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Best VA Mortgage Lenders of August 2022

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If you're an eligible service member or veteran, consider applying for a VA mortgage when you're ready to buy or refinance your home. VA home loans are issued by private lenders but guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As a result, qualifying requirements for VA loans are less stringent than for standard loans. Interest rates are also competitive (although there are some loan fees to pay).

A wide variety of lenders make these loans, but the best VA loan lenders offer loans with no down payment requirements, no private mortgage insurance, and relaxed credit score standards. Here are our experts' favorites.

Check Rates for Veterans United

On Veterans United's Secure Website.


Key Features

  • Online approval process
  • No required downpayment
  • Low rates

Loan Types

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo

Fixed Rate Terms

  • 30y, 15y

Adjustable Rate Terms

  • None
Check Rates for New American Funding

On New American Funding's Secure Website.


Best for: Diverse loan types and terms

Bottom Line

Competitive rates and a diverse set of loan terms and products are a rare combo. Fast service simplifies the homebuying process even more. What's more, New American can be a good solution for people building credit and wanting a good mortgage.

Key Features

  • Fast service
  • High customer satisfaction, A+ BBB rating

Loan Types

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo

Fixed Rate Terms

  • Customizable (8 - 30 years)

Adjustable Rate Terms

  • 10/1, 7/1, 5/1

Key Features

  • 3% down no PMI offering
  • HELOC's
  • Home equity loans
  • Considers nontraditional credit history

Loan Types

  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Jumbo

Fixed Rate Terms

  • 30y, 25y, 20y, 15y, 10y

Adjustable Rate Terms

  • 10/1, 7/1, 5/1

What is a VA loan?

VA loans are issued by private lenders that rely on a guarantee made by Veterans Affairs that protects them in case of default.

The VA guarantees a number of loan types including:

Purchase loans

These help you buy a new home with a mortgage guaranteed by the VA, as of 2020, there is no loan limit if you have full entitlement.

Cash-out refinance loans

These enable you to refinance an existing mortgage, borrowing more than you currently owe to access equity in your house and turn it into cash.

Interest rate reduction refinance loans

These can help reduce your monthly payments and the total cost of your mortgage by refinancing to a new one at a lower interest rate.

In addition to guaranteeing loans made by banks, credit unions, and online lenders, the VA also offers more direct assistance to eligible service members. Direct sources of home-buying help include adapted housing grants for veterans to buy, build, or adapt a home to account for a service-connected disability.

There's also a Native American Direct Loan program that helps eligible Native American veterans buy, build, or improve homes on Federal Trust land.

Are VA loan interest rates lower?

VA loans often have lower interest rates and easier qualifying requirements than conventional mortgages not guaranteed by the VA. Eligible service members and their families can qualify for a loan with no down payment, and they don't have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is required on some other types of loans with a down payment below 20%.

However, the VA does charge a one-time VA funding fee, which varies depending on your service record, whether you've gotten a VA loan before, and the size of your down payment. The funding fee is between 1.4% and 3.6% of the amount you're borrowing. However, veterans receiving disability compensation are exempt from this fee.

It's important to consider the funding fee as well as the interest rate when comparing VA loans to other loan options.

TIP

It pays to shop around

Comparing interest rates of different lenders is the best way to get the most competitive rate. Check out today's VA loan rates to get started!

Pros and cons of a VA loan

While there are many advantages to VA loans, they also come with some drawbacks.

Here are a few pros and cons to consider:

Pros

  • VA loans are easy to qualify for even with imperfect credit.
  • They have low or no down payment requirements and you do not have to pay mortgage insurance with low down payment loans
  • Interest rates are often lower than rates for comparable loans
  • Borrowers have a choice of loan options

Cons

  • An upfront funding fee can make these loans more expensive
  • Only eligible individuals with a military affiliation can qualify
  • Not all lenders offer VA loans

What are the eligibility requirements for a VA loan?

