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Published: Sep 25, 2023 10 min read

Veterans First was established in 1996 to assist veterans and their families in achieving financial stability. Over time, Veterans First has grown significantly, affirming its position as a reliable provider of VA loans — home loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs that are designed to benefit veterans and active service members.

However, the company’s offerings are not confined to VA loans. Recognizing the market’s diverse needs, Veterans First expanded its services, catering to a larger clientele by providing Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans.

Keep reading for an in-depth Veterans First review, including a look at advantages, possible drawbacks, offerings and answers to some frequently asked questions.

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Best VA loan with no PMI (private mortgage insurance)

Veterans First’s VA loans come with several significant benefits, with the absence of a private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirement being a notable standout. PMI is an additional fee typically required on conventional loans if you fail to make a 20% down payment. This insurance policy acts as a security net for the lender in case you default on the loan.

However, VA loans — provided by Veterans First or otherwise — waive this PMI requirement. This exemption can result in substantial monetary savings over the life of your loan. It ultimately reduces the cost of borrowing, making homeownership more accessible and affordable for veterans and active service members.

Veterans First VA loans pros and cons

When considering Veterans First for a VA loan, understanding its advantages and potential downsides can help you make an informed decision.

Please note that while these pros and cons offer a generalized understanding of Veterans First’s offerings, specific details and conditions can vary depending on individual circumstances. Doing thorough research or consulting with a financial advisor before committing to a loan is always recommended.

  • Specialization
  • Competitive loans for non-veterans also available
  • No PMI requirement
  • Limited physical presence
  • Potential additional fees

Pros explained


Veterans First focuses on VA loans, and it has a considerable depth of experience and expertise in this area. This can benefit you if you want a lender that understands the VA loan process, can help you with VA loan tips and can help you get the best possible deal.

Competitive loans for non-veterans also available

Veterans First offers a diverse range of options besides VA loans, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and refinance loans.

No PMI requirement

Veterans First VA loans don’t require PMI, which can save you significant money over the life of the loan. This is because PMI is typically required if you make a down payment of less than 20%, and VA loans allow you to put down as little as 0%.

Cons explained

Limited physical presence

Veterans First doesn’t have a large network of physical branches, so consider another lender if you prefer to interact with a lender in person. However, the lender has a strong online platform, making this a good option if you’re comfortable doing your banking online.

Potential additional fees

You may encounter additional fees or costs with a Veterans First VA loan depending on your creditworthiness, the size of the loan and what you intend to use it for. Specific loan products may also come with appraisal and compliance inspection fees.

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Veterans First offerings

Veterans First offers an array of loan options designed to meet the varying financial requirements of the customers.

VA loans

These are the flagship offerings of Veteran First and are among the best VA loans on the market. VA loans are a unique type of veterans mortgage loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. They are available to veterans, active-duty service members and, in some cases, surviving spouses. They come with lower interest rates than conventional loans and don’t require a down payment or private mortgage insurance. Veterans First’s expertise in these loans makes the lender a popular choice for eligible borrowers.

FHA loans

In addition to Veterans First’s home loans, the company also offers Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. These are mortgage loans insured by the FHA and are popular for first-time homebuyers due to their lower down payment requirements (usually 3.5%) and looser credit score standards as compared to conventional loans. FHA loans are an excellent alternative if you don’t meet the eligibility criteria for VA loans.

USDA loans

USDA loans are designed to help lower-income individuals or families buy, repair or renovate homes in rural areas. Like VA loans for veterans, USDA loans often allow for low or no down payments and include attractive interest rates. They may be a good option if you live in an eligible rural or suburban area and meet the qualifying requirements.

Refinance loans

Veterans First also provides options for refinancing your current mortgage, including if you’re considering refinancing a VA loan. Refinancing allows you to lower your mortgage rates, shorten the loan term or tap into your home’s equity for cash.

Whether it’s streamlining your VA loan through the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) program, using a traditional VA refinancing to extract equity or using conventional refinancing, Veterans First offers a variety of refinancing options.

