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A VA interest rate reduction refinance loan (VA IRRRL) — also known as a VA streamline refinance — can help lower your monthly mortgage payments by reducing your interest rate.
Many VA lenders offer competitive rates and repayment options. With a VA IRRRL, you also get the benefit of a simpler underwriting process with less paperwork. Before you refinance your VA loan, though, you’ll want to compare several VA mortgage lenders.
Here are the best VA mortgage lenders for a streamline refinance:
- Veterans United
- Veterans First
- Rocket Mortgage
- New American Funding
- Navy Federal Credit Union
- PenFed Credit Union
- Guaranteed Rate
Best VA mortgage lenders for a streamline refinance (IRRRL)
When comparing VA streamline refinance loans, you should take into account the new interest rate, lender fees, and the lender’s minimum credit score requirements.
Best for: Borrowers seeking 24/7 customer service
Veterans United Home Loans is one of the nation’s top VA lenders and offers 24/7 access to loan specialists. Its website also has detailed information to help guide you through the VA loan refinancing process.
- Customer agents available 24/7
- Can see interest rates without providing contact information
- Offers free one-on-one credit counseling
- Must contact customer service to compare non-VA home loans
- Local branches are only located in select states
- Loan availability can differ by state
Learn More: Veterans United Home Loan Review
Best for: Borrowers seeking other government loan options
Veterans First is another prominent VA lender. In addition to its slate of VA loan products, it also offers FHA loans and USDA loans. You can start the refinancing process online or by phone, and you may also contact a service agent by live chat to compare your refinancing options.
- Offers FHA and USDA loans
- Mostly online application process
- Operates in every state
- No conventional loans
- Must contact lender to start the application process
- Must contact lender to get current rates
Check Out: Veterans First Mortgage Review
Before you apply for a refinance loan, check out interest rates on Credible. You can compare personalized, prequalified rates on conventional refinance loans from all our partner lenders. With our process, you’ll also be able to secure a streamlined pre-approval letter in just three minutes — without having to talk to a loan officer.
Best for: Borrowers preferring a fully online application process
Rocket Mortgage (formerly Quicken Loans) offers certain government-backed loans — including VA IRRRLs — as well as conventional loan products. Its application process is completely online — and you can even apply through the Rocket Mortgage mobile app.
- Fully online application process
- Ability to apply through its mobile app
- Customer service available seven days a week
- Must complete an application to compare your loan options
- Minimal VA loan information available on its website
- No brick-and-mortar offices
Don’t Miss: Rocket Mortgage Review
New American Funding
Best for: Borrowers who want the ability to easily choose a specific loan officer
New American Funding offers a number of different loan options, including VA refinance loans. Cash-out refinancing, government-backed loans, and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) are available too. It’s possible to contact and see reviews for a specific loan officer before starting the application process.
- Contact information and reviews available for specific loan officers
- Offers FHA and USDA loans
- Offers HELOCs
- Interest rates aren’t available online
- Not available in every state
- Potentially no lender fee waivers
Also See: New American Funding Review
Navy Federal Credit Union
Best for: Borrowers seeking refinancing options tailored to service members
Navy Federal Credit Union offers competitive rates and terms to current and former military members and family members. Members of the National Guard and Department of Defense are also eligible. You’ll need to apply for membership to Navy Federal Credit Union before you can access its products.
- Competitive refinance rates
- Military Choice option for borrowers with low equity and poor credit
- 24/7 customer service
- Membership limited to military members and qualified family only
- Must open a savings account to join ($5 minimum balance)
- Website doesn’t show customized refinance rate information
PenFed Credit Union
Best for: Borrowers seeking no lender fees
PenFed Credit Union is unlike most VA lenders in that it doesn’t charge lender fees for your VA streamline refinance. Members can also take advantage of exclusive home insurance programs and its proprietary title service.
- No lender fees with VA loans (though other fees, such as discount points, may apply)
- Member discounts on several services, including home insurance and title service
- Membership available to everyone
- Must open a savings account to join ($5 minimum balance)
- Must create an account to view rates
- Doesn’t offer VA cash-out refinances
Keep Reading: PenFed Mortgage Review
Best for: Borrowers seeking a lender that specializes in VA loans
USAA is one of the best IRRRL lenders as its home loan business only covers VA loans. Refinancing through USAA may also be a cost-effective option — the bank promises to cover your appraisal, title, and VA funding fees.
- Specializes in VA loans
- Pays appraisal, title, and VA funding fees
- Displays current rates online
- Doesn’t offer other government loans, such as FHA and USDA loans
- Must call a loan officer to start the application process
- Must apply for membership
Best for: Borrowers who want the flexibility of being able to refinance multiple times
loanDepot can be an excellent option if you think you might need to refinance your VA home loan several times. After your first refinance with the lender, loanDepot will waive your lender fees and appraisal fees on future refinances.
- No lender fees or appraisal fees on future refinances
- Online application process with the ability to speak to a loan consultant
- Offers a wide variety of refinancing options
- Mortgage rates aren’t available online; must contact a loan officer
- Website primarily promotes conventional mortgages
- Doesn’t offer USDA loans or HELOCs
See More: loanDepot review
Best for: Borrowers with a low credit score
Guaranteed Rate is one of the few VA lenders that may approve you for a streamline refinance with a FICO score as low as 580. Most VA lenders require a credit score of at least 620. Its GRaffordable loan finder tool allows you to compare the costs of several loan options without having to apply for a loan or create an account.
