There are several loans for veterans available that can help you purchase a new home, cover unexpected expenses like job relocations, start a new business, and pay for your education so you can start a new career post-military.

From credit unions and traditional financial institutions to specialized programs like VA loans, there are several options to explore depending on what type of loan you need. Typically, these loan products provide benefits like discounts and lower interest rates, so we recommend comparing your options carefully.

What Type of Loans Can Veterans Get?

Veterans can get any type of loan that is available to civilians. This includes home loans, personal loans, student loans, auto loans, and more. These loans may be provided by traditional banks, online lenders, or credit unions that specifically cater to disabled veterans, surviving spouses, or active-duty military members.

However, if you’re looking for specific loan programs that are exclusively designed for veterans, the options include VA loans, SBA loans for veterans, cash-out refinance loans, specific student loans, and interest-rate reduction refinance loans. We’ve listed some of the top options for veterans below.

Benefits of Loans for Veterans

One of the main benefits of loans for veterans is that they offer lower interest rates compared to traditional loan products. This is especially true when it comes to specialized loan programs.

For example, the current average APR for 30-year VA loans is 6.64%. In comparison, the current average APR for a 30-year traditional fixed mortgage is 7.43%. A signature benefit of a VA loan is a 0% down payment, which can help make home purchases more affordable for veterans.

There may be other benefits that come with loans for veterans, such as lower closing costs, flexible credit guidelines, and veteran discounts.

What Veterans Are Eligible for Loans

There are several eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet in order to qualify for loans that are specifically designed for veterans. One of the main eligibility criteria is service requirement. For example, if you’re applying for a VA loan pre-approval, you must have:

  • Served 90 days in wartime
  • Served 181 days in peacetime
  • Served 90 days in Title 32 duty, out of which at least 30 days must be continuous, or you must have served six years in the Reserves or National Guard
  • Survived a spouse who was killed in action or due to a service-connected disability

You’ll need to submit a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to demonstrate you meet these requirements.

There may be other requirements you’ll need to satisfy. For example, if you’re applying for a personal loan at a credit union, you must be a member. You may also have to meet the lender’s minimum credit score requirements.

Loans Available for Veterans 

There’s a wide range of loans for veterans available, depending on your specific needs. We’ve listed some of the most popular offerings below.

Home Loans

One of the leading home loan programs available to veterans is a VA loan. This is a government-backed mortgage that is available through mortgage companies, banks, and private lenders, not the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans offer several benefits, such as low-interest rates, a 0% down payment if you qualify, and no private mortgage insurance (PMI).

There are several options available when it comes to VA loans, such as home improvement loans and refinancing loans:

  • VA Purchase Loans allow veterans to purchase a home without a down payment.
  • VA Rehab and Renovation Loan allows you to finance home improvements.
  • VA Energy Efficient Mortgages are available for funding energy efficiency-related home improvements.
  • VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) can replace your current VA mortgage with a loan at a lower interest rate.
  • VA Cash-Out Refinance can allow homeowners to trade home equity for cash.

Personal Loans

If you need a personal loan, you can choose an online lender, a traditional lender, or a credit union that specifically caters to military members and veterans.

Credit unions like Navy Federal Credit Union typically offer their members a number of perks and benefits, such as lower interest rates, discounts, and fewer qualifying requirements. Online lenders and banks usually don’t offer those benefits, but they may offer other benefits like autopay discounts.

Education Loans

While there are no specific loans for veterans for education costs, the military may cover many of your expenses through assistance programs.

For example, the Montgomery G.I. Bill offers monthly financial assistance to qualifying applications for educational expenses.

Veterans can also apply for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans that are available to all students. Compared to student loans from financial institutions and private sources, these loans offer lower interest rates.

Business Loans

Business loans for veterans can make it easier for you to start a new business or expand it. The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several types of loan options, many of which are specifically designed for veterans.