Veterans First pricing

Veterans First offers a variety of loan products, each with distinctive pricing structures suitable for differing budgets. This can make homeownership a realistic goal for a broad spectrum of veterans, active duty military members and other qualifying individuals.

Veterans First interest rates depend on your credit score, which offers insight into your financial reliability. Higher credit scores typically equate to more favorable interest rates as they indicate a lower risk for the lender. The loan amount can also affect the interest rate. Larger loans can sometimes carry higher interest rates due to the increased risk they pose. Similarly, the length of the loan term can influence the interest rate. A longer-term loan can typically lead to higher overall interest, even if the monthly payments are lower.

Veterans First financial stability

In the context of providing loans, financial stability guarantees that even in fluctuating economic conditions.

Veterans First has been operational since 1996 and has a proven track record of substantial financial stability. The company has sustained steady growth, which lends to its solid financial footing. This stability is a critical aspect as it ensures that the company is capable of meeting its financial obligations.

VeteransFirst is a subsidiary of Barrington Bank & Trust Company, a company with over $3.7 billion in assets, which further asserts the company’s financial soundness.

Veterans First accessibility

Veterans First is fully dedicated to ensuring all military borrowers, including those with disabilities, can access their loan options easily. It implemented multiple accessibility features to facilitate this, with a website meticulously designed to cater to individuals with disabilities. It incorporates features like keyboard navigation for those unable to use a mouse, compatibility with screen readers for visually impaired users and large print text for easier readability.

Beyond its digital platform, Veterans First also maintains a toll-free number where you can directly interact with company representatives. This includes a teletypewriter (TTY) service to accommodate you if you’re deaf or hard of hearing.

The lender extends support through dedicated assistance during the application process, including making necessary accommodations to ensure you have an equal and fair opportunity to complete your loan applications.


Veterans First provides VA loans to anyone who meets its qualifying criteria. It boasts a diverse array of mortgage options that cater to varying needs, encompassing loans for primary residences, vacation homes and investment properties.

Contact information

Veterans First makes it easy to get in touch with a customer service phone line at 800-217-1596. A support team is also available via email at and you can use a form on its website to request a call.

User experience

Veterans First makes a point of providing an easy-to-use, highly accessible service. Its commitment to accessibility ensures that all customers, even those with considerable difficulty with traditional methods of communication, have straightforward access to all of its offerings and customer support.

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Veterans First customer satisfaction

Veterans First mortgage reviews are high, with even those who express dissatisfaction with certain aspects of their experience mentioning excellent customer service or outstanding efforts made by individual brokers.

Veterans First FAQs

What credit score does Veterans First require?

Veterans First typically requires a minimum credit score in the mid-600s, in line with many competitor mortgage lenders. Exceptions do apply, and the lender takes a comprehensive approach by looking at the DTI ratio, credit history and income.

Is Veterans First Mortgage only for veterans?

Veterans First VA loan offers are available only to U.S. Veterans, active-duty service members and (in some cases) surviving spouses. That said, other financial products and purchase loans such as FHA and USDA loans may be available to qualified U.S. citizens regardless of military service.

Is it hard to qualify for a VA loan?

To qualify for a VA loan, you must meet service requirements defined by the Department of Veterans Affairs. You must also have a sufficient credit score and verifiable income, and mortgage or refinance loans must be for your primary residence. While lenders typically look for a credit score of at least 620, some may approve borrowers with lower credit scores.

How we evaluated Veterans First

In evaluating Veterans First, we considered factors including:

  • Loan offerings: We looked at the availability of various loan types, including VA, FHA, USDA and refinance loans.
  • Pricing structures: We considered factors such as interest rates and repayment terms.
  • Customer satisfaction: We drew feedback from a broad range of consumer review websites.
  • Accessibility: We considered ease of use, particularly for people with disabilities.
  • Financial stability: We looked at measures of stability such as financial backing and guarantees.

Summary of Money’s Veterans First review

Veterans First offers a well-rounded solution if you’re looking for a VA loan. While it extends its services to the broader public through FHA and USDA loans, the company’s primary focus remains serving veterans and active military members. Its commitment to customer satisfaction, competitive pricing and a range of offerings make Veterans First a reliable choice for VA loans.

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