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Wondering if the income needed to buy a home in the top 50 metro areas is starting to decline? Hint: Not yet.

Wondering if the income needed to buy a home in the top 50 metro areas is starting to decline? Hint: Not yet.

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Veterans United Home Loans Review 2022

Established 2002

1400 Veterans United Drive, Columbia, MO 65203

NMLS #1907


Summary:

Veterans United Home Loans is a dedicated VA lender and one of the nation’s top originators of VA mortgages. In fact, their 4700+ employees helped them close the most VA loans in the nation in 2019. They have offices in over 20 states and are licensed to do business in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

Good Fit For:

Veterans looking to take advantage of their VA benefits and purchase a new home or refinance an existing mortgage. VA loans can help Veterans buy a home with zero money down and avoid private mortgage insurance at rates typically lower than a conventional mortgage. Their streamline refinance (IRRRL) can help reduce rate and payments for borrowers with an existing VA loan.


Highlights:

  • A VA-approved lender operating in all 50 states
  • First-time Homebuyer Programs with no money down
  • Offers Streamline VA Refinance (IRRRL)
  • Options for borrowers with less than perfect credit

Things to keep in mind:

  • No home equity or HELOC
  • Must be active or former military or spouse
  • VA mortgages are their primary focus so non-VA loans may be referred elsewhere

Products:

Purchase Options

  • VA Purchase
  • VA Jumbo
  • VA First-time Homebuyer

Refinance Options

  • VA Refinance
  • VA Streamline Refinance (IRRRL)

Customer Experience

Veterans United Home Loans Full Review

Consumers can request a quote for both VA purchase mortgages and VA refinance mortgages directly on their website. Their online portal gives consumers a streamlined homebuying experience allowing users to upload documents, get answers to common questions and by providing updates on the loan process. Consumers can also call into their customer support center 24/7 to put in an application or inquire on an existing loan.

VA loans offer a number of benefits including low rates, no down payment, and no Private Mortgage Insurance. For borrowers with less than perfect credit, Veterans United offers their Lighthouse program that has helped thousands of consumers build their credit to help live the dream of homeownership.

Loan Types

Veteran United makes loans backed by the US Department of Veteran Affairs. In addition to VA loans, Veteran United offers FHA, USDA, and conventional loans. However, they don’t issue home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). With this in mind, let’s look at the loan options Veterans United offers military members looking to purchase or refinance an existing loan.

VA Purchase Loan

With this $0 down payment mortgage loan, veterans, service members, and selected military spouses can purchase new or existing single-family homes, condominiums, manufactured homes, or multi-unit housing with up to four units as their primary residence.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the VA home purchase loan, you should meet one or more standards set by the department of Veteran Affairs. They include:
  • You served on active duty for 90 continuous days during wartime or more than 181 days of active service during peacetime

  • You have served in the National Guard or Reserve for six years

  • You’re the surviving spouse of a service member who died while in service or from a service-related disability

Lenders also require a certificate of eligibility (COE) to qualify for a VA home loan. A COE confirms that you satisfy the VA loan requirements for eligibility. This certificate also indicates whether a VA funding fee is required and your loan entitlement. Approved loan lenders like Veterans United can obtain your COE in seconds using an automated certificate of eligibility database.

VA Lender Requirements

While the department of veteran affairs doesn’t have a maximum debt-to-income ratio or a minimum credit score, most mortgage lenders will. Here are the specific requirements for a Veterans United VA purchase loan:
  • A minimum credit score of 620. Borrowers with low credit scores can take advantage of Veteran United's Lighthouse Program, which provides credit counseling to veterans, service members, and military families to help them improve their credit scores.

  • A debt-to-income ratio of 41%. Generally, homebuyers with debt-to-income ratios of over 41% will be subjected to additional financial scrutiny.

VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance (IRRL) Loan

Also known as the VA streamline refinance, this simple, low-cost loan allows you to refinance your existing VA loan for a lower mortgage interest rate or convert from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate.

With a VA streamline refinance, you can reduce your monthly mortgage cost. Additionally, a VA IRRL requires less paperwork since no credit underwriting, income verification, or appraisal are required in most cases. You’re eligible for VA IRRRL if:

  • You financed your property with a VA loan and can prove that you live in or have previously lived in the home

  • In the past 12 months, you have not had a 30-day late payment on the loan that is being refinanced.

VA Cash-Out Refinance

VA cash-out refinancing allows veteran homeowners to replace their existing VA or non-VA loan with a larger new VA loan at a lower interest rate while receiving cash from their home equity.

Veterans United doesn’t allow for manual underwriting of loans. Therefore, you’re required to secure approval through an automated underwriting system ahead of the cash-out refinance. You’ll also need a full appraisal, other property reviews such as a pest inspection and other safety assessments.

VA Energy Efficient Mortgage

The VA energy-efficient mortgage allows veterans to pay for energy efficiency improvements to a home as part of a VA mortgage loan. With this loan, you can borrow an additional $6,000 for qualified upgrades such as adding solar heaters, panels, thermal windows, and heat pumps.

VA Jumbo Loans

A VA Jumbo loan enables borrowers to get a big loan that exceeds their county's Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits while enjoying the benefits of a VA loan, including zero down payment.

