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Best Lenders For Va Loans
Thousands of lenders can process VA loans. But only a few specialize in helping military members and veterans own a home. We list the top VA loan providers, including Veterans United, Navy Federal, USAA and more.
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Between banks, credit unions and full-service lenders, VA borrowers have no shortage of mortgage choices. But some VA lenders are better than others.
You probably don't have time to look at all your options to find the best lender. So we've compiled this list of the best VA loan companies and lenders on the market.
We have not listed these lenders in any particular order. However, we have identified the top three slots for lenders that specialize in VA loans and other financial services for military members, veterans and their families.
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VA loans offer unique benefits to military and veteran homebuyers. VA loans make home ownership more affordable because they don't require a down payment. The Department of Veterans Affairs backs VA loans, but borrowers ultimately finance them.
This means that VA insures VA loans to protect borrowers from borrower default. This also means that private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is unnecessary.
Veterans United's biggest advantage is that the mortgage lender began in 2002 with a unique mission to provide VA loans to veterans with a high standard of customer service.
Veterans United is headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, but has more than 5,200 employees in more than 60 offices across the country.
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The lender works with former senior members of each branch of the armed forces to help provide the best experience for veteran borrowers.
These military counselors have made it their mission to educate veterans about home ownership and the benefits of VA loans, including:
Veterans United offers in-house processing, underwriting and closing teams for both home buyers and current homeowners seeking to refinance a VA loan. This means borrowers work with a single team to guide them through the process.
The lender offers fixed rate mortgages as well as adjustable rate VA mortgages. It also offers 24/7 customer service, which is unusual in the mortgage industry.
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Veterans United's website is comprehensive and includes many resources to guide homebuyers through the entire VA mortgage process. The lender also offers affiliate services such as Veterans United Insurance and Veterans United Realty, which are its networks of veteran-friendly insurers and real estate agents.
In addition, Veterans United offers a free credit counseling program to help homebuyers improve their credit before starting the home buying process.
Based in Detroit, Michigan, Rocket Companies, Inc., along with the Rocket Mortgage Arm, is the nation's largest retail mortgage lender.
The lender operates in all 50 states and has more than 26,000 employees across the United States and Canada. However, Rocket Mortgage operates entirely online, which has some advantages.
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Rocket offers VA mortgages and will work directly with the Veterans Administration to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility and other documents necessary to qualify for your loan.
Rocket Mortgage services nearly all of its home loans. This means that the lender is less likely to sell your loan to another servicer, which is common lending practice.
Rocket Mortgage offers 15 to 30 year fixed rate loans, 5/1 adjustable rate VA loans and Jumbo VA loans for $1.5 million with a minimum credit score of 580.
The company also offers conventional and FHA mortgages in case you want to save your VA loan for another property.
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During its 30 years in business, UWM has grown to become one of the largest wholesale lenders in the United States. UWM does not provide mortgages directly to borrowers, but instead arranges for them through banks, brokers and other financial institutions.
The lender has experienced significant growth in recent years and has become the number one wholesale lender by origination volume.
UWM offers VA loans of up to $2 million to military service members and veterans with a minimum FICO credit score of 620.
They also offer a "VA Elite" loan option for veterans and service members with the highest FICO scores. These loans offer more competitive rates and prices.
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Founded in 1990, Freedom Mortgage has become one of the leading VA lenders in the nation with a focus on VA Interest Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRLs).
In addition to VA loans, Freedom Mortgage also offers conventional, FHA, USDA and jumbo loans at competitive interest rates - although they don't display their rates online, making it difficult to comparison shop.
For borrowers who prefer a face-to-face experience, Freedom Mortgage is one of the few large lenders with brick-and-mortar branches as well as virtual appointment options.
PennyMac offers a number of online tools and features, including electronic signatures for loan documents and easy online loan process tracking.
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The lender offers fixed rate mortgages with terms ranging from 10 to 30 years, adjustable rate mortgages, FHA, USDA and VA loans.
PennyMac services all loans it originates rather than selling to third parties. This means you will continue to make your mortgage payments to the company that helped you get the loan in the first place.
However, if you are looking for a personal lender, PennyMac may not be the best for you, processing loans online or over the phone.
Applying for a VA loan with PennyMac is easy, you can start with their mortgage rate quote tool.
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Navy Federal Credit Union, founded in 1933, worked specifically with members of the Navy. It has since expanded to include all military personnel in all branches, including National Guard and Reserve service members, Delayed Entry Program (DEP) participants, officer candidates, ROTC cadets, veterans, retirees and annuitants.
Navy Federal is the largest credit union in the country by asset size and membership. It has more than 11 million members and more than $153.5 billion in assets, according to its 2022 fact sheet.
Navy Federal's VA loans come in 15- and 30-year fixed-rate terms, but it does not offer adjustable-rate loans. For current homeowners, Navy Federal offers VA Streamline Refinances, which allow you to take out an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) on your existing VA mortgage to lower your rate. (VA streamline refinance does not require a home appraisal or inspection).
Navy Federal also offers full banking services, IRAs, credit cards, auto loans, personal loans and student loans. The credit union has 3,500 branches nationwide and nearly 30,000 ATMs. They also maintain 24/7 customer support through their call centers.
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LoanDepot is one of the nation's largest mortgage lenders, with more than 11,000 employees in more than 200 loan offices nationwide.
As a full-service mortgage lender, LoanDepot offers a range of mortgage products, including conventional and FHA mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOC).
For veterans, military members and their families, LoanDepot offers VA home purchase loans, cash-out refinance loans, and low-interest refinance loans.
One of the downsides of LoanDepot is the limited availability of customer service. They are only available Monday through Friday, 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Saturday, 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM Pacific Time. They are not available on Sundays.
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USAA is another financial services company that was created with the military in mind. Twenty-five Army officers founded USAA in 1922 to provide mutual self-insurance for automobile coverage. USAA now offers many other financial services, including conventional mortgages and VA fixed-rate mortgages with terms ranging from 10 to 30 years. They also offer VA 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
One of the great benefits of getting a VA loan through USAA is the variety of other financial services they provide. You can start with a mortgage and then add services like banking, home or car insurance when you need them.
Fairway has an extensive network of more than 500 branches, staffed by more than 10,000 employees. This network gives Fairway expertise in local markets and allows it to partner with state housing finance agencies to offer down payment and closing costs for its mortgage loans.
In 2021, Fairway closed 12,360 VA purchase loans, approximately 5% of VA purchase loans closed nationwide, making them the fourth largest VA purchase lender.
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However, Fairway does not publish its mortgage rates online, so comparison shopping is difficult. In addition, Fairway's origination fees can be high and not offset by lower rates, according to data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.
But the lender's local knowledge, extensive footprint, and ease of use can make it a great VA loan option.
Caliber Home Loans is a high-volume lender with affordable loan options for first-time home buyers, veterans and credit-challenged borrowers.
Caliber offers a wide selection of conventional and government-backed home loans
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