When you’re in the military, you have a unique lifestyle, and you deserve a unique lender. With a history of predatory lenders filling this specialized niche, you need to exercise caution before diving in. Investigate the lender by checking with the Better Business Bureau and reviewing references to make sure the lender has a good reputation. Shop around with a few lenders to make sure you’re getting competitive rates. Loans for military members should have rates that are as good or better than those offered to civilians.
From guaranteed military loans to personal loans, there are many different types of military loans available. Read on to learn more about your options and to find the military loan that might have you saying “hooah” all the way to the bank.
Military Loans Reviews
Whether you’re moving to a new base or getting ready to ship out for deployment, getting a military loan shouldn’t be a hassle. Good lenders offer personalized service, online applications and reasonable rates and terms. Military loans can often be used to buy new furniture, make home improvements, pay for vacations or help with moving expenses. Types of loans vary, including loans for veterans, veteran home loans and loans for active duty military members.
Before you can decide on the right loan, start by taking a quick look at your credit report. Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you’re entitled to obtain a no-cost copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every 12 months. Note your credit score and check for any mistakes. If you notice an error, notify the credit bureaus to have it corrected. Once you have a firm grasp of your strengths and weaknesses, you can better evaluate the types of loans available to you from various lenders, including popular military lenders such as Pioneer, Just Military, Omni and Veterans United.
Pioneer Military Loans
Pioneer Services offers loans to anyone in the United States Military, including active duty members, medically retired and career-retired members of the Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Army. Reserves and National Guard members who are prior Pioneer customers are also eligible.
Pioneer offers loans ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, with annual percentage rates (APRs) between 10% and 36%, depending on your creditworthiness. Once approved, you may receive your funds within 24 to 48 hours. Pioneer Services offers a 15-Day Guarantee that lets you return the money within 15 days without any penalties or interest.
Just Military Loans
Just Military Loans also offers a 15-day guarantee with its loans, which are available to members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps. The APRs range from 14.99% to 35.99%, with repayment terms between 12 and 36 months. In some cases, funds may be available on the next business day, but the process may take longer if the lender needs additional documentation from you as part of the approval process.
Although the company does look at your credit score, Just Military Loans relies on an in-house scoring system that opens up loan availability even to military members with low credit scores. To qualify, you need to be an active duty service member with at least 9 months of service left.
Omni Military Loans
Omni Financial offers loans to career retired military members and members of the Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy who are on active duty and have at least 8 months remaining before their separation date. Interest rates vary depending on your credit history, your financial obligations and the terms of the loan. The APR typically ranges from 7% to 35.95%, with loan amounts ranging from $500 to $10,000 and repayment terms of up to 36 months. Omni’s 15-day guarantee allows you to cancel the loan and return the money within 15 days without any interest accrual.
Veterans United Home Loans
What makes Veterans United different is its seasoned team of loan experts, its Veterans Administration (VA) approval and its advisory panel made up of former military members who ranked in senior positions in various branches of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard, Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army. This lender offers VA home loans and refinancing with no money down and no necessary private mortgage insurance. In most areas of the United States, veterans are limited in the amount that they can borrow without having to put money down. As of July 2016, VA loan applicants can borrow up to $417,000 without having to make a down payment. Borrowers buying a home in certain high cost areas may be able to exceed that amount.
Although the VA doesn’t have a minimum credit score to take advantage of the VA lending program, many lenders look for applicants with a score of 620 or higher. In general, the better your credit score is, the lower your interest rate can be.
Business Loans for Veterans
Veterans often face a unique challenge when they apply for a business loan because of the gaps in their financial history during times of active duty. Business loans for veterans even the playing field a bit to provide funding for veterans with an entrepreneurial spirit. Some examples of lenders with no minimum credit score include OnDeck, which allows borrowers with a minimum credit score of 500 to take a loan for $5,000 to $500,000 with repayment terms of up to 36 months and APRs ranging from 9% to 98%.
For borrowers with credit scores of 600 or higher, lenders such as Dealstruck offer business loans of up to $500,000 with APRs of 10% to 28%, as long as the business is pulling in $12,500 in monthly revenue and breaking even. Some lenders, such as SmartBiz, require the business to be in operation for at least 2 years.
Loans for Veterans with Bad Credit
Just because your credit is less than perfect doesn’t mean you have to pay astronomical fees. Veterans with bad credit often qualify for special loan programs. Look for lenders with upfront rates and no hidden fees. Guaranteed military loans, which are secured by a third party that covers the debt if you don’t pay, can be a good option for veterans with bad credit because they offer lower rates than bad-credit or payday loans. Use this as an opportunity to begin establishing a positive credit history, which can give you more options in the future.
Ultimately, the right military loan for you might not be the same as the ideal loan for your bunkmate. To find your most promising options, take some time to assess your finances, shop around and compare rates. Avoid borrowing more than you need, and make sure the monthly payment fits within your budget.