- Low minimum credit score
- Displays current rates with detailed cost examples
- Loan finder tool allows you to compare loan options without applying
- May need to start the process by calling a loan specialist
- Loan finder tool isn’t prominently displayed on its website, and the website can be confusing to navigate
- Lower credit score requirement may result in higher interest rates
Check Out: Guaranteed Rate review
|Lender||Refinance options||Min. credit score||Loan terms|
|Veterans United||620||Up to 30 years|
|Veterans First||620||Up to 30 years|
|Rocket Mortgage||580||Up to 30 years|
|New American Funding||580||Up to 30 years|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||620||Up to 30 years|
|PenFed||620||Up to 30 years|
|USAA||620||Up to 30 years|
|loanDepot||Not specified||Up to 30 years|
|Guaranteed Rate||580||Up to 30 years|
VA streamline refinance (IRRRL) FAQs
What’s a VA IRRRL?
A VA interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL), commonly referred to as a VA streamline refinance loan, can help you lower the interest rate and monthly payment on your existing VA loan. If you have an adjustable-rate VA loan, you can use a VA IRRRL to switch to a fixed-rate loan.
One of the main advantages of a VA IRRRL is they’re relatively easy to qualify for and require less paperwork than a conventional refinance, which often results in a faster closing time. You also won’t need a home appraisal in most instances and may not need to pay out-of-pocket closing costs.
What are the requirements for a VA IRRRL?
To qualify for a VA streamline refinance loan, you’ll need to meet these VA IRRRL requirements:
- Have a VA-backed mortgage: This program doesn’t accept non-VA loans. Only active duty, retired service members, and surviving spouses with an existing VA loan can apply.
- Proof of residence: You must certify that you live in the house you wish to refinance. If you have a second mortgage, that holder must also agree to your new loan terms.
- Certificate of Eligibility (COE): You can provide the COE from your existing VA loan so the lender can calculate your remaining entitlement. If you can’t provide your COE, your lender can retrieve a copy on your behalf.
- Payment history: Your current VA loan must also be at least 210 days old and have at least six monthly payments. Most lenders require that your last 12 monthly payments be on time. Otherwise you may not be eligible for refinancing into the VA streamline program.
- Credit score: The VA doesn’t require a minimum credit score although lenders typically do. Most lenders require a minimum 620 FICO score but several accept applications with bad credit as long as your score is above 580.
- Income: While the VA doesn’t have income or employment requirements, your lender may set a maximum debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. It’s possible to qualify with a maximum 50% DTI, yet you should strive for a DTI below 41%.
- Net tangible benefit: Your new rate and term must also improve your financial situation. For example, your new interest rate might need to be at least 0.50% lower, reduce your monthly payment by at least $50, or convert an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate loan.
Each lender has its own requirements that can affect your eligibility, rates, and fees. Comparing multiple lenders will help you find the best rates for your circumstances. Credible doesn’t offer VA IRRRLs, but we can help you compare refinance rates on conventional loans.
What closing costs are associated with a VA IRRRL?
Your lender may allow you to roll closing costs into your VA IRRRL. These costs are similar to your original purchase loan and usually fall between 2% and 5% of your loan amount.
However, you may decide to pay these expenses upfront to minimize your outstanding balance and get a lower monthly payment:
- VA funding fee: For VA IRRRLs, you’ll pay a one-time 0.5% funding fee. This is the only VA-required fee.
- Loan origination fee: Your lender may charge a flat fee not exceeding 1% for expenses like document preparation, notary services, tax service, and settlement fees. The lender may also itemize these charges but cannot exceed 1% to prevent “double charging.”
- Title examination and title insurance: Your lender may require you to pay a fee for a title search. A title search usually costs a few hundred dollars. You may also have to take out a new title insurance policy.
- Discount points: Buying discount points reduces your ongoing loan APR and monthly payment.
- Escrow fees: You’ll continue making escrow payments for your real estate taxes and home insurance. These payments don’t pay down your mortgage balance.
Credible’s best VA mortgage lenders for a streamline refinance
You might be able to find the best VA streamline refinance rates at these lenders:
- Veterans United — For borrowers seeking 24/7 customer service .
- Veterans First — For borrowers seeking other government loan options .
- Rocket Mortgage — For borrowers preferring a fully online application process .
- New American Funding — For borrowers wanting the ability to easily choose a specific loan officer .
- Navy Federal Credit Union — For borrowers seeking refinancing options tailored to service members .
- PenFed Credit Union — For borrowers seeking no lender fees .
- USAA — For borrowers seeking a lender that specializes in VA loans.
- loanDepot — For borrowers planning on refinancing multiple times .
- Guaranteed Rate — For borrowers with a low credit score.
Credible compares data points in nine categories to determine some of the “best companies” in mortgage refinancing. These factors include rates, fees, loan types, availability, different servicer, customer experience, mobile app, overall review score, and prequalification.
We also consider the total refinancing options, additional services, and the ease of receiving rate quotes from each lender.