Today’s best VA loan rates

VA loans are a type of mortgage loan available to active service members, veterans and their families. These loans are administered through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, otherwise known as the VA. VA loans often allow veterans to purchase a home with no down payment and can make it easier for service members to afford the cost of a home. VA loan lenders may also offer other related services, such as insurance or personal loans.

When it comes to finding the best VA loans and mortgage lenders, it’s important to go with a lender who is familiar with the VA mortgage program, since these lenders will be able to secure you the best deal possible when it comes to competitive mortgage rates. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind any related costs, such as closing costs and loan fees, as they can add up fast. If you keep those factors in mind, it should help quite a bit in the process of finding the best VA home loan.

In this article

    Current mortgage rates

    According to Bankrate’s latest survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, these are the current refinance average rates for a 30-year, 15-year fixed and 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) refinance rates among others.

    Product Interest Rate APR
    30-Year Fixed Rate3.030%3.370%
    30-Year FHA Rate3.240%3.740%
    30-Year VA Rate2.960%3.120%
    30-Year Jumbo Rate3.090%3.210%
    20-Year Fixed Rate2.980%3.270%
    15-Year Fixed Rate2.560%2.890%
    15-Year Fixed Jumbo Rate2.600%2.660%
    5/1 ARM Rate3.060%4.060%
    7/1 ARM Rate2.950%3.960%
    7/1 ARM Jumbo Rate2.910%3.930%
    10/1 ARM Rate3.040%3.910%

    Rates data as of 10/21/2020

    Best VA mortgages of 2020

    Best VA lenders overview

    LenderBest ForAPR RangeMin-Max Loan
    USAABest bank4.282% to 4.733%varies
    Navy Federal Credit UnionBest credit union2.971% to 3.022%varies
    Veterans UnitedBest customer satisfaction3.763% to 3.849%varies
    Rocket MortgageBest online application process4.315% to 4.462%varies
    New American FundingBest for bad creditvariesvaries

    Best bank – USAA

    USAA is a solid choice for those looking for a VA loan from an experienced, well-reviewed company. It may not be the best fit for borrowers looking for in-person interaction or the most competitive rates.

    J.D. Power Rating
    5/5
    Min. Credit
    620
    Min. Down Payment
    3%
    SimpleScore
    3.8 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore USAA 3.8
    Perks 4
    Credit Impact 3
    Customer Satisfaction 5
    Product Variety 4
    Fees 3

    Although it may not have the most competitive rates around, USAA gets points as one of the best VA mortgage lenders for specifically serving military members and their families. This lender requires a minimum credit score of 620 for a VA mortgage loan.

    Because VA loans make up a large portion of its business, USAA is adept at helping steer veterans, active service members and their families through the home-buying process. It also offers first-time homebuyers who don’t qualify for a VA loan a traditional mortgage loan with a little as 3% down.

    USAA has a limited number of brick and mortar locations throughout the country, which may be a drawback for borrowers who are looking for more face-to-face service.

    USAA is designed specifically for service members and offers competitive rates and a proven track record.

    • Minimum credit score: 620
    • Minimum annual income: n/a

    Note: The lender information (Min. Credit Score and Min Down Payment) included refers to a conventional loan. For more information on VA loans, please visit the lender site.

    Best credit union – Navy Federal Credit Union

    Navy Federal Credit Union is a reputable lender with extremely competitive rates and a focus on service members.

    J.D. Power Rating
    5/5
    Min. Credit
    Not Specified
    Min. Down Payment
    0%
    SimpleScore
    3.4 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Navy Federal Credit Union 3.4
    Perks 4
    Credit Impact 4
    Customer Satisfaction 5
    Product Variety 3
    Fees 1

    Navy Federal Credit Union offers some of the best VA mortgages and competitive rates with a special focus on veterans and exemplary customer service.

    • Minimum credit score: n/a
    • Minimum annual income: Depends on the debt-to-income ratio

    Because it’s a credit union, Navy Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit lender, meaning that it can often offer the most competitive rates. Navy Federal also has a special focus on veterans and active service members and understands the unique needs and circumstances of military members.

