Veterans United, the largest VA lender in the country, provides discounted VA mortgage loans and offers 24/7 service. Veterans, active service members, and military spouses may be eligible.
Veterans United 2022 Review: Why Is It the Leading VA Lender?
Veterans United Home Loans is a lender specializing in Department of Veterans Affairs loans. It is the largest VA mortgage lender in the country and has closed over 66,000 loans. It offers VA purchase loans, interest rate reduction refinance loans, cash-out refinances, and energy efficient mortgages.
It does not offer home equity loans or home equity lines of credit. While it doesn’t provide other types of loans, like conventional or FHA, it can refer you to a partner based on your circumstances.
With almost two decades in business, Veterans United maintains an A+ score with the Better Business Bureau, so it’s definitely a reputable choice. If you’re a qualified service member wanting to take advantage of the low rates and $0 down payment a VA loan can provide, Veterans United may be a good option. In this review, I’ll dig into its offering so you know the pros and cons before you sign up.
Products & Services
VA Purchase Loans
If you’re looking for a new mortgage, Veterans United provides VA purchase loans with fairly low rates and excellent service. Rates start at 2.75% with no down payment required. Unlike other types of loans, you won’t need to get private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Veterans United sets itself apart by providing an exceptional experience for you. It accomplishes this in a few ways – first, by making the entire process easy. Getting a mortgage can be confusing and the requirements for a VA loan can make things even more complicated. Veterans United assigns you a loan officer who walks you through the process and is available via phone, text or email.
This lender also aims for speed, which is incredibly important in a booming housing market. The MyVeteransUnited portal allows you to easily enter your information online. You can expect a call from a loan officer soon after you complete the online portion, often within just 30 minutes. From there, you’ll get a preapproval letter so you can shop for homes and make offers with confidence.
Veterans United also has its own network of realtors, called Veterans United Realty. This is an optional service that connects you with a realtor who has specialized experience in VA loans and understands the needs of veterans and service members during the home buying process.
You can also utilize the lender’s home search tool which was built specifically to help veteran and military home buyers. This is especially helpful, as the tool can show you estimated monthly payments based on VA loans.
VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)
The VA IRRRL is the most popular of two refinance options offered by the VA loan program. Also known as the VA Streamline, this type of refinance loan is low-cost and simple. Out-of-pocket costs are typically only a result of closing costs and fees, which can be rolled into the loan balance if you want to avoid them completely.
Although the VA IRRRL is meant to be a streamlined, easy refinance option, it isn’t always that easy – but Veterans United assigns you a single point of contact to help you avoid fees and costs, while also helping you get the lowest rate. They’re always available to help, with 24/7 customer service. This personalized service makes the entire process easy, with minimal work from you.
If you already have a VA loan and want a lower rate with minimal costs, fees, and time spent, Veterans United can simplify the process for you. A VA IRRRL loan can potentially offer tens of thousands in savings over the loan term with rate reductions as small as just 0.5%.
VA Cash-Out Refinance
With a VA cash-out refinance from Veterans United, you can take cash from your home’s equity and potentially get lower rates by refinancing your mortgage. Unlike the VA IRRRL loan, you can qualify for a cash-out refinance whether you currently have a VA loan or not. If you’re qualified, you can refinance up to 90% of your home’s value.
Veterans United will connect you with a loan officer to assist you throughout the refinance process. They’re specifically trained in VA loans, so they have an in-depth understanding of the process and can make it easy for you. They can walk you through the fine print of the refinance, as well as any offers you may have received from other lenders, so you know exactly what you’re signing up for.
You might benefit from this type of loan if you need some extra cash or if you want to get a lower interest rate. Even if you don’t want to pull cash out of your equity, you can still use this type of loan to get a lower rate, eliminate mortgage insurance, or get out of an adjustable-rate loan.
With a VA cash-out refinance, you can expect to pay closing costs and fees of 3% to 5% of the loan amount. While you can’t roll these costs on top of your loan, you can finance them into your new loan, as long as you meet the loan-to-value ratio, which varies by lender. Veterans United refinances up to 90% loan to value, including the VA Funding Fee.
The VA Funding Fee is a requirement of VA cash-out refinances and supports the VA loan program. This is 2.3% of your loan amount if you’re a first-time user or 3.6% if you’ve used the program before. If you have a disability connected to your service or are an eligible surviving spouse, you will not need to pay this fee.
VA Energy Efficient Mortgage
You can borrow extra money to purchase energy efficiency improvements in your home as part of a home purchase or refinance with the VA energy efficient mortgage. You can borrow up to $6,000 on top of your loan amount to pay for qualified improvements, such as insulation, heat pumps, thermal windows, and solar heating and cooling systems.
This type of loan cannot be used for non-permanent additions like window air conditioning units or appliances. Your Veterans United loan specialist can help you determine if your home improvements would qualify for this type of loan.
Rates and Terms
Since Veterans United is a VA lender, you get access to lower rates than you would with other types of loans, like conventional or FHA loans. VA loans are guaranteed by the government, which makes them less risky. As a result, you can get lower interest rates. Rates are determined by your credit score, loan type, loan duration, and current market conditions.
