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Personal Loans

Personal Loans for Veterans

When you need funds, a personal loan is often a good option because of the flexibility and affordability of this kind of financing. You can use a personal loan for just about anything, including home improvement, debt consolidation, emergency funding, and more. 

This guide will look at personal loans for veterans who have good, fair, and bad credit to help you find a financing option that’s right for you.

In this guide:

Personal loans for veterans

The following loans are offered by online lenders and are not all of the options available. As a veteran, you may be able to receive unique benefits from Navy Federal Credit Union and other veteran-focused organizations. Make sure to compare all of your options.

LightStream

  • Rates (APR): 7.99% – 25.49%
  • Loan Amounts: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Credit Score: 660+

While LightStream has no specific loans for veterans, it offers unsecured personal loans for a variety of uses. With competitive rates, no fees, and no prepayment penalties, LightStream is a great option for borrowers with a strong credit history.

  • Credit score category: Excellent, good
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Not available
  • Deposit time: As soon as the same day
  • Origination fee: 0%
  • Late fee: None
  • Discounts: 0.50% interest rate reduction for enrolling in autopay
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 144 months**

Upgrade

  • Rates (APR): 8.49% – 35.99%
  • Loan Amounts: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Credit Score: 580+

Upgrade is a solid option for borrowers with bad or fair credit, as well as those who need smaller loans. You can check rates without affecting your credit score, and eligibility is based more on free cash flow than other lenders.

  • Credit score category: Fair, bad
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Yes
  • Deposit time: As soon as the next day
  • Origination fee: 2.9% – 8%
  • Late fee: $10
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months

Upstart

  • Rates (APR): 6.12% – 35.99%
  • Loan Amounts: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Credit Score: 580+

Upstart’s online lending platform utilizes artificial intelligence to streamline the loan pricing and funding process. This direct-to-consumer lending platform is a great choice for borrowers with fair or bad credit and they provide a wide range of borrowing amounts.

  • Credit score category: Fair, bad
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Yes
  • Deposit time: As fast as one business day3
  • Origination fee: 0% – 10%
  • Late fee: $5 or 15% of payment (whichever is higher)
  • Repayment terms: 36 months or 60 months1

Does the VA give personal loans? 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t issue any loans itself, and it doesn’t back personal loans for veterans. 

However, if you’re seeking a personal loan to pay for home improvements, and you took out your mortgage from a VA lender, you may be able to get a VA home improvement loan.

However, if the changes you want to make are merely cosmetic and won’t substantially improve the habitability of the home, you might need to opt for one of the lenders above instead.

What is a military debt consolidation loan?

Service members or veterans who own a home can consolidate high-interest debt, such as credit card or student loan debt, with the VA’s Cash-Out Refinance Loan, a VA-guaranteed home loan that lets you borrow against your home’s equity.

This loan lets you refinance your mortgage by borrowing more than you still owe, usually at a lower interest rate. You can use the balance to pay off debt or for other purchases, and roll repayment into your mortgage’s monthly payment.

>>Read more: How to get a personal loan

Other grants, assistance programs, and emergency loans for veterans

If you don’t want to take on debt or can’t qualify for a loan, look into these nonprofit programs that provide financial assistance for servicemembers and veterans facing financial difficulties.

  • Disabled American Veterans Charity: DAV helps more than 1 million veterans each year to access disability payments, employment opportunities, financial benefits, and education.
  • USACares: This nonprofit provides career, housing, and emergency assistance to post-9/11 veterans and military families. It also assists veterans who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or military sexual assault.
  • Military OneSource: This resource site for servicemembers and veterans provides 24/7 support on issues relevant to military life, including where to find loans, assistance, or grants.

*Your loan terms, including APR, may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term length, and your credit profile. Excellent credit is required to qualify for lowest rates. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice.

**Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.95% APR with a term of three years would result in 36 monthly payments of $303.99.

1 The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.97% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $12,646 including a $626 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application.

2 Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.

3 If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.