Cash When You Need It
Fast. Convenient. Simple.
Apply Online

Military Loans

Updated November 06, 2019

2019 Military Loan Rankings

Military loans are loans targeted at members of the US Armed Forces. Lenders specializing in military loans can be more familiar with the financial demands preparing for deployment, Permanent Change of Station moves around the world, or other situation unique to military families. In many cases these lenders have adapted their application process to the military. Changes such as using military pay grades for pre-approval or using a Leave and Earnings Statement to demonstrate income can streamline the application process.

Lenders making military loans range from regulated, established banks to unregulated, off-shore entities. This means prices and lending practices vary widely from great to predatory. The Military Lending Act prohibits typical payday loans to members of the military but not all military loans are covered by the Act so as with any financial product do your own due diligence before taking a loan. Do not immediately trust the lender because they have customized their process to the military. Short-term, emergency loans are best taken only when completely necessary and where a clear path to paying the loan off exists.

The Payday Hound reviews short-term lenders and ranks them according to our Sniff Test (reputation), costs, and licensing. Being included on our list is not endorsement or certification. The list is a ranking and is designed to help borrowers rate and judge the quality of lenders. This means it may include lenders we believe to be honest as well as those we would deem to be predatory. To see lenders who provide military loans in your state select your state from the table above.

The lenders listed below include both civilian installment loan lenders and those specializing in military loans. Those who specialize in military installment loans are noted in the description.

Filter lenders by state:
Company Name Description Sniff Rating
Check Into Cash
  • Direct lender online or at stores.
  • Founding member of CFSA. Live chat.
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
Loan By Phone
  • Online site powered by Check Into Cash
  • Member of CFSA, Live chat.
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
OppLoans
  • Competitive rates based on amount and eligibility.
  • Loans from $1K-$10K. All Credit Types.
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
Ace Cash Express
  • Large online established lender. A+ BBB Score.
  • Multiple loan options. Physical store fronts too.
  • Governing Law: TX
Great
CashNetUSA
  • Large, publicly traded online lender.
  • Use promo code: NEWCASH25 to save 25%
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
Cash 1
  • Nevada Licensed storefront and online lender.
  • Payday loans for NV only. Same day cash pick up at stores.
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
Cash Central
  • Discounts for repeat customers. Live chat.
  • B BBB rating. All credit types.
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
RISE
  • Military members not eligible.
  • Money back guarantee.
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
Quik Check
  • State licensed lender. Pricing shown based on Utah.
  • Competitive pricing. They have store fronts.
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
Jora
  • New lender with experienced team.
  • Loans up to $2,600. All credit types.
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
Check 'n Go
  • State licensed lender.
  • A+ BBB rating. Has physical storefronts.
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
Cash Store
  • State Lic lender only. Pricing shown is based on TX rates.
  • Must go to store to complete application.
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
NFCU
  • Large credit union. Serves DOD.
  • Provide traditional personal loans. Good credit needed.
  • Governing Law: Unclear if exporting state laws.
Great
Speedy Cash
  • State licensed lender. Pricing shown is based on TX rates.
  • Pricing appears high. They have store fronts
  • Governing Law: State Lic.
Great
USAA
  • Full service bank focusing on military.
  • Requires good credit. Not a short-term lender
  • Governing Law: Federally Chartered Bank
Great
Blue Trust Loans
  • Offers loans up to $2,000 in 39 states.
  • All credit types. Minimum Income Required: $850/mth.
  • Governing Law: Tribal
Fair
MaxLend
  • Offers loans up to $2,000. F BBB rating.
  • All credit types. Minimum Income required: $850/mth.
  • Governing Law: Tribal
Bad
American Web Loan
  • Tribal Lender based in Oklahoma.
  • Very little information provided on their site
  • Governing Law: Tribal
Fair
Cash Advance Now
  • Tribal lender. Upfront disclosures and pricing.
  • Purchased name and domain in Sept 2012.
  • Governing Law: Tribe
Fair

* Rates and fees vary by state. Not all lenders operate in all states. Check each lender's website for up-to-date information.

What Are Military Loans

Military loans generally refer to a short-term loan targeted at members of the military. Typically these loans are available to individuals with poor credit, are generally unsecured, and tied to your pay date. They are very easy to qualify for and, as they focus on military members, being overseas is usually not a problem. The trade-off is the cost of these installment loans can be very high and are best used to meet unavoidable emergency expenses like utility bills or medical bills.

