2020's Best VA Loans Lenders
Finance your Dream Home with the Best Rates
Compare mortgage rates and lender offers to find the best loan for your new home
2020's Best VA Loans Lenders
Compare mortgage rates and lender offers to find the best loan for your new home
2020's Best VA Loans Lenders
Last Updated December 2020
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Our Score
9.8
9.2
8.8
8.1
7.5
Type of lender
Direct lenders provide loans to borrowers. Marketplaces help borrowers compare direct lenders.
Direct
Direct
Direct
Marketplace
Marketplace
Bottom line
America's largest VA Loan lender
Digital lender, strong reputation
America's largest mortgage lender
Best place to compare VA loans
VA loan comparison tool
Top feature
Free tools to improve your credit
Range of closing cost options
Custom loans to suit your goals
Network of 270+ VA lenders
Network of 240+ lenders and agents
Key figures
Repayment terms
Number of years to pay off loan
15, 30
10-30 years
15, 25, 30
10, 15, 20, 30
15, 20, 30
ARM terms
ARMs have fixed rates for the first 3-10 years, after which they are adjusted annually until loan is paid
5/1
5/1, 7/1, 10/1
5/1
3/1, 5/1, 7/1, 10/1
5/1, 7/1, 10/1
Credit Score
Minimum credit score required
620+
580+
620+
580+
580+
Loan Types
VA Purchase Loan
VA Jumbo Loan
VA IRRRL Refinance
VA Cash-Out Refinance
Operations
More Info
Bottom Line
America's largest VA Loan lender
Digital lender, strong reputation
America's largest mortgage lender
Best place to compare VA loans
VA loan comparison tool
What is a VA Loan?
A VA loan is a home loan issued by a private lender and backed by the federal government’s Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). A lender may issue a VA loan to an active service member, veteran, or surviving spouse that meets all the VA’s qualifying requirements and wishes to buy, build, repair, retain, or refurbish a primary residence.
The VA guarantees a quarter of the loan up to the limit set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). In 2020 the FHFA set the conforming limit at $510,400 in most of the country (except in a small number of high-priced areas such as New York and San Francisco, where the limit is higher). Therefore, in most of the country, the limit for a VA loan is $510,400, of which the VA guarantees $127,600.
Thanks to this support from the federal government, lenders are able to offer VA loans with no down payment and no private mortgage insurance. VA loan rates are generally similar to conventional loan rates; like a regular loan, VA rates depend heavily on the borrower’s credit score and other factors. Borrowers who meet the VA’s qualifying requirements often find it easier to get approved for a VA home loan than for a conventional mortgage. What’s more, the best VA loan rates generally match those for conventional loans.
VA loans have helped more than 22 million veterans purchase property since the GI Bill came into effect in 1944. According to the latest VA data, VA-approved lenders issued 624,544 VA loans in 2019 at an average of $281,225 per loan.
What are the Qualifying Requirements for a VA Loan?
These people are eligible for a VA home loan:
  • Veterans who have served at least 90 consecutive days of active service in wartime or 181 days of active service in peacetime
  • Members of the National Guard and Reserve who have served at least 6 years
  • Spouses of veterans who died in the line of duty or as a consequence of a service-related injury
Before applying for a VA home loan, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. A COE can be obtained from the VA benefits website, by mail, or by filling out VA Form 26-1880. Some lenders may offer free assistance with obtaining a COE.
Applying for a VA loan is similar to applying for any other home loan, with a few small but important differences. For example, the valuation and assessment of property conditions must be conducted by a VA-approved appraiser. Also, you must pay a funding fee worth 2.15% of the loan amount (or 2.4% for members of the National Guard and Reserves). Surviving spouses and veterans receiving VA disability compensation are exempt from the fee. The fee can be reduced to 1.5% with a 5% down payment or 1.25% with a 10% down payment.
Types of VA Loans
There are four types of VA loans: VA purchase loan, VA cash-out refinance loan, VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), and Native American Direct Loan (NADL).
