Best Personal Loans for Veterans of 2022

Table of Contents Best Personal Loans for VeteransBest FeaturesBest FeaturesBest FeaturesBest FeaturesBest FeaturesBest FeaturesBest FeaturesBest…

Active-duty service members may face financial challenges as they transition to civilian life, but personal loans for veterans can help. Although the Department of Veterans Affairs provides many benefits and services to support veterans and their families, these are not always enough.

Loans for veterans can be a critical source of additional financial support. But before you borrow, make sure you understand how to choose the best loan for you.

What you’ll learn here:

  • How can veterans select personal loans?
  • Where can veterans get personal loans?
  • What other financial resources for veterans are available?

SoFi

4.74% to 20.28% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

LightStream

2.49% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
670 Min. Credit Score

Discover

5.99 to 24.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Happy Money

5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

Upstart

Not disclosed APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
300 (or insufficient history) Min. Credit Score

Wells Fargo

5.74% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

U.S. Bank

5.99% to 19.49% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More

APR

Max. Loan Amount

Min. Credit Score

4.99% to 17.99% $50,000 650

6.24% to 10.24% $50,000 Not disclosed

4.74% to 20.28% $100,000 Not disclosed

2.49% to 19.99% $100,000 670

5.99 to 24.99% $35,000 660

5.99% to 24.99% $40,000 550

Not disclosed $50,000 300 (or insufficient history)

5.74% to 19.99% $100,000 Not disclosed

6.99% to 19.99% $40,000 670

5.99% to 19.49% $50,000 660

U.S. News selects the Best Loan Companies by evaluating affordability, borrower eligibility criteria and customer service. Those with the highest overall scores are considered the best lenders.

To calculate each score, we use data about the lender and its loan offerings, giving greater weight to factors that matter most to borrowers. Personal loan companies are evaluated based on customer service ratings, interest rates, maximum loan term, minimum and maximum loan amounts, minimum FICO score, online features, and origination fees.
The weight each scoring factor receives is based on a nationwide survey on what borrowers look for in a lender.

To receive a rating, lenders must offer qualifying loans nationwide and have a good reputation within the industry. Read more about our methodology.

Best for low minimum loan amounts

Although PenFed Credit Union – officially Pentagon Federal Credit Union – serves members of the armed forces, military associations, veterans and retirees, and their families, a military connection is not required to become a member. The credit union offers personal loans for eligible members and eligible co-borrowers in all 50 states, as well as in Guam, Puerto Rico and Okinawa, Japan.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 650
  • Loan amounts: $600 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Terms extend up to 60 months.

  • There are no origination fees.

  • Borrowers get funds in one or two days upon approval.

See full profile

Best for same-day loans online

If you need money fast, Alliant Credit Union typically makes same-day online personal loans between $1,000 and $50,000. The $14 billion Chicago-based credit union, founded in 1935, is one of the biggest in the nation, with 600,000 members.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loans range from $1,000 to $50,000.

  • Funds are often deposited the same day.

  • No prepayment penalties apply if you pay off all or part of a loan early.

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Best for loans of up to $100,000 with no fees

SoFi, short for Social Finance, offers personal loans of up to $100,000 to borrowers with very good to excellent credit. The nationwide lender was founded in 2011 and is known for offering loans with no fees. In addition to personal loans, SoFi offers student loans, auto and student loan refinancing, home loans, and small-business financing.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • SoFi doesn’t charge late fees.

  • You can borrow up to $100,000.

  • Co-borrowers are accepted.

See full profile

Best for low interest

LightStream is the online consumer lending division of Truist, which formed in 2019 from the merger of BB&T and SunTrust. SunTrust acquired the assets of online lender FirstAgain in 2012 and relaunched the business as LightStream.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 670
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 144 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers can use loans for a range of purposes, from buying a car to financing a horse.

  • Loans are available from $5,000 to $100,000.

  • LightStream doesn’t charge origination, prepayment or late fees.

See full profile

Best for low costs

Discover is a digital bank and payment services company known for its credit cards. But Discover also offers other products, including fixed-rate personal loans of up to $35,000 to borrowers nationwide. The lender charges no fees as long as you pay on time.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Discover has no closing costs or origination fees.

  • The lender offers loan terms from 36 to 84 months.

  • Borrowers get free access to a credit scorecard that includes their FICO credit score.

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Best for debt consolidation

Happy Money offers the Payoff Loan, which is designed to consolidate credit card debt. Loans of up to $40,000 are available everywhere except Massachusetts and Nevada.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 550
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers are not charged late or returned payment fees.

  • Applicants can get preapproved with no hard credit check.

  • Poor-credit borrowers may be eligible.

