Veterans are often the highest unemployed demographic in America. Because of this, many former military personnel struggle with bad credit. Though there are many programs out there to help, the government doesn’t offer direct loans for vets at this time. If you have poor credit, and you served in the U.S. armed forces, your best bet is to work with one of the online bad credit loan lenders below.

Personal loans come in two forms: short-term loans and installment loans. Which one you choose depends on how much you need to borrow, and fast you want to pay everything back.

Pros and Cons of Short-Term Loans

Short-term loans are best for when you only need a small amount of money, and you are able to pay it back fast. The maximum amount of money you can borrow with a short-term loan is usually around $2,500. They come in two forms: loans that must be paid back all at once, and loans that can be paid back in increments over a longer period of time.

Loans that have to be paid back all at once usually require payment on your next pay cycle. You can request to extend your payment period, but that usually means you’ll have to pay even more fees on top of what you already owe.

Lump-sum short term loans require borrowers to pay everything at once, including principal, fees, and interest. Because of this, a lot of borrowers often end up in even more debt than when they started because they were unable to meet the payment deadline. Therefore, the best short-term loans are often ones that offer amortized payment schedules.

Loan terms with these types of short-term loans range anywhere from three months to as long as a few years. You’ll pay more interest with these types of loans, but the monthly payments will be much more manageable. Another upside is that many borrowers end up seeing a boost in their credit scores because they’re able to make the monthly payments.

Pros and Cons of Installment Loans

Installment loans differ from short-term loans because you can usually borrow larger amounts. If your income supports it, you can borrow as much as $35,000 if needed. Loan terms vary depending on the amount owed and the lender but can be as long as six years (72 months).

The great thing about installment loans is that you know what you’re getting into because of the amortized payment schedule. Each payment is exactly the same, so you know exactly how to structure your monthly budget.

Make the payments on time, and your credit score will get a good boost. Just know that because of the longer loan term, you’ll likely end up paying more in interest over the long run. Read the loan agreement for any prepayment penalties, though. If the lender allows it, you could possibly avoid additional interest by paying off the loan early.

Best Installment Loans for Vets with Bad Credit

Installment loans are the best choice if you need a large amount of cash but also need manageable monthly payments. Listed below are loan brokers that connect borrowers with lenders. Loan brokers are ideal for bad credit borrowers because one application is seen by multiple lenders who are the most likely to lend to you. Normally you would have to submit an individual application to each lender, but working with a loan marketplace makes it a convenient, faster process to find the best loan options.

BadCreditLoans.com

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on BadCreditLoans.com's secure website

Features and Benefits

  • 3 to 60 month loan terms
  • Loans between $500 to $5,000
  • Works with specifically with borrowers who have bad credit
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be a legal citizen of the U.S.
  • You must have a steady income
  • No minimum credit score requirements

Before submitting an application to BadCreditLoans.com, you must have consistent income for the previous 90 days. There is flexibility with the source, however, which can come from employment, disability, or social security payments. You’re not guaranteed to receive a loan offer, but if you do, you also aren’t required to accept if you don’t like the loan terms.

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PersonalLoans.com

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on PersonalLoans.com's secure website

Features and Benefits

  • Works with all credit types
  • Is available for borrowers in every state
  • Loans range from $500 to $35,000
  • Applications are usually approved the same business day
  • Funds are often deposited the same day as the application
  • Loan terms range from 3 to 72 months

To work with PersonalLoans.com you must have never made a monthly payment more than 60 days late, nor can you have had a recent bankruptcy. Each lender has different income requirements. P2P lenders require a monthly minimum income of at least $2,000. Installment lenders require a minimum income of $3,000 each month. At time of application, you also must have an active checking account. The account will be used for both the initial deposit and the monthly withdrawals thereafter.

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NetCredit

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Features and Benefits

  • Loans range from $1,000 to $10,000
  • Works with all credit types
  • Term lengths vary
  • Reports payments to both Experian and TransUnion
  • Can check eligibility without hurting your credit score
  • You can modify loan terms to suit your needs
  • Is available in 29 states, as well as Washington, D.C.

