Buying a home is exciting; you finally get to put all the scrolling of dream homes into action. However, financing your home can feel complicated, so finding the best lender is key. After you’ve found a real-estate agent and a home, you’ll start looking for a lender. When looking for the best lender to help you with your VA home-loan needs, you’ll want to make sure they have experience in VA loans, a familiarity with the military and veteran community, and knowledge of the home sales market.
Some research can go a long way in helping you make the right decision for your new home.
Are They Trustworthy?
Word of mouth is a great way to learn about a potential lender. Another good way is to look at the data. The Department of Veterans Affairs publishes data on the lenders that work with VA home loans, which can help you see which ones are being used by other veterans and military families. In fiscal year 2023, Veterans United was the leading lender with the highest volume of home loans, guaranteeing over 73,000 loans in the second quarter alone. Those military families trusted Veterans United with their home loans, totaling over $22 billion.
A lender that has a history of serving the military community, hires military spouses and veterans and offers free financial planning or educational resources will naturally rise to the top of the list of recommendations.
When you’ve narrowed your choices, don’t be afraid to ask those close to you which lender they used and why. If a friend has recently bought a home in your area and had a great experience with their lender, they’ll want to tell you all about it. You can also reach out to prospective lenders and ask them questions. The timeliness and thoroughness of their response can tell you a lot about how working with them in the future will be.
Do They Understand the Military Community?
You can easily see a lender’s support and understanding of the military community while looking at their website or talking to friends. A lender that has a history of serving the military community, hires military spouses and veterans and offers free financial planning or educational resources will naturally rise to the top of the list of recommendations.
Veterans United Home Loans has over 20 years of experience, employs a military advisory board and gives back to the military community. In 2011, Veterans United Home Loans launched a foundation that supports the military community through scholarships and by working with other military-themed charities like the Boot Campaign and Fisher House. They fund the foundation through employee contributions, which Veterans United Home Loans match.
How Is Their Customer Service?
Buying a home can be stressful, and it’s very important to have a lender available to help you. Using a national lender who gets high marks for customer service or using local lender that has a physical branch near you can cut down on the time it takes to get in touch with someone. To find out about the customer service from a particular lender, you can ask friends, view their website or look at the Better Business Bureau.
“Veterans United made the VA home-loan process really simple,” said Coast Guard veteran Kristen Morenos. “I worked with a local agent, and she was available quickly to run numbers on houses I loved, got my pre-approval letter with next to no notice when a house popped up and did all of that with amazing customer service.”
Are Their Rates Competitive?
VA loan interest rates are not a set amount, though they are traditionally lower than conventional loan rates. The government does not determine them; the lender does. When offering an interest rate, lenders consider your credit history, debt-to-income ratio and other factors.
Another thing to remember when comparing rates and the total cost of the loan are closing fees and the VA funding fee, which varies based on the down payment and how many times you purchased a home with a VA loan.
Veterans United Home Loans helps veterans secure a home loan at competitive rates while providing them with trustworthy customer service.