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Best for borrowers with no credit or poor credit

Upstart is a lending platform that uses artificial intelligence to improve access to affordable credit. Based in California and founded by former Google employees in 2012, Upstart also applies AI to reduce lending risks and costs for its bank partners. The lending intermediary provides unsecured personal loans from $1,000 to $50,000 to borrowers anywhere in the U.S. except West Virginia or Iowa.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 300 (or insufficient history)
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A-

Best Features

  • Upstart says 99% of applicants who accept their loans by 5 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday will get their money in one business day.

  • Upstart offers loans to borrowers with no credit scores, which traditional lenders may not do.

  • You can repay all or part of your loan anytime without being charged a fee.

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Best for Wells Fargo customers

Wells Fargo was established in 1852 and is one of the largest banks in the country, servicing 1 in 3 U.S. households. The financial services company makes customizable personal loans of up to $100,000 with flexible terms from 12 to 84 months.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $3,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: NR

Best Features

  • Wells Fargo offers annual percentage rates starting at 5.74%, which includes a relationship discount.

  • Borrowers pay no origination or closing fees.

  • Relationship discounts of 0.25 to 0.5 of a percentage point are available if you have a qualifying Wells Fargo checking account and make automatic payments from a Wells Fargo deposit account.

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Best for no origination fee

Marcus by Goldman Sachs provides online personal loans and other consumer finance products. Established in 2016 by Goldman Sachs, the lender offers loans of up to $40,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 670
  • Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 72 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers pay no fees for personal loans.

  • Payment due dates are adjustable.

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Best for short-term loans

U.S. Bank has physical locations in more than 25 states and offers both short- and long-term personal loans with fixed annual percentage rates starting at 5.99%. Current customers may qualify to borrow up to $50,000 with a credit score of 660 or above, and options are available for noncustomers willing to open a checking or savings account.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • U.S. Bank pays out loan funds relatively quickly following approval.

  • U.S. Bank offers a simple loan option for as little as $100.

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Veterans take out personal loans for a variety of needs, ranging from paying off credit card debt to managing moving expenses or making large purchases.

“Personal loans can be helpful as a means to pay down high-interest debt more efficiently,” says Nancy DeRusso, senior vice president and head of coaching at Ayco, a financial counseling company.

Veterans might want to use a personal loan to pay off credit card debt for a few reasons. First, transferring high-interest credit card debt to a lower-interest personal loan can help you pay off your debt faster than making minimum card payments and save on interest.

Second, a personal loan may also provide a more structured repayment plan than credit cards. And third, a low-interest personal loan can be a valuable way to make a large purchase without tying up your cash or other assets, DeRusso says.

But as useful as personal loans for veterans can be, they are still obligations, warns Richard Delgado Jr., director of military affairs at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

“I would really caution veterans about the importance of avoiding the temptation to take out more than they might need in the form of a personal loan,” Delgado says. “They should only take out what they really need in order to avoid going more deeply into debt, which is never a good idea.”

For personal loans, veterans must use the same types of lending institutions as civilian borrowers, DeRusso says.

Veterans might scour the web for VA personal loans, but they won’t find any. The VA does not give out personal loans for veterans.

Delgado says credit unions and institutions that serve veterans can be a smart first stop when loan shopping.

“Credit unions often do a lot of work both with active military and with veterans,” he says. “If you’re transitioning from active duty to civilian life, the credit union will be more understanding about your specific circumstances than a traditional lender. ”

A military credit union will grasp the ramifications of deployment, the transition home and the circumstances that might cause a late payment, Delgado says. USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union, for example, are known for helping service members, veterans and their families.

The most important step when seeking a personal loan for veterans is to do your homework. You’ll need to evaluate your budget and each lender you’re considering.

“In today’s low-interest-rate environment, it is very easy to justify borrowing because debt is cheap,” says Anne Anderson, Weatherford chair of finance at Middleton Tennessee State University and U.S. Army veteran. “However, without a sound financial plan to include a budget, any debt, no matter the cost, can lead to financial problems if not managed well.”

Compare personal loans, looking at eligibility requirements, interest rates, maximum loan amounts, and repayment terms and fees, DeRusso says. “As with any personal loan, making sure the loan and rate work for you is the most important factor,” she says.

Generally, the longer the term, the smaller the payment, but you will pay more in interest over the life of the loan, Delgado says.

Once you are certain the loan fits into your budget, Anderson says to ask the lender questions. Do not sign anything that you do not understand.

A personal loan is not your only option if you’re a veteran who needs extra cash. Veterans can access many financial resources, including benefits and grants that do not have to be repaid, DeRusso says.

If you need to borrow, some options could have lower interest rates and better repayment terms than personal loans, she says. Compared with a personal loan, a VA home refinance loan may be more accessible to certain borrowers with lower credit scores.

