The Best VA Lenders for 2020
The problem with making a list of the best VA lenders is that there are only so many excellent ones out there.
Still, that's a plus for you. Because this list includes the best of the best.
The top VA lenders offer exceptional service, reliably low rates, and perks for buyers of military real estate. Find out which one is right for you.
Check Your VA Loan Rates Today (Aug 18, 2020)
Minimum credit score
Average customer satisfaction factor 1
VA 30 Year Average Loan Rate, 20192
Navy Federal Credit Union
4.7 / 5
4.5 / 5
4.9 / 5
New American funding
4.9 / 5
Guild Mortgage Co.
4.5 / 5
4.5 / 5
Check Your VA Loan Rates Today (Aug 18, 2020)
Editor's note: The mortgage reports can be compensated by some of these lenders if you work with them. However, this does not affect our ratings. Here you can find our complete editorial information.
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Important note about today's VA loan rates
This review reports the average 30 year VA rate each lender delivered to their customers in 2019.
Of course, mortgage rates have dropped significantly since then. Our numbers do not represent prices that are offered to you today.
However, these averages should give you an idea of how competitive each lender is.
Note that every VA lender on this list offered below average interest rates among the 25 lenders we considered for our review.
Compare VA Rates From Top Lenders Today (Aug 18, 2020)
Top VA Lender Ratings
Remember, the “best” VA lender is different for everyone.
To find yours, select 3-4 companies that stand out for you, then request pricing to see which one has the best deal for your situation.
1. Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal tops our list mainly because it had the lowest VA rates in our survey in 2019.
The average VA mortgage rate that year was 3.56%, which was slightly lower than some on this list and significantly lower than a few.
Average VA 30 Year Loan Rate in 2019: 3.56% Minimum Credit Rating: 580 Average Customer Service Rating: 4.7 / 5
True, Navy Federal isn't the top scorer for customer satisfaction. But it feels good, even judged by this criterion.
Navy Federal ranked third in J.D.'s Primary Home Mortgage Satisfaction Survey of U.S. Pat. Power 2019. Only USAA and Veterans United hit it.
The company had filed more complaints with the CFPB than anyone on this list. In this case, however, “more” was still less than one complaint per 100 VA mortgage customers.
We believe Navy Federal deserves to be on nearly every VA loan shortlist.
2. Stearns Lending, LLC
Stearns picked the # 2 slots because it has the best customer service. Alongside Movement Mortgage, it got a perfect 5.0 score from customers on online review websites.
And very few Stearns customers have complained about this to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (which collects mortgage complaints).
Average VA 30 Year Loan Rate in 2019: 3.92% Minimum Credit Rating: 580 Average Customer Service Rating: 5/5
Stearns Lending isn't bad for VA lending rates, either: it was ranked fourth lowest out of 10 companies.
Some lenders had lower interest rates. But many of these lenders had a minimum FICO score of 620. The requirement of higher credit scores likely kept their average rates lower. However, Stearns will handle applications with a score of only 580, which is a great benefit for those with lower credit scores.
3. Movement Mortgage, LLC
Movement Mortgage may complete your VA loan faster than anyone else on our list of the best VA lenders.
The move aims to approve applications within six hours, process within seven days, and be ready for a one-day close at least two weeks before the date.
Thanks to its technology, you have the opportunity to use all online functions. This is especially useful in today's home stay environment.
Average VA 30 Year Loan Rate in 2019: 3.98% Minimum Credit Rating: 580 Average Customer Service Rating: 5/5
In the meantime, the service from Movement Mortgage is exceptional. Customers give it an average of five stars in the rating forums we checked.
In fact, the CFPB had fewer complaints than Stearns. However, the average VA lending rates in 2019 were slightly higher than some others.
4. Quicken Loans Inc.
Quicken Loans is the first (but not the only) lender on our list to require a credit rating of 620 before considering your application.
That said, it can be more helpful than others when your existing debt load is high. Quicken says it's okay if the debt to income ratio on some VA loans is as high as 60%. As a reference, the DTI is usually capped at 45%.
Average VA 30 Year Loan Rate in 2019: 3.68% Minimum Credit Rating: 620 Average Customer Service Rating: 4.5 / 5
Customers tend to love Quicken for its convenience. Like Movement, the company can process loans entirely online in many cases.
Quicken also ranked – at least for non-VA-specific lenders – in J.D.'s 10-year satisfaction survey. Power received the top grade.
When all lenders are considered, VA specialists like Navy Federal and Veterans United usually hit Quicken for customer service.
That said, if you want an all-online experience (with phone support available) this lender might be for you.
5. Veterans United Home Loans
Veterans United is the largest VA lender in the US – despite a higher credit threshold and (according to our survey) slightly higher interest rates than others.
This can only mean that the company is doing something right for the borrowers. And in fact, it deserves an almost perfect 4.9 out of 5 for customer service.
Average VA 30 Year Loan Rate in 2019: 4.00% Minimum Credit Rating: 660 Average Customer Service Rating: 4.9 / 5
Probably many borrowers don't mind Veterans United's higher credit threshold thanks to the Lighthouse program.
If your FICO score is too low to qualify for a VA loan, the VU Lighthouse Program offers free one-on-one counseling to help you cross the threshold. (Note: this service is only available to veterans, service members, and military families.)
And as for prices, keep in mind that they vary depending on the customer. While Veterans United looks just a tad higher on average, they might still have the best deal for you.
6th New American funding
New American Funding clients love it, even though it had a slightly higher VA loan rate than some of the others on our list.
Part of this may be due to its accessibility: this minimum score of 580 will be attractive to many.
