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3 alternatives to USAA student loans

Though its student loan referral program is no more, you still have options.

USAA is a financial services organization for service members, veterans and their families that offers everything from life insurance to mutual funds. But it stopped its student loan referral program with Wells Fargo. If federal loans fall short, you’re not out of luck — you have some competitive alternatives to consider.

Why doesn’t USAA offer student loans?

USAA used to have a student loan referral program with Wells Fargo, which offered a 0.25% rate discount to USAA members. But it stopped this program back in December 2016 due to a lack of demand. Instead, it’s focusing on other products and services that can benefit all members, rather than just a small group.

It still offers several college-related products, such as student checking accounts, secured credit cards and college savings investment accounts.

3 best alternatives to USAA student loans

Since you can’t get a student loan through USAA anymore, you might want to consider these three lenders instead.

1. Credible

Credible Labs Inc. (Student Loan Platform)

Get started
on Credible Labs Inc.'s secure site
Credible is an online marketplace that allows you to quickly prequalify for student loans from multiple lenders to see what your options are. It's a great tool if you're not sure what rates and terms you might be eligible for.
If you find a loan that works for you, you can easily continue on with the application. But keep in mind that your initial offer might not reflect the rates and terms you actually get once you submit the full application.
Minimum Loan Amount$1,000
Max. Loan AmountVaries by lender (typically, total certified costs of education minus financial aid already received)
APRStarting at 1.24% with autopay
Interest Rate TypeVariable
Minimum Loan Term5 years
Maximum Loan Term20 years
RequirementsEnrolled at least half time in qualifying US educational program, ages 18+ or apply with cosigner

2. LendKey

LendKey Student Loan Refinancing (with AutoPay)

Get started
on LendKey's secure site
LendKey is another connection service that works with credit unions and local banks in your area. These tend to offer more favorable rates and terms than your typical bank or online lender, so it could be a great option if you and your cosigner struggle to qualify elsewhere.
You might have to join a credit union in order to apply, and you'll need to have a cosigner if you make less than $24,000 a year. But if you're looking for a more personalized borrowing experience, LendKey makes it a lot easier to compare your options from local lenders.
Minimum Loan Amount$7,500
Max. Loan Amount$300,000
APRStarting at 1.9%
Interest Rate TypeVariable
Minimum Loan Term5 years
Maximum Loan Term20 years
RequirementsYou must be a US citizen or permanent resident and have an undergraduate or graduate degree.

3. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo Student Loans

If you really liked what USAA had to offer, the next best thing is applying directly through Wells Fargo. While you won't get the extra 0.25% rate discount that it previously gave to USAA members, other features of the loan remain the same.
One of the major draws for some USAA members is that it offers financing to members that are earning a degree while stationed abroad. However, its website doesn't provide much information about how it works, so you might have to rely on customer service more than other lenders.
Max. Loan Amount$120,000
APR4.8% to 11.26%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
RequirementsGood to excellent credit or creditworthy cosigner, ages 18+, US citizen or permanent resident

US Army Loan Repayment Program

If you’re an active-duty service member, you might be eligible for the US Army’s Loan Repayment Program (LRP). Through the LRP, you can apply to have part of your qualifying loan balances forgiven each year you’re on active duty for up to three years. Most common federal loans qualify, though private student loans are ineligible. You can sign up through the US Army’s benefits website.

To learn about similar programs, read our article on repaying military student loans.

Does USAA offer any similar loans?

While USAA doesn’t offer any other education-related loans, you might be able to use one of these options to pay for your expenses while in school:

  • USAA unsecured personal loan. Starting at $2,500 with APRs as low as 8.99% with autopay, you can use this general-use personal loan to cover your day-to-day expenses while in school. But you’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify.
  • USAA secured personal loan. If you own your car, you might be able to get a better deal on rates and terms by putting it up for collateral. Rates start at 3.74% APR with terms as long as six years.

Compare more student loan options

Name Product Min. Credit Score Loan amount
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing (Variable Rate)
620
$7,500 - $300,000
Refinance all types of student loans — including federal and parent PLUS loans.
Credible Student Loan Refinancing
Good to excellent credit
Starting at $5,000
Get prequalified offers from top student loan refinancing providers in one place.
SoFi Student Loan Refinancing Variable Rate (with Autopay)
650
Starting at $5,000
A leader in student loan refinancing, SoFi can help you refinance your loans and pay them off sooner.
Splash Financial Student Loan Refinancing
650
Starting at $7,500
Save on your student loans with this market-leading newcomer.
Education Loan Finance Student Loan Refinancing
680
Starting at $15,000
Lower your student debt costs with manageable payments, affordable rates and flexible terms.
Earnest Student Loan Refinancing
650
$5,000 - $500,000
Get a tailored interest rate and repayment plan with no hidden fees.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

While USAA no longer offers a 0.25% discount on Wells Fargo student loans, there are other options available. Borrowing from Wells Fargo directly is the closest alternative, though you also might want to compare offers from online or community student loan providers.

Check out our guide to learn more about how student loans work.

Frequently asked questions

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