Veterans United Home Loans Review
Mortgage loans are one of the most important and valuable benefits the Veterans Administration offers to active duty military personnel, veterans, and military families. Determining eligibility and going through the loan application process can be a complicated affair. Veterans United specializes in VA loans and is currently the largest VA loan originator in the U.S. You’ll have access to expert loan officers that can help you through the process from start to finish. But, while you’ll find plenty of information on VA loans on the company website, there is very little information on the lender’s other loan products.
24-hour accessibility. You don’t need to be living or stationed in the U.S. in order to apply for a loan with Veterans United. You can start the process either online or by phone from anywhere in the country or overseas as Veterans United has loan representatives available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Large variety of loans. In addition to the full range of VA loans, Veterans United also offers FHA, USDA, and conventional loans, which gives you plenty of options to choose from for new home purchase. VU has refinancing options for homeowners as well.
Educational resources. Veterans United has plenty of online resources to help you understand the VA loan process, determine your eligibility, what to look out for once you have a home under contract and more. The lender also has expert advisors who are veterans from each branch of the armed forces to help walk you through the home buying and ownership process.
Other mortgage products not highlighted. You’ll find plenty of information about VA loans on VU’s website, but there could be a situation where a VA loan is not the best option. It’s not that easy to find information about the FHA, USDA, and conventional loans that Veterans United offers, so you’ll have to contact them for details. VU also doesn’t offer home equity loans or HELOCs.
Limited number of branches. Veterans United has branches in only 18 states, mostly located on or near military bases. If you like being able to visit your mortgage lender in person, this may not be the best choice for you.
Veterans United Key Facts
- Required minimum FICO score of 640
- No down payment required on VA loans
- No Private mortgage insurance on VA loans
- Will count disability income and some types of hazard pay as income
Veterans United Mortgage Loan Options
In terms of VA loans, Veterans United offers the standard purchase loan, which you can use to either purchase a home, improve a home (including adding energy efficient features such as solar power), or build a home. You can also apply for the VA’s streamlined Interest Rate Reduction Refinance loan, or the cash-out refinance loan. Both the purchase and refinance loans also come in Jumbo versions.
When you qualify for a VA loan, you’ll receive something called an entitlement - an amount of money you are entitled to that can be used towards making a down payment on a home. You can now use any money you were saving towards a down payment to pay other items, such as closing costs or discount points.
The primary entitlement starts at $36,000, although you could qualify for a larger amount based on the cost of the home you want to purchase. The second tier entitlement is $91,600, for a total amount of $127,600, which you can use towards a down payment if you wish to do so, although most borrowers tend to only use about 25%. Any remaining entitlement can be used for a second VA loan.
If you have full entitlement, you don’t have a loan limit. The maximum amount of money you can borrow will be determined by your credit score, income, assets, and debts. If you don’t have full entitlement, then your loan limit will be based on the county limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. For 2020, the loan limit on a conforming loan is $510,400 and $765,600 for high-value (jumbo loan) areas.
Applying for a loan can be easily done online from any place in the U.S. or overseas, and you can keep track of your application through the My Veterans United portal. You’ll receive reminders of what type of documentation you’ll need and when you’ll need it, as well as continuous reminders through every step of the application process.
If you’re a first time homebuyer, you can take a full Home Buying Course that will explain the whole process step by step prior to starting your application to make sure you’re ready. You’ll also find plenty of helpful articles about different aspects of VA loans and home buying in general, as well as useful tools such as calculators that can help you determine your loan payment, eligibility status, mortgage loan limit, and applicable funding fee.
You’ll also get exceptional customer service. Veterans United is rated “Among the Best” in J.D. Power’s 2019 Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, even though the lender doesn’t qualify to be officially ranked in the survey.
Veterans United Complementary Services
VU offers additional services that complement their loan products and provide you with useful services that can make the homebuying process easier.
The Lighthouse Program
Designed specifically for veterans and members of the military who, because of low credit scores, don’t initially qualify for a loan, the Lighthouse Program is a free credit counseling service that works with you to improve your finances to the point where you can get a loan pre-approval. A credit specialist is assigned to review your credit report, look for errors or wrong information, provide a plan for improving your score, and help you achieve your goal of homeownership, no matter how long it may take.
Veterans United Realty
Veterans United Realty is an independent affiliate working with VU to connect you with a network of over 5,000 veteran-friendly real estate agents across the country. These agents specialize in working with veterans and their families, and can help you find the perfect home as well as provide relocation assistance.
You could also qualify for a bundle benefit by using Veterans United Realty in conjunction with a VU loan application. The benefit is in the form of a rebate that can be applied to closing costs or to reduce the mortgage rate on your loan. The amount of the rebate is based on the price of the home.
Veterans United Community
With Veterans United Community, you can get personal finance news, VA loan tips, and VA benefits news. You can find information on how your disability rating may affect your loan eligibility, find a full list of property tax exemptions by state, and more by accessing this part of the Veterans United website.
