Best VA Mortgage Lenders in 2023

If you are a member of the military, a veteran, or an eligible spouse, obtaining a low-cost mortgage through a VA loan has been made easy by the government. VA loans offer several advantages, including no down payment requirement and no need for mortgage insurance. To help you find the best lenders for VA loans, Bankrate has evaluated numerous mortgage lenders. Here is our guide to the best VA mortgage lenders in 2023.

1. Veterans United Home Loans

Availability: Available in all U.S. states
Loans offered: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA
Credit requirements: 620 for conventional, VA, and FHA loans
Down payment minimum: 3% for conventional loans; 10.01% for jumbo loans; 3.5% for FHA loans
Where to find: Online
No fees
Can close as fast as three weeks
No home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or home equity loans (second mortgages)

2. Cardinal Financial

Availability: Available in all U.S. states
Loans offered: Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA
Credit requirements: 620 for conventional loans; 580 for VA loans
Down payment minimum: 3% for conventional loans; none for VA loans
Where to find: Online and in-person
Works with affordable housing, first-time homebuyer, and down payment assistance programs nationwide
Offers specialized loan products

3. LowRates.com

Availability: Available in 48 U.S. states (not available in GA or MA)
Loans offered: Conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA
Credit requirements: 620 for conventional loans; 700 for jumbo loans; 500 for FHA and VA loans
Down payment minimum: 3% for conventional loans; 3.5% for FHA loans; none for VA and USDA loans
Where to find: Online
No fees
Can close as fast as 20 days
Offers HELOCs and home equity loans

4. Navy Federal Credit Union

Availability: Available in all U.S. states
Loans offered: Conventional, jumbo, VA
Credit requirements: 620 for conventional and VA loans
Down payment minimum: 5% for conventional loans; none for VA loans
Where to find: Branch locations and online
Can close as fast as 30-35 days
No FHA or USDA loans
No HELOCs or home equity loans
Limited to armed forces members and families

5. Wells Fargo

Availability: Available in all U.S. states
Loans offered: Conventional, jumbo, VA, USDA
Credit requirements: 620 for conventional and VA loans
Down payment minimum: 3% for conventional loans; none for VA loans
Where to find: Branch locations and online
Will consider non-traditional credit references in the application process
Offers low-down payment options to assist lower-income borrowers

Methodology

To determine the best VA mortgage lenders, Bankrate evaluated lenders based on several criteria, including affordability (APR, discounts, and incentives), availability (approval/closing timelines, loan products), and experience (application process, customer service). Please note that the Bankrate Score only considers a mortgage lender’s products and services and does not reflect the lender’s internal operations or practices.

How to Find a VA Mortgage Lender

Every borrower’s needs and circumstances are different. It is essential to shop around and compare offers from at least three lenders to secure a competitive rate that can save you thousands in the long run. VA mortgage rates, listed by Bankrate for easy comparison, are generally lower than conventional loan rates. However, it is still crucial to consider each VA mortgage lender’s credit score requirements, fees, application processing times, and the quality of customer service, as they can vary significantly. Additionally, understanding the estimated closing costs for your VA loan, which can amount to up to 6% of the home purchase price, is important.

Unfortunately, some VA mortgage lenders have engaged in less-than-reputable practices, such as making misleading claims about low rates and closing costs. It is crucial to conduct thorough research, review testimonials, and check ratings from trusted sources like the Better Business Bureau or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before committing to a lender or loan offer.

Who Are the Largest VA Mortgage Lenders in the U.S.?

Bankrate provides a list of the best VA lenders. However, for comparison, here are the 10 largest VA mortgage lenders based on the number and value of loan originations. Please keep in mind that bigger doesn’t always mean better.

VA Mortgage Lender Annual Number of Loan Originations Value of Loan Originations
Freedom Mortgage 155,000 $43 billion
Rocket Mortgage 107,000 $29.7 billion
Veterans United Home Loans 100,000 $29.7 billion
PennyMac 59,000 $17.5 billion
United Shore Financial 40,000 $15.1 billion
Navy Federal Credit Union 38,000 $12.7 billion
LoanDepot 33,000 $12.1 billion
Caliber Home Loans 30,000 $10.6 billion
USAA 28,000 $7.8 billion
Lakeview Loan Servicing 24,000 $7 billion

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