    Unlike some other lenders, Navy Federal Credit Union is willing to work with borrowers, even if they have poor credit. If you’re looking to secure a VA loan from this lender, you’ll have to become a member of the credit union before you’re eligible to apply.

    Note: The lender information (Min. Credit Score and Min Down Payment) included refers to a conventional loan. For more information on VA loans, please visit the lender site.

    Best customer satisfaction – Veterans United

    Veterans United is a great option for service members looking for a VA loan, and offers extra guidance for those who need some help with the process.

    J.D. Power Rating
    5/5
    Min. Credit
    660
    Min. Down Payment
    0%
    SimpleScore
    3.8 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Veterans United 3.8
    Perks 3
    Credit Impact 3
    Customer Satisfaction 5
    Product Variety 4
    Fees 4

    Veterans United specializes exclusively in VA loans and offers some of the best rates available.

    • Minimum credit score: 620
    • Minimum annual income: Depends on the debt-to-income ratio

    As a lender that focuses specifically on VA loans, Veterans United is an experienced, efficient lender that can help you to secure the best possible rates for your mortgage loan. The lender also offers a free consultation with a specialist, which can be helpful even if you decide to go with another lender.

    Veterans United also offers stellar customer service as well as 18 brick and mortar locations, making this lender a good option for borrowers who may need extra guidance.

    Note: The lender information (Min. Credit Score and Min Down Payment) included refers to a conventional loan. For more information on VA loans, please visit the lender site.

    Best online application process – Rocket Mortgage

    Rocket Mortgage offers a simple and easy VA loan process for borrowers looking for a minimum of hassle and a fast application.

    J.D. Power Rating
    5/5
    Min. Credit
    620
    Min. Down Payment
    3%
    SimpleScore
    3.4 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Rocket Mortgage 3.4
    Perks 4
    Credit Impact 4
    Customer Satisfaction 5
    Product Variety 3
    Fees 1

    Rocket Mortgage offers a simple and easy application process and superior customer satisfaction.

    • Minimum credit score: 620
    • Minimum annual income: Depends on the debt-to-income ratio

    A program run by parent company Quicken Loans, Rocket Mortgage is a fast, easy and streamlined way to secure a VA Loan. Its speedy application process makes applying for a VA loan a breeze, and it has a robust customer service and stellar reviews to back up their product.

    Unlike some other lenders, Rocket Mortgage has relatively strict requirements when it comes to borrowers, so it may not be the best choice for borrowers with poor credit or unstable income.

    Note: The lender information (Min. Credit Score and Min Down Payment) included refers to a conventional loan. For more information on VA loans, please visit the lender site.

    Best for bad credit – New American Funding

    This lender is a great option for service members with poor credit looking to secure a VA loan.

    J.D. Power Rating
    N/A
    Min. Credit
    500
    Min. Down Payment
    3%
    SimpleScore
    4 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore New American Funding 4
    Perks 4
    Credit Impact 4
    Customer Satisfaction N/A
    Product Variety 5
    Fees 3

    New American funding is a great option for a VA loan for borrowers with less than stellar credit.

    • Minimum credit score: 580
    • Minimum annual income: depends on the debt-to-income ratio

    While New American Funding might be a lesser-known name when compared to some other lenders on this list, it offers competitive rates for borrowers who might not qualify for other loans. This lender is flexible when it comes to bad credit, and since a real person reviews all loan applications, an algorithm won’t automatically filter you out.

    New American Funding also offers competitive rates, even for borrowers with weak credit.

    Note: The lender information (Min. Credit Score and Min Down Payment) included refers to a conventional loan. For more information on VA loans, please visit the lender site.

    What is a VA loan?

    A VA loan is a mortgage loan available to members of the military, veterans and their families. VA loans are unique in that they often allow a borrower to purchase a house without a down payment and they are secured by the VA, which can help borrowers receive more favorable rates.

    Who is eligible for a VA loan?

    Active service members and veterans who have served for a certain length of time are eligible for VA loans. In some circumstances, spouses of service members or veterans may also be eligible, but not every veteran should use a VA loan. There are times when using a VA loan works best and times when it doesn’t.