VA Loan Eligibility Requirements
- Meet one or more of the basic service requirements as established by the Department of Veterans Affairs. These requirements include:
|90 days of consecutive active duty service during war time, or|
|181 days of active duty during peacetime, or|
|6 years of service in the Reserves or National Guard, or|
|You are the spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty or as a result of a service related disability.|
- Have a Certificate of Eligibility, which Veterans United can help you obtain
- Meet Veterans United’s credit and income requirements
- The property must meet the requirements of the VA’s appraisal process
- The property must be your primary residence
Veterans United Lender Fees
VA home loans are government-backed, which means the federal government is providing your lender with a guarantee of repayment in case you default on the loan. As a result, one of the biggest advantages of VA loans is that you don’t have to make a down payment, and you don’t have to pay private mortgage insurance.
As with any mortgage loan, however, there are costs associated with your VA loan. Some of these costs will be determined by the lender, while others are set by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The following are the most common fees associated with mortgage loans in general, and VA loans in particular, that you’ll have to pay.
Closing costs. In general, closing costs will range between 3% and 5% of the total loan amount, and will include a number of costs, including origination fees, title insurance, taxes, appraisals and title recording fees, among others.
The VA allows for the seller to pay for some of these fees in the form of concessions, but that would be subject to negotiation between you and the seller. Note that the VA limits the amount a seller can pay in concessions to a maximum of 4% of the purchase price of the home.
VA Funding Fees. The funding fee is a one-time payment you make to the VA. These funds go towards maintaining the home loan program running and lowering the cost for the U.S. taxpayer. The fee can be either rolled into the loan and financed or paid in full upon closing on the home.
The amount of the fee will be based on a number of factors, including the amount and type of loan, your down payment (if any), and whether it is your first time purchasing a home. In general, funding fees will be determined as follows:
- First time buyers - between 1.4% and 2.3% of the total loan amount.
- Repeat buyers - between 1.4% and 3.6% of the total loan amount
- Cash-out refinance loans - 2.3% for first time buyers, 3.6% for repeat buyers
- Other VA loan types- between 0.5% to 2.25%
You can also use Veterans United’s Funding Fee Calculator to help determine the exact amount of the fee would be due based on the details of the loan you’re applying for.
There are exceptions to the funding fee. The VA does provide an exemption from paying the fee on purchase and refinance loans to those who meet the following criteria:
- Veterans receiving compensation for service-related disabilities
- Veterans who would qualify for disability compensation if they were not receiving retirement or active duty pay
- Veterans determined to be eligible to receive compensation based on a pre-discharge examination or review
- Veterans who can receive compensation but aren’t because they’re on active duty
- Those who have received Purple Hearts
- Surviving spouses who are eligible for a VA loan
Veterans United Company Information
Veterans United was founded in 2002 in Columbia, Missouri, with a total of four employees and a primary focus on providing VA home loans to service members around the country.
In 2008, Veterans United was authorized to do business in all 50 states, and grew to more than 200 employees. In 2010, the company officially became Veterans United Home Loans, continuing to grow and provide support to members of the military through various community organizations and charitable foundations.
By 2019, the company had grown to over 3,500 employees in 35 branches located across 18 states. Veterans United has been the top VA purchase loan originator for four consecutive years from 2016 through 2019, and is on track to do the same in 2020.
Veterans United FAQs
Does Veterans United have a prepayment penalty?
No. If you are financially able to pay off your loan early, you can save money on interest charges by doing so. Veterans United will not charge a prepayment penalty.
Can I still qualify for a VA loan if I had my previous home foreclosed on?
Under certain circumstances, yes. If you still have an entitlement amount remaining, you can use it to qualify for a new VA loan. However, you need to wait at least two years from the date of foreclosure before being able to apply for the new loan. The same rule applies to bankruptcies - you could qualify for a new VA loan two years after declaring for bankruptcy if you still have an entitlement amount.
Can I get my Certificate of Eligibility through Veterans United?
Veterans United can help you request your Certificate of Eligibility from the Veterans Administration, as well as assist you in identifying any other information or documentation required to apply for your VA home loan benefit.
Is there a limit to how much I can borrow from Veterans United?
If you have your full entitlement, the only limit to the amount you can borrow on a VA loan is what Veterans United is willing to lend you. The maximum amount will be determined by your credit score, income, assets, and debt. If you don’t have your full entitlement, then your VA loan will be limited by the county loan limits set by the Veterans Administration.
Veterans United Key Takeaways
- Has been the largest originator of VA purchase loans in the country since 2016.
- Has a high customer satisfaction rating from J.D. Power
- Specializes in all types of VA loans
- Offers complementary services that assist borrowers with free financial and credit counseling, provide home buying advice, and keep you updated on you benefits
- Provides a network of over 5,000 realtors who specialize in assisting veterans in finding and buying the right home
- Has an easy online application process and 24/7 customer support
- NMLS ID #1907