Best Loans for Disabled Veterans

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 5, 2024

Veterans transitioning to civilian life often face financial challenges, but personal loans can ease their stress. Service members have access to loans with qualifications that are often lower when compared to those offered to the general population. Disabled veterans can use personal loans for making upgrades to their homes, paying down high-interest debt, education costs and other expenses. Most importantly, loans for disabled veterans can help them move forward with their lives in a comfortable home after completing their service.

Quick Look: Best Loans for Disabled Veterans

  • Best for Bundling: USAA
  • Best for Online Application: Rocket Mortgage
  • Best for Custom Options: Freedom Mortgage
  • Best for Financing: Military-Loans.com
  • Best for Aspiring Entrepreneurs: SBA

Best Loans for Disabled Veterans 

If you are a disabled veteran, the first type of loan you might want to consider if you are looking to buy a home is a VA loan. VA loans help veterans and active-duty members of the armed forces access home loans with exclusive benefits. VA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the benefits afforded to veterans and eligible surviving family members are top notch. The VA commits to paying up to 25% of all original loan amounts in the event that you default on your loan. This type of loan also helps you avoid paying private mortgage insurance. 

There is no down payment required for VA loans, though you might need to pay a funding fee depending on your personal details and financial situation. This can be an ideal choice for disabled former service members, as funding fees on VA loans are waived for men and women receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability. Though individual mortgage lenders will consider them on a case-by-case basis, there is no official minimum credit score or set limits for debt-to-income (DTI) ratios.

The following lenders provide VA loan options and additional loan choices for veterans with disabilities — consider beginning your search with a few of the providers below. 

1. Best for Bundle: USAA

The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) offers a variety of financial services, including mortgages, auto loans and personal loans. USAA exclusively serves active-duty military personnel in all branches of the U.S. military, former military members who are retired or have been honorably discharged and select family members. USAA provides personal assistance when applying for your VA loan, which can be beneficial for service members with special certificate of eligibility (COE) needs for their application. In addition to VA loans, USAA can also help set you up with a conventional loan option.

Pros

  • Competitive rates and discounts for members
  • Wide range of financial products and services
  • Easy and convenient online banking and mobile app

Cons

  • Limited branch network, primarily operates online and through phone

2. Best for Online Application: Rocket Mortgage

Major loan provider Rocket Mortgage, offers a host of VA loan options for qualifying veterans. In addition to standard VA loans, Rocket Mortgage offers jumbo loan options for borrowers buying a high-value property or a home in a more expensive area. Rocket Mortgage also offers FHA loans and conventional loans. 

One of the biggest benefits that come with using Rocket Mortgage is the lender’s simple, streamlined application. Rocket Mortgage’s application can be completed entirely online, which can be beneficial for busier borrowers. This mortgage company allows veterans with credit scores as low as 580 points to find mortgage financing. The origination fees typically range from 1% to 6% on conventional loans, but VA loan origination fees are capped at 1%. Finally, the lender can work directly with the VA to complete your COE and collect any other documentation that may be required.

Pros

  • Convenient online application process
  • Faster approval and closing times
  • User-friendly online platform for managing mortgage accounts

Cons

  • Limited in-person interaction and customer support

3. Best for Custom Options: Freedom Mortgage 

Freedom Mortgage was rated the No. 1 VA lending company in the United States in 2021, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. This online lender can be a strong choice for veterans, offering an easy application process. Veterans with disabilities and surviving families may qualify for exemption from costly VA funding fees when they get their loan through Freedom Mortgage, and the lender will assist you personally through the preapproval and application processes. Freedom Mortgage offers a variety of financial services, including home loans, refinancing, FHA loans and VA loans.

Freedom Mortgage can originate loans for disabled veterans with credit scores as low as 550 and DTI ratios as high as 41%. Disabled veterans are also eligible for property tax exemptions and credits, which can help reduce the interest rate you pay on your loan, saving you money over time. 

Pros

  • Online mortgage application
  • Competitive interest rates and terms
  • Wide range of mortgage products and options

Cons

Limited physical branch locations

4. Best for Flexible Financing Options: Military-Loans.com

Military-Loans.com offers personal loans to veterans and active-duty members from all branches of the military. This lender also offers loans specifically tailored for disabled veterans and military personnel with bad credit. In lieu of a loan, veterans can also apply for a military credit card, which also offers lower qualification criteria. 

After going through the online application process and gaining approval, veterans can expect to borrow up to $40,000 in a personal loan. Though Military-Loans.com recommends that borrowers use personal loans to consolidate outstanding debt, approved veterans can use the loan for any need. 

Pros

  • Offers loans with competitive interest rates
  • Quick and easy application process
  • Flexible repayment options

Cons

  • Limited loan options compared to larger financial institutions
  • - Potential for higher penalties if late on loan payments.