You may also qualify for SBA Veterans Advantage Guaranteed Loans, where you can get 7(a) loans of up to $1 million with terms under 12 months. Veterans can also take advantage of general business loans offered by online and traditional lenders.

4 Loan Factors to Consider 

Before borrowing any type of loan for veterans, it’s important to compare your options and consider a few factors to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal.

1. Interest Rate

The interest rates you qualify for will depend on your credit score. If you have bad credit, you may be quoted higher interest rates. Be sure to pre-qualify with multiple lenders to find the lowest rate you can get.

2. Cost of a Loan

Other than the interest rate, there are a number of other fees and penalties that may increase the total loan cost. Lenders may charge prepayment penalties, late payment fees, and origination fees.

When comparing your loan options, be sure to look beyond the interest rate to determine which loan is the cheapest for you.

3. Length of Loan

The term of the loan will determine how long you have to repay the loan, along with interest charges. Longer repayment terms will reduce your monthly payments and make it more affordable. However, it’ll also increase the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan.

4. Turnaround Time 

While some specialized loan programs for lenders may provide a number of benefits, they may also have longer turnaround times. If you need funds urgently, you should talk to the lender about how much time it may take for loan funding.

Best Loans for Veterans

The best loans for veterans are the ones that provide you with the lowest interest rates for your credit profile, sufficient loan amount, and a loan term you’re comfortable with. That said, specialized loan programs like VA loans are often the best options when it comes to specific types of loans, such as mortgages.

When it comes to education loans, federal student loans are the best option if you qualify. We’ve provided an overview of the best loans for veterans for mortgages, personal loans, and business loans (other than SBA loans)

Best VA Loans

  1. Navy Federal: Minimum credit score- NA, Interest rates starting at 5.625%
  2. Veterans United: Minimum credit score- 620, Interest rates starting at 5.750%
  3. Rocket Mortgage: Minimum credit score- 620, Interest rates starting at 6.25%

Best Business Loans

  1. Fundbox: Loan amounts- $1,000 to $150,000, Minimum credit score- 600, APR starting at 4.66%
  2. National Funding: Loan amounts- $10,000 to $500,000, Minimum credit score- 600, Buy rates starting at 1.11%
  3. Funding Circle: Loan amounts- $25,000 to $500,000, Minimum credit score- 660, APR starting at 7.49%   

Best Personal Loans

  1. Navy Federal: Minimum credit score- not required, APR- 8.99% to 18%
  2. SoFi: Minimum credit score- 650, APR- 8.99% to 25.81%
  3. PenFed Credit Union: Minimum credit score- 650, APR- 8.49% to 17.99%

Where To Find a Loan

Borrowers looking for specific loans for veterans will find GovLoans to be a good place to start their search. The website provides a list of veteran loan programs currently available. is another website where you’ll find information about veteran loans. You can also check the websites of your local credit unions to see if they offer loans for veterans. Traditional banks and online lenders are also viable options as long as you’re able to get a good interest rate.

How To Get a Veteran Loan

Whether you’re applying for a VA home loan, a federal student loan, or a personal loan, it’s important to understand the eligibility requirements, ensure you have the necessary documents, and pre-qualify.

While the specific application process will differ based on the lender and the type of loan you’re applying for, these are the general steps you can follow to get a loan:

  1. Get a copy of your credit report to check your credit score to ensure you qualify.
  2. Take steps to improve your credit score if it’s lower by reducing your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), paying bills on time, and disputing errors on your credit report.
  3. Check the eligibility requirements for the loan.
  4. Gather the necessary documents for the loan, including your Certificate of Eligibility when applicable. 
  5. Apply for a pre-approval.
  6. Compare your loan options and submit a formal loan application.

Find a Veteran Loan Today

With so many loans for veterans available, it becomes more important than ever to pick the right loan product so you can get a competitive interest rate. Getting a pre-approval will give you a clear idea of what you qualify for.

Regardless of the type of loan you borrow, be sure to check your budget to determine if you’ll be able to repay the loan comfortably.