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12 Best VA Mortgage Lenders for Streamline Refinance (IRRRL) of 2022

These lenders are all experts at VA loans and among the best for a VA streamline refinance, or IRRRL.

Apr 4, 2022

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The VA's IRRRL — Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan — is loved by military borrowers for its easy efficiency. It's also called a "VA streamline refinance" because of its stripped-down processing requirements: No appraisal is needed, and underwriting is simplified.

Shop around when looking for an "Earl" — VA lenders vary in requirements and costs. Here are lenders that excel at IRRRL refinancing.

Best VA Mortgage Lenders for Streamline Refinance (IRRRL)

New American Funding
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at New American Funding

New American Funding: NMLS#6606

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
New American Funding

Min. credit score

580

Min. down payment

0%
Learn more

at New American Funding


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who need to be evaluated on the basis of nontraditional credit and those interested in various down payment assistance programs.

Pros

  • Uses manual underwriting to evaluate creditworthiness, in some cases.

  • Offers full online mortgage application, rate quotes, document upload and loan tracking.

Cons

  • Mortgage origination fees tend to be on the high end, according to the latest federal data.

Read Full Review
Veterans United
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at Veterans United

Veterans United: NMLS#1907

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Veterans United

Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National
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at Veterans United


Why we like it

Good for: veterans, active-duty service members and eligible reservists looking to refinance VA or non-VA loans.

Pros

  • Offers 24/7 customer service over the phone.

  • Has online application and pre-qualification.

  • Offers a free credit counseling service.

  • Employs advisors from each branch of the armed forces.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

  • Veterans United has physical branch offices in only 17 states.

  • Information on FHA, USDA and conventional loans is harder to find on its website.

Read Full Review
Rocket Mortgage, LLC
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at Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Rocket Mortgage, LLC: NMLS#3030

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Rocket Mortgage, LLC

Min. credit score

620

National / regional

National
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at Rocket Mortgage, LLC


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who appreciate convenience online and on the go for a fully digital home loan experience with consistently acclaimed customer service.

Pros

  • Caters to self-service users who want to apply for a home loan online and talk to a human only as necessary.

  • Estimates the loan amount you’ll qualify for within minutes.

  • Streamlines the online process with document and asset retrieval capabilities, including the ability to edit your preapproval letter.

Cons

  • Getting a customized interest rate requires a credit check, which can affect your credit score.

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans or lines of credit.

  • Lender fees are on the high side and the fees aren't offset by particularly low mortgage rates, according to the latest data.

Read Full Review
NBKC
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at NBKC

NBKC: NMLS#409631

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
NBKC

Min. credit score

640

Min. down payment

0%
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at NBKC


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers with solid credit who want to pay low rates and get an online experience with phone support. VA loans are an emphasis.

Pros

  • Extends full online capabilities, from application to loan tracking.

  • Displays customized rates, with fee estimates, without requiring contact information.

Cons

  • Equity lines and construction loans are available only in the Kansas City metro area.

  • Doesn’t offer renovation loans.

Read Full Review
NASB
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at NASB

NASB: NMLS#400039

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
NASB

Min. credit score

640

Min. down payment

0%
Learn more

at NASB


Why we like it

NASB couples competitive mortgage rates and reasonable fees with a good assortment of loan options.

Pros

  • Devotes much of its business to serving military families with VA loans.

  • Considers nontraditional income sources, in some cases.

  • Offers competitive rates and origination fees.

Cons

  • Does not offer home improvement mortgages.

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans and lines of credit.

Read Full Review
Pennymac
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at Pennymac

Pennymac: NMLS#35953

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Pennymac

Min. credit score

620

Min. down payment

0%
Learn more

at Pennymac


Why we like it

Pennymac excels in online capabilities and makes it easy to shop rates online. Average origination fees are higher than other lenders, and home equity lines of credit and jumbo mortgages were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pros

  • Offers a full range of online capabilities, including e-signatures and online loan process tracking.

  • Displays custom rate quotes based on home value, down payment or equity, ZIP code and credit score range.

Cons

  • Origination fees are on the higher end, according to the latest federal data.

  • Doesn't offer jumbo mortgages or home equity lines of credit.

