Applying for a Military Loan: A Step-by-Step Guide

Military loans are a type of personal, usually short term, installment loan offered exclusively to members of the armed forces. Many military loans are available for active and retired members of the military. There are a number of military lending companies which have a minimum length of service requirement as a loan qualification standard for both retired and active duty members of the service, but there are plenty of other military lending specialists that do not stipulate a minimum length of time served.  For the latter, even if your time in the military was brief, as long as you are able to prove you received an honorable discharge, you can still qualify for a military loan.

Applying for a Military Loan:  A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Go online to research lending companies to find the military lending specialist best suited to your financial needs. Lending companies which specialize in military loans commonly offer an accessible and easy online application process, and many provide swift approval and a cash deposit of your loan within 48 hours. 
  • Obtain a free copy of your credit score from TransUnion, Equifax or Experian, and eliminate any errors that are negatively impacting your credit rating. While the chances are minimal that you will be turned down for a military loan due to a poor credit rating, your credit rating will affect the interest rate you receive. Interest rates on military loans can be as high as 36%, so it pays to apply with a credit score as good as you can make it, to keep your interest payments down.
  • When you are ready to apply, have proof of your military service at hand if you are retired from the military, and if you are still in active service, have your military identification number. You will also be required to provide your most recent LES (Leave and Earnings) statement available.
  • After you have completed your on line loan application form, the military lending company may email you a Unit Commander Authorization form that will need to be filled out, completed and returned before loan approval is finalized and your loan is deposited in your bank account.
  • Although the loan term for military loans is customarily no longer than 36 months, try to choose a military lending company that does not impose exorbitant late fees and penalties for late payments, and be sure the amount you are borrowing is a loan you can securely repay within the restricted repayment term period of a military loan. 
  • It can be beneficial to work with a military lending company that provides a no penalty "cancellation window" period if there is any possibility your needs or circumstances will change after your loan application is finalized.  

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