To get a Jumbo loan with Veterans United, you need a credit score of 620 – just like other conforming loans – unless your loan amount exceeds $1 million. Fortunately, Veterans United doesn’t require a cash reserve for most VA Jumbo loans. A cash reserve is a set amount of money intended to cover a specified number of mortgage payments. Notably, if you have a full entitlement, you don’t need a downpayment for your Jumbo loan regardless of the loan amount.

Rates and Fees

Compared to conventional loans, Veterans United loans have lower interest rates and closing costs because the Department of Veterans Affairs backs them.

Due to market conditions, VA loan rates are subject to frequent changes. Veterans United updates its website daily with the current rates for all loan products.

You can also get a customized rate by answering a few questions on their website. However, for full information on your rate, including the option to pay for discount points, you’ll need to call and speak with a loan representative.

The VA doesn’t set the loan’s rates; Veterans United determines your VA loan rates based on the following factors:

  • Credit score. Veteran United requires a minimum credit score of 620, but higher credit scores allow for lower interest rates.

  • The type of loan you’re interested in, whether it’s a purchase loan or a refinance loan. Refinance loans generally have lower interest rates.

  • Loan duration. Your loan repayment term can either be 15 years or 30 years. Long loan terms come with higher interest rates but lower monthly payments.

  • The type of house you’re buying.

  • Prevailing market conditions.

Veterans Affairs limits what lenders can charge in closing costs. The seller can cover up to 4% of the closing costs (excluding discount point costs) through seller concessions. Borrowers are not allowed to pay attorney fees charged by the lender, real estate broker or agent fees, appraisal fee requested by anyone other than the seller or veteran, or the flood zone determination fee by the lender or appraiser. Here is the list of fees you’re likely to incur:

VA Funding Fee

This is a one-time mandatory fee set and paid to the Department of Veterans Affairs to keep the VA loan program running. Most veterans pay a funding fee of 2.3%. Veterans United has an online calculator on its website to help you estimate your funding fee. Homebuyers with service-connected disabilities, Purple Heart recipients on active duty, and surviving spouses are exempted from paying VA funding fees. You don’t have to pay your VA funding fee upfront, you can roll it into your overall loan amount or ask the seller to pay the fee. Veteran United has a 2022 VA funding fee chart on its website.

Loan Origination fee

Lenders charge an origination fee to cover the administrative costs of your loan. The fee generally amounts to 1% of the loan amount.

Loan Discount Points

You can choose to reduce your mortgage loan rate by buying discount points. One discount point is equal to 1% of the loan amount. One discount point can reduce your 30-year VA loan rate by 0.125%.

Title Insurance Fee

Title Insurance fee protects the homebuyer and the mortgage lender from being held liable for problems such as unpaid mortgages, liens, and court judgments missed from the initial title search once property ownership is transferred.

Credit Report Fee

Credit report fee covers the cost of conducting a credit check on your behalf. The report mostly includes your credit history, current balances, and unpaid debts. This fee can vary depending on how much data is requested.

Appraisal Fee

Appraisal fee is paid to a VA-approved appraiser to estimate the value of the property, confirm that the home is move-in ready, and meets the Veterans Affairs’ minimum property requirements. This fee depends on your location and type of property.

Application Process

Veterans United VA loan process involves five steps:

Pre-Approval

A pre-approval will give you a clear idea of how much home you can afford. By presenting a pre-approval letter, you stand out to sellers and real estate agents as a serious buyer. At Veterans United, you can start your pre-qualification process online or talk to a loan representative on the phone.

The loan representative will find out about your desired loan amount, employment history, military service, and social security number for a “hard” credit check. If your finances check out, you’ll start the pre-approval process and get an online account through the “My Veterans United” portal. This online platform allows you to upload, sign documents electronically, and monitor your loan application process.

A pre-approval is a more in-depth verification of your financial and credit information. You’ll need to upload a government-issued ID, DD 214 for veterans, a statement of service if you’re on active duty, paystubs, two years of W-2s, a recent bank statement, and other documents as requested. Once you’ve got your pre-approval letter, you’re ready for house hunting.

Home Search

Through Veterans United Realty, Veterans United connects homebuyers with a team of experienced and knowledgeable realtors. These professionals comprehend the needs of military homebuyers and can help them get a property that fits VA loans. VA loans are for the purchase of primary residencies. You can buy up to a four-unit house with a VA loan if you intend to live in one of the units. Your prospective home should be in good shape and meet the minimum property requirements.

Purchase Contract

Once you’ve found your preferred home, you’ll need to place an offer and get it under contract. The contract should include contingencies to help you withdraw from the purchase agreement if things don’t go as expected without breach of contract. Using comparables, your agent will help you settle on a reasonable purchase price based on current market conditions.

Underwriting

Once you’re under contract, you'll be assigned tasks to complete in your Veterans United Portal. The tasks appear as ‘To Do”. These are the documents you’ll need to submit to your loan officer. You’ll have a final inspection of your documents by an underwriter. A VA-approved appraiser will also assess the property's market value to ensure your final price matches favorably with other similar properties in the market and the property meets the minimum requirements as required by the agency.

Closing

You’ll receive a closing disclosure form prior to the final closing. This document summarizes your final loan terms, including your loan amount, loan term, interest rate, and a list of the closing costs. The 3-day window gives a borrower time to review the loan terms and seek any clarifications before the loan is closed. If a service member can’t attend a closing, Veterans United accepts an electronic power of attorney.


Scores:

  • Reviewer
    Rating
  • A+
  • [ 4.9/ 5]
  • [ 4.5/ 5]
  • [ 4.5/ 5]
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