loans amounts range from $500 to $10,000. Similar to Omni Financial, Pioneer also offers the 15-day buyer’s remorse period in which you can cancel the loan at no cost to you. Further, the application is easy and can be completed online, in-person, or over the phone. Get an answer within 24 to 48 hours and have the money directly deposited into your bank account.
| Pros|| Cons|
Beyond VA personal loans
If you only look at the personal loans offered through companies that specialize in serving veterans, you may end up paying more than you need to.
Many non-exclusive lenders such as OppLoans, RISE, and KwikCash have cropped up over the last decade creating more competition in the loan industry. This has driven lenders to specialize in specific niches, like serving individuals with poor-to-fair credit.
But where can you find them? See the top personal loan picks for 2017
Featured lenders for personal loans
|Lending Partner||Minimum FICO score||Estimated APR|
|600||15.49% – 34.99%*||Apply|
|680||4.99% – 14.24% (with AutoPay)*||Apply|
5.49% – 14.29% APR (with AutoPay)*
4.98% – 11.44% APR (with AutoPay)*
|660||5.99% – 35.89%*||Apply|
|620||4.93% – 29.99%*||Apply|
|580||9.95% – 35.99%*||Apply|
|700||5.25% – 12%*||Apply|
Unsecured loans for veterans: Get lenders competing for your business
SuperMoney has made the process a lot easier and quicker for you with our exclusive personal loan engine.
It allows you to get pre-approved for a loan without any impact on your credit. All you have to do is answer a few questions, and the loan engine will take care of the rest.
It will communicate with our large network of lenders to generate personalized offers for you so that you can get an idea what you qualify for ahead of time. You can then compare quotes from lenders competing for your business.
You can also visit our personal loans review page to compare all the lenders side-by-side and read real user reviews.
With this knowledge, you can apply with other lenders you are interested in to see how their quotes stack up. Then, you can rest assured you will find the best deal on your VA personal loan.
Get personalized rates now with SuperMoney’s loan offer engine!