With interest rates having hit a 20-year high in October, shopping around for the best mortgage deal is more important than ever.
For a U.S. military veteran, the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program is a significant advantage. This benefit, part of the 1944 GI Bill, makes it easier for active-duty service members, veterans and surviving spouses to purchase or refinance a home. Those using a VA home loan can buy a house with zero down payment (typically it’s 20 percent) and no private mortgage insurance.
Here are AARP Veteran Report’s recommendations of the best lenders to work with as a VA loan borrower.
Veterans United provides the highest volume of VA loans, with $26.5 billion in funding secured for almost 750,000 VA loans in 2022. The company employs retired senior enlisted leaders as advisers to help borrowers navigate the VA mortgage system.
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union has been serving the military community since 1933, and service members from all branches can join. As a modern-day mortgage lender, it provides an online process and a VA homeownership hub full of educational resources.
While online lender Rocket Mortgage is not focused on the military community, it ranks second in the volume of VA loans it secures. Military-connected borrowers can benefit from its acceptance of credit scores as low as 580.
PenFed Credit Union
The Pentagon Federal Credit Union, known as PenFed, is open to all borrowers, not just veterans and service members. It retains its historical connection to the military in part by offering VA loans and was named by Money magazine as the best VA lender for competitive rates.
Founded in 1922, USAA is a leading financial institution serving the military community. VA loan borrowers become USAA members and by doing so gain access to a long list of benefits and discounts. Money named USAA best for military-only perks among banks for military members.