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Best VA Refinance Rates and Loans
You want to know which are the best VA refinance rates and loans, so let’s get straight to it. The most overall affordable VA refinance rates are from Bank of America, which we explore more fully in this post. We also look at the best VA customer service for VA refinance rates (Navy Federal Credit Union) and the best at protecting credit for VA refinance rates (Rocket Mortgage).
Also in this post about VA refinance rates, we go into what they are, how they work, the different types, as well as fees and how to get one. We also explore the best rate and loan for your specific needs.
To arrive at the best VA refinance rates and loans, we use our SimpleScore model, which uses five criteria so that you can compare apples to apples. The criteria are perks; hard and soft credit checks; customer satisfaction; product variety; and fees. We talk in more detail about this methodology at the bottom of this post.
Current VA refinance 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.
|30-Year Refinance Rate||3.000%||3.180%|
|30-Year FHA Refinance Rate||2.630%||3.520%|
|30-Year VA Refinance Rate||2.740%||2.970%|
|30-Year Jumbo Refinance Rate||3.010%||3.090%|
|20-Year Fixed Refinance Rate||2.890%||3.070%|
|15-Year Fixed Refinance Rate||2.290%||2.530%|
|15-Year Jumbo Refinance Rate||2.280%||2.360%|
|10/1 ARM Refinance Rate||3.840%||3.900%|
|5/1 ARM Refinance Rate||2.720%||3.980%|
|5/1 ARM Jumbo Refinance Rate||2.670%||3.580%|
|7/1 ARM Refinance Rate||3.490%||3.740%|
|7/1 ARM Refinance Jumbo Rate||3.780%||3.610%|
Rates data as of 7/29/2021
Current VA refinance rates overview
|Loan Terms||Lowest APR||Key benefit|
|Bank of America||15 (2.61%) to 30 years (3.20%)||2.61%||Affordable, transparent rates|
|Navy Federal||15 (2.34%) to 30 years (2.34%)||2.34%||Fast service|
|Veterans First Mortgage||Not listed||Not listed||Plenty of loan options and services|
|Rocket Mortgage||15 (2.75%) to 30 years (3.28%)||2.75%||Rated highly for customer service|
The best VA refinance rates, loans and financial institutions
- Most Overall Affordable VA Refinance Rates: Bank of America
- Best VA Customer Service for VA Refinance Rates: Navy Federal Credit Union
- Best Loan Offerings for VA Refinance Rates: Veterans First Mortgage
- Best at Protecting Credit for VA Refinance Rates: Rocket Mortgage
What is a VA refinance loan?
If you currently have a VA-backed home loan, you may want to refinance your mortgage at some point. A VA refinance loan is a way of changing or switching to a new VA loan agreement. It works just like a regular refinance would, but you’re acquiring a new VA loan, not a conventional or FHA loan. There are a few reasons why you might want to do this. You could get a better rate or tap into your home’s equity to free up some cash. Alternatively, if you have a conventional mortgage, you could switch to a VA loan agreement during your refinance.
With any refinancing agreement, you need to think carefully about the type of loan you need, interest rates and the provider you refinance with.
VA refinance loan types
There are two main types of VA refinance loans to know about. Deciding which one is right for you will depend on your overall goal of refinancing.
- VA streamline refinance: A streamline refinance loan is best for those who wish to get a lower rate of interest on their mortgage. This is also known as an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL). In most cases, streamline refinances are easier to complete. They don’t require a new appraisal or some of the other steps that are required during the typical loan process. It’s also for those who wish to switch from an adjustable- to a fixed-rate mortgage. To get a VA streamline refinance loan, you must already have a VA mortgage, and you will need to apply for a refinance loan with a rate that is lower than your current one.
- VA cash-out refinance loan: A VA cash-out refinance loan is a refinancing agreement that is best suited to those who wish to unlock some of their home’s equity rather than get a better rate. If you have been paying off your mortgage for a few years and have built up a good level of equity, you can tap into that equity to receive cash. Generally, with this type of refinancing, you will need to pay closing costs upfront and won’t be able to include them in the value of your loan.
