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Veterans First Mortgage Review 2021

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Veterans First is a Salt Lake City-based mortgage lender that specializes in VA loans for eligible military servicemembers and veterans. The company was founded in 1985 as Freedom Mortgage, taking on its current name in 2016. Veterans First is owned by Wintrust Mortgage, which is based in Chicago. The lender is licensed to issue mortgages in all 50 states.

Who is this lender for?
  • Military servicemembers and veterans
  • Borrowers buying in rural areas
  • People looking for an FHA loan

5/10 LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating 

LendingTree’s mortgage lender rating is based on a 10-point scoring system that factors in several features, including digital application and closing processes, available loan products and online and in-person accessibility. LendingTree’s editorial team calculates each rating.

  = 1 pt   = 0 pts

  1.   Application online: No
  2.   Product info online: Yes
  3.   Rates listed online: No
  4.   Helpful articles about mortgages and homebuying: Yes
  5.   Standard product offerings: No
  6.   Special programs: No
  7.   Info about how to qualify for products offered online: Yes
  8.   E-closing availability: No
  9.   Licensed in at least 35 states: Yes
  10.   After-hours and weekend access to loan officers: Yes

Veterans First pros and cons

Pros

  Deep expertise in serving veterans. If you’re looking for a VA loan, you know you’ll be in experienced hands with Veterans First.

  Able to pull VA paperwork in minutes. Veterans First is able to get your Certificate of Eligibility for a VA loan in a few minutes, or help you apply for one online or by mail.

  Available nationwide. Veterans First is able to lend in all 50 states.

Cons

  No conventional loans. If you don’t want to use a government loan program, Veterans First won’t be the right lender for you.

  No home equity loans. You won’t be able to tap your home’s equity for home improvements or debt consolidation with Veterans First.

  No branches. Veterans First operates online and over the phone, so you won’t be able to get in-person service.

Veterans First borrowing requirements

Minimum credit score  Mid-600s
Minimum down payment  0% for VA loans and USDA loans; 3.5% for FHA loans
Available loan terms  15 to 30 years (refinance)
Available loan types  VA, FHA, USDA

Veterans First mortgage rates and fees

Veterans First does not publish mortgage rates online, though the lender notes that its rates are competitive with conventional loan rates offered elsewhere. Under the VA loan program, Veterans First may charge certain fees, including:

  • Origination fee of up to 1% of the loan amount
  • VA funding fee
    • Can range from 2.15% to 3.3% of the loan amount with no down payment
  • Appraisal fee
  • Credit report fee
  • Other closing costs

Veterans First mortgage products

Purchase

Veterans First’s primary product is the VA loan, which offers no down payment for eligible military servicemembers and veterans. These loans typically require a credit score in the mid-600s, steady income and a debt-to-income ratio below 41%.

Veterans First also offers FHA loans and USDA loans. FHA loans require a minimum 3.5% down payment, while USDA loans do not require a down payment for qualified borrowers buying a home in a rural area.

Refinance

Veterans First offers the VA streamline refinance — commonly known as the VA interest rate reduction refinance loan (VA IRRRL) — and VA cash-out refinance loans. VA streamline refinances require less paperwork and lower fees. Cash-out refinances allow homeowners to take out a new loan for a larger amount than they currently owe, with the difference coming to them as cash they can use to consolidate debt or fund home improvements.

How does Veterans First compare to other lenders?

Veterans First PenFed Nations Lending
Minimum credit score 
  • Mid-600s
  • 650
  • 580 for FHA and VA loans
Minimum down payment 
  • 0% for VA loans and USDA loans
  • 3.5% for FHA loans
  • 0% for VA loans
  • 5% on conventional loans
  • 3% for first-time homebuyers
  • 0% (VA, USDA)
Loan products and types 
  • VA
  • FHA
  • USDA
  • Conventional
  • VA
  • Jumbo
  • HELOC
  • Conventional
  • Adjustable-rate
  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
Special programs offered 
  • None
  • First-time homebuyer loan
  • Lender credits
  • ​​Manufactured home loans
Lender Review PenFed Nations Lending
 

Today's Mortgage Rates

  • 2.65%
  • 2.13%
  • 2.67%
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