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Veterans First Mortgage Review 2023

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Veterans First at a glance

Lender rating: 3 out of 5

  Minimum credit score: Mid 600s

  Minimum down payment: 0% to 3.5%

  Available loan products and programs: FHA, VA and USDA

  Our verdict: Veterans First is a good lender for military borrowers who want a lender experienced with VA loans. There’s basic information about qualifying for a variety of government-backed programs, however, the site doesn’t feature rate information or an online application portal.

ProsCons

  Wide variety of mortgage programs to meet VA borrower needs

  Site features detailed information about how to qualify for different VA loan options

  Offers USDA loans for low-income rural borrowers with no down payment

  No interest rate or fee information online

  No digital application option available to start your loan process online

  No conventional loan programs offered

Veterans First was founded in 1985 as Freedom Mortgage with a focus on helping customers get approved for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. Although the company is currently headquartered in Salt Lake City, Veterans First is part of the Chicago-based Wintrust Financial businesses, with a focus on serving the military community under the name Veterans First Mortgage.

Veterans First mortgage products

Conventional

  • Not offered by this lender

FHA loans

  • Borrowers may qualify with down payments as low as 3.5%
  • The FHA streamline refinance is an option for homeowners with current FHA loans

VA

  • No-down-payment loans for active-duty servicemembers, veterans and surviving spouses
  • No mortgage insurance is required
  • Cash-out refinance option to tap equity for debt consolidation, medical bills or other financial needs
  • The VA interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL) allows current VA borrowers to save money with less documentation and no appraisal requirements

Special programs

  • USDA loans. Low- to moderate-income borrowers may be eligible for no-down-payment loans backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The property must be located in a USDA-designated rural area.

Veterans First mortgage rates and fees

Veterans First doesn’t publish rates on its website. However, the site does provide a helpful breakdown that explains the difference between conventional and VA closing costs, with a list of fees borrowers may be charged for each loan type.

Mortgage rates published online?
Rate information updated daily or weekly?
Lender fees disclosed?

Veterans First mortgage application experience

The “Start a Loan” and “Get Started Today” buttons provide a contact form to complete if you want to speak to a Veterans First representative. After prequalification, borrowers provide documentation including paystubs, bank statements and any other conditions required by the underwriter for a full approval. Once the loan is fully approved, loan documents are prepared and signed at closing.

Veterans First customer service experience

Borrowers can speak to a mortgage representative at 800-891-5785 on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. MT. There are also resources for online users to get help from and give feedback to Veterans First through the website.

How does Veterans First compare to other lenders?

Veterans FirstHomepointPenFed
Lender rating
Minimum credit scoreMid 600s580 to 620620 to 650
Minimum down payment0% to 3.5%0% to 3.5%0% to 3.5%
Loan products and programs
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Conventional
  • FHA
  • VA
  • Jumbo
  • HELOC

How we rated Veterans First

LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating is based on a five-point scoring system that factors in several features, including digital application processes, available loan products and the accessibility of product and lending information.

LendingTree’s editorial team calculates each rating based on a review of information available on the lender’s website. Lenders receive a half point on the “offers standard mortgage products” criterion if they offer only two of the three standard loan programs (conventional, FHA and VA). In some cases, additional information was provided by a lender representative.

Note: We awarded Veterans First a half point for the standard mortgage products criterion, since conventional loans aren’t available. We also awarded a half point for the online application criterion because the “Start a Loan,” “Start Now” and “Get Started Today” buttons don’t take the user to an actual loan application. Instead, you provide contact information and wait for a Veterans First representative to reach out.

Veteran First’s scorecard: 3/5

  Publishes rates online

⭕ Offers standard mortgage products

  Includes detailed product info online

  Shares resources about mortgage lending

⭕ Provides an online application

  = 0 points ⭕= 0.5 points   = 1 point
 

Today's Mortgage Rates

  • 5.95%
  • 5.76%
  • 3.31%
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