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How to Find the Best VA Mortgage Lender

 

Buying a home isn’t something most people do with any great regularity. You might only purchase one or two houses in your life. Others will do this dozens of times.

Whether it’s your first or your 21st home purchase, working with someone who really understands VA loans is critical. This is a specialized loan product. It’s not something most loan officers and real estate agents work with daily.

Be wary of lenders or real estate agents who try to steer you away from exploring the VA loan program. This is often due to a lack of familiarity with VA loans. The VA process isn’t more complicated or difficult than any other loan. It’s just different, and knowing how to navigate those differences can make or break a deal for buyers.

What to Look For in a VA Lender

  • Make sure the lender is VA-approved
  • They understand how VA loans work
  • They support you throughout the homebuying process
  • They have your best interests in mind

Questions to Ask When Choosing a VA Lender

Whether you choose Veterans United or another lender, it’s important to ask the following key questions before obtaining a VA home loan.

Do you have VA loan expertise?

Lenders familiar with the VA program and the unique needs of military borrowers can expertly guide you through the process. Loan officers who don’t do a lot of VA loans may not have a great grasp on the program’s requirements and restrictions, along with its exceptions and exemptions.

Lenders who know VA loans inside and out can help make sure you get the most from your home loan benefits. Your loan officer should be able to clearly and concisely explain how VA loan entitlement works, walk you through the VA appraisal process and break down how this loan program compares to other options.

What military-related documents will I need to provide?

Lenders and loan officers should be able to walk you through the types of documents you’ll need to furnish, whether it’s a copy of your DD-214, an active duty statement of service or VA disability paperwork. The last thing homebuyers need is a delay because of easily avoidable paperwork problems.

Will I need to obtain my own Certificate of Eligibility?

Some VA lenders will be able to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for you in seconds using the VA’s online portal. You’re certainly welcome to try and obtain the COE on your own. However, having a lender take care of it for you can save time and potential delays. You also don’t need this document in hand to start the process.

See What You Qualify For

Answer a few questions below to speak with a specialist about what your military service has earned you.

Can you recommend a real estate agent who knows VA loans?

Working with agents who truly understand VA loans can make a big difference for Veterans and military buyers. Ask lenders if they can connect you to a Veteran-friendly agent in your market. Real estate agents who know VA loans can save you time and money. Veterans United has a national realty network of more than 5,000 veteran-friendly agents.

Will I have a dedicated loan team?

Many lenders shuffle their borrowers through a process that looks something like a conveyor belt. Consumers are passed from person to person as they move through the loan approval process. You might talk to a different person every time you call. Borrowers can find themselves explaining the same information over and over to new people, and that can waste time and add a lot of needless stress to the homebuying process. Having a dedicated loan team means that you work with the same set of VA loan experts from start to finish.

How to Compare VA-Approved Lenders

Comparing VA lenders is a very important part of the vetting process. This can help you find the best VA lender based on your exact homebuying needs. Neglecting this step could result in higher costs or an unpleasant experience. While the lender’s reputation is important, also look at the specifics of each lender’s loan offer.

Usually, this includes:

  1. The interest rate on the loan
  2. The loan term
  3. Estimated monthly mortgage payments
  4. Closing costs
  5. Any additional fees

It’s important to make a well-informed decision, considering all possible factors. Veterans United recommends comparing loan offers from at least three different lenders. The ultimate goal is to protect your investment and your financial security by choosing a lender that can help you get the most from your hard-earned benefits.

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