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Can Non-Military Personnel Get A USAA Personal Loan?

Written by Banks Editorial Team

Updated April 22, 2021​

3 min. read​

A USAA personal loan is generally intended for military personnel, but can you get one if you are not part of the army? USAA is known for providing banking, insurance, and investing opportunities to members of the military. Since 1922,  this institution has been offering personal loans to its members. But are you eligible for these loans if you’re not a member of the military? In this article, we will explore the requirements for USAA membership, as well as some details about this company’s personal loans.

Becoming a member of USAA

In order to be eligible for a personal loan, you must be a member of USAA. While there are strict requirements on who can become a member, you do not actually need to have directly served in the military in order to join the company. To be eligible for membership, you will need to fall into one of two categories: current or former member of the military, or eligible family member.

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Current or Former Members of the Military

USAA is specifically designed with members of the military in mind. You are eligible for membership if you are currently serving in:

  • The Army
  • The Reserves
  • The Coast Guard
  • The U.S. Air Force
  • The Marines
  • The Navy National Guard

Midshipmen and cadets at U.S. prep schools or service academies are also eligible, as are veterans who have retired or been honorably discharged.

Eligible Family Members

While USAA is designed for members of the military, family members can also enjoy membership. Eligible family members include:

  • Widows and widowers of military personnel
  • Un-remarried former spouses of USAA members
  • Children of USAA members

If you’re interested in applying for a USAA personal loan and think you may be eligible as a family member of current or former military personnel, it’s worth contacting USAA directly — don’t be deterred if you’re not a member of the military. If you are not eligible, you can still apply with another personal loan provider.

USAA Personal Loan

If you need some extra money for personal reasons — whether you’re taking a vacation, need to pay for school, or want to make improvements on your home — a personal loan is a great way to achieve those goals. With this type of loan, you can borrow money while skipping the extra debt you might incur if you have a higher interest credit card.

What Are USAA’s Loan Rates?

To decide if a personal loan from USAA is the right choice for you, consider comparing their loan rates to the rates and spending limit of your credit card. For applicants with excellent credit, USAA’s APR is currently at approximately 9.49 percent. For someone with fair credit, USAA’s APR is at approximately 16.79 percent. Since interest rates for personal loans tend to range from 6 percent to 36 percent for borrowers with excellent to fair credit, USAA rates are fairly low. 

How to Apply for a USAA Personal Loan

You can complete a short online application for a USAA personal loan. Once you’re approved, you will immediately be able to see your personalized rate on your profile, and will receive your loan within 24 hours.

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Benefits of USAA Personal Loan

In addition to the simple application process, there are a number of benefits to USAA’s personal loans. 

Debt Protection

If you’re concerned about falling into debt, you may be interested in USAA’s debt protection program. This is an optional add-on to your loan, and while it does come at an additional fee, it can be reassuring for concerned borrowers; this program covers loan repayments in case you are suddenly unable to make them due to unemployment, disability, or death.

Low Fees

Provided you have a good credit score, USAA’s personal loan fees are generally quite low. Additionally, you do not need to worry about paying application fees or prepayment penalties. 

Things to be Aware Of

While there are benefits to a USAA personal loan, it is important to be aware of a few facts before you apply.

Your Credit May Take a Dip

When you apply for a personal loan, USAA does a hard credit pull. In contrast to a soft credit pull, which occurs when you check your own credit and has no impact on your credit score, a hard credit pull can have a negative impact on your credit — in fact, it can take up to five points off your FICO score. Hard credit pulls also remain on your credit history, meaning that anyone else who checks your credit will be able to see them.

No Co-Signing

If your credit is poor and you’re hoping to get someone to co-sign your loan for you, USAA may not be the best option — it does not allow co-signers. However, joint applications are allowed, and if your co-applicant has a good credit score you are much more likely to get a good deal. 

Although USAA is known for serving the military, you do not need to be an active or former member of the military in order to join. If you are a family member of someone in the military and you believe a USAA personal loan is the right choice for you, it is worth doing some research to find out whether you are eligible to become a USAA member.

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