Veterans United currently advertises the following loan rates:
|VA Loan Type||Interest Rate||APR|
|15-Year Fixed VA Purchase||2.750%||3.216%|
|30-Year Fixed VA Purchase||2.750%||3.068%|
|15-Year Streamline (IRRRL)||2.750%||2.963%|
|30-Year Streamline (IRRRL)||2.990%||3.136%|
|15-Year VA Cash-Out||2.750%||3.216%|
|30-Year VA Cash-Out||2.990%||3.274%|
Veterans United offers the purchase of discount points which allow you to pay interest upfront and receive a lower rate over your loan term. These points are most beneficial if you plan to own the home for a long time.
You can connect with a loan advisor to determine what your break-even point of purchasing discount points would be and whether they’d be a smart purchase for your circumstances.
If you choose to use a Veterans United Realty agent in your home search and get a mortgage from Veterans United Home Loans, you may also be eligible for a discount. The lender offers a credit that can help with closing costs, although the deal varies depending on where you live and isn’t available in every state.
Application Process and Qualifications
To begin the application process, you can either submit information online or call and speak with a loan specialist. Even if you apply online, you’ll receive a call from a specialist to complete the process and ensure you have the proper information and documentation.
To qualify for a VA loan with Veterans United, you must meet the general qualifications of the VA loan. VA loans offer more lenient qualifications than traditional loans, however, there are still specific requirements to be eligible.
You might be eligible if you meet one or more of the following requirements:
- During peacetime, you’ve served at least 181 days of active service.
- During wartime, you’ve served at least 90 consecutive days of active service.
- You’ve served the National Guard of Reserves for 6 years.
- Your spouse was a service member who died as a result of a service-related disability or in the line of duty.
If you have no military affiliation, you can still go through Veterans United’s online application process, which asks for general personal and home purchase information. When you note that you have no military affiliation, the lender will provide recommended partner lenders based on the information you entered.
You won’t need any money for a down payment for a VA loan. If you choose to include a downpayment, you could get better rates and lower monthly payments. VA loans also don’t require PMI, regardless of how much of your home you’re financing. In comparison, most conventional loans require PMI if you’re financing more than 80% of your home.
You will need a minimum credit score of 640. It’s important to note that the higher your credit score is, the better rates and terms you’ll qualify for.
VA loans also require that you have a certain amount of residual income, or income left over after paying for all major expenses. Normally, you’ll need at least $1,003 in residual income, but if a non-purchasing spouse has enough income to cover the difference, you may still qualify.
To begin the preapproval process, you’ll need the following documents:
- Driver’s license or government identification
- DD-214 or Reserve/Guard statements
- Statement of service for active duty service members
- W-2 for the last 2 years
- Recent pay stubs and bank statements
- Disability award letters
The application process can be completed online, over the phone, or in person at a branch location. Once you’re preapproved and are under contract for a house, you’ll upload documents and complete tasks via the MyVeteransUnited dashboard on the lender’s website.
The approval process can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days and will depend on how quickly you can provide documentation and answer any questions that may arise from your Veterans United loan specialist. Once you’re under contract on a home, you can expect the rest of the home buying process to be completed in 30 to 45 days.
You can contact Veterans United’s customer service team by phone call, email, or by filling out the contact form on its website. The team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which is helpful for service members who may be stationed anywhere across the globe.
I tested out the customer service team via phone and email. I wanted to know more about potential discounts and approval time.
I received a response in under 24 hours, though the response wasn’t very informational:
Next, I called the customer service line and selected the option to speak with an operator. I was connected with someone within one minute. The person I spoke with was able to answer my questions about the Veterans United Realty discount, as well as provide information on approval time. She was polite, friendly, and very knowledgeable in both areas.
Veterans United has provided tens of thousands of VA loans to eligible veterans, service members, reservists, and spouses of service members. With 19 years in business, thousands of reviews, and an A+ score with the Better Business Bureau, the lender has proven to be both trustworthy and reputable.
Since Veterans United provides VA loans, it must follow the guidelines that all lenders follow. That means you can take advantage of a $0 downpayment, low interest rates, and no PMI.
Veterans United sets itself apart by providing 24/7 customer support, credit counseling, online resources, and an easy-to-use customer dashboard. It does a good job of catering to military borrowers by offering customer service regardless of where you might be stationed. It also employs retired senior leaders as military advisors, so you can get help from someone who has been in your shoes.
Veterans United does not offer home equity loans or HELOCs. It also can’t provide conventional, FHA, or USDA loans, though it will refer you to a partner based on your circumstances. Despite these drawbacks, Veterans United provides specialized service which makes it an expert in the limited products it does offer.
Is Veterans United a private company?
Yes. According to EDGAR, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s database of publicly traded companies, Veterans United is a private company.
Is Veterans United a direct VA lender?
Yes, Veterans United is a full-service direct VA home lender.
Can non-veterans use Veterans United?
While Veterans United only services VA loans which require that you meet military-related qualifications, it can refer you to a partner that fits your specific financial circumstances and loan requirements.
Does Veterans United pay closing costs?
No. When you use Veterans United, you are expected to pay closing costs. However, you may be able to roll them in your loan depending on what type of loan you get.