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Veterans First Mortgage Review 2022

Established 1985

124 N Charles Lindbergh Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84116

NMLS #449042


Summary:

Veterans First Mortgage specializes in serving Veterans and their families by helping them attain homeownership. They have focused on VA loans for over thirty years and have lots of experience navigating the unique processes and requirements that come along with them.

Good Fit For:

Veterans looking to take advantage of the benefits provided by a VA loan, like zero money down, avoiding personal mortgage insurance (PMI), and competitive rates.


Highlights:

  • Over 30 years of experience with VA Purchase and Refinance loan products
  • Licensed in all 50 states and D.C.

Things to keep in mind:

  • No home equity loans or HELOC products
  • Must be active or former military or spouse

Products:

Purchase Options

  • VA Conventional
  • VA Jumbo
  • VA First Time Homebuyer

Refinance Options

  • VA Refinance
  • VA Streamline Refinance (IRRRL)

Customer Experience

Veterans First Mortgage Full Review

Veterans First Mortgage is a Salt Lake City based mortgage lender that specializes in government-backed VA mortgage loans. They offer an online portal for communication and document uploads, which can be helpful for any active-duty military personnel who are deployed overseas.

There are a lot of benefits to a VA Loan including $0 down payment with sufficient entitlement, no monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI), limits on fees and closing costs, and no penalty for early payoff. Veterans First Mortgage helps customers get the most out of these loan products and offers support throughout the process to navigate the more complicated requirements that come along with those benefits, so customers don’t have to feel alone as they pursue their dream of homeownership. They also offer a streamlined VA Refinance program for current homeowners that are looking to lower their monthly payments or take out cash.

Veterans First Mortgage does not provide their rates on their website so you will have to speak to a loan officer to confirm what they are currently offering. To do so, customers will enter some basic information and a loan officer will contact you to discuss. While this isn’t ideal, it may give customers a good reason to go ahead and ask a couple other questions they have been considering as part of the mortgage process. .

Loan Types

Veteran First specializes in Veterans Affairs (VA) loans but also offers other loan options such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-backed loans and U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans. However, the company does not offer conventional loans or equity lines of credit (HELOC). With available VA loan programs, you can purchase a home or refinance a VA or non-VA loan.

VA Purchase Loan

Backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, this loan allows veterans, active-duty members, and spouses of deceased veterans to buy a new or existing home for personal occupancy. This means the home should be your primary residence following purchase. They offer flexible terms compared to conventional mortgages. Instead of having to put 5%, 10%, or 20% down, a down payment is not required, so VA loans allow a homebuyer to borrow 100% of the purchase price of a home. VA purchase loans are available for first-time home buyers, veterans who have repaid previous VA loans, and those who have applied to reinstate their eligibility.

To qualify for this loan, Veterans First requires a borrower to:
  • Have a credit score in the mid-600s

  • A low DTI ratio that can pass underwriting guidelines - preferably below 41%

  • A minimum of two years of documented and stable income

  • Sufficient residual income

Just like VA loans, USDA loans require zero downpayment, while FHA loans require a down payment of 3.5%.

VA Jumbo Loan

VA Jumbo loans allow homebuyers to purchase homes in high-cost areas that a regular VA home loan can’t finance. “Jumbo” loans are mortgages with loan amounts that exceed maximum loan limits that can be purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. These are revised each year to reflect changing home prices. For 2022, the standard limit is $647,000 for most U.S states but rises to as much as $970,000 in high-cost areas.

The limits are not the cap on how much home you can buy. As of 2020, VA loans have no maximum government-set loan amount. The limits are just a guide to how much veterans without full entitlement can borrow.

So if you have a full VA entitlement you can potentially borrow $1,000,000 or more with zero downpayment. On the other hand, if you have only a partial entitlement, you’ll need to make a downpayment to qualify for a VA Jumbo loan.

Refinance Loans

Veteran First offers two types of refinancing loans: A VA streamline refinance and a cash-out refinance.