Military loans are a type of more general loan called installment loans. Fixed-rate mortgages, auto loans, and student loans are other examples of installment loans. These loans are paid back over multiple periods with a set payment amount. The payment amount includes interest and principal meaning by the last payment the entire loan is paid off. This differs from revolving loans like credit cards where a set payment is not calculated and payments only cover interest and a portion of principal. The payment amount for installment loans is calculated based on the interest rate, payment periods, and loan amount.

These loans are also referred to as military installment loans, no credit check military loans, and military lenders.

How Are Military Loans Different

The difference between military loans and other installment loans is that they are generally low dollar amounts and for shorter terms. They also typically have high interest rates and fees. These loans can be very expensive and should be used with caution and only when truly necessary. See Borrow Money Options for other ideas if you need additional money.

Military loans also stand out from other short term borrowing options such as payday loans by targeting active duty military members. The lenders making these loans understand that you are paid by the US Government so are more willing to make loans based on your future income than they would for civilians. In addition, many lenders have developed processes to work with the military payment infrastructure. For example, some lenders pre-approve borrowers based on rank. This is not so difficult to do as based your rank lenders can quickly estimate your base pay. Other lenders will make underwriting decisions based on an upload of your Leave and Earning Statement. This makes it much easier than sorting out tax returns and other items other traditional lenders may require. Another feature we've seen is that lenders require being paid via a discretionary allotment. In all cases lenders making military loans try to make the application process as easy as possible for you but also make the repayment process as reliable as possible for them.

Please be careful when working with any lender. Although they may be familiar with a military member's needs and work through official processes like allotment this does not necessarily make them trustworthy. For example, lenders using the allotment process are not screened or monitored by the military. Predatory lenders to the military can and do exist.

Military Lending Act (MLA)

In the Department of Defense (DOD) August 2006 report , the DOD found that, "predatory lending undermines military readiness, harms the morale of troops and their families, and adds to the cost of fielding an all volunteer fighting force." In response to the report an amendment was added to the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007. The bill was enacted in October 2006 and the amendment became known as the Military Lending Act. In 2013, Congress gave the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB), the FDIC, the OCC, and the FTC the authority to enforce it. State regulators also supervise state-chartered institutions for MLA requirements pursuant to authority granted by state law.

In 2013 the CFPB released Guidelines for Protecting Servicemembers in the Payday Lending Market. In it the CFSB states it will scrutinizing short-term, small-dollar lenders to make sure that they follow MLA requirements. In July 2015, DoD published revisions to the MLA implementing additional regulation as well as modifying existing regulations. Previously, the MLA regulation only applied to certain types of credit, namely: narrowly defined payday loans, motor vehicle title loans, and tax refund anticipation loans with particular terms. The current rule defines “consumer credit” subject to the MLA much more broadly.

As of October 3, 2017, most types of consumer loans offered to active-duty servicemembers and their dependents need to comply with the Military Lending Act (MLA). These products include, but are not limited to:

  • Payday loans
  • Deposit advance products
  • Vehicle title loans
  • Overdraft lines of credit (excluding traditional overdraft services)
  • Installment loans
  • Credit cards

The MLA does not cover loans that are secured by the property being purchased. These loans include:

  • Residential mortgages, mortgage refinances, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, or reverse mortgages
  • Motor vehicle loans secured by the motor vehicle you are buying
  • Personal property loans secured by the property you are buying, like a vehicle or home appliance.

The CFPB lists the rights covered by the MLA as,

  • A 36% interest cap

    Interest is capped at 36% Military Annual Percentage Rate (MAPR). MAPR includes the following costs in calculating your interest rate:

    • Finance charges
    • Credit insurance premiums or fees
    • Add-on products sold in connection with the credit
    • Other fees like application or participation fees (see execptions here

  • No mandatory waivers of consumer protection laws

    A creditor can’t require you to submit to mandatory arbitration or give up certain rights you have under State or Federal laws like the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

  • No mandatory allotments

    A creditor can’t require you to create a voluntary military allotment in order to get the loan. An allotment is an automatic amount of money taken from your paycheck to pay back your loan.

  • No prepayment penalty.

    A creditor can’t charge a penalty if you pay back the loan early either partially or in-full.

Although the MLA provide military members additional protections the ultimate protection is still be informed and aware. Read over the terms carefully and make sure you understand them especially payment terms. Finally, remember it is generally best not to take a loan if you don't absolutely need one. These loans can be very expensive.

Find Loan Lenders by State

Military loans are state regulated so not all lenders make loans in all states. Select your state below to find lenders available in your state.