When going through the VA loan process one of the first steps you will want to do is find VA approved lenders to help you get financed for a VA home loan. When you decide to purchase a new home, you want to have a strong group of professionals on your team. Purchasing a new home or refinancing your current home can be a confusing process for any homeowner. Having a strong support team like Low VA Rates to educate and guide you will make the process smooth and worthwhile.
VA Approved Lenders vs. Realtors
For new and veteran home buyers, it can be difficult to remember which tasks are taken on by which people. Real-estate agents are often confused with lenders, but it’s important to understand where the line is drawn between the two. One deals primarily with finding you a home and helping to negotiate price while the other lends you money to actually pay for that home. Here’s a breakdown of their individual responsibilities:
Real Estate Agents’ Responsibilities
- Find available properties in the specified area.
- Show those available properties to the buyer according to their needs.
- Negotiate a purchase price between the seller and buyer.
- Write a sales contract to be signed by the seller and buyer.
- Obtain the borrower’s Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
- Calculate how much VA backing the borrower is currently entitled to.
- Assist the borrower in completing the loan application process.
- Help the borrower select a loan type that would best suit their needs.
- Gather documents needed for underwriting.
- Close on the loan and fund the money to the borrower to pay for the home.
Working with VA Approved Lenders
After the real-estate agent has helped you negotiate your way to a new home, you want find the best VA lenders. Real-estate agents can recommend lenders licensed in the area, but in the end, the borrower must choose one. If you’re eligible to finance your home with a VA loan, search for a lender who specializes in VA loans. Many lenders are VA approved, meaning they are licensed to do VA home loans. But lenders who specialize in VA loans will know them well enough to navigate every problem and solution. Loan officers that do not specialize in them may be unaware of all the requirements and exceptions. They may even steer you away from VA loans because of their inexperience and guide you instead towards other, higher-priced loan options.
These lenders are unfamiliar with navigating all the red tape, which has presented a problem recently as more and more borrowers are turned away from saving money with VA home loans. Lenders must deal with longer appraisal processes as the appraiser must check for minimum property requirements (MPRs) put in place by the VA. There are also some bureaucratic hoops to jump through, and the VA prevents lenders from adding unnecessary processing fees onto the loan, meaning the lender makes less on a VA loan than on a conventional. In reality, VA financing isn’t harder to do than any other loan–these are just different than other loans.
Expertise in VA Home Loans
Don’t be swayed into choosing a more expensive loan. Be sure you are choosing the best lender for VA loans–a lender who does them on a regular basis who will know the process like the back of their hand. For many Americans, a home is the most expensive (and important) thing they will ever buy. So working with a lender who has expertise in VA loans is vital when financing your home. The best mortgage lenders for veterans will be able to tell you which military documents you need and how to obtain them. An expert will obtain a copy of your COE for you. An expert may even be able to recommend real-estate agents who know VA loans. They will also be able to explain the loan process to you in detail and explain who will be working on the loan in each part of the process.
Lenders Licensed in Your State
Another thing to keep in mind is that each state requires its own particular licensing for a lender to do loans in that state. Not every lender is licensed in every state. Many lenders nowadays do loans remotely, meaning they do most or all of the paperwork through email or other electronic methods. This also means that they get potential borrowers from all across the nation, some of whom they have to turn away because they aren’t licensed in that state. Before delving into the application process, ask the lender if they are licensed in your state. If you are wandering if a lender is licensed in your state you can look up their information here.
Rates and Credit Score
Ultimately, when you do a refinance loan, you want to save money, and one of the most effective ways to do this is to get a lower interest rate. That being said, it makes sense that you would want to do business with a lender that offers the lowest rates. However, keep in mind that many factors determine which rate you qualify for. For many lenders, your credit score is one of biggest factors; having a low credit score could give you high rates and vice versa. Having too low of a score could disqualify you from doing a loan with a certain lender at all. However, at Low VA Rates, we understand that your creditworthiness should not depend solely on your credit score. Your credit weighs very lightly in our requirements, and we don’t turn any borrowers away based on their credit alone.
Finding the Right VA Approved Lenders
The right VA loan lenders will bring more to the table than just the best VA loan rates. You don’t want to trust your home finances to just anyone, so do your research to ensure you are making the right decision in picking the right VA mortgage professional. Here are 3 things you should look for in finding the right VA approved lenders:
- Excellent customer service: Check out several different customer service sites online for reviews and testimonials of the company. Both good reviews and bad reviews will help you determine if this is the company you want to do business with. A good company will always put their customers first and make an extra effort to ensure they have a positive experience.
- Expert in the field: I’ve already talked about this quite a bit above, but to reiterate, remember that the best military home loan lenders will know their stuff. After a few questions over the phone, you should be able to gauge whether this lender is knowledgeable about VA loans or not. If they are, great! If not, find someone else.
- Gets you the lowest payment: Like I said, this is more than just offering you low interest rates. More costs go into getting your home, such as closing costs, principal, taxes, insurance, and more. The right VA loan expert will be able to navigate these costs in a way that will mean you end up paying the absolute least amount of money that you need to.
Here at Low VA Rates, we are approved VA lenders that love what we do. We work tirelessly to ensure all veterans get the home benefits they deserve, but this isn’t the only thing we do that makes us one of the best VA approved lenders out there. We actually get results. Most veterans that work with us will save large amounts of money on their homes. Sometimes they even save thousands or tens of thousands over the life of their loan. And every veteran to come through our doors gets into a better loan than they had before because we believe giving top-quality customer service is and always should be a huge priority.
Veterans aren’t just customers to us. They are the heroes of our nation’s freedom, and we strive to give back to them in any way that we can. In fact, Low VA Rates created a foundation several years ago that employees donate to frequently. That donation is used to help veterans and their families who are in need. Our employees also volunteer for service opportunities, even going to veterans cemeteries to clean and beautify the area.
If that hasn’t convinced you that Low VA Rates is all about helping veterans, give us a call at 855-223-0705. We can help you easily navigate the loan process, save money on VA mortgages, and even become more educated about your home.