Credit union lenders can be a great alternative if you want to borrow money. Sometimes, veterans fall short in some of the qualification that traditional banks look for.
If you have the same financial situation as the other veterans, you might stand a better chance of getting better interest rates and terms compared to what the traditional banks can give.
Credit unions are nonprofit organizations that are focused on their members. They are funded by the savings of the members and that is what they use on portfolios and to fund their financial products. Since they do not rely on outside funding, they can follow their own rules – most of which are focused on the satisfaction of their members.
If you want to see your options, here are the credit union lenders that cater to the financial needs of veterans.
This credit union is open for all military personnel, veterans, and eligible family members – regardless if they are members of the navy or not. They also accept workers from the Department of Defense. They offer different financial products and services like mortgages, car loans, and home equity loans. Their interest rates are quite low – with auto loans starting at 1.49% and home loans as low as 3.361%.
The USAA can offer loans between $3,000 to $20,000 with a starting interest rate of 8.99%. Among the other credit unions, they are considered to be the most prominent. At least, when it comes to providing financial products are services to all those affiliated with the military. They offer savings/checking accounts, credit cards, and various loan products like home loans, personal loans and auto loans. You need at least a good credit score to qualify for one of their loans.
Admittedly, this is not the biggest credit union for the military. They offer member to all the branches in the military – even organizations like the Department of Defense. However, it does open its membership to a lot of people. In fact, civilians can become members as long as they join either the Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association charities. You only need to make a minimal donation to become a member. Then you can apply to this credit union. When it comes to financial products, the have a lot of offer: a 0.50% APY for checking accounts with a balance of $20,000 and below. They will increase that to 1.01% APY if the balance goes beyond that. The savings account allows a minimum deposit of $5.
This is not as prominent as the other credit unions but it is worth mentioning because you can get great rates if you qualify to join this organization. For instance, they offer 0.31% APY as the savings rate of balances that are $100 or more. They also have CD rates of 0.90% on a 12-month certificate – as long as it has a minimum opening deposit of no less than $1,000. This credit union is located in areas with a heavy military presence. But since they belong to the CO-Op network, you can access your account through third-party ATMs at no extra cost.
This credit union only have 75 branches that are situated in just three states. However, it belongs to a CO-OP network that will make it more accessible to its members. Even if you are deployed to different parts of the country, you can still access your account and make payments.
Why choose credit union lenders?
There are various reasons why you should choose a credit union over a traditional bank.
They focus on their members.
As a non-profit entity, a credit union will always put the interest of their members first. After all, the funding comes from their members. This means they will prioritize their service to you on top of profits.
They offer better interest rates.
This is where traditional banks lose over credit unions. If banks give lower interest on savings and higher rates on loans, it is the opposite for credit unions. If you open a savings account, you will get a higher APY. But if you get a loan or a credit card, you will be given a lower interest rate.
They have better terms.
Traditional banks have high minimum balance requirements. Your account with a credit union will not be burdened with the same. This minimizes the chance of you being imposed with fees.
They have minimal fees.
Overall, the fees that will be imposed on your account with a credit union will be low. Most of them have flexible rules when it comes to fees. One thing is for sure, credit unions will choose to eliminate a financial product rather than burden members with more fees.
They have accessible ATMs.
Regardless of where you are deployed or currently living, you can find an ATM or a branch that will allow you to access your account. Most of them are part of the CO-OP ATM network and this makes everything accessible.