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USAA was established in 1922 as a cooperative of Army officers to insure each other’s vehicles. Today, USAA is a fully integrated financial services company focused on serving military members, veterans, and their families. It is important to note that in order to use any of the services offered by USAA, including personal loans, you must be a member of USAA.
Membership in USAA is open to current and former military members, their spouses, and their children. Children of members (even if they are not military) may join USAA. You can find detailed eligibility criteria and membership benefits on the USAA website.
USAA does offer personal loans, but they are somewhat limited in nature, with loan amounts between $2,500 and $20,000. However, it is possible to get money quickly, usually within 24 hours of approval. Plus, there are a variety of terms to choose from, from one year to seven years. USAA is also offering a 0.25% fare discount if you sign up for AutoPay. However, it’s hard to get a rate quote unless you’re a member, and it’s hard to find loan information without access to the membership area.
- 1 What you need to know before getting a personal loan
- 2 Pros and Cons of USAA Personal Loans
- 3 USAA compared to other lenders
- 4 How to qualify for a USAA loan
- 5 Who should get a USAA loan
- 6 How to apply for a USAA loan
- 7 USAA Personal Loan FAQs
What you need to know before getting a personal loan
When you use a personal loan, you can get access to an upfront sum of money quickly. However, it is important to create a payment plan before moving forward. Research your options and shop around for different lenders to see which one offers the best personal loan rate for your situation.
When shopping for a personal loan, keep in mind that lenders advertise their best rates and the quote you receive may be higher than advertised. Your personal loan rate is determined by several factors, including your credit score and income, as well as your desired loan term and amount. If you’re not happy with your rate and terms, you may be able to refinance your loan in the future, but that’s not a guaranteed option.
Some lenders will pre-qualify you for a loan or allow you to check your rate through a soft credit inquiry. A soft inquiry will not affect your credit score, while a hard credit inquiry may slightly lower your credit score. Most lenders move forward with a firm credit inquiry once you submit an official application. Also, your interest rate can potentially change from the preliminary quote once your official application is submitted. Don’t forget to check other prepayment fees and penalties before moving forward.
Once your loan is funded, consider setting up automatic payments to ensure you don’t miss payments. By making payments on time, you can avoid late fees and additional interest charges, as well as keep your credit score in good shape.
Finally, understand the difference between a secured and unsecured loan. A secured loan requires a valuable asset, such as a home or car, to use as collateral. If you don’t pay, the lender can repossess your property and sell it to recoup its losses. On the other hand, an unsecured loan does not require collateral. As a result of this increased risk to the lender, the rates on an unsecured loan may be higher than on a secured loan. However, with a secured loan, you risk losing a valuable asset if you can’t make the payments.
Alternatives to personal loans
There are many different reasons to get a personal loan, including debt consolidation, to cover emergency expenses, or to finance a large purchase. But depending on your situation and goals, other financing methods may be more suitable. Here are some other options to explore before deciding on a personal loan:
- Home Equity Loan, home equity line of credit (HELOC)or cash-out refinancing: You can tap into your home equity to cover large expenses or consolidate debt. These options could potentially give you a lower interest rate than a personal loan, saving you money in the long run. However, there are risks associated with using home equity financing, including the fact that you could lose your home if you can’t make the payments.
- credit card balance transfer: By transferring your existing debt to a balance transfer card with a 0% introductory APR, you can get rid of debt faster and save on interest. However, if you don’t pay off the debt before the end of the introductory period, you could end up with a higher interest rate.
- personal savings: If you’re not in an emergency situation, it may be better to save over a period of weeks or months for a planned expense than to borrow money. You can also start building an emergency fund with three to six months of expenses so you don’t have to go into debt when unexpected costs arise.
- Nonprofit credit counseling: In some cases, taking on more debt can create additional problems. Working with a nonprofit credit counseling program can help you address underlying issues. You won’t receive any money directly, but credit counseling can offer you tools, strategies, and education to help you correct mistakes and move forward.
Pros and Cons of USAA Personal Loans
Overnight financing in some cases
No origination fees for members
Loan term of up to seven years
0.25% autopay discount available
You must be a USAA member to get a loan
There is not much information available on the website.