Veterans who meet length-of-service requirements, active duty service members, certain current or former National Guard or Reserve members, and surviving spouses of veterans who passed away on active duty may all be eligible for a VA loan. You can check www.ebenefits.va.gov or call 877-827-3702 to determine if you meet the service history requirements.

In addition to your service record, additional requirements include:

  • You must use the loan to purchase a home you will occupy or that your spouse or dependents will occupy while you are on active duty.
  • You must have satisfactory credit. However, there is no minimum credit score limit and lenders are expected to look at your entire financial profile when deciding whether to lend to you.
  • You must have enough income to make monthly mortgage payments and meet your other financial obligations. You can use our mortgage calculator to estimate what your monthly payments might look like.
  • You must obtain a valid Certificate of Eligibility from the VA.
  • Your debt-to-income ratio must be below 41% unless the lender provides compensating factors (other financial criteria that justifies your approval).

How to apply for a VA loan

To apply for a VA loan, you'll need to take the following steps:

  • Assemble your documents. You will need to prove your military affiliation. This could mean providing your discharge or separation papers (DD214) if you are a veteran, or a statement of service if you are an active duty military member.
  • Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility. You can apply for this online at your eBenefits account or via mail. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides details on obtaining the COE.
  • Determine what type of VA loan you want. The process of applying will differ if you are interested in a direct loan or want to get a loan from a private lender that is guaranteed by the VA.
  • Research lenders. Different private lenders have their own rules for eligibility, as well as their own interest rates. You should compare quotes from several lenders to find the right one.
  • Submit an application to your lender. You'll need to apply for a loan either online or in person, based on your lender's requirements. This will involve providing your Certificate of Eligibility as well as basic financial and personal information such as proof of income and your credit details.

You will also have to complete the other essential steps in the mortgage application process, including having the home you are interested in buying appraised to determine its value.

How to choose the best VA mortgage lender

Many banks, online lenders, and credit unions offer VA loans. To find the right lender:

  • Look for several lenders that offer loans guaranteed by the VA.
  • Get pre-approval or prequalification from each lender to find out the rates and terms of the loan they would provide. Ideally, look for lenders that pre-approve you without a hard credit inquiry. That will help to protect your credit score.
  • Choose a loan with the lowest total cost. Make sure you factor in the interest paid over time as well as the upfront fees and application fees. While the VA funding fee is always the same, other costs can vary considerably from one lender to another.

It is best to get quotes from several mortgage lenders as each can set their own terms and interest rates as long as they conform to broad VA guidelines for issuing loans.

Who is a VA loan a good option for?

A VA loan is a good option if:

  • You have a service record that entitles you to a loan.
  • You don't have the credit score or financial credentials required to get a loan from a conventional lender that has lower fees and a comparable interest rate.
  • You don't have a down payment or your down payment is small and you don't want to have to pay for PMI. Or you've received a down payment gift and you would like to use it for 100% of your down payment. (Not all loan types allow this.)
Lender Rating Best For
Rating image, 4.0 out of 5 stars.
Best For: Easy application process
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Best For: Diverse loan types and terms
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Best For: High customer satisfaction
Rating image, 4.0 out of 5 stars.
Best For: Diverse loan offerings

FAQs

  • There is no minimum credit score requirement set by Veterans Affairs for VA loans. Lenders who offer these loans, however, may set their own minimum score limits.

  • VA loans do not require a down payment unless the lender requires one or the purchase price of the home exceeds the reasonable value of the property. Unlike most other types of loans, you don't have to pay private mortgage insurance even if you put down a low down payment or no down payment.

  • The biggest drawback to VA mortgage is that you're required to pay an upfront funding fee that's calculated based on a percentage of the loan amount. The fee varies depending on several factors, including the size of your down payment, but it is waived if you receive VA disability compensation.

  • A funding fee is an upfront one-time fee you have to pay when you get a VA mortgage loan. It's between 1.4% and 3.6% of the loan amount and can be included in the loan so you pay it off over time. You do not have to pay this fee if you receive disability compensation from the VA.

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