1 Minute Review
Veterans United focuses on helping veterans and current service members find the right mortgage for their needs. It’s licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is the top VA lender in the country. If you’re currently serving or if you’re a veteran, Veterans United is worth considering due to its outstanding customer service and range of mortgage options.
- Current service members
- First-time home buyers
- 24/7 customer service
- Offers VA purchase and refinance loans
- Offers credit consulting through its Lighthouse Program
- Branches in only 18 states
Veterans United has been the top VA purchase lender for 4 years running due to its outstanding service. It specializes in VA loans and understands the unique needs of current service members and veterans. Learn more about what it has to offer in this Veterans United mortgage review.
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Who’s Veterans United for?
Veterans United is one of the best mortgage companies for current service members and veterans. Although many lenders offer VA loans, most don’t specialize in them. VA loans can be complex and time consuming, so it’s best to work with a lender that knows these mortgages inside and out.
Veterans United is one of the best lenders for first-time home buyers new to their VA benefits. It offers extensive educational resources on its website, patient customer service representatives and the Lighthouse Program to help you prepare for buying a home.
Veterans United doesn’t offer USDA loans, so if you’re looking for this type of home loan, you’ll want to seek another lender.
Veterans United Products
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) insures VA loans. These loans are offered through private lenders. Veterans United specializes in VA purchase and refinance loans. Let’s dig into the specifics.
VA Purchase Loans
If you meet the service requirements, you can use a VA loan to buy a home with no money down in most cases. These loans also don’t require private mortgage insurance, which can significantly add to the cost of a home loan. You do have to pay a funding fee, which goes to the VA to keep the program going for future service members.
In most cases, there is no loan limit for VA loans. The only time your loan amount is limited is if you don’t have your full VA loan entitlement, either because you already have a VA loan or you’ve had a foreclosure on a previous VA loan.
VA Refinance Loans
Homeowners typically refinance to either access cash or improve their loan terms. There are two VA refinance programs to help meet those goals.
- VA Cash-Out Refinance: This loan replaces your current loan and allows you to receive cash at closing. Let’s say you have a mortgage balance of $125,000 and you want to do $20,000 in home improvements. You would apply for a cash-out refinance of $145,000. If approved, Veterans United pays off your current mortgage balance and you now have a $145,000 mortgage and $20,000 in cash. You can typically borrow up to the value of your home.
- VA Streamline Refinance: This loan is also known as an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL). With this loan, you swap out your current VA loan for a loan with better terms. Better terms could mean a lower interest rate, a longer or shorter loan repayment period or switching from an adjustable-rate mortgage to one with a fixed interest rate.
VA Loan Eligibility
VA loan eligibility is based on your service record and your reason for discharge. The exact requirements vary depending on when you served, but in general, you qualify if you have:
- 90 consecutive days of service during wartime
- 182 or more days of service during peacetime
- 6 years or more of service in the National Guard or Reserves
- Are a spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty, died from a service-related disability or who had a service-related disability at least 10 years before death.
If you’re not sure of your eligibility, you can contact Veterans United to help you determine whether you’re eligible for a VA loan. If not, they’ll help you find a different loan to meet your needs.
Other Loan Products
Veterans United also offers conventional and FHA loans. FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and have low down payment and minimum credit score requirements. Conventional loans aren’t associated with a government program. You may need a higher credit score to qualify for a conventional loan.
Average Days to Close Loan
Mortgages aren’t an overnight process. Everything on your loan application has to be verified by your lender. Lenders also typically request appraisals, which is when a 3rd party evaluates the value of your home. Depending on the results of the appraisal and home inspection, you may need to renegotiate with your seller or complete repairs.
Once your loan is approved and you and your seller are on the same page, set a date to close. At your closing meeting, you sign your final paperwork.
VA loans tend to take a bit longer than other loan types to close. For example, in May 2020, VA loans took 49 days to close, according to the Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report. FHA loans took 47 days to close and conventional loans took 45 days to close.
One reason for the slightly longer timeline is that VA loans require using a VA-approved appraiser. VA appraisals take an average of 10 days, but it might be longer in rural areas.
Veterans United Credit Score Minimum
Your credit score gives lenders a sense of how you’ve handled credit in the past. Lenders use your credit score to decide whether you’re eligible for a mortgage and to decide on your interest rate.
At Veterans United, you need a minimum credit score of 620. If you’re concerned you don’t have the minimum credit score needed, you can work with the Veterans United Lighthouse Program. The program is free and you work one-on-one with a specialist to correct any errors on your credit report and develop a strategy to improve your score.
To get preapproved or approved for a mortgage with Veterans United, you’ll need to provide the following documents:
- Paystubs from the past month
- Tax returns from the past 2 years
- Your most recent bank statements
- A copy of a government-issued photo ID
Depending on your situation, you will also need:
- A copy of your DD-214 (some National Guard and Reserve veterans may need to provide points statements)
- A statement of service letter signed by your commanding officer
- A VA awards letter stating your VA disability percentage and monthly income
- A Social Security awards letter stating your monthly income
- The most recent statement from your retirement account
- A copy of your divorce decree
- Court papers stating your alimony and/or child support obligations
- A child care statement explaining why you don’t have child care expenses or explaining the monthly costs
You’ll also need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You can request your COE from the VA or Veterans United can also request your COE on your behalf.
Veterans United stands out when it comes to customer service. Its representatives are available around the clock for service members stationed overseas and those working irregular hours. You can call 800-884-5560 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you submit your application, you’ll work with a loan officer. You can also stay up to date on the progress of your loan on the Veterans United website. Veterans United doesn’t have a mobile application but you can access the website on your phone’s mobile browser.
If you’re a current service member, a veteran or a surviving spouse, there’s a good chance Veterans United is right for you. It does have a limited number of branches, but if you’re comfortable with working over the phone and online, its representatives are knowledgeable and dedicated.
Veterans United’s advisors come from each military branch to ensure it’s taking care of its clients. You can visit its website to learn more about VA loans and the homebuyer process in general and its Lighthouse Program can help you get ready to buy if you’re not quite there yet. It offers strong support if you’ve served your country.