12 Best VA Mortgage Lenders of 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation (at no cost to you) when you click on links to those products. Read our Disclaimer Policy for more information.

Veterans have access to an attractive loan program called the VA loan. If you served at least 181 days in the military and had an honorable discharge, you’re likely eligible.

If you haven’t used your entitlement yet, learn all about the VA loan, the best VA mortgage lenders, and what to look for in a VA loan below.

Best VA Loan Lenders

  • RECOMMENDED
  • BEST FOR
  • MIN. CREDIT SCORE

Best VA Mortgage Lenders

Best Overall VA Mortgage Lender
Veterans United VA Loan Lender
APPLY NOW
On Veterans United's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
Veterans United
  • NMLS#
    1907
  • Min. Credit Score
    640
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros:

  • Get an approval online quickly
  • Offers purchase and refinance loans
  • Offers competitive interest rates
  • Provides excellent customer service
  • Provides a plethora of helpful resources 

Cons:

  • No HELOC or home equity loan options
  • They only offer VA loans
  • Only has branches in 18 states

What We Like:

There’s a lot to love about Veteran’s United. They took good care of our veterans, ensuring they get the best loan terms available.

With no down payment requirements, competitive interest rates, and low fees, it’s easy to see why they are the #1 VA lender in the country.

Their online process makes it easy to get the loan you need fast, but with plenty of human support available if you have questions.

Read Full Veterans United Mortgage Review

Best Online VA Mortgage Lender
Quick Loans VA Loans
APPLY NOW
On Quicken Loans's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
Quicken Loans
  • NMLS#
    3030
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros:

  • Dedicated mortgage professional works with you the entire time
  • Offers purchase, refinance, and even jumbo VA loans
  • Easy application process and top-notch customer service
  • No prepayment penalty

Cons:

  • No physical offices to go to
  • You must be comfortable handling your mortgage process online 

What We Like:

First, we love Quicken for any loan, not to mention VA loans. Because VA loans can be so confusing, we love the attention they give veterans with the dedicated mortgage professional assigned to you.

Quicken typically offers competitive rates and has a fast mortgage approval process, quickly getting you from application to closing.

Read Full Quick Loans Review

Best VA Mortgage Lender for Bad Credit
New American Funding VA Loans
APPLY NOW
On New American Funding's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
New American Funding
  • NMLS#
    6606
  • Min. Credit Score
    580
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros:

  • Offers a completely online process from rate quotes to application and underwriting
  • Has a large selection of loan products, including refinance, purchase, and jumbo loans
  • You can apply in person, online, or over the phone
  • Approves more applicants than most lenders because of their manual underwriting process
  • Transparent with their pricing

Cons:

  • Interest rates are often higher than the national average
  • You must talk to a loan officer before they’ll issue a pre-qualification online

What We Like:

We like the opportunity New American Funding offers non-traditional borrowers. Sometimes your credit score or income doesn’t show the true story.

At first glance, it looks like you can’t afford a loan, when in fact, you could be a great borrower with unique circumstances. The fact that New American provides that chance offers more opportunities for more borrowers.

Read Full New American Funding Review

Best Overall VA Mortgage Lender
NASB VA Loans
APPLY NOW
On North American Savings Bank's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
North American Savings Bank (NASB)
  • NMLS#
    400039
  • Min. Credit Score
    640
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros: 

  • Doesn’t charge origination fees or lender fees
  • Offers up to 100% financing for veterans
  • Allows credit scores as low as 620 for veterans
  • NASB is in full compliance of all VA regulations
  • Offers competitive rates compared to the national average

Cons:

  • Only has offices in Missouri
  • Only offers one ARM option for veterans

What We Like:

NASB is licensed in all 50 states, even though they only have offices in MO. This makes it easy for any veteran to secure VA loan financing.

We love the low rates NASB offers, and the lack of origination or lender fees makes the loan even more affordable.

While VA loans are more affordable overall, NASB makes it even easier to secure financing.

