As a veteran, you deserve assistance in securing a mortgage to purchase a home. The Department of Veterans Affairs guaranty program was created to provide veterans with home loan benefits as a way to say thank you for your service. With VA loan, veterans can obtain mortgage financing with no down payment, flexible underwriting, and competitive interest rates. However, not all lenders offer VA loans, and some are better equipped than others to serve the needs of veterans. It is important you choose a top VA loan provider to ensure a smooth loan process and the best deal. In this article, we explore the key factors to consider when selecting a VA lender and profile some of the highest-rated VA mortgage companies to help you make an informed choice. By partnering with a reputable VA lender, you can use your hard-earned benefits with confidence to achieve the dream of home ownership.
What Are VA Loan and Who Offers Them?
VA loans are mortgage options backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for those who have served in the military. The VA helps veterans by guaranteeing a portion of the loan, allowing lenders to provide loans with no down payment.
Major VA Lenders
Several well-known mortgage lenders offer VA loans, including Veterans United Home Loans, Navy Federal Credit Union, USAA, and PenFed Credit Union. When choosing a VA lender, consider:
- Experience. Look for a lender with a proven track record of helping veterans through the VA loans process. More experience means fewer hassles and faster closing.
- Rates and fees. Compare interest rates, origination fees, and closing costs across lenders. Lower rates and fees mean paying less over the life of your loan.
- Customer service. Seek out a lender known for providing guidance and support. VA loans have additional paperwork, so responsive service is important.
- Additional benefits. Some lenders offer benefits for veterans like waived appraisal fees, closing cost credits, and reduced interest rates. Additional perks can help make the lending process easier and more affordable.
In summary, the top VA mortgage lenders combine competitive rates, minimal fees, and dedicated support for veterans and military members. By evaluating experience, costs, service, and benefits, you can choose a lender tailored to your needs and ensure a smooth VA loan experience.
Comparing the Top 5 VA Loan Providers
When choosing a VA loan provider, you’ll want to compare several top companies to find the one that best fits your needs. Some of the highest-rated VA loan providers are:
Veterans United Home Loans
Veterans United is one of the largest VA loans providers, offering highly competitive rates and fees. They have a reputation for fast, streamlined service and a helpful customer support team. Veterans United does not charge lender fees and has flexible down payment options.
Navy Federal Credit Union
As a credit union, Navy Federal can often offer lower interest rates than big banks. They are a trusted, reputable lender that specializes in serving military members and veterans. Navy Federal does charge some lender fees, but they frequently run promotions waiving or reducing these charges. They also have a generous down payment requirement of just 3%.
Like Navy Federal, USAA exclusively serves the military community. They are a full-service bank and insurance provider, so you can handle multiple financial needs in one place. USAA typically has very competitive rates and charges minimal lender fees. They only require a small down payment of 3-5%.
Wells Fargo is one of the biggest mortgage lenders in the U.S. and provides VA loans with competitive rates. Although Wells Fargo does charge origination and underwriting fees, they frequently offer promotions to waive some or all of these charges. They allow down payments as low as 3% for VA loans.
By comparing factors like rates, fees, down payment options, and customer service, you can determine which top VA loans provider is right for your unique situation. The company you choose can make a big difference in your experience obtaining a VA mortgage.
Tips for Choosing the Best VA Lender for You
When choosing a VA lender, several factors are important to consider for your needs.
Research multiple VA lenders
Do research on various VA mortgage lenders to compare interest rates, fees, and customer service. Check online reviews from sources like NerdWallet, Bankrate, and U.S. News to see ratings and read reviews from other veterans. You should consider both large national banks as well as smaller regional lenders. Some recommended options include Veterans United Home Loans, Navy Federal Credit Union, and USAA.
Compare interest rates and closing costs
Interest rates and closing fees can vary between lenders, so make sure you compare these costs carefully. Closing fees typically range from 1-5% of the loans amount. Lower interest rates and closing fees could save you thousands over the life of the loan. Ask each lender for a loan estimate to compare all charges apples to apples.
Evaluate level of service
Consider how much hand-holding you need through the mortgage process. Do you prefer more face-to-face guidance or are you comfortable doing most of the paperwork yourself online? Some lenders are more hands-on while others utilize technology and online tools. Choose a lender that fits your desired level of customer service.
Check additional benefits
Some of the top VA loans lenders provide additional benefits for veterans like rate discounts, cash back at closing, or donations to military charities. For example, Veterans United donates $300 to charities like the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit fund for every closed VA loans. Consider any added perks that could benefit you or other veterans.
By evaluating multiple lenders, comparing key costs, assessing the level of customer service, and checking any additional benefits, you can choose a VA mortgage lender that suits all of your needs. Make a well-informed decision that will set you up for success as a veteran homeowner.
As you assess VA loans providers, keep your specific needs and priorities in mind. Some offer the lowest rates and fees, while others provide the best customer service or most streamlined application process. The provider that is right for your neighbor may not suit your situation. Do your research, check reviews from other veterans, and make calls to ask questions. Finding the right match for you will give you confidence as you take this important step into home ownership. With the right VA loans, you can achieve your goal of owning a place to call home. Take your time, understand all the options, and choose a provider that will guide you through the complex process while saving you money. The perfect VA loans provider for your needs is out there is you just have to find them.