With NetCredit you can not only get a loan if you have bad credit, but your score will also see a boost because it reports to Experian and TransUnion. Rates range depending on where you live, so review your loan offer carefully to make sure the numbers work for you.

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Use installment loans wisely and never take out a loan you don’t need to raise your credit score. There are other ways to do so that won’t put you in at financial risk. However, installment loans are a great choice for when you do need the money. The monthly payments are more manageable than short-term loans and can be easily budgeted with many incomes.

With a longer loan term, you will pay more in interest over the life of the loan, but your credit score will see a boost if you make those payments on time. We recommend signing up for automatic bill pay for installment loans because you know exactly how much is coming out each month and each payment will be made on time.

Best Short-Term Lenders for Vets with Bad Credit

When you need a small amount of money to tide you over, a short-term loan can be a good option. These loans are designed for financial emergencies. The following online marketplaces connect you with short-term funding that you can receive in your checking account quickly. Plus, you still get access to multiple lenders by filling out just one application.

CashUSA.com

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Features and Benefits

  • 3 to 72 month loan terms
  • Loans between $500 to $10,000
  • Borrowers with bad credit encouraged to apply
  • Age minimum is 18 years old
  • Valid checking account is required
  • No minimum credit score requirements

CashUSA.com offers a loan marketplace for borrowers with bad credit. Their basic income requirement is at least $1,000 a month after taxes are taken out.

You’ll need a banking account not only to receive funds, but also to have your payments automatically withdrawn on the due date. You can get a loan decision within minutes and if you sign your loan agreement quickly, you can get your funds within one business day from your chosen lender.

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MoneyMutual

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Features and Benefits

  • Loan terms vary by lender
  • Loans up to $2,500
  • Has helped over 2 million borrowers
  • Direct deposit as fast as 24 hours
  • Bad credit borrowers are ok
  • Must make at least $800 a month
  • A valid checking account is required

Each individual lender has its own requirements, but you’ll need regular income totaling at least $800 to qualify. Even if you have a fixed income or are self-employed, you can apply if meet that monthly minimum threshold. The application form only takes a few minutes and the funding process is fast once you’ve been approved and have accepted the terms of your loan.

In order to receive quick funding up to a few thousand dollars, a short-term loan could be the way to go for veterans with bad credit. Whether you need funds for medical expenses, an unexpected vehicle repair, or other emergency, you could get approved regardless of your current credit score.

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Banks and Credit Unions for Veterans

For a more personal touch with the loan experience, consider looking for financing at a bank or credit union that specializes in working with military members. They often have options that are specifically designed for veterans.

Navy Federal Credit Union

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Features and Benefits

  • Membership available to veterans, active duty, and retired members of all branches of the armed forces.
  • Join with a social security number, government ID, current address, and credit card or bank account and routing number.
  • Personal loans available up to $50,000 for terms up to 60 months.
  • Shares secured loans available for bad credit and are backed by savings in your account.
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PenFed Credit Union

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on PenFed CU's secure website

Features and Benefits

  • All members of U.S. military are eligible for membership.
  • Personal loan amounts range between $500 and $25,000.
  • No origination fees.
  • You can get immediate access to funds upon approval.
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USAA

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on USAA's secure website

Features and Benefits

  • Designed for current and former members of the military.
  • Personal loan decisions usually instant.
  • Funding available the next day.
  • Minimum loan amount is $2,500.
  • Loans over $20,000 available.
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Improving Your Credit Score with Personal Loans

Once you’ve take out a personal unsecured loan, you can use it as an opportunity to help rebuild your credit. The biggest factor is making all of your payments on time. Not only will you avoid late fees, you’ll also start to accumulate positive entries on your credit report as long as the lender reports to one or more credit bureaus.

Over time, those on-time payments will help increase your credit score. Then the next time you need any type of financing, whether it’s for a personal loan, car loan, or mortgage, you’ll get access to better loan terms because of your credit score. You’ll also be able to borrow larger amounts as you create a solid track record because you’ve shown your ability to make your payments on time.

For veterans who need help with a financial emergency, an online personal loan for people with bad credit can be an effective solution. Read your terms and conditions carefully and stay committed to making payments on time to reap the full benefits of your loan.