Skip to content

Best VA Loan Lenders

We recommend the best products through an independent review process, and advertisers do not influence our picks. We may receive compensation if you visit partners we recommend. Read our advertiser disclosure for more info.

VA loans are a type of mortgage loan backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Through the VA-backed loan program, loans are guraranteed by the VA and issued via private banks, credit unions, and other lenders. This helps military service members and their families buy a home with easier qualification requirements than traditional mortgages and often with no down payment.

When choosing a VA loan, it’s important to consider the costs, application process, customer service, and online loan management experience, among other factors. The best VA loan lenders will be competitive in all or most of these categories.

The Best VA Loan Lenders of 2022

Best Overall : Veterans United Home Loans


Veterans United Home Loans
Courtesy of Veterans United Home Loans
  • Days to Closing: 40–50
  • Max. Recommended DTI Ratio: Not Disclosed
  • State licensing: 50
Pros
  • Specializes in VA loans

  • High-volume VA lender with low rates and good ratings

  • Program to help low-credit borrowers build their credit to buy a home

Cons
  • Relatively low-tech experience

  • Relatively high recommended minimum credit score

Why We Chose It

Veterans United Home Loans specializes in just one thing: VA loans. That’s one reason why it earned the top spot on our list. Veterans United was the third-largest originator of VA loans in 2020 and 2021, and is currently the largest lender for 2022. It offers excellent interest rates and has garnered solid reviews.

However, there is no consumer mobile app, which may irritate some users. And if your credit score is lower than the recommended 620, you may benefit from Veterans United’s credit building program, but you may not qualify for a loan.

Best Online Lender : Rocket Mortgage


Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage

  • Days to Closing: 10+
  • Max. Recommended DTI Ratio: 50%
  • State licensing: 50
Pros
  • A high-tech lender with a modern online application and mobile app

  • One of the highest-volume VA loan originators in the U.S.

  • Fast loan disbursement

Cons
  • Not specifically dedicated to servicing veterans or VA loans

Why We Chose It

Quicken Loans, now Rocket Mortgage, was the second-largest VA loan originator in 2020 and 2021 and the largest mortgage originator in the U.S. in 2019. It has several J.D. Power wins, including seven years as the highest-ranked mortgage servicer in J.D. Power’s U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study. The company only recently fell to second place as of 2022.

Rocket Mortgage, its online mortgage application platform, is one of the simplest and fastest mortgage applications to use. Due to the efficiency of its online lending platform coupled with competitive loan rates and strong customer service, Rocket Mortgage wins our top ranking for the best online VA loan lender.

Rocket requires a minimum 620 credit score for VA loans.

Best Bank : USAA


USAA

 USAA

  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Max. Recommended DTI Ratio: Not disclosed
  • State licensing: Nationwide
Pros
  • Specializes in military households

  • Offers a wide range of financial products

  • Excellent customer satisfaction

Cons
  • Strict membership requirements

Why We Chose It

USAA is a bank built exclusively for military members, veterans, and their families. USAA earns excellent ratings for many of its products (notably insurance) thanks to competitive rates and stellar customer service. It had scores that exceeded the top-ranked companies for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power studies of insurance and mortgage lenders. It also features an online VA loan eligibility tool to help you understand your eligibility and how to apply.

USAA originates its VA loans using an easy-to-follow online process, including an online preapproval application. USAA was the fifth-largest VA loan originator in 2020 and tenth in 2021.

Best Credit Union : Navy Federal Credit Union


Navy Federal Credit Union

 Navy Federal Credit Union

  • Days to Closing: 30 days
  • Max. Recommended DTI Ratio: 43%
  • State licensing: Nationwide
Pros
  • A nonprofit credit union with a military focus

  • Excellent rates and fees

  • Excellent customer service

Cons
  • Small branch network

  • Strict membership requirements

Why We Chose It

It may have “Navy” in the name, but members of any branch of the U.S. military or Department of Defense personnel can join Navy Federal Credit Union. Navy Federal offers VA loans with among the lowest APRs on our list and also received high marks for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power study. It also has a partnership with RealtyPlus to help you find a local real estate agent.

