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USAA personal loans review

Small personal loans — but only for current and former members of the military.

finder.com’s rating: 3.8 / 5.0

★★★★★

Bottom line: USAA offers small-dollar loans to members — though you can join as part of your application. But with higher-than-average starting rates, you could find a better deal with another lender.

Details

Min. Loan Amount$2,500
Max. Loan Amount$20,000
APR7.24% to 18%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. Credit ScoreVaries
Late Fee5% of payment due
Loan Term1 to 3 years

Pros

  • Autopay APR discount of 0.25%
  • No origination fee
  • USAA Debt Protection program

Cons

  • Extremely limited loan amounts
  • High starting APR of 7.24%
  • Must be a USAA member
  • Strong credit required

USAA personal loans rates, fees and terms

Because USAA only offers personal loans from $2,500 to $20,000, you won’t be paying an arm and a leg in interest. That being said, its rates do start high — 7.24% without an APR discount.

Terms are also limited, ranging from 1 to 3 years. Fortunately, this will help keep the amount you owe in interest down. Your monthly payments, on the other hand, may be higher than with other lenders.

You can use the calculator below to estimate your potential monthly payment with a small personal loan from USAA.

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How USAA personal loans compare to other lenders

Here’s how USAA stacks up to the competition, in terms of cost, loan amounts and eligibility.

How to qualify

To apply for a personal loan with USAA, you must meet a few requirements:

  • Be USAA member
  • Have good to excellent credit
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Be at least 18 years old

Am I eligible for USAA membership?

Membership with USAA is limited to a select few groups of people:

  • Active and former members of the military
  • Family members of those in the US armed forces
  • Military cadets
  • Midshipmen

See other personal loan options

Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Loan Amount
BHG personal loans
Varies
700
$20,000 – $200,000
A highly-rated lender with quick turnaround and reliable customer service.
Credible personal loans
2.49% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$600 – $100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Best Egg personal loans
5.99% to 29.99%
600
$2,000 – $50,000
A prime online lending platform with multiple repayment methods.
PenFed Credit Union personal loans
5.99% to 17.99%
650
$600 – $50,000
With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.
SoFi personal loans
4.99% to 19.63%
680
$5,000 – $100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
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Compare up to 4 providers

USAA personal loan reviews and complaints

BBB accredited No
BBB rating A-
BBB customer reviews 1.2 out of 5 stars, based on 540 customer reviews
Trustpilot Score 1 out of 5 stars, based on 518 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 12 October 2020

While the most recent reviews don’t focus on USAA’s personal loans, many customers complain about poor customer service. USAA leaves form responses to complaints, if it responds at all, and members who have had accounts for years are upset with recent problems with communicating with USAA representatives.

Government actions against USAA

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued USAA for continuing to charge customers after they’d submitted a stop payment request on electronic funds transfers. It also charged the bank with failing to sufficiently investigate the solution. USAA paid out $12 million to customers and a $3.5 million fine after it reached a settlement with the CFPB in 2019.

USAA also entered a Consent Order with the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in 2019, after the OCC found that the bank did not have adequate risk management systems in place to protect customers. USAA neither admitted to or denied the OCC’s assessment. But it agreed to create a committee to monitor its compliance with the OCC and submit a written action plan to correct the problems.

How the application works

You can apply for a USAA personal loan online. If you aren’t a member, you’ll have to join first. Otherwise you can get started by logging on to your USAA account.

Once you’ve submitted your info, a specialist considers your loan request. You’re usually notified of the loan decision within one to two business days. If approved, you may have your loan funded within 24 hours.

What sets it apart?

USAA’s low loan range of $2,500 to $20,000 makes it more like a cheap alternative to an installment loan from a short-term lender than a personal loan. Most personal loans start at around $2,000 and end at around $50,000 or higher.

This limited loan amount range means it’s only useful for specific purposes — look elsewhere if you want to fund a large home improvement project. But if you’re already a USAA member, it could be an easy way to get financing without sharing your information with another lender.

You can browse more loans offered by USAA. And if you can’t open an account, compare other personal loan options to find a good fit for you.

Frequently asked questions

Does USAA allow cosigners?

No, but it does allow you to file a joint application.

Are USAA personal loans available to nonmilitary families?

No. USAA personal loans are reserved for USAA members who meet the eligibility criteria. You can, however, use some of USAA’s other services, including investment guidance, life insurance and shopping discounts.

How much does USAA Debt Protection cost?

The cost depends on your loan amount and the level of protection you choose. Basic, Standard and Premium plans are available, and fees are included in your monthly loan payment.

Personal loan ratings

★★★★★ Excellent
★★★★★ Good
★★★★★ Average
★★★★★ Subpar
★★★★★ Poor

We analyze top personal loan providers and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: rates and fees, customer reviews, loan amounts, loan processing and borrower experience.

Read the full methodology of how we rate personal loan providers.

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Review by


Aliyyah Camp is a writer and personal finance blogger who helps readers compare personal, student, car and business loans. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and is based in New York, where she enjoys movies and running outdoors.

Expert review

USAA personal loans are ideal if you’re an active or former member of the military. Its loans come with no origination fee, an autopay discount and the option to sign up for debt protection. And its turnaround is quick. You can apply online and hear back about approval within one to two business days.

But its rates start relatively high compared to other lenders, so you may be able to find a better deal if you have good to excellent credit. Its loans are also extremely limited: You can only borrow between $2,500 to $5,000. This narrow range may mean you aren’t able to get a personal loan that may suit you.

Can’t qualify for membership? Need more funds? You can use our table and compare your other options.

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2 Comments

    Default Gravatar
    Alokoa
    May 4, 2018

    Do I need a savings or checking account with USAA to get a personal loan?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Jhez
      May 4, 2018

      Hello Alokoa,

      Thank you for your comment.

      USAA personal loans are reserved for USAA members who meet the eligibility criteria. So you must be a member first and yes, you need a USAA checking account since you will use that for repayments.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

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