Tremendous sacrifices were made by our nation’s veterans in order to serve our country. Yet, in far too many cases, these sacrifices come with financial hardship. To add insult to injury, personal loans for veterans often turn out to just be short-term, high-interest payday loans in disguise. This simply is not okay. Thankfully, you do not need to rely upon predatory payday loans for veteran personal loans.
Military Lending Act
The interest rates for active duty military personnel and their families is capped at 36 percent thanks to the Military Lending Act (MLA) of 2007. The MLA also bans payday loans secured by Automated Clearing House transfers, titles to personal vehicles, or post-dated checks. Rather than ending their unsavory lending practices and lower their predatory interest rates, many of these lenders respond by refusing or severely restricting loans to military personnel.
Though the MLA is great for active duty members, it does not cover veterans. Payday lenders still offer personal loans for veterans with bad credit. Many veterans get caught up on their game, and it can take years to pay off the massive interest rates. We are here to offer you some alternatives.
Due to the traditionally high rates of unemployment and other types of financial hardship, many veterans are vulnerable to predatory lenders. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, nearly one and a half million veterans are at risk for homelessness. Many veterans get stuck with payday loans with annual percentage rates of more than 500 percent. Fortunately, there are alternatives:
Army Emergency Relief Program – This programs offers personal loans for veterans who received a medical discharge or who have served for 20 years or more of active duty.
USA Cares – This is a nonprofit relief organization that provides housing and emergency assistance. They respond to applicants within 48 hours.
Air Force Aid Society – The AFAS is the official charity of the US Air Force. They relieve distress for Air Force members as well as their families by helping them to finance their education.
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance – The main goal of CGMA is to help Coast Guard members during their times of financial need. They offer assistance through financial grants, counseling, referrals, short-term interest-free loans, and more.
Armed Forces Foundation – The C.W. Bill Young Financial Assistance Fund is the largest program administered by the Armed Forces Foundation. They provide direct financial assistance to service members in all branches.
National Veterans Association – This organization provides a long list of services, including helping veterans find jobs and getting them back on their feet again. They can also help you get your COE (see below.)
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society – The NMCRS exists to provided education, financial, and other need-based assistance to retired Marines and Sailors.
Certificate of Eligibility
To get loans offered by private lenders that are backed by the VA, you need to obtain a certificate of eligibility. VA home loans are a perfect example of personal loans for veterans that require a COE. The nature of your eligibility will determine what evidence you need to provide. The VA breaks down what evidence you need in this table. For veterans, you need DD Form 214. You are required to have a copy of this form showing the character of your services and the narrative reason for your separation. Surviving spouses will also have to provide additional information, including a marriage license.
We believe that those who have served our country deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. That is why we are happy to offer personal loans to veterans. To learn more about what options are available to you, contact our friendly experts today.