5. Best for Aspiring Entrepreneurs: Small Business Association (SBA)

Another great resource for loans for disabled veterans is the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This organization offers support for veterans who are interested in owning their own business and need capital. SBA’s loan program for veterans is operated by the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). The OVBD is devoted to the entrepreneurial success of veterans and offers additional services, including mentorship, training and other business development resources. You can head over to SBA’s Lender Match application to search the database for lenders offering commercial loans that work with the needs of your business. 

Pros

  • Lower interest rates compared to traditional loans
  • Flexible repayment terms and loan amounts
  • Additional resources and support for business development and growth

Cons

  • Strict application process and documentation requirements
  • Limited loan amounts compared to other financing options
  • Potential for longer approval times

Why Do Disabled Veterans Need Loans?

Loans for veterans are available from a variety of sources and can be used to fulfill a range of financial needs. Some of the most common reasons disabled service members might need a loan include: 

Investing in a Home

It’s no secret that home prices have risen dramatically in the past year. Diasbled veterans who are having trouble saving a down payment for their home purchase might want to consider exploring their VA lending options. With a VA loan, you can buy a home with $0 down — a great start of the mortgage process for a veteran who doesn’t have access to a large down payment. 

Buying or Repairing a Vehicle

Unexpected (and even anticipated) vehicle expenses are costly and anxiety inducing. Personal loans for disabled veterans can be a good resource for individuals who need access to large sums of cash quickly to fund a car purchase. Disabled veterans may want to purchase a vehicle that is handicap accessible or make enhancements to their vehicle when considering their medical situation.

Home Improvements

Disabled veterans may need to make mobility modifications to their homes to make them accessible. For example, a veteran who uses a wheelchair may need to install a ramp on his porch. VA cash-out refinance options can provide you with access to a lump-sum payment you can use to fund your home modifications. Lenders that offer government loans may also be able to help you access government grants to cover a portion of the cost of your home renovations. 

How Do Disabled Veterans Qualify for Loans?

Like applying for any other type of loan, lenders have varying qualifications you’ll need to meet to be approved for financing. However, there are a few universal steps you can take to improve your chances of getting any type of loan, including:

Reviewing Your Credit Report

Having solid credit increases your chances of being approved for any type of loan. Begin by requesting a copy of your credit report from the three credit reporting bureaus. If you notice any items that seem errant, dispute them with the bureau issuing the report. 

Paying Down Debt

While it’s easier said than done, focusing on paying down any outstanding debt frees up your debt-to-income ratio, allowing you to access more financing. If you don’t already have a family budget in place, review your bank statements and create a spending plan that puts a little money toward debt repayment. Even $20 a week can help you make a dent in debt and help your chances of getting a loan.

Creating a Business Plan

If you’re looking for a commercial loan, you may want to begin your search by drawing up a comprehensive business plan. Having a solid business plan and telling your lender about the actionable steps you’ll take to grow your business may encourage lenders to be more flexible with financing criteria. 

Compare Loan Providers 

Benzinga offers reviews and insights on the following loan providers. Consider continuing your search for a loan with a few of the links below. 

Finding the Best Loans for Disabled Veterans

Securing loans can be a challenging task for anyone, but disabled veterans face unique obstacles that make the search even more daunting. However, with the right guidance and resources, it is possible for disabled veterans to access the best loans tailored to their specific needs. From specialized programs offering low-interest rates to loan options designed to accommodate disability-related expenses, there are various avenues available to support disabled veterans in achieving their financial goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Can I borrow against my VA benefits?

A

If you have a VA life insurance policy, you may be able to borrow against the value of the policy. While VA benefits can be considered income when applying for a VA loan, you cannot borrow against benefits you will receive in the future.

Q

What kind of loans are available to veterans?

A

VA loans are special mortgage loans that help veterans and active service members access affordable home financing. Of course, every type of loan (personal loan, commercial loan, auto loan, etc.) is available to veterans who qualify.

Q

Can disabled veterans with bad credit still get loans?

A

Disabled veterans with bad credit may still be able to obtain loans, although they may face more difficulty and potentially higher interest rates. Some lenders specialize in providing loans to individuals with less-than-perfect credit, and VA loans also have more flexible credit requirements compared to traditional mortgages.

 

Get Ready for Take Off

Rocket Mortgage® is an online mortgage experience developed by the firm formerly known as Quicken Loans®, America’s largest mortgage lender. Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy to get a mortgage — you just tell the company about yourself, your home, your finances and Rocket Mortgage® gives you real interest rates and numbers. You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved, ask questions about your mortgage, manage your payments and more.

You can work at your own pace and someone is always there to answer your questions — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Want a fast, convenient way to get a mortgage? Give Rocket Mortgage® a try.

About Sarah Horvath

Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.