Navy Federal Credit Union could be a good home for all of your finances, including checking, savings, and credit cards. For 2020, Navy Federal was the sixth-largest originator of VA home loans and ninth-largest in 2021.

Best for Fair Credit : Freedom Mortgage


freedome mortgage logo

Freedom Mortgage

  • Minimum Credit Score: 550
  • Max. Recommended DTI Ratio: Around 41%
  • State licensing: Nationwide
Pros
  • The largest originator of VA loans for 2020

  • An automated system that may help you save through a loan refinance

  • Best for fair credit borrowers

Cons
  • No fully-online application

  • Doesn’t post current rates online

  • Average customer service scores from J.D. Power

Why We Picked It

According to VA data, Freedom Mortgage was the largest originator of VA loans for 2020 and 2021. It has a major focus on VA loans and is more likely to work with applicants with lower credit scores (as low as 550) than other lenders who made our list.

Freedom Mortgage offers several features, including an a low-rate guarantee (for purchase loans), which is nice considering it doesn’t disclose rates on its site. It also gives any web visitor access to a slew of helpful resources, including mortgage calculators and borrower education materials.

Compare Providers

Lender Why We Picked It Minimum Recommended Credit Score
Veterans United Home Loans Best Overall 620
Rocket Mortgage Best Online Lender 620
USAA Best Bank 640
Navy Federal Credit Union Best Credit Union Not disclosed
Freedom Mortgage Best for Fair Credit 550

Final Verdict

We chose Veterans United Home Loans as the best overall VA mortgage lender because it specializes in VA home loans and has relatively low interest rates. It's one of the largest VA loan lenders in the country, and if your credit isn't good enough, Veterans United has a credit consultation program to help you qualify in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a VA Loan?

VA loans are issued through private lenders, but a portion of the loan is guaranteed by the VA. This helps veterans qualify for better terms and lower lending requirements than conventional mortgages.

Qualifying applicants may be able to get a VA-backed loan with 0% down and no private mortgage insurance (PMI), which can lead to significant savings and remove hurdles that might otherwise prevent some vets from buying a home.

Are VA Loans Only for Veterans?

To qualify for a VA loan, you will have to meet length-of-service requirements and obtain a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). In some cases, spouses or dependents may be eligible. The application process to get your COE differs depending on the nature of your service. Veterans will need a copy of discharge or separation papers (DD214) to get a COE.

Does a VA Loan Require a Down Payment?

One of the biggest perks of a VA loan is the option to borrow with no money down. This could help you get a home sooner or afford a more expensive home than you could have purchased with a traditional mortgage.

How Much Can You Borrow With a VA Mortgage?

Qualified veterans with their full entitlement no longer have any loan limits on VA mortgages. This means that any loan amount can be guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, if you’re eligible. However, although the VA has no maximum loan amount, that doesn’t mean you can borrow as much as you want—the county you reside in may have its own maximum limit, and you still need to qualify with a lender.

After receiving your Certificate of Eligibility to apply for a VA home loan, you must apply through a private lender, who will still evaluate your finances, credit history, and other factors (much like a typical loan application).

The amount you can borrow from any particular lender will depend on how well you meet its criteria. Borrowers with high credit scores and high incomes will usually be able to borrow more money than those with poor credit and lower incomes.

How Long Does It Take To Close a VA Home Loan?

The time it takes to close a VA home loan depends on the lender you’re borrowing from. Most lenders will close in around 50 days, while some may close in as soon as three weeks or even less.

Learn about VA home loan closing costs so you’re not surprised when it’s time to wrap up your mortgage.

How We Picked the Best VA Loan Lenders

To choose the best VA lenders, we reviewed the top banks, credit unions, and online VA lenders by volume. The most important considerations included interest rates and fees, customer service reviews, the application process (including online and mobile application platforms), minimum recommended credit scores, and category-specific features.

Article Sources
Related Articles