    To be eligible for a VA home loan, you must meet one or more of the following in addition to any requirements your lender has:

    • You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, OR
    • You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime, OR
    • You have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves, OR
    • You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.

    Pros and cons of VA loans

    Pros:

    • A down payment usually isn’t required.
    • Even borrowers with poor credit may be eligible.
    • VA loans have lower average interest rates.

    Cons:

    • Only a small percentage of borrowers qualify for such a loan.
    • Borrowers can only use a VA loan to pay for a primary place of residence.
    • Borrowers may face reluctance from some sellers who may not understand what a VA loan entails.

    How to apply for a VA loan

    To apply for a VA loan:

    1. Make sure that you’re eligible. Most active service members, veterans and some spouses may qualify for a VA loan.
    2. You’ll need to get a certificate of eligibility to prove to your lender that you qualify. To do this, make sure that you meet the requirements of this type of loan and then apply for the COE. You can do this one of two ways.
      1. Through the VA Web LGY system: In some cases, you can get your COE through your lender using our Web LGY system. Ask your lender about this option.
      2. By mail: to apply for a COE by mail, you’ll have to fill out a Request for a Certificate of Eligibility (VA Form 26-1880) and mail it to the address listed on the form. Please keep in mind that this may take longer than applying online or through our Web LGY system. You can VA Form 26-1880 (PDF) here.
    3. Once you have your COE, you’ll need to meet the lender requirements each specific lender will have for this type of loan. Those will vary by lender, so make sure you shop around and find someone who meets your needs.
    4. Double-check to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible. Just because you fit the lender’s requirements doesn’t mean they’re the best lender for your circumstances.

    How to choose the best VA loan

    The best VA loan for you largely depends on your personal and financial circumstances, as well as what you value when it comes to a lender.

    To choose a VA loan:

    1. Make sure that you qualify. If you have poor credit, you may want to seek out a lender who is flexible when it comes to low credit scores.
    2. If you’re looking for a simple, streamlined process, you should look for lenders with an easy application process.
    3. No matter what kind of lender you’re looking for, you should try to secure the best rates possible in order to avoid paying more than you have to on your loan.

    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    We’ve created the SimpleScore to help you objectively compare products and services here at The Simple Dollar.

    Our editorial team:

    • Identifies five factors to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each factor
    • Calculate an average of those five factor scores to get one SimpleScore

    We break down each of these five factors and their rating criteria for our review of the best mortgage companies.

    Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

    Some brands like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase have different SimpleScores because they offer more than one financial solution — like home loans, auto loans, personal loans and more.

    For instance, in our Bank of America Mortgage Review, we give the company a 3.8 out 5 based on our five rating factors for mortgages. In our Bank of America Auto Loans Review, we give the company a 4.4 out of 5 based on our rating factors for auto loans. By tailoring our SimpleScore to each financial solution, we’re able to give you a more accurate view of a brand’s services and how it compares to competitors’ services.

    Perks

    Mortgage lending companies that provide more perks receive a higher score from us.

    Hard/Soft credit checks

    We know that credit checks affect your score –– that’s why we favor companies that offer soft credit checks or hard credit checks when you want to see your pre-approval rates.

    Customer satisfaction

    We use the J.D. Power 2019 Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study℠ to find out how customers rate their experience with each company. (If a company is not included in J.D. Power’s study, we skip this rating factor and average the remaining factor scores.)

    Product variety

    Mortgage lenders that offer more products for their home loans are given higher scores.

    Fees

    Fees can add up fast. Companies that don’t require as many fees for your home loan receive a higher score with us.

    Margaret Wack

    Contributing Writer

    Margaret Wack writes about personal finance, health, wellness, arts and culture, among other topics.

    Reviewed by

    • Angelica Leicht
      Angelica Leicht
      Editor

      Angelica Leicht is a writer and editor who specializes in everything mortgage-related for The Simple Dollar. Her work has spanned topics that include lending product reviews, interest rate trends, racial biases in mortgage lending and the role of fintech in lending practices, and has appeared in publications such as Interest, Bankrate, The Spruce, Houston Press and VeryWell, among others.