Best Personal Loans for Veterans with Bad Credit

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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 history are financial realities facing many of our veterans today, especially those who valiantly served post-9/11.

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And what’s even more shocking is that, despite the preponderance of veteran-focused financial and educational resources, the government has yet to set up a direct personal loan program specifically designed for our nation’s heroes.

This means military veterans who find themselves unable to make ends meet are left with the same personal loan options as the rest of us. Unfortunately, traditional personal installment loans, which sometimes have steep interest rates and credit score requirements, are just not a good option.

There are, however, some online lenders out there waiting to connect you with the financial resources you need, even if your credit scores leave something to be desired.

Top 6 Personal Loans for Veterans with Bad Credit

No matter what you need a personal loan for, here are some of the best online lenders and personal loan providers to consider if you’re a veteran with bad credit.

1. CashUSA

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Offering personal installment loans of up to $10,000, which can be used for any purpose, CashUSA is a great resource to turn to for veterans working on building their credit score. Its easy application process is done entirely online, and you may be able to receive the funds in as little as one business day.

  • Loan Amount: $500 to $10,000
  • APR: 5.99% to 35.99%
  • Loan Term: 3 to 72 months

2. BadCreditLoans

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There’s no need to be worried or embarrassed about your credit history when you apply for a personal loan at BadCreditLoans.

Along with actually getting you the personal loan you need, BadCreditLoans is also committed to helping veterans get back on their feet with as much empowerment and information as possible. The company offers a wide range of free financial resources, including information on how to spot scams and basic personal finance best practices.

  • Loan Amount: $500 to $10,000
  • APR: 5.99% to 35.99%
  • Loan Term: 3 to 60 months

3. PersonalLoans.com

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This large online lender network is available to borrowers in all 50 states, and you don’t have to have a perfect credit score to achieve application approval.

You’ll find out your decision in seconds and could have the funds within as little as one business day. With a maximum loan of $35,000, PersonalLoans.com is a great option for veterans who need a fairly substantial windfall.

  • Loan Amount: $500 to $35,000
  • APR: 5.99% to 35.99%
  • Loan Term: 3 to 72 months

Banks and Credit Unions for Veterans and Their Families

Another option available to veterans (and not the general public) is to open a bank account with a military-focused credit union, association, or bank. These financial institutions may be able to provide you exclusive financial products, including personal, auto, and home loans that will help you take control of your financial future for the long run. They generally come at substantially lower fees, and a lower interest rate than traditional lenders might offer.

4. USAA

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Proudly serving military members and their families since 1922, the United States Automobile Association (also known as the USAA) is so much more than a military-focused bank.

It also offers its members investment products, retirement accounts, and auto, homeowners, and rental insurance. And yes, they have a competitive personal loan program that can help you get where you’re going.

USAA membership is open to both active duty military and veterans, as well as their families. In most cases, you’ll learn your approved interest rate within seconds of submitting your online loan application. The money is typically deposited into your USAA bank account on the same day.

  • Loan Amount: $2,500 to $20,000 or more
  • APR: 9.49% to 11.49%
  • Loan Term: 12 to 84 months

USAA also provides a military separation checklist to assist with the transition from active duty to veteran status that helps you plan for the future.

5. Navy Federal Credit Union

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Membership at Navy Federal Credit Union is open to veterans, active-duty military members, ex-member of the armed forces, National Guard members, Department of Defense civilian employees, and family members of current members.

Along with a slew of other convenient and well-priced banking services, Navy Federal Credit Union offers personal loans of up to $50,000, with interest rates starting as low as 8.19%. NFCU’s unsecured personal loans come with much longer repayment terms (up to 15 years) than most lenders.

NFCU doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement, but good credit borrowers have a better chance of qualifying and receiving favorable terms.

  • Loan Amount: Up to $50,000
  • APR Range: 8.19% to 18.00%
  • Loan Term: Up to 180 months

6. Pentagon Federal Credit Union

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PenFed offers membership and services to those eligible via association membership, employment, military affiliation, and more. With its mobile-friendly customer service options, you’ll have access to and control over your account 24/7.

What’s more, PenFed offers personal loans starting with interest rates as low as 6.49%. Plus, you won’t have to worry about any origination fees or varying loan rates that can ruin your budget. You can use the money however you see fit, and you’ll have up to 60 months to repay it.

  • Loan Amount: Variable
  • APR Range: Starting at 6.49%, but depends on creditworthiness
  • Loan Term: Up to 60 months

Military Loans for Veterans to Pay Bills or Consolidate Debt

Although it’s never ideal to borrow money to cover unsecured loans you already owe, unemployed or disabled veterans may sometimes find themselves with few other options. This is true, especially if they’re already drowning in debt.

And if you’re dealing with revolving balances as well as bills, the minor windfall of a personal loan can help you get out in front of a bad financial situation. In fact, many veterans use debt consolidation loans to consolidate credit card debt and move forward on building stronger credit for the future.

By paying off multiple debts with one personal loan (and then focusing on aggressively paying down that one), you’ll simplify your monthly payments and potentially save a heap of money on interest.

Best Resources for Veterans

If you’re having a hard time qualifying for a short-term personal loan, other options may be available. In addition, there are other financial resources available to help veterans get back on their feet.

VA Benefits

The best place for veterans to start is by checking out the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA created a federal benefits guide to let veterans and their spouses know what options are available to them. This guide provides information on disability compensation, housing relocation, and educational assistance.

Grants

There are also several federal grants available to veterans and family members. For instance, the Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot was created for veterans living in rural or underserved communities. The goal of the project is to provide financial help to veterans to readjust to civilian life.

The Unmet Needs Program is a grant for military families facing financial struggles as a result of a deployment. The program comes with a grant for up to $1,500, which can be used for expenses like housing, utilities, food, and clothing.

And veterans who are looking to start a business may qualify for a small business grant. Plus, they may be eligible for additional training and development.

Job Training

Blue Star Families is an organization that specializes in helping veterans get back into the workforce. The nonprofit offers job training, mentoring, and networking events for veterans.

And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a program for veterans called Hiring Our Heroes. This initiative helps veterans find employment opportunities through job fairs. The program also provides mentorship and free job skills training.

Bottom Line

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 unions above that offers financial assistance to military service members. They can help you get yourself back on your financial footing and managing your wealth on your own terms.

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