Read Full NASB Mortgage Review

Best Overall VA Loans
NBKC VA Loans
APPLY NOW
On NBKC Bank's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
NBKC Bank VA Loans
  • NMLS#
    409631
  • Min. Credit Score
    660
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros:

  • NBKC focuses on VA loans rather than throwing them in as an afterthought
  • Offers customized rates based on your qualifying factors
  • Most of the process is done online
  • Allows borrowers with no credit to qualify with alternative accounts, like utility or insurance payments 

Cons:

  • Focuses mostly on borrowers with great credit
  • You need a credit score of at least 620

What We Like:

Finding a lender that focuses on VA loans besides the ‘big VA lenders’ in the country is hard. Most lenders add VA loans just to offer them but don’t put their heart and soul into them.

NBKC is different. They focus on VA loans, and almost half of their business is from veterans.

From their flexible guidelines to their quality customer service, it’s easy to see why many borrowers use them.

Read Full NBKC Bank Mortgage Review

Best VA Loans for Bad Credit
Freedom Mortgage VA Rates
APPLY NOW
On Freedom Mortgage's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
Freedom Mortgage
  • NMLS#
    2767
  • Min. Credit Score
    580
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros:

  • Allows loans for surviving spouses of veterans
  • Has over 100 branches to visit in person if you’d rather apply with a loan officer
  • Offers a simple and effective online process
  • Does a lot of Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans for current VA borrowers 

Cons: 

  • You can’t pre-qualify online
  • Minimal transparency online regarding rates or costs

What We Like:

Freedom makes it easy for veterans to get the financing they deserve. Whether you have a lower credit score or have unique circumstances, Freedom Mortgage works around it.

We like the option to work online or in-person and the competitive interest rates Freedom Mortgage offers.

Read Full Freedom Mortgage Review

Best Overall VA Mortgage Lender
BNC National Bank VA Loans
APPLY NOW
On BNC National Bank's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
BNC National Bank
  • NMLS#
    418467
  • Min. Credit Score
    640
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros:

  • Allows the use of alternative credit accounts to qualify
  • Offers an online process (fairly new)
  • Licensed in all 50 states
  • Doesn’t charge origination fees on VA loans

Cons:

  • You must talk to a loan officer to get rate quotes
  • Only a few brick-and-mortar locations

What We Like:

Any bank with a focus on VA loans is a bonus in our book. VA loans can be tricky and confusing for veterans.

Having a bank with qualified loan professionals who will walk you through the process is something you should look for just as much as you look for low-interest rates.

We also like that BNC doesn’t charge origination fees on VA loans, saving veterans even more money.

Read Full BNC National Bank Mortgage Review

Best VA Mortgage Lender for Loan Variety
Veterans First VA Loans
APPLY NOW
On Veterans First Mortgage's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
Veterans First Mortgage
  • NMLS#
    449042
  • Min. Credit Score
    660
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros:

  • All applicants get a dedicated mortgage professional assigned to them
  • Licensed in all 50 states
  • Offers excellent customer service
  • Most loan processes can be done online

Cons:

  • Not transparent with their rates and fees
  • Requires higher than average credit scores 

What We Like:  

We like the focus Veterans First provides veterans. The home loan process can be scary, especially for first-time homebuyers, but they walk you through it step-by-step.

We like their lower fees, online loan process, and excellent customer service to ensure you understand the VA loan you’re getting.

Best VA Mortgage Lender for Nationwide Availability
LoanDepot VA Loans
APPLY NOW
On LoanDepot's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
LoanDepot
  • NMLS#
    174457
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros:

  • Low credit score requirements for VA loans
  • Get pre-approved in as little as 15 minutes
  • Has flexible guidelines
  • If you refinance, they waive the fee if you already got a loan through them

Cons:

  • Interest rates may be higher than average
  • They almost always charge an origination fee

What We Like:

LoanDepot has a streamlined process that gets borrowers from application to closing fast. The fast-closing process can be refreshing if you’re in a hurry or just don’t like waiting.