  • VA streamline refinance - Better known as an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), the loan serves to lower your interest rate and monthly payments on your existing VA loan. It is quick to process and does not require a new certificate of eligibility (COE). With Veterans First, you enjoy a waived or reduced VA funding fee of 0.5%. There is less paperwork and you don't need a VA approval.
  • Cash-out refinance - Cash-out refinance permits a borrower to turn their home equity into cash to cover medical bills, home improvements, debt, college tuition, or any other use. You can also take up a bigger new loan to get a lower interest rate and monthly payment, switch from an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) to a fixed-rate rate mortgage, or reduce the duration of your mortgage loan from a 30 to 15-year loan.
  • Rates and Fees

    How much will a VA loan with Veterans First cost you? Veterans First doesn’t list its mortgage rates online, so you’ll have to call the company's toll-free phone number or complete the online form to know the cost of your loan. They do state that their loan rates are competitive compared to conventional mortgages.

    Notably, interest rates vary depending on the type of VA loan and loan terms. For instance, VA Jumbo loans may have higher interest rates compared to VA loans with smaller loan balances.. Likewise, fixed-rate loans are likely to have higher mortgage rates than adjustable-rate loans.

    Veterans First offers fixed-rate VA mortgages of 15, 20, 25, and 30 years. For adjustable-rate mortgages, contact their loan officers.

    If you choose to work with Veterans First you won't be charged, tax service fees, document preparation fees, marketing fees, real estate attorney’s and realtor’s fees, underwriting and processing fee, and prepayment penalties. Here is the list of fees you may be charged:

    • Origination fees - Origination fee is charged by the lender in return for processing your loan. It is capped at 1% of the loan amount.
    • VA funding fees - This one-off fee is paid to the Department of Federal Affairs to support the continuation of the VA loan program. The fee amount depends on the type of loan and the total loan amount. You can pay it upfront or incorporate it into your loan. Purple Heart recipients on active duty, surviving spouses, and specified disabled veterans are exempted from paying the VA funding fee. Veterans First has a breakdown of the VA funding fee for the regular military and reserve guard on its website.

    • Interest rate discount points - Discount points are a means of lowering your VA loan interest rate by paying cash upfront. Each discount point is 1% of the loan amount.
    • Credit report fee - A credit report fee is billed by the lender for pulling your credit information.

    • VA appraisal fee - VA appraisal fee is charged when determining your home’s value.

    • Title insurance - Title insurance fee cushions the lender and the buyer in case the property has any outstanding claims.

    • Recording fees - Recording fees pays the cost of transferring the property’s ownership.

    Application Process

    To get started with Veterans First, visit their easy-to-navigate website and click on “start loan”. Complete the basic online form by filling in the type of loan you are interested in (a purchase or refinance loan), your name, phone number, Zip code, and email address. A Veterans First loan officer will contact you to discuss your loan options and guide you through the loan application process.

    Veterans First offers online loan applications. Therefore, you can track your loan and upload and sign documents electronically. In this way, their services are accessible to deployed service members who may not be able to communicate with loan officers during regular working hours.

    To prequalify, you’ll provide information about your credit, income, and assets.You’ll receive a prequalification letter that indicates that you’re eligible to purchase a home for a given estimated amount, awaiting final approval. Unfortunately, Veterans First doesn't provide online mortgage preapproval.

    Veterans First doesn't list the required documentation and paperwork required to accompany the loan application. You can find out what you'll need to provide by speaking with a loan officer. Here are some of the supporting documents you may need for the final approval:

    • Tax return

    • Pay stub

    • Bank statement

    • Divorce Decree (where applicable)

    Also, you’ll also need a Certificate of Eligibility. If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to complete VA Form 26-1880. This certificate proves that you meet the minimum service requirements to be granted a VA loan. It can be obtained through a phone call if you are on active duty, online if you are a separated service member without a DD-214, or through email, if you are the surviving spouse.


Scores:

  • Reviewer
    Rating
  • A+
  • [ 4.8/ 5]
  • [ 4.6/ 5]
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