Average VA 30 Year Loan Rate in 2019: 3.98% Minimum Credit Rating: 580 Average Customer Service Rating: 4.9 / 5
NAF also claims to have used advanced technology to simplify and speed up the loan process. And it talks about its focus on Latinx customers who can create additional loyalty within this community.
7. Guild Mortgage Company
The volume of VA loans that Guild took out in 2019 is among the highest for non-VA specialists. And you might conclude that this does a great job.
Average VA 30 Year Loan Rate in 2019: 3.97% Minimum Credit Rating: 580 Average Customer Service Rating: 4.5 / 5
Guild's website suggests a solid company in the middle of the road rather than a standout innovator. And his customers clearly like that.
It's true that Guild didn't do very well on online reviews. In the U.S. Primary Mortgage Satisfaction Study by J.D. However, it finished third in Power 2019, which is a serious achievement.
8. The Bundessparkasse
This veteran-owned lender raised numerous VA loans in 2019 – even more than Guild. And like Guild, it offers a number of other types of mortgages so it isn't a VA specialist.
Average VA 30 Year Loan Rate in 2019: 3.86% Minimum Credit Rating: Unpublished Average Customer Service Rating: 4.5 / 5
On the website of the Bundessparkasse it says: "… we start with a discussion in order to really understand the dreams, hopes, aspirations and needs of our customers."
It is also suggested to offer help to borrowers who need to improve their credit before applying for a VA loan.
Therefore, you may get more personalized service from Bundessparkasse than some of the above.
How to Choose a VA Lender
Here are some tips to help you choose your ideal VA lender:
Choose lenders who work with borrowers like you – If you have a low credit score or a difficult financial past, look out for those with low score thresholdsReceive multiple offers – Don't just pick a lender who you like the look of. Get quotes from a number of lenders. the more the better. Shopping this way can easily save you thousandsCompare your offers carefully – Mortgage rates are now offered as standardized loan estimates. So it is easy to identify the one that suits you best. We have a manual to help you find the most important informationPrepare your documents– Compile your documents (here) a checklist) and make sure you know your key financial metrics, including your current credit history and yours Debt to income ratio. Your offers are only as good as the information you provide
Also, ask lots of questions. Often times, lenders don't list all of their products online, so there may be hidden benefits that researching online you won't see.
Ask any lender:
What are the rules for VA disbursement refinancing? Do you offer 100% VA payout refinancing? Do you offer the VA IRRRL (VA Streamline Refinance)? Is IRRRL refinancing possible without a new credit check or house valuation? Are borrowing fees negotiable?
If all of this sounds too time consuming, think about the amounts that are at stake.
You could save thousands of dollars by investing a few hours. When will you ever earn such an hourly rate again?
VA Mortgage Lender FAQ
Do VA Loan Rates Vary Depending on the Lender?
You bet! As you can see above, even among the best VA lenders, interest rates can vary significantly. This is why it is so important to compare estimates from at least 3-4 companies before choosing one.
Are Most VA Loans Approved?
Probably; It is easier to get approval for a VA loan than pretty much any other type of mortgage. However, lenders can impose their own standards. So if you are on the verge of qualifying, you may need to look for a VA lender who can help you.
Can I Get a VA Loan With a Credit Score of 500?
Theoretically yes. The VA says, "Unlike many loan programs, a lower credit score, bankruptcy, or foreclosure won't exclude you from a VA home loan." But you may really have to search to find a lender that offers VA loans with a score of 500-579. Most mainstream lenders only go as low as 580.
What is a Good VA Loan Rate?
VA loan rates are usually the lowest on the market. in almost all cases under FHA, USDA or conventional loans. So if you qualify for a VA loan, you have a head start on a low mortgage rate.
Even so, even among the best VA lenders, interest rates vary widely. In our sample, the average values for 2019 were between 3.56% and 4.00%.
And these are just averages. Many borrowers with high credit and solid finances pay significantly less. And others with more difficult financial histories will receive higher interest rates.
So it really has as much to do with you as it does with the lender. And the only way to find your own personal and good VA loan rate is to look around at multiple lenders and compare your offers.
How can I waive my VA funding fee?
Read this page on the VA website. This lists all people who do not have to pay the financing fee. You may also be able to convince your salesperson to pay for it for you. However, this is a matter of individual negotiation and only works occasionally.
Where can I find a VA construction lender?
Lenders willing to fund VA construction loans used to be rare. And some still refuse to offer these. But it's now easier than ever to find one. If you can't, you should consider financing the construction with another loan and then refinancing a VA mortgage at a lower interest rate.
Where can I find a VA loan for a prefabricated house?
Again, not all lenders help. But they're out there. You might want to call a few lenders – or a broker – and ask about manufactured home loans. This information is likely to be harder to find online than standard VA loan information.
Review: The 8 Best VA Lenders
So let's take another look at our eight tips. Remember, those at the top are who we think will appeal to the most readers. But that's not necessarily you. And you should choose the ones that offer what you want.
Also, don't forget to get quotes from multiple lenders. Getting just one or two really puts thousands of dollars of your money at risk.
Navy Federal Credit Union – Lowest VA loan rates in our surveyStearns Lending – Excellent customer service Movement Mortgage – Excellent customer service Accelerate Loans – Easy online application processVeterans United – Free help for borrowers with credit problemsNew American funding – Allows for lower credit scoresGuild mortgage company – Excellent customer service The Bundessparkasse – Veteran-owned personal service
Have fun hunting for your best VA loan!
Check your new plan (August 18, 2020)
1Average customer satisfaction scores include J.D. Power survey ratings and customer reviews from Zillow and Lending Tree if available for each lender.
2Average mortgage rates come from public data that lenders are required to submit under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The interest rates reflect the average for a 30 year VA fixed rate financing in 2019. Your own mortgage rate will vary.