So you’re seriously thinking of purchasing a home, or perhaps refinancing an existing mortgage. One of the most significant decisions you’ll need to make is which VA Loan Lender to use.
Fortunately, the personal finance experts at The Balance put together a very well researched list of VA Loan lenders for 2019. They looked at 47 different lenders, read over 200 user reviews, and even tested some of the lenders themselves. Admirable work and we encourage you to check out their site for any personal finance related items. In this article, we’ll give you a quick summary of your best VA Loan vendor options.
How to Find The Best VA Loan Lender
We’ve already outlined How To Find The Best VA Loan Lender. However, some folks asked for more details on specific loan lenders, so we thought we’d summarize the findings here for you.
Also, as we mentioned in VA Loans Vs. Conventional Loans: Which Is Right For You?, VA mortgage loans have a lot of positives for military members and their families, such as 0% down payment and no requirement for private mortgage insurance (PMI). However, it’s not always a slam-dunk in favor of VA loans, so please review the article.
And the Winners Are…
The winners were selected across 5 main categories:
- Best Overall
- Best Online
- Best Credit Union (non-profit financial institutions)
- Best Bank
- Best For Those With A Poor Credit Score
So let’s look at each of these.
Best Overall: Veterans United Home Loans
The best overall loan lender was assessed as Veterans United Home Loans. Given they only do one thing, VA loans, it’s not a surprising result. They have very competitive interest rates that are clearly spelled out on their web site. Note that you’ll need a credit score of 620 or above to qualify for a 0% down VA loan at Veterans United. In case you’re not aware, your credit score can range anywhere from 300 (lowest) to 900 (highest).
Runner Up: Veterans First Mortgage. They’re also highly ranked and would be a solid choice for most military families. The only apparent downside is that you’ll need to apply for the loan to see details of their interest rates. It would be nice if they published these to make comparison shopping easier.
Best Online: Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans
Rocket Mortgage is a national online mortgage application platform from Quicken Loans. Applications are quick and easy, and interest rates are competitive. Note that they also require a credit score of 620 to get a VA loan.
Runner Up: loanDepot is also a nationwide online mortgage lender, and they also have over 180 physical locations. One downside is they don’t publish their VA mortgage rates. However, you get help throughout the application process from a dedicated loan consultant which some folks might find very useful, especially if you aren’t comfortable or confident filling in online mortgage applications by yourself.
Best Credit Union: Navy Federal Credit Union
Credit Unions can be an excellent option for VA Loans since these operate as non-profits, which generally means you can get really good interest rates. You’ll find some of the lowest published rates available at Navy Federal. Don’t let the name confuse you, Navy Federal serves members of all military branches and should be on your radar if you’re looking at getting a VA Loan.
Runner-Up: Pentagon Federal (PenFed) Credit Union is known for its personalized customer service and should be an option you consider when looking at VA Loans. However, the reason it may be of particular interest for military families is its conventional loan options known as Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM). Without getting into too much detail, an ARM could be ideal if you’re looking for low rates and move frequently (say every five years or so). If that describes your situation then definitely look into a conventional ARM mortgage alongside VA Loans.
Best Bank: USAA
USAA only focuses on military members and their families. That alone is a big plus considering it’s a bank. Their VA Loan interest rates are very competitive, and they have a reputation for great customer service.
USAA also carries a unique VA Loan Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). If you think interest rates will rise over the next five years (many analysts do, although “many analysts” can also be wrong), this may be a great option to consider.
Best For Those With A Poor Credit Score: New American Funding
If your credit score isn’t the greatest (that is, less than 620), New American Funding may be one of your best options for a VA loan. Its rates are competitive, but its main advantage is that loan applications are looked at by human reviewers (instead of computers) who can consider other factors beyond just a credit score. You can be accepted with a credit score as low as 580, assuming the other factors line up.