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The Best VA Mortgage Lenders in 2021
The Best VA Mortgage Lenders in 2021
April 27, 2021 / Nadav Shemer
The Best VA Mortgage Lenders in 2021
April 27, 2021 / Nadav Shemer
More than 25 million VA loans have been issued since the program was established in 1944, including more than one million in 2020. If you’re a service member, veteran, or surviving spouse who meets the VA’s eligibility rules, then the VA loan program could be the mortgage for you. A VA loan requires no down payment and no private mortgage insurance, giving it a clear advantage over alternatives like conventional loans and FHA loans.
Here’s everything you need to know about VA loans, including our list of the top 3 VA mortgage lenders in 2021.
Top 3 Mortgage Lenders for VA Home Loans
#1
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Years of operation: 19
States: 49
Annual Closed Mortgage Volume: 5295
Pros
  • Fast-growing VA lender
  • Friendly loan experts
  • Mortgages close quickly
Cons
  • Rates not advertised publicly
  • No weekend phone hours
AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation is a 100% online mortgage lender serving borrowers in every state except New York. It has broken the digital mortgage process down to the bare essentials, allowing it to close mortgages in as little as 25 days. AmeriSave’s expert loan consultants are on hand to assist borrowers throughout the entire mortgage process. If you’re short on funds, AmeriSave will waive some or all closing costs in exchange for a higher interest rate.
AmeriSave offers conventional and government-backed loans, and is one of the fastest-growing VA lenders in the country. It issued 5,295 VA loans in 2020, an almost five-fold increase from the previous year, propelling it into the top 40 largest VA lenders for the first time. The secret to AmeriSave’s success appears to be the combination of streamlined digital application with personalized, expert support – something VA loan borrowers seem to appreciate.
#2
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Years of operation: 36
States: 50
Annual Closed Mortgage Volume: 96260
Pros
  • 100% online application
  • Quick approval and closing times
  • #2 largest VA lender
Cons
  • Lack of support for self-employed borrowers
  • Your data may be shared with Quicken partners
Quicken Loans has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the mortgage business, officially becoming America’s largest mortgage lender in 2020. The most popular way of applying to Quicken Loans is through its online lending platform, Rocket Mortgage. If you’re not comfortable entering your financial data online, you can also request a phone call with a Quicken Loans agent. Loans usually take 30-50 days to close.
Quicken Loans offers every major loan program, including VA loans. It was the second-largest VA lender in 2020, accounting for 8% of all VA loans issued for the year. There are numerous benefits to buying or refinancing a home with a VA loan from Quicken Loans, including lower credit score requirements compared to conventional loans as well as specialized assistance from Quicken’s mortgage experts.
#3
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Years of operation: 25
States: 50
Annual Closed Mortgage Volume: N/A
Pros
  • Easy way to compare loan offers
  • Only vetted lenders
  • No impact on your credit score
Cons
  • Not a direct lender
  • Offers are not final
LendingTree is an online lending marketplace that allows borrowers to shop and compare offers from providers of mortgages and other lending products. All you need to do is answer a few questions about yourself and the type of mortgage you need. Within seconds, LendingTree will show you competing offers from its lender network. The service is free to use and won’t affect your credit score.
If you’re looking to save time searching for a VA loan, then LendingTree’s online comparison tool lets you quickly compare offers from vetted VA mortgage lenders. Just make sure to answer “yes” when you get to the question about military service. That way, the rest of the online application process will be geared toward finding you suitable VA lenders.
What is a VA Home Loan?
A VA home loan is a mortgage loan backed by the federal government’s Department of Veteran Affairs (the VA) and provided by VA-authorized mortgage lenders. A VA loan may be used buy, build, repair, retain, or refurbish a primary residence. There are five types of VA loan: VA purchase loan, VA jumbo loan, VA cash-out refinance loan, VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), and Native American Direct Loan (NADL).
The VA guarantees a quarter of the loan up to the limit set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). In 2021 the FHFA set the conforming limit at $548,250 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 $548,250, of which the VA guarantees $137,063.
How to Apply for a VA Loan
The following people may be 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; and
  • 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 must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. A COE can be obtained from the VA e-Benefits website, by mail, or by filling out VA Form 26-1880. Some lenders offer free assistance with obtaining a COE.
A VA loan has no down payment requirement and no private mortgage insurance requirement. However, there is a VA funding fee of 1.4%-3.6% of the loan amount, with the exact amount determined by the type of VA loan and size of the down payment (if you choose to put money down). Some borrowers are exempt from the VA funding fee, such as surviving spouses and veterans receiving VA disability compensation.
Bottom Line
It’s not for nothing that most service members, veterans, and surviving spouses take up the offer of a VA loan when buying or refinancing: VA loans have fewer upfront fees than conventional mortgages and FHA loans, and the VA promises assistance for borrowers struggling to pay back their loan. More than one thousand authorized lenders offer VA loans, so always compare your options.
By Nadav Shemer
Nadav Shemer specializes in business, tech, and energy, with a background in financial journalism, hi-tech and startups. Nadav writes for bestonlinemortgageloan.com. He enjoys writing about the latest innovations in financial services and products.
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