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USAA Review
USAA Review
October 25, 2022 / Michael Graw
USAA Review
October 25, 2022 / Michael Graw

At a Glance

USAA offers conventional, jumbo, and VA mortgages and refinance loans. In order to qualify for a USAA loan, you must be a military member or veteran, or the spouse or child of one. You can be pre-approved online for a loan in minutes and a USAA loan officer is there to help with the rest of the application process. VA loans through USAA require no down payment and no private mortgage insurance, and you can roll the VA funding fee into your loan.

Key Figures

Loan types: Mortgage, refinance

Loan products: Conventional, Jumbo, VA

APRs start from: 6.616%

Minimum credit score: 640

Repayment terms: 10, 15, 20, 30 years

Pros

  • VA loans with no down payment
  • VA refinance and cash-out refinance loans
  • Include VA funding fee in your loan
  • Get pre-approved online
  • Available in all 50 states

Cons

  • Only available to USAA members
  • No FHA or USDA loans

USAA specializes in VA loans, which makes sense since many USAA members qualify for these types of loans. Veterans and active duty military members can get a VA home loan with no down payment and no private mortgage insurance. They can also refinance their current mortgage and get cash at closing. USAA offers online pre-approval for loans and is available in all 50 states.

You must be a USAA member in order to apply for a loan. Only current military members and veterans plus their spouses and children qualify for membership. USAA does not offer FHA or USDA loans.

How it Works

You must be a USAA member in order to be pre-approved or apply for a loan. If you’re a veteran, an active duty service member for at least 181 consecutive days, or a spouse or child of a veteran or active duty service member, you can apply for membership online.

Once your USAA membership is approved, you can create a USAA online account and apply for pre-approval for a loan. This process only takes a few minutes and involves telling USAA about the home you’re looking to buy or refinance. USAA runs a credit check, which can impact your credit score, and issues a pre-approval letter that you can use when house shopping.

Once you’re ready to complete your loan application, you can speak with your dedicated USAA loan officer in-person or over the phone. You will need to provide proof of income and a bank statement. If you’re applying for a VA loan, you’ll also need a Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

After the application is complete, USAA typically takes around 30-40 days to close loans.

Types of Loans

USAA offers conventional, jumbo, and VA mortgages and refinance loans. The company specializes in VA loans and offers jumbo VA mortgages as well as zero-down payment VA mortgages with no private mortgage insurance. You can also choose to include the cost of the VA funding fee, which is required for all VA loans, in your loan.

Conventional and VA mortgages are available in 10, 15, 20, or 30-year repayment terms. Jumbo mortgages are available in 15 and 30-year terms.

Conventional and VA refinance loans are available as either traditional or cash-out refinances. Cash-out refinances allow you to refinance up to 90% of the value of your home and take out up to $500,000 in cash. Traditional refinance loans—what USAA refers to as VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans—offer slightly lower interest rates and allow you to refinance up to 100% of the value of your home.

Loan Features

  • Range of VA loans . Take out a conventional or jumbo VA mortgage or a traditional or cash-out VA refinance loan.
  • Zero down payment . VA home loans are available with zero down payment and no private mortgage insurance.
  • Finance the funding fee . You can choose to pay for the VA loan funding fee with your VA loan.
  • $50,000 minimum . USAA requires that all mortgage and refinance loans be at least $50,000.
  • 10-30 year terms . Conventional and VA home loans are available in 10, 15, 20, or 30-year repayment terms.
  • Available in all states . USAA loans are available to USAA members in all 50 states.

Rates and Terms

USAA offers rates starting from 6.616% APR for VA home loans. All mortgages and refinance loans must be at least $50,000, and jumbo loans start from $647,200. Borrowers can choose a term of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years for a conventional or VA loan, or 15 or 30 years for a jumbo loan.

Summary

USAA is a members-only lender that specializes in VA mortgages and refinance loans and is available in all 50 states. You can qualify for USAA membership if you are a current military member or veteran, or the spouse or child of one. USAA’s VA home loans are available with zero down payment and no private mortgage insurance, and you can even roll the VA funding fee into your loan. VA refinance loans enable you to take out up to $500,000 in cash at closing.

Contact USAA

USAA has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau but a 1.3-star rating with Trustpilot. However, many negative Trustpilot reviews focus on other divisions within USAA, including car insurance and non-mortgage loans. Negative reviews from long-time customers suggest that USAA’s attention to customer service has declined in recent years.

You can contact USAA by phone, secure message, or live chat. We called and were able to speak to a representative in around 10 minutes.

By Michael Graw
Michael Graw is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Bellingham, Washington. His interests span a wide range from business technology to finance to creative media, with a focus on new technology and emerging trends. Michael's work has been published in TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Business Insider, Fast Company, Salon, and Harvard Business Review.
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