Here’s what you need to know about each of the different types of VA loan:
  • VA purchase loan. No down payment, so long as the sales price isn’t higher than the appraised value. Some lenders offer VA jumbo loans above the FHFA’s conforming limits (although jumbo loans do require a down payment
  • Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan. If you have an existing VA-backed home loan and live in or used to live in the home covered by the loan, then you can refinance with a VA IRRRL, also known as VA streamline program. Using this program to refinance is a good idea because VA IRRRL rates tend to be lower than a conventional refinance.
  • VA-backed cash-out refinance loan. A VA-backed cash-out refi can be used to refinance a VA or non-VA loan into a VA-backed loan. It can be used to take cash out of your home equity or pay off debt, pay for school, make home improvements, or take care of other needs.
  • Native American Direct Loan. If you’re a Native American Veteran or non-Native American Veteran married to a Native American, then you may be eligible for this type of loan. Unlike the other types of VA loan, the NADL is offered directly through the VA and not by direct lenders.
How do VA Home Loan Rates Compare to Other Loans?
If current VA mortgage rates are any indication, then VA loan interest rates are similar to conventional loan rates. For example, we looked up VA mortgage rates today at America’s biggest lender Quicken Loans, and found identical rates for VA loans and conventional loans. The APR for the VA loan was higher due to the funding costs imposed by the VA. However, these additional costs are easily offset by the fact that you can get a VA loan with zero down payment without having to fork out for monthly private mortgage insurance.
As for refinancing, VA refinance rates and VA IRRRL rates are generally similar to a conventional refinance. From a search of top VA lenders, we found that the best IRRRL rates matched conventional rates. Of course, VA IRRRL loans offered added benefits such as streamlined application and no PMI where the home equity is under 20%.
Top Mortgage Lenders
#1
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Pros
  • Specialist VA lender
  • No need for down payment
  • 24/7 customer support
Cons
  • No conventional loans
  • No FHA loans
Veterans United Home Loans is a private mortgage lender specializing in VA Loans. In fact, it is America’s largest VA Loans provider, accounting for 8.5% of all the VA Loans issued in 2019. Veterans United is operated by Mortgage Research Center, LLC, a privately owned company based in Columbia, MO. It offers VA Loans to eligible borrowers in all 50 states.
#2
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Pros
  • Offers 3% down conventional loans
  • Loan experts are on hand to assist at any time
  • Full suite of non-conventional loans
Cons
  • No home equity loans
  • No weekend phone hours
AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation is a direct mortgage lender operating in 49 states and DC. Since 2002, it has financed more than $220,000 homes to the tune of $52 billion in funding. It is known for its competitive rates and streamlined application, with approvals in as quickly as 25 days. It offers a wide range of loans, making it a good choice for anyone looking to purchase a home or refinance their mortgage.
#3
View Rates
Pros
  • Nation’s largest lender
  • Quick application and closure
  • Option of physical or online applications
Cons
  • Rates aren’t always lowest
  • No home equity loans
  • Live chat only available in business hours
If you’re looking for an easy and comfortable loan, QuickLoans can help. Not only do QuickenLoans help ensure you get a mortgage that’s right for you to save time, but the platform ensures you are aware of your loans status 24/7 so you can keep track of what is required of you and what has already been done to avoid repeating steps that have already been completed, saving you time and confusion.
Other VA Loan Benefits
APR is one of the most important factors in choosing a loan, but it isn’t the only factor. It’s a good thing then that VA loans offer these additional benefits:
  • Equal opportunity for all eligible veterans
  • Loan is re-usable
  • No down payment, as discussed earlier
  • No need to purchase private mortgage insurance
  • VA funding fee can be wrapped into the cost of the loan. Anyone receiving VA disability compensation is exempt from funding fee
  • VA staff can assist if the home buyer becomes delinquent on their loan
  • A first-time home buyer can use a VA, and so too can someone on their second, third or tenth home – just as long as you use the home as your primary residence
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