01 Jun Veterans First Mortgage Review
For more than three decades, the Veterans First Mortgage company has provided affordable home loans to military consumers. This lender specializes in VA loans, which come with no down payment and low-interest rates and are underwritten by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans First now offers FHA and USDA home loans in addition to VA home loans. The interest rate on a mortgage varies depending on the consumer, but Veterans First is often competitive. Get in touch with the company to discover your mortgage eligibility.
About Veterans First Mortgage
Veterans First is a mortgage company located in Salt Lake City specializing in veteran and military mortgages. Formerly known as Freedom Mortgage, the company dates back to 1985. After a couple of name and ownership changes, the company rebranded as Veterans First Mortgage in 2016.
Some of the company’s assets were purchased by a Barrington Bank & Trust Company division in 2017, and it became part of the Wintrust Financial group in Chicago. All 50 states have given the lender permission to provide mortgages.
The company has provided mortgage loans to over 180,000 families to date. A quick breakdown of the Veterans First Mortgage loan is as follows:
- Refinancing: Yes
- Adjustable rates: No
- FHA loans: Yes
- Conventional loans: No
- VA loans: Yes
- Jumbo loan: Yes
- Fixed rates: Yes (30-year, 15-year)
Veterans First Home Loan Types and Rates
Among the loan products offered by Veterans First Mortgage are:
FHA (Federal Housing Administration)
These FHA-insured loans require a 3.5 percent down payment and a Veterans First Mortgage minimum credit score of at least 620.
Besides requiring no down payment and no mortgage insurance, these loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To become eligible for a Veterans First loan, you must have a credit score of 660 (although this may change in the future).
Also Read: 9 Best VA Loan Types
These USDA-sponsored zero-down loans require credit scores of at least 620. Applicants can use this loan to purchase a property in an eligible rural area.
Veterans First Rates
Understanding how much a loan will cost is one of the most significant factors to consider when choosing a lender.
The lender claims that its mortgage rates are competitive with other lenders, even though its website does not display them. However, Veterans First may impose some fees under the VA loan program, such as:
- Up to 1% of the loan amount may be charged as an origination fee
- The funding fee for VA loans (can range from 2.15% to 3.3% of the loan amount)
- Charges for appraisals
- Fees for credit reports
- Additional closing costs
Please visit Veterans First’s website for general information on costs, including the VA loan funding fees.
Veterans First Pros and Cons
Pros of Veterans First
- Veteran-centric expertise. With Veterans First, you can rest assured you’re in the best hands if you’re looking for a VA loan.
- Quickly and easily access VA paperwork. Veterans First can get your Certificate of Eligibility in minutes or assist you with applying online or by mail for a VA loan.
- Nationwide availability. Veteran First is licensed to lend in all 50 states.
Cons of Veterans First
- There are no conventional loans. A lender such as Veterans First won’t be the right choice if you don’t wish to use a government loan program.
- Home equity loans are not available. Veterans First won’t allow you to access your home’s equity for home improvements or debt consolidation.
- It does not have branches. Veterans First only offers online, and phone support, so in-person assistance will not be possible.
Veterans First Application Process
Potential borrowers can apply entirely online; however, they must call the lender to get rates. It is particularly convenient for borrowers stationed overseas.
If you want to apply in one step, you can call the company’s toll-free number and apply by phone. Otherwise, you can fill out a simple online form asking for the company to contact you.
A representative will assist you in the process of getting prequalified for a home loan.
Veterans First’s website gives minimal information about the paperwork or documents you need to start the application process, except for stating that you’ll need a Certificate of Eligibility. If you choose Veterans First, make sure to ask your agent what paperwork you’ll need.
Veterans First Refinancing
- Homeowners who wish to cash in on their equity
- VA loan borrowers looking for a reduction in their interest rate
- A homeowner who doesn’t qualify for a conventional refinance
Veterans First offers VA interest rate reduction refinance loans (IRRRLs) and VA cash-out refinance loans.
IRRRLs are VA streamlined refinance loans that lower the monthly payment of an existing VA loan. A streamlined refinance does not allow you to cash out your equity. The procedure is simplified, though, because you won’t need a new Certificate of Eligibility or evaluation. It’s also possible that no credit or income verification is necessary.
Cash-out refinance allows homeowners to refinance at a higher interest rate than they currently owe and then receive the difference as cash they can use for debt consolidation or home improvements. Even if your current mortgage isn’t a VA loan, you may be eligible for a VA cash-out refinance. You will need to call to inquire about the Veterans Frist Mortgage refinance rates.
Veterans First Alternatives
Veterans First Mortgage’s loan options are limited to VA, FHA, and USDA loans due to its history as a government-backed lender. If you are looking for a conventional loan or another type, you will have to look elsewhere.
PenFed Credit Union
PenFed Credit Union has an online mortgage application and offers a wide range of mortgages, including house loans with modest down payments. However, it does not offer FHA loans. It also provides unique initiatives, such as loans for first-time homeowners and credits for lenders.
You may want to check out another company specializing in serving veterans and military families. Veterans United Home Loans provides lots of helpful information regarding homeownership, loan products, and the VA loan process on its website.
Except for the VA-mandated 1% origination fee on home loans, USAA has no costs. It also covers the appraisal, title, and VA funding fee for its simplified mortgage refinance loans (IRRRL), so consumers don’t have to pay anything extra.
Also Read: Best VA Loan Lenders for Active Military & Veterans
Veterans First Transparency
On its website, Veterans First Mortgage does not list any rates. To obtain that information, contact Veterans First or complete the online form.
The website does not show the Veterans First Mortgage rates but lists different kinds of fees. These include origination fees of up to 1%, VA funding fees, VA appraisal fees, credit report fees, prepaid fees for escrow, and closing costs such as title insurance. The site also indicates the possibility of purchasing discount points for interest rates. Veterans First also points out that VA loans have perks, such as not having private mortgage insurance (PMI) required with commercial loans.
Veterans First Mortgage offers online loan applications, which sets it apart from its competitors. In addition to tracking and uploading documents, overseas clients can electronically sign essential documents using their online loan applications. Both VA new buy and refinance loans are available from this lender (IRRRLs and cash-out).
Veterans First Mortgage is ideally suited for:
- Military personnel and surviving spouses
- Borrowers from the military who want to close quickly
- Borrowers who are looking for a no down payment loan or low down payment loan
Though the rates on Veterans First are a little higher than the others on our list, they’re still competitive, and total loan costs are on the lower end of the range.