Finding a good VA lender can be time consuming, especially if you’ve never applied for a mortgage in the past. It can be a lot of work, with new terms being used by lenders that you’ve likely never heard of before. You certainly want to find a lender with VA experience but you also want to get the best rate available. But it can be confusing comparing rate quotes from different VA lenders due to the multiple options available to the borrower. How can you cut through the clutter and correctly compare rate quotes from different lenders?
When you get a VA rate quote, you’ll be offered the full plate of offerings from a VA lender. You can choose a 15 year loan or a 20 year VA loan and a 30 year VA loan. You can also find a rate with points and rate without points. And of course there are all the fees involved. How can you make sense of all this?
Step 1: Determine Your Loan Type
Determine first and foremost your loan type. You can discuss which loan is best with you with your loan officer but once you decide that a particular loan is right for you, stick with it. Trying to compare a 15 year loan with a 30 year loan is nearly impossible. Once you decide, you can begin making your phone calls.
Step 2: Start getting Your Quotes
When getting rate quotes, make sure you ask for a rate quote for your approximate loan amount under the exact loan terms. For instance, you’ll call your loan officer and ask “What is your VA rate today that is good for 30 days on a $200,000 15 year fixed mortgage with no points?”
But being exact on your rate quote request, you’ll be able to compare the best VA interest rate quote between multiple VA lenders. You first have to decide on your loan. Once you do, you’ll be ready to find your next VA lender.
Step 3: Compare the Fees
When getting your rate quotes it is equally as important to compare the fees as well. The only standardized fee is the VA Loan Funding Fee which is a charge by the government and not the lender. You’ll want to identify the closing costs associated with your loan amongst multiple lenders. Not all lenders are created equally when it comes to fees so it’s important to compare.
Step 4: Select your Lender and Loan Officer
After you’ve spoken with a few lenders/loan officers you will have a good idea of the market rates and fees and can make an informed decision. You will likely also have a good idea of the loan officers that you would like to work with during your VA loan buying or refinancing process.
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A reader wrote in asking about the division of military retirement in a divorce. I have edited this email to remove personally identifying information and to make it more clear, but the gist is definitely still there: I am a MSG who will be retiring this year with 20 years of service. I was married […]