USAA personal loan review: Low rates for members

Woman shaking hands with a couple seated on a couch across from her Image:

In a Nutshell

USAA offers personal loans with low rates for its members, and there are no application or early-repayment fees. But unless you have excellent credit, it may be tough to qualify for the lowest rates.

Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors' opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when it’s posted.
Advertiser Disclosure

We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

Pros Cons
No application or prepayment penalties Only USAA members can apply
Funds available, to a USAA account, within 24 hours for most members Tough to qualify for the lowest rates
0.25% autopay discount Maximum loan amount of $50,000, which is lower than some other lenders offer
Joint applicants are allowed

What you need to know about a USAA personal loan

USAA offers personal loans ranging from $2,500 to $50,000 to military service members and their families who are USAA members. Although loan terms can span anywhere from 12 months to 84 months, longer terms aren’t available for smaller loan amounts or to those with credit that needs improvement.

If you’re a USAA member with a USAA bank account, you can enjoy access to quick cash, since loan funds could be deposited directly into your USAA account within 24 hours in most cases. According to USAA as of June 2019, the lender doesn’t support direct deposit with other bank accounts, so if you don’t open a direct deposit account with the bank, you’ll receive your funds via check.

Autopay discount

If you set up automatic payments to repay your USAA personal loan, you can lock in a 0.25% discount on your rates. Note that even if you set up automatic payments, you can make additional one-time payments or make changes to your automatic payments at any time.

No application or prepayment penalty fees

Unlike some lenders that additional fees, USAA personal loans don’t come with application or prepayment penalty fees. So if you’re able to repay your loan sooner than the terms outlined in your application, you won’t have to worry about being penalized.

Tough to qualify for lowest rates

To secure the most favorable rates and terms greater than 60 months, USAA says you’ll need to have excellent credit.

If you have little to no credit, or you’re working to improve your credit health, you may not be approved for USAA’s most-competitive rates and may want to look elsewhere for a personal loan.

Learn more about credit score ranges

Fast funding for most members

If USAA approves your loan application, the lender may deposit funds into your USAA bank account within 24 hours (Monday through Friday). This is great news if you need cash quickly to cover an unexpected emergency.

USAA personal loan details

Founded in 1922 by a group of Army officers, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, and provides insurance, banking, investments and retirement products to more than 12.8 million members. Membership is available to eligible military members, former military members who have received an honorable discharge, and eligible family members. USAA strives to be the provider of choice for the military community. Here are a few other important details to know.

  • A personal loan calculator on USAA’s website can give you an estimate of your annual percentage rate, or APR, and monthly payment before you apply.
  • You can use the loan for things like paying off high-interest loans and credit cards, making upgrades or repairs to your home or taking care of unplanned expenses.
  • Although USAA doesn’t offer debt-consolidation loans, its personal loans may help you manage your debt and save on interest charges.

Who a USAA personal loan is good for

A USAA personal loan may be a good fit if you’re a USAA member or if you’re eligible to join. It may also be a good option if you can get a USAA bank account, because you may be able to access your funds in as few as 24 hours. It’s also a strong choice if you have excellent credit and can land a favorable interest rate and loan term.

If you’re not a USAA member, aren’t eligible to become one or you don’t have the best credit, you may want to look for an alternative option. And if you’re looking to finance more than $50,000 with a loan, you’ll need to go with a different lender.

If you’re a member of the military community, make sure you understand your rights under the Military Lending Act before applying for a personal loan.

Can I get a military loan with bad credit?

How to apply for a personal loan with USAA

Establishing membership is the first step to applying for a USAA personal loan. To become a member, you’ll need to provide your date of birth, contact information, Social Security number, and proof of eligibility or your family member’s name and info about their military service.

Once you become a USAA member, you’ll be required to create an online account so you can begin the loan application process, which takes only a few minutes to complete.

You’ll need to have your identifying information including your name, address and social security number to apply. You’ll also be asked to provide your desired loan amount and whether you’re applying on your own or with a joint applicant

When you apply for a USAA personal loan, the lender will perform a hard credit pull, which may affect your credit scores by a few points. If you’re approved, you could receive your funds within 24 hours.

Not sure a USAA personal loan is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs: Since you don’t need to become a member to apply for a personal loan, Marcus by Goldman Sachs may be a good alternative — there’s no origination fee or prepayment penalty, and you can earn rewards for making payments on time.
  • Avant: If you’d like to get an idea of your eligibility through a soft pull that won’t affect your credit scores while getting your funds as soon as the next business day if you’re approved, an Avant personal loan may be a good option.