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Published: Sep 29, 2022 13 min read
People inspecting their home mortgage papers
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Veterans United is a mortgage lender specializing in VA loans, including refinance and energy-efficient mortgages.

The Veterans United Realty Program assists military members, veterans and their families in the process of purchasing a home by connecting them with local real estate agents. VU also provides a credit building program to help borrowers improve their credit scores.

Customers can obtain preapproval and apply for a VA loan through the Veterans United website, which features an extensive educational library.

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Veterans United Mortgage Lenders Overview

Pros
  • Choose between four types of VA mortgage loans
  • No down payment required
  • Low interest rates
  • Online credit counseling program for borrowers with poor credit history
  • Connect with a real estate agent with Veterans United Realty
Cons
  • No home equity loans or equity lines of credit
  • Brick and mortar branches in only 18 states

Founded in 2002, Veterans United is an excellent option for military members, reservists, veterans and their families. The lender has a license to originate mortgage loans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and has brick-and-mortar branches in 18 states.

Potential borrowers can obtain a loan prequalification with a soft credit inquiry and complete the application on VU’s website. Loan specialists are available 24/7 to help with the loan application.

Veterans United stands out for its Credit Building Program, a free credit counseling service for customers whose mortgage preapproval was denied due to poor credit.

Another feature that caught our attention is the Veterans United Realty which connects local real estate agents with veterans and military families who want to purchase a home but haven’t been able to find the right place. Customers who buy a residence with a real estate agent from VU’s Realty can access a lender credit redeemable for lower closing costs or interest rates.

One downside is that the lender doesn't have information or a preapproval application on its website for other loan programs such as FHA and conventional mortgage loans. Its online mortgage offering is exclusively for VA loans.

Veterans United Services

Veterans United offers online prequalification and application, a complete VA home loan guide and resources for customers with bad credit.

How to qualify for a loan with Veterans United

Minimum credit score requirements

  • The minimum credit score requirement for a VA loan is 620.

Debt-to-income ratio

VA loans combine residual income and debt-to-income ratio as guidelines for mortgage approval.

Residual income is the discretionary income left over each month after all debt and personal expenses are paid, including the mortgage payment. Residual income minimums vary by state and family size and include housing costs and other expenses like childcare, utilities and installment loans (personal or student loans).

Borrowers with a loan amount of less than $80,000 are required to have a minimum residual income. Check VU’s residual income charts and guideline on how to calculate it.

  • Veterans United requires borrowers with a debt-to-income ratio above 41% to have residual income that exceeds their guideline by 40%.

Minimum down payment requirements:

Unlike conventional loans, a VA loan has no down payment requirements as long as the sales price isn’t higher than the home’s appraised value.

However, customers who choose to make a down payment will have to pay less for the VA funding fee.

Required documentation

  • Government issued ID (driver’s license or passport)
  • Recent pay stubs or self employment income evidence
  • Two years of tax returns and W-2 statements
  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
  • A DD-214, Statement of Service or Points Statement

The following documents are required if applicable:

  • VA disability awards letter
  • Social Security awards letter
  • Divorce decree
  • Bankruptcy discharge letter
  • Bankruptcy history

Costs and fees

For VA loans, borrowers have to pay:

  • A flat fee of 1% of their mortgage total to cover originating, processing and underwriting costs
  • An appraisal fee that must be paid upfront — the final amount depends on the location, since fees vary significantly from one state to another
  • Closing costs that will total up to 5% of the loan amount, including the funding fee

VA loan lenders cannot charge more than 1% of the total loan amount to cover origination and underwriting costs.

VA Funding fee

Borrowers have to pay a one-time fee to the Department of Veterans Affairs that ranges from 0.5%-3.6% of the total loan amount.

The VA loans funding fees for 2022 are the following:

Down payment First time borrower Subsequent borrower
No down payment 2.3% 3.6%
5% or more 1.65% 1.65%
10% or more 1.4% 1.4%

Veterans are exempt from paying the funding fee if they have received compensation for service-connected disabilities or are eligible to receive compensation based on a pre-discharge exam or review. Purple Heart recipients or surviving spouses that qualify for a VA loan can also be exempt from paying the funding fee.

Closing costs

For a VA mortgage loan, closing costs can include:

  • Origination fee: Up to 1% of the loan amount
  • Appraisal fee: Varies by state
  • Title insurance: One-time fee ranging between 0.5%-1% of the loan amount
  • Credit report: Lenders cannot charge more than $50 for this service, as established by the VA
  • Discount points: Buyers can buy these points to lower their interest rate
  • Recording fees: State and local governments charge a fee to record the deed and other mortgage-related documents
  • Escrow taxes and insurance: includes homeowners insurance and property taxes

Unlike conventional mortgages, VA loans don’t require borrowers to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).

What Veterans United offers

Mortgage options

  • VA Purchase Loan: Purchase new or existing homes with a $0 down payment. VA loans can be used to purchase single-family homes, condominiums, manufactured homes and multi-unit properties.
  • VA IRRRL: The VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, or Streamline Refinance, is a low-cost refinancing loan that doesn’t usually require credit underwriting, income verification or an appraisal
  • VA Cash-Out Refinance: Use the equity on the home in return for cash
  • VA Energy Efficient Mortgage: Finance qualified energy-efficient upgrades

Loan terms

Veterans United offers 15- year and 30- year VA loans.

Maximum loan amount

VA loan limits aren’t limited to the amount veterans can borrow, but how much they can borrow without making a down payment.

The VA loan limits for 2022 are:

  • $647,200 for most U.S. counties
  • $970,800 for a single-family home in a high-cost county

Veterans with full VA loan entitlement no longer have to adhere to VA loan limits. The VA loan entitlement guarantees the lender will get paid if a mortgage defaults.

