What is a VA Loan?
VA home loans are mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, with down payments as low as 0%. These loans are a benefit offered to those serving in the armed forces, reservists, veterans and qualifying military family members, and are serviced through private lenders with special rates and terms for military personnel.
If you might qualify for this type of loan, it is in your best interest to apply. That’s because VA loans are a lot more advantageous than regular mortgages. These loans are easier to be approved for and will cost you less overall than a private mortgage. Whether you are applying for a single family home, condominium unit, or co-op units, the right lender can give you the financial backing you need to purchase your own living quarters with ease.
What are The Best Mortgage Lenders for VA Loans?
Best for: Veterans who wouldn't qualify for a conventional loan
Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Typically 41%
Minimum down payment: 0%
- Loan amounts ranging from $36,000-$721,050
- No service fees
- A+ BBB rating
- Quick and easy online application and comparison tool
LendingTree is not a direct lender. Rather, it is a lender aggregator that gives borrowers access to a larger pool of lenders at one time. The advantage of this system is that you can fill out a single application form and instantly apply to tens or hundreds of lenders at once. It saves you the time and headache of filling out multiple application forms that are asking the same questions. It also helps borrowers get the best rates because you can instantly compare offers from different lenders to find the best one with the lowest interest rates and longest terms. LendingTree is an excellent choice for your VA loan needs for several reasons. In addition to opening you up to several options simultaneously, LendingTree charges no service fees, requires no mortgage insurance, and even has a convenient loan calculator to help you see exactly how much you’ll pay over time with your loan. LendingTree lenders cover the spectrum of VA loans including purchase loans, rate & term refinancing, streamline refinancing, interest rate reduction refinancing loans (IRRRL), cash-out refinancing, cash-in refinancing, and jumbo loans. So, you can find whatever type of loan you are looking for here, no matter your credit.
Biggest perk: Wide network of lenders for most competitive terms
2. J.G. Wentworth
Best for: First-time homebuyers who are veterans
Minimum credit score: 620
Minimum down payment: 0%
- Some of the lowest interest rates around
- Equal housing lender
- No prepayment penalties
- Works with low credit scores
J.G. Wentworth has a sterling reputation in the home mortgage loans industry, and it services those looking for VA loans as well. It is a Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System lender, which holds a lot of clout in this industry, is a US Chamber of Commerce Member, and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. In short, JG Wentworth is a reputable and easy company to work with for your VA loans, which makes things simple for first time buyers.Keeping in line with all the usual regulations, fee waivers, and stipulations set forth by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, JG Wentworth makes getting approved for this type of loan a snap for those who have served our country. Loan terms range from 1 year all the way to 40, so you have a lot of flexibility when choosing your repayment terms. What’s even more encouraging about this lender is that J.G. Wentworth works with people who have lower credit scores (as low as 600 generally), charges lower interest rates than many of its competitors, and charges no prepayment penalties, so you can pay off your loan early and save on interest charges.
Biggest perk: Works with low credit scores
3. Quicken Loans
Best for: Online or over-the-phone customer service
Minimum credit score: 650
Maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: 50%
Minimum Down Payment: 0%
- Personalized customer service based on your communication preferences
- Rate quotes within 1 minute
Quicken Loans is another excellent option for getting a VA loan. It offers a wide range of loan types including government-backed loans like FHA, HARP, VA, and USDA loans. You'll find any information you need online for your VA loan, but if you're more comfortable with one-on-one human interaction, Quicken Loans has experts waiting for your phone call. Fill in a short form, and they'll contact you with the information you need. There are also Jumbo VA loans available, a unique offer, as well as refinance and cash-out home loans. Quicken Loans has an "Excellent" rating from Trustpilot and calculators to assist you in finding the rates and terms that are best for your VA home loan. Lear about the approval process, understand what an appraisal takes--everything is available at the Quicken Loans website.
Biggest perk: Refinance up to 120% of your home's value.
4. CrossCountry Mortgage
Best for: Veterans looking to purchase their first home
Minimum credit score: 580+
Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 43% quoted on company website
Minimum down payment: 0% possible with VA loan
- 100% with no mortgage insurance requirement
- No penalty for paying off loan early
- Receive a dedicated loan officer
- Mortgage insurance may not be required with loan
CrossCountry is a nationwide lender that works in all types of loans from home purchase to refinance to home equity loans. The company does not have especially stringent credit score requirements so it could be a good option if you were previously turned away. The company provides Veterans Affairs loans which can get you in a home with zero down payment and no private mortgage insurance required. Cross Country provides fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages with a variety of loan terms from 10 to 30 years. When you sign up with Cross Country you’re assigned a dedicated loan officer, who can be a sounding board of sorts and walk you through the process of securing a home loan, which makes things easy if this is your first mortgage. When it comes to customer service, CrossCountry doesn’t have a 24/7 live chat option, but you can still reach help through a toll free or office line, and an online contact form.
Biggest perk: Low credit rating requirements
5. North American Savings Bank
Best for: Veterans borrowers looking for several loan options to compare
Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Typically 45%
Minimum down payment: 0%
- Quality lending since 1927
- Various loan products for most borrowers
- 98% customer satisfaction rating
- NASB Home Buying Advantage
North American Savings Bank offers both VA and VA jumbo loans as well as a streamlined refinancing program with no origination fees, no lenders fees, in house processing and Veteran loan officers to ease your home buying process. If you're a first time homebuyer, NASB's excellent customer service will steer you right. They're recognized as one of the top VA lenders of 2017, and don't charge any points. From income verification to mortgage payments and debt-to-income limits, NASB's Veteran mortgage associates know the drill and are there to help you out and compare options with you.
Biggest perk: Veteran loan officers from all branches of the military
The Last Word About VA Loans
If you’re a veteran, in active military service, or the family of military service personnel, you may qualify for a VA home loan. Investigate the best VA loan lenders to compare rates and terms before you utilize this benefit to gain the perfect home loan for you. Thanks for your service!