Read Full Review
BNC National Bank
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at BNC National Bank

BNC National Bank: NMLS#418467

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
BNC National Bank

Min. credit score

640

Min. down payment

0%
Learn more

at BNC National Bank


Why we like it

BNC National Bank offers a robust variety of loans, but you have to reach out to a loan officer to get customized interest rates.

Pros

  • Wide variety of loan types and products.

  • Improved online capabilities, and robust iOS and Android apps.

  • Considers alternative credit data, like cell phone payments.

Cons

  • Limited number of physical mortgage offices.

  • Limited rate information is available without starting an application or speaking with a loan officer.

Read Full Review
Network Capital
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at Network Capital

Network Capital: NMLS#11712

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Network Capital

Min. credit score

640

Min. down payment

0%
Learn more

at Network Capital


Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for a lender with online convenience and mortgage banker assistance.

Pros

  • A mobile app supports the loan process.

  • A good selection of loan products, including all government-backed mortgages.

  • Offers jumbo loans up to $30 million.

Cons

  • Doesn't lend in all states.

  • Website doesn’t provide customized mortgage rates.

Read Full Review
Guaranteed Rate
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at Guaranteed Rate

Guaranteed Rate: NMLS#2611

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Guaranteed Rate

Min. credit score

600

National / regional

National
Learn more

at Guaranteed Rate


Why we like it

Good for: homeowners who are looking to refinance conventional, FHA or VA mortgages.

Pros

  • Offers the ability to securely upload and digitally sign loan documents.

  • Displays detailed sample rates for many of its refinance loan products.

Cons

  • Charges some fees, such as a lender fee which includes an application fee.

Read Full Review

PenFed: NMLS#401822

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
PenFed

Min. credit score

N/A

Min. down payment

0%

Why we like it

Good for: borrowers looking for online convenience, a wide selection of mortgages and the competitive rates of a member-owned credit union.

Pros

  • Offers a broad selection of home loan products, including low-down-payment options for first-time home buyers and home buyers of limited means.

  • Offers a lender credit, based on loan amount, for purchase mortgages.

  • Mortgage rates and fees are low compared to other lenders, according to the latest data.

Cons

  • Lender credit isn't available for refinance mortgages.

  • Doesn't offer home improvement loans.

Read Full Review

Carrington: NMLS#2600

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Carrington

Min. credit score

500

Min. down payment

0%

Why we like it

Good for: first-time home buyers or credit-challenged borrowers interested in government loan products.

Pros

  • Offers multiple low-down-payment loan programs.

  • May consider alternative credit data, such as bank statements and rent payments.

  • You can view customized rates for purchasing a home and apply online.

Cons

  • Doesn't offer home equity loans, HELOCs or renovation mortgages.

  • Lender fees and mortgage rates are on the high side, according to the latest data.

Read Full Review

Flagstar: NMLS#417490

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Flagstar

Min. credit score

660

Min. down payment

0%

Why we like it

Good for: borrowers who want a wide range of choices — not only among mortgage products, but also in the channel they prefer, whether a branch, online or on the phone.

Pros

  • Offers a wide range of loan types and products, including FHA, VA and USDA.

  • Has a full suite of online conveniences.

  • Offers customized online rate quotes with monthly payment estimates, including mortgage insurance, when applicable.

Cons

  • Home equity loans are geographically limited.

Read Full Review

More from NerdWallet:

VA IRRRL Refinance FAQ

What is a VA IRRRL?

A VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) lets eligible borrowers refinance a VA loan quickly and easily. Nicknamed the “VA streamline” loan, an IRRRL’s attractions include a stripped-down approval process, lower fees and no appraisal.

With a VA IRRRL refinance, you can add the closing costs to your loan balance or accept a higher interest rate to pay for them.

How can you use a VA IRRRL?

An IRRRL can be used only to refinance from a VA loan to a VA loan. Taking cash out is generally not allowed, with an exception, which we explain below.

Borrowers typically must use an IRRRL to reduce their monthly mortgage payments or lower the mortgage interest rate. But here’s another quirk: It’s OK to bump up your interest rate when converting an adjustable-rate VA mortgage to a fixed-rate IRRRL.