What Veterans United doesn’t offer

Types of loan products

  • Home equity loans (HELOCs)
  • VA Jumbo loans
  • USDA loans
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Veterans United Credentials

Licenses and registrations

Veterans United is a licensed mortgage lender in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Customers nationwide can apply for mortgage loans.

Awards and certifications

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans United was the top VA purchase lender from 2016-2021. Last year it was recognized as one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work, and in 2021, it ranked No.33 on Forbes Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Third-party ratings

Veterans United earned the second highest score in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study — even though the company didn’t meet all of the study criteria to be included on the list.

Regulatory or Legal Actions

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) tracks complaints filed against companies in the United States. The CFBP also records the companies’ responses to customer complaints.

  • Since August 2019, the CFPB has received 104 complaints against Veterans United VA loans. Customers' complaints were related to unexpected increases in their monthly mortgage payments. The complaints were marked as resolved by the CFPB.

Veterans United received three regulatory actions by the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS ID #1907) between 2017 and 2019. The regulatory actions addressed wrongful interest loan charges conducted by Veterans United. The company refunded the excess charges, and all regulatory actions were resolved.

Although we always try to include accurate and up-to-date information on regulatory and legal actions, we don’t claim this information is complete or entirely up to date. We recommend you do your own research, as well.

Veterans United Accessibility

Veterans United stands out because of its brick-and-mortar locations, online banking and 24/7 customer service over the phone.

Availability

Veterans United is licensed as a mortgage broker in all 50 states. This lender has branch locations in 17 different states — Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Contact information

Customers, including active duty military members, can reach customer support online or phone:

Questions about mortgage servicing, complaints or any other written request can be directed to:

Veterans United Home Loans

Attn: Client Advocate

1400 Veterans United Dr.

Columbia, MO 65203

User experience

Users can obtain preapproval with a soft credit check and complete their mortgage application using Veterans United online platform.

Veterans United’s website has an extensive VA loan guide with nine sections, including VA loan types, mortgage guidelines and loan processes.

Potential borrowers can use VU’s guide to access VA loan guidelines, eligibility requirements, rates, fees, limits and benefits. The guide also includes a first-time homebuyers section with access to four digital calculators — mortgage calculator, affordability calculator, loan funding fee calculator and loan limit calculator.

Limitations

Veterans United website lacks information and an online application for its other mortgage offerings, including USDA, FHA and conventional mortgages.

Veterans United Customer Satisfaction

Thousands of customers have reviewed Veterans United on the company’s website and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As one of the largest VA loan lenders in the United States, Veterans United has received complaints about its mortgage products, the closing process and customer service.

Customer complaints

Veterans United’s website has a Review section where customers can post and read unedited reviews. Each review is accompanied by the Veterans United loan officer's name, picture and licensing registration number (NMLS). With 324,787 reviews, 98% of customers would recommend Veterans United to family and friends.

Customers also give high remarks to Veterans United on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). With over 2,162 customer reviews and a score of 4.82 out of 5, Veterans United is praised by borrowers for its streamlined mortgage process.

On the other hand, some customers pointed out the hasty escrow process and unauthorized hard credit inquiries.

Third-Party ratings

With more than 9,000 reviews, Veterans United is described as excellent and rated 4.9 out of 5 stars by Trustpilot. We couldn’t find more information about other agencies that have evaluated this lender’s customer satisfaction concerning mortgage services.

Veterans United FAQ

Is Veterans United an actual lender?

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Yes. Veterans United is one of the largest VA loan lenders in the United States. Private lenders like Veterans United fund VA loans, which means that a portion of the loan is guaranteed or backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This makes it possible for VA loan lenders to offer more favorable terms than a regular mortgage loan.

Does Veterans United do lender credits?

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Yes. Veterans United provides lender points. The borrower can purchase lender points or credits to cover closing costs.

What is the Veterans United mortgage rate?

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VA loans change daily based on market conditions so remember to check for the latest interest rates. The current VA loan APR ranges from 5.2% to 5.9%.

Does Veterans United have an origination fee?

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VA loan closing costs range between 3% to 5% of the loan amount. Veterans United charges up to 1% of the loan amount to cover origination, processing and underwriting fees.

Does Veterans United use automated underwriting?

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Veterans United uses an automated underwriting system (AUS) as part of its preapproval process. An AUS is a process using artificial intelligence to determine whether or not you meet income and credit requirements to qualify for a mortgage loan.

Veterans who don't have enough credit history, have delinquency on the federal debt, have had a foreclosure in the last 24 months, or have late mortgage payments will most likely need manual underwriting to qualify for a VA loan. Manual underwriting requires an underwriter to manually assess the risk on a loan, which most likely will delay the mortgage approval process.

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How We Evaluated United Mortgage Lenders

We reviewed Veterans United home loans and their VA loan offerings based on the thorough information and VA loans guide available on their website. We considered this lender’s VA loan offerings, access to online prequalification, third-party ratings and additional services.

In addition, we looked at customers’ reviews on the Veterans United website and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to better understand how this lender manages customer service and relations.

Summary of Money’s Veterans United Review

Veterans United is one of the largest VA loan originators in the United States, holding the #1 spot as VA loan mortgage originator from 2016 to 2021.

The lender offers a variety of VA loans (including VA refinance), online preapproval and application, credit repair support, access to real estate agents and an extensive educational library. Loan specialists are available 24/7 for additional information about VA loans and to assist with loan applications.

The low fees and assistance programs make Veterans United a good option for veterans and their families looking to finance their homes.