Many nonprofits and certain government agencies can provide other financial resources for veterans. The National Veterans Foundation helps veterans write and submit benefit claims to the VA, and the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes may be able to assist with certain expenses, DeRusso says.

Veterans who want to start businesses can even get help: The Small Business Administration offers guaranteed Veterans Advantage Loans with SBA fee relief.

“Veterans should make sure they are aware of the various resources and benefits available to them before taking out a personal loan,” DeRusso says. “The VA publishes an annual guide highlighting the federal benefits available.”

Best for fast funding

Best Egg is an online lender founded in 2014 that is owned and administered by from Marlette Funding, a financial services company with banking and technology experience. Best Egg offers personal loans starting at $2,000 that can be used to cover medical bills, home remodeling and a variety of other expenses. Cross River Bank in New Jersey issues Best Egg loans, which can be funded in as little as one business day.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funding typically takes one to three business days.

  • The minimum loan amount is $2,000 in most states.

  • Borrowers incur no prepayment penalty.

See full profile

Best for digital customer care

RocketLoans offers personal loans to qualified borrowers in all states except Iowa, Nevada and West Virginia. These loans are designed for people with fair to excellent credit who need to borrow up to $45,000 for debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses and business or other expenses.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $45,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Same-day loan funding is available for up to $25,000.

  • No prepayment penalties apply.

  • An online application process is available.

See full profile

Best for flexible loan terms

Axos Bank launched in 2000 and is owned by San Diego-based Axos Financial. You won’t find any brick-and-mortar branches, but the bank has offices throughout the country. Axos Bank not only offers personal loans but also CDs and checking, money market, retirement, and savings accounts.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 700
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 72 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Customers can expect an entirely digital borrowing experience.

  • Flexible loan terms are three to six years.

  • Loan amounts range from $5,000 to $50,000.

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Best for low interest

LendingUSA was founded in 2015 as a lending solution for borrowers and merchants. The company provides point-of-sale customer financing through more than 10,000 merchant partners in various sectors, including medical, pet, funeral and other consumer services.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $47,500
  • Repayment terms: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Find loans to help you pay for cosmetic procedures, dental implants, funeral expenses and more.

  • Borrow from $1,000 to $47,500.

  • Pay no interest on principal if repaid within six months.

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Best for loan amounts of up to $50,000

Upgrade offers access to personal loans, the Upgrade card with a personal line of credit, rewards checking, and credit monitoring and educational tools. Founded in 2017 in San Francisco, the firm also has operations offices in Phoenix and Montreal.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A-

Best Features

  • Loans and lines of credit are available up to $50,000.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best for low fees and discounts

PNC Bank can trace its history back to 1852 and the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Co. Today, PNC Bank is the seventh-largest bank in the U.S., and it features a wide range of consumer and business banking services. Among its suite of products, PNC offers personal, unsecured installment loans up to $35,000. Applicants are considered based on satisfactory credit history, ability to repay and income.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • No prepayment penalty and no origination or application fee.

  • Get a 0.25-percentage-point discount if you set up autopay using a PNC checking account.

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Best for flexible credit requirements

Founded in 2005 and based in San Carlos, California, Oportun originates unsecured personal loans of up to $10,000 in 12 states. Loans are available in 27 additional states through Oportun’s partnership with MetaBank.

Before You Apply:

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $300 to $10,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 48 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • No credit history requirement.

  • In some states, there is an in-person application option in addition to the online application.

  • Secured and unsecured loan options available in some states.

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Best for fair credit

Chicago-based Avant has lent more than $6.5 billion to borrowers since its 2012 founding. In partnership with WebBank, Avant offers secured and unsecured personal loans and a credit card. Most borrowers have credit scores between 600 and 700, according to Avant.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Borrowers with fair credit scores can qualify.

  • Funds for unsecured personal loans can be generally deposited the next business day after approval.

  • Secured and unsecured loans are available.

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Best for FICO scores between 580 and 669

LendingPoint is an online lender specializing in unsecured personal loans from $2,000 to $36,500 for borrowers with fair credit. The Georgia-based lender issues loans with annual percentage rates of 9.99% to 35.99% and repayment terms of two to five years to people in every state but Nevada or West Virginia. Funds may be available as soon as the next business day after the lender approves the loan and receives all documents.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 580
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $36,500
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Receive loan funds as soon as the next business day after approval.

  • Qualify for a personal loan with fair credit.

  • Prequalify with a soft credit inquiry that won’t harm credit.

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Best for below-average credit

FreedomPlus is an online lender offering personal loans from $7,500 to $50,000 to meet a range of needs and promising quick approval and disbursal. A prospective borrower begins by applying online and then talks with a loan consultant.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Qualify with a fair credit score of 600.

  • Access personal loans up to $50,000.

  • Prepay loans without fees.

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