Relatively low loan amounts available
USAA compared to other lenders
|United States to||light flow||sofi|
|Loan Term Range||1 to 7 years||1 to 12 years||2 to 7 years|
|loan amount||$2,500 to $20,000||$5,000 to $100,000||$5,000 to $100,000|
|Credit score needed||Not specified||660||680|
|Unsecured or secured debt||Unsafe||Unsafe||Unsafe|
The NextAdvisor editorial team updates this information regularly, although certain loan and fee details may have changed since this page was last updated. For the most up-to-date information on APRs, fees, and other loan details, check with the lender directly. Also, some loan offers may vary depending on your location.
How to qualify for a USAA loan
To get a personal loan through USAA, you must first be a member. Membership requirements are related to military service. Active duty service members and veterans can join USAA, as can their spouses and children. It is also possible for other eligible family members to become members. You can find more detailed membership information on the USAA website.
Other than that, you must be the age of majority in your state. USAA’s website doesn’t list minimum credit score and income requirements, and it’s difficult to get loan information or get a rate quote unless you log in as a member. A USAA representative was also unable to provide us with more detailed rating requirements.
However, if you are a member, it can be quite simple to fill in your information, get a quote, and complete the application.
Who should get a USAA loan
You must be a member to obtain a USAA loan. If you don’t meet the membership requirements, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
If you are a USAA member and need a relatively small amount, a USAA loan may be a good option. However, it’s hard to find out if you really meet the criteria unless you log in as a member and submit your application. However, in general, the better your credit score and income, the more likely you are to qualify for any type of personal loan.
For members who need access to quick cash, a loan from USAA may be a good option. The quick qualifying decision and streamlined online form can make it easier to find out if you can get the loan. Plus, you can get funds as soon as the next business day, so it’s a good option if you need the money quickly. However, if you are looking for more than $20,000, a USAA loan may not fully meet your needs.
How to apply for a USAA loan
1. Join USAA, if eligible
Because USAA is a members-only institution, you must be a member to take advantage of personal loans. Check the eligibility requirements to determine if you meet the membership criteria. If you qualify, join USAA.
2. Decide the amount and term of the desired loan
Next, decide if a personal loan really is the best option for your goals, and calculate the amount and term of the loan you want. With a longer loan term, you may have a lower monthly payment, but you’ll end up paying more interest in total. Additionally, USAA requires different minimum loan amounts based on the term of your loan. For example, if you want a five-year loan, you need to borrow at least $10,000. Longer loan terms require larger loan values.
3. Compare interest rates online
Get rate quotes from different lenders. Find out what USAA will offer you, but also check out other lenders. Try to get quotes from lenders that only require a soft credit inquiry, rather than a hard inquiry. This can give you an idea of what you might qualify for without affecting your credit score.
4. Complete and submit your application
If you think USAA is the best fit for you, please complete and submit a formal application. At this point, USAA will conduct a thorough credit check on your credit report, and your credit score may drop slightly as a result. You will need to provide all necessary documentation requested by USAA, which may include government-issued identification, proof of income, and bank account information.
5. Wait for approval, signing and financing
You could potentially find out if you’re approved in a few minutes. Once you’ve been approved for a loan and submit the necessary documentation, you can receive your funds as soon as the next business day. Make sure you have a plan to pay off your loan so you don’t rack up excessive interest charges or damage your credit score.
USAA Personal Loan FAQs
Is USAA good for personal loans?
USAA offers the potential for overnight financing and loans up to $20,000, but its personal loans, like all of its financial products, are limited to USAA members. If you’re already a USAA member and don’t need more than $20,000, it may be a good option.
What credit score do you need for a USAA loan?
USAA does not specify a minimum credit score on its website. However, you are more likely to be approved for a personal loan if you have a higher credit score.
Does a USAA loan hurt your credit?
You may see a small drop in your credit score when you apply for any personal loan, due to the lender doing a thorough credit check. However, this impact is likely to be relatively small. If you miss payments or pay late, you could see a bigger impact on your credit score.