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USAA Bank personal loans: 2024 review

Updated on June 13, 2023
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At a glance

4.3
Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Availability
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
4.5
Affordability
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
4.5
Customer Experience
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
4.4
Transparency
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
3.5

About Bankrate Score

Founded in 1922, USAA provides insurance, banking, investment and retirement products to members of the US military, veterans and their families. USAA serves over 13 million members today and is one of the largest military-affiliated financial service companies in the US.

Moneybag
Loan amount $2,500 – $100,000
Rates
APR from 9.94%-18.51%
Clock Wait
Term lengths 12-84 months
This lender is best for active military members, veterans and eligible family members.

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Best for fast funding 

USAA offers personal loans with fast funding. The fully online process allows borrowers to get funded within one business day following application approval. And unlike some of its competitors, there is no branch visit required. The speed of funding makes USAA a great option for everything from emergency funding to home remodels.

USAA pros and cons

PROS

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    Flexible loan terms.

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    Customer service.

CONS

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    Membership requirement.

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    Higher loan amounts required for longer terms.

Do you qualify?

You must be a member in order to get a personal loan from USAA. Membership at the bank is open to active or former members of the military and their eligible family members. Cadets and midshipmen may also join.

What USAA doesn't allow loan funds to be used for

USAA does not allow its borrowers to use its loans to cover the cost of higher education. Instead, the USAA site recommends connecting with your school’s financial aid office.

How this lender compares

logo
Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5
4.3
Bankrate Score
APR from
9.94%-18.51%
Loan Amount
$2,500 – $100,000
Term Length
12-84 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed
logo
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7
Bankrate Score
APR from
8.49%-35.99%
Loan Amount
$1,000-$50,000
Term Length
24-84 months
Min Credit Score
600
logo
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
4.7
Bankrate Score
APR from
7.99%-17.99%
Loan Amount
Up to $50,000
Term Length
Up to 60 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed

USAA vs. Upgrade

Unlike USAA personal loans, Upgrade offers funding for any sort of borrower with a credit score of 560 or higher, falling under the good to excellent category. Though both lenders boast a fast funding timeline as soon as the day that you apply. Working with one of these two lenders is ideal for someone in a financial pinch. 

One downside to Upgrade is the low maximum loan amount. Funding is only available up to $50,000, which is a mere half of what USAA offers its borrowers. 

USAA vs. PenFed

While PenFed also carries a membership requirement, it is much easier to secure compared to USAA. The standout feature here is the ability to finance a very small amount, as little as $600. This is perfect if you boast a strong credit background but just need funding for a minor payment.

On top of this, PenFed allows for joint applications, a perk that USAA does not. Applying for a personal loan with another person can be extremely helpful in securing better rates and terms.

USAA: In the details

What we like and what we don’t like

With attentive customer service and a stringent membership protocol, consider all of what USAA has to offer. 

What we like

  • Flexible loan terms. Borrowers can finance loans for up to seven years, or as little as just one year. 
  • Customer service. USAA boasts expansive customer service hours along with online chat support for its members.  

What we don't like

  • Membership requirement. In order to take out a personal loan with USAA you must fulfill the membership requirements of serving in or being related to a service member. 
  • Higher loan amounts required for longer terms. If you are looking to take out a longer term you must also sign off on higher loan amounts, as high as $20,000 for a seven-year term.

How to contact USAA

If you need support throughout or following your personal loan application USAA offers online support through its virtual agents available 24/7. If you prefer assistance over the phone, USAA agents can be reached at 800-531-8781 during business hours.

How to apply for a personal loan with USAA

The quickest way to apply for a personal loan through USAA Bank is through its online application. You can also apply over the phone. USAA has a limited number of branches, so it encourages members to use those two methods.

In many cases, according to USAA, you’ll get your rate right away if you’re approved. Once you accept your loan terms, the money is typically deposited into your account within 24 hours. Before you settle on a bank, it’s important to check personal loan rates with a few lenders based on your loan amount, credit score, location, income and reason for the loan.
 

Fees and penalties

One of the perks of getting a loan through USAA as a member is that the bank charges few fees. There are no application or origination fees, and the lender doesn’t impose a penalty for paying your loan off early. USAA does, however, charge a late fee of 5 percent of the amount due.

USAA FAQs

How Bankrate rates USAA Bank

Score Explanation
Overall 4.3
Availability 4.8 $2,500 minimum loan amount and instant approval with fast funding.
Affordability 4.7 Only charges late fees and has a competitive starting APR.
Customer experience 4.1 Online access, but only Monday through Friday customer service hours.
Transparency 3.5 USAA only discloses some rates and fees and there is no credit requirement disclosed.

Methodology

To select the best personal loanss, Bankrate’s team of experts evaluated over 30 lenders. Each lender was ranked using a meticulous 20-point system, focusing on four main categories:

  • Affordability: The interest rates, penalties and fees are measured in this section of the score. Lower rates and fees and fewer potential penalties result in a higher score. We also give bonus points to lenders offering rate discounts, grace periods and that allow borrowers to change their due date. 
  • Availability: Minimum loan amounts, number of repayment terms, eligibility requirements, ability to apply using a co-borrower or co-signer and loan turnaround time are considered in this category.
  • Customer experience: This category covers customer service hours, if online applications are available, online account access and mobile apps.
  • Transparency: For this factor, we consider how well information is presented to the borrower on the lender’s website. This includes listing credit requirements, rates and fees, in addition to offering prequalification.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.