VA refinance fees
With any type of refinancing, there are refinance fees to pay. That’s because you are essentially taking out another mortgage. This means you will be expected to pay whatever closing fees your loan provider charges along with a VA funding fee. The VA funding fee is a one-time payment that you pay on a VA loan, which is something you will had to pay when you first took out the loan as well. With a refinance, this fee will be due again as it’s a new agreement. The funding fee depends on the type of refinance you want to do. For IRRRLs, it’s a 0.5% funding fee. For cash-out refinance, it’s 2.3% if it’s your first refinance or 3.6% if it’s not your first refinance. You won’t have to pay the funding fee if you’re receiving compensation, have a disability or you have a Purple Heart award.
How to refinance a VA loan
Refinancing to a VA loan will require different steps depending on the type of loan you are now paying off.
- Choose the type of refinance: You will first need to choose which type of refinance you want. Do you want cash for equity? Then you’ll need a cash-out refinance loan. Want to save money? An IRRRL refinance will be best for you.
- Research different loan providers: Take some time to look at all your options and compare interest rates, closing costs and other terms before you agree to one.
- Lock your rate: Once you have chosen a lender, the next step is to lock in your rate in case rates increase later. Mortgage rates can fluctuate, so you will want to lock a low rate as soon as you can.
- Submit documents: When you are ready to move forward with your refinance agreement, you will need to submit your documents, which will then be reviewed by an underwriting team.
- Final approval: The last step is to get final approval and pay your closing fees at your loan closing.
VA loan refinance eligibility
To qualify for a VA refinance you must meet certain requirements. You must be an active duty service member, an honorably discharged veteran or a spouse of a service member. Aside from those basic requirements, you should also consider:
- Credit score: Your credit score and income will be a big part of your eligibility. Each lender will have their requirements so you will need to do some research.
- Debt-to-income ratio: You will need to have a relatively low debt-to-income ratio to be eligible for a refinance. Each lender will have different requirements, but most lenders will ask for below 50%.
- Individual lender requirements: Certain lenders may have their eligibility criteria you must meet before approving you for a refinance loan. While researching different lenders, take a look at their full list of eligibility criteria.
Advantages when refinancing a VA loan
Refinancing a loan may be the best option for you if you are either looking to save money or looking to receive money from your home’s equity. There are a number of advantages to refinancing a loan, including:
- Saving money on interest each month with a better rate
- More predictable costs if you switch to a fixed-rate loan
- The potential for a shorter loan term to build equity faster
- Disadvantages when refinancing a VA loan
While refinancing can be a great move for some homeowners, it’s not for everyone. There are some downsides to refinancing. For example, refinancing can help you access cash with a cash-out refinance, but this also extends your loan term and costs more in interest overall. Some of the disadvantages of refinancing a loan include:
- Additional costs, including closing costs and the VA funding fee
- An extended mortgage term if you take out cash on your equity
- An increase in monthly costs if switching from a fixed- to a variable-rate loan
How should I choose the right refinance loan?
- Know the type of loan you want. The first step to finding the right refinance loan is to narrow down your focus to the type of refinance you need. If you are looking for lower interest rates, you should focus on IRRRL refinancing. If you are looking to take out cash, you will need a cash-out refinance instead. Knowing which type of loan you need will help you narrow down what to look for with each provider. For example, when looking for IRRRL financing, you will want to prioritize low interest rates in your search.
- Compare interest rates. Searching for the lowest interest rates is a good idea, no matter what type of refinancing you want. Different providers will offer different rates depending on your credit score, so you will need to research and try to improve your score where possible.
- Choose between a variable-rate loan or fixed-rate loan When researching interest rates, it’s worth looking at both variable- and fixed-rate refinance loans. You may choose to switch from one type to the other while refinancing.
- Check eligibility Another thing to look for in your search for the best VA refinance loan is the eligibility criteria of each lender. The interest rates and other terms may look great at first glance, but you will also need to check you meet the eligibility criteria before applying.
We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the VA refinance mortgages we recommend. Contact us at email@example.com with comments or questions.