We did find that LoanDepot has more flexible guidelines than other banks for VA loans, too – some banks make the requirements harder to ensure you can afford the loan, but LoanDepot tends to be more flexible.

Read Full LoanDepot Mortgage Review 

Best VA Mortgage Lender for Low Fees
USAA VA Loan Rates
APPLY NOW
On USAA 's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
USAA Mortgages
  • NMLS#
    8722
  • Min. Credit Score
    640
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros:

  • Doesn’t charge any fees
  • Has low credit score requirements
  • Covers the cost of most closing fees for veterans on streamline refinance loans
  • Has a simple online process
  • Scored high for customer service with JD Powers

Cons:

  • The entire loan process isn’t 100% online, only some of it
  • Doesn’t offer much in the way of VA refinancing

What We Like:

We think it’s important to work with a lender with extensive VA loan experience like USAA Mortgage has.

Even though the entire process isn’t online, talking to a loan officer can work to your benefit when you’re securing VA financing. With flexible underwriting requirements and low fees, it’s easy to see why veterans like USAA.

Read Full USAA Mortgage Review

Best Overall VA Mortgage Lender
NFCU VA Loan Rates
APPLY NOW
On Navy Federal Credit Union's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
Navy Federal Credit Union
  • NMLS#
    399807
  • Min. Credit Score
    Varies
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros:

  • You can get pre-approved online
  • Offers competitive interest rates
  • Specializes in VA loans
  • Has alternatives for borrowers who don’t qualify for a VA loan

Cons:

  • You must apply and let them pull your credit before you can get a quote
  • Navy Federal is a credit union you must belong to 

What We Like:

There’s just something about the service you receive at a credit union. Veterans and their families are eligible for membership at Navy Federal, giving them access to VA loans and the Navy Federal alternatives.

The low rates and personal service is something you won’t find everywhere.

Best Overall VA Mortgage Lender
PenFed VA Loan Rates
APPLY NOW
On PenFed's Secure Website
Rates & Fees
Pentagon Federal Credit Union
  • NMLS#
    401822
  • Min. Credit Score
    620
  • Learn More
  • Mortgage Details

Pros:

  • Offers a wide selection of terms for veterans
  • Doesn’t charge lender fees
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Some homebuyers will be eligible for a closing cost credit

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t have an online process
  • You must open a savings account to apply

What We Like:

Credit unions are often a safe and affordable place to secure a VA loan.

PenFed doesn’t charge veterans any fees, which is great because there are still VA fees all borrowers must pay, making it cheaper for borrowers.

PenFed offers both purchase and refinance options for veterans, giving you more choices.

VA Loan Program Explained  

Qualifying for a VA Loan

The VA makes it easy for veterans to qualify for a VA home loan. Here are the relaxed guidelines:

  • Minimum 620 score (varies by lender, but this is the average)
  • Proof you meet the VA’s disposable income requirements (you have enough money left over after paying your bills)
  • Stable income and employment for 2 years
  • No recent bankruptcies or foreclosures
  • You don’t have any over-extended credit
  • Proof you have entitlement to a VA loan 

How to Apply for a VA Loan

It’s easy to apply for a VA loan. Once you find a VA lender, you complete a loan application.

You’ll provide your supporting documentation, too, so the lender can underwrite your mortgage application and decide if you meet the requirements. All borrowers must provide:

  • 2 months of paystubs
  • 2 years of W-2s
  • 2 years of tax returns if you’re self-employed
  • Proof of employment
  • Bank and investment statements from the last 2 months (all pages)
  • Proof of entitlement for VA home loan or let the lender access it for you

Some online mortgage lenders offer a completely online process, and others require you to talk to a loan officer first and/or apply with a loan officer.

Either way, if you’re approved, you’ll get a mortgage preapproval letter. This letter means you are personally qualified to secure VA financing subject to the conditions they state, which are usually about the home but may include some conditions for yourself too.

>> More: How to Apply for a Mortgage

Tips for Comparing the Best VA Lenders

It’s always a good idea to compare loan quotes from at least 3 mortgage lenders. This ensures you’re getting the best deal, given your circumstances. Here’s what you should compare:

  • Interest Rate: This shouldn’t be your focus, but comparing it is important in the grand scheme. Looking at the interest rate alone could be deceiving, though. If a lender charges a low rate but crazy high fees, it may not be in your best interest, which is why you should look at interest rates but not focus on them.
  • Closing Costs: Closing costs can make or break a loan. If the closing costs are high, it inflates the overall cost of the loan and may cause you to look elsewhere. Focus on origination points and other lender fees – fees some lenders may charge and others won’t.
  • The Total Cost of the Loan: It’s a big number, but you should know the total cost of the loan over the entire term. This is where the interest rate and closing costs come together. You’ll be able to see which loan makes the most sense based on the total cost.
  • Term: Not all loans are created equal. Think about whether you want a 15 or 30-year term and make sure any loans you compare have the same term. For example, it doesn’t make sense to compare a 15-year loan to a 30-year loan. The 15-year loan will have a lower rate, but it may have higher fees, or you may not be able to afford the 15-year loan.

Advantages and Disadvantages of VA Loans

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • Most veterans pay a VA funding fee equal to 2.3% of the loan amount
  • Requires a VA Certificate of Eligibility
  • You can only use a VA loan on a primary residence
  • Many sellers don’t like VA loans
  • The VA funding fee increases if you use the VA loan multiple times

How Many Times Can You Use a VA Loan?

There isn’t a limit on the number of times you can use a VA loan, but you must always have entitlement.

Your entitlement is what you receive when you serve enough time in the military. Once you buy a house and use up your entitlement, it’s tied up with that home until you sell it and/or pay it off in full.

If you default on the loan, you’ll lose the entitlement dollar-for-dollar, but most veterans have full entitlement of $548,250. Technically, you should only have one VA loan at a time, but the VA allows a one-time exception for some veterans. If you are forced to move because your job relocated you or outgrew your home, you can keep it and use your remaining entitlement to buy another home.

This is on a case-by-case basis, though, and the VA must approve it. If you sell your home and pay off the loan in full, you may petition the VA to let you use your entitlement again. Most veterans can do so if they paid their loans on time.

How Long Do You Have to Live in a House with a VA Loan?

The VA doesn’t require veterans to live in a home for a certain amount of time before selling it. If you plan to use your entitlement again, though, you must prove you paid the original loan off in full and no longer own the home. The VA doesn’t charge prepayment penalties or restrict you from paying your loan off early.

What Are the Interest Rates Like on a VA Loan?

VA loans have the most competitive interest rates out of any loan. They often beat FHA and conventional loan rates, but it varies by lender and borrower like any loan.

It’s best to shop around to find the best deal by comparing at least three lenders. 

Summary of the Best VA Lenders

Bottom Line: Best VA Mortgage Lenders

There you have it. These are the Best VA Mortgage Lenders. If you qualify, shop around and compare rates from various lenders. This will help you choose a smart mortgage that is worthwhile and a good investment.

Methodology

To select the Best VA Mortgage Lenders, we reviewed and analyzed 25+ lenders that offer VA Home Loans. Our thorough evaluations include reviewing current VA loan rates, credit score requirements, closing times, closing costs, origination fees, industry reputations, customer support, down payment requirements, and security. Analysts also reviewed and consulted expert sources, such as the J.D. Power’s Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Survey, Department of Veteran Affairs, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, Nationwide Mortgage Licensing Systems, and the Publicly Available Data provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Read our editorial guidelines and rating methodologies for mortgage products to learn more about the integrity and accuracy of our reviews.

 

 

 

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli

Kim Pinnelli is a Senior Writer , Editor, & Product Analyst with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been a professional writer for over 15 years, and has appeared in a myriad of industry leading financial media outlets. Kim is committed to helping people take charge of their personal finance. Her areas of expertise spans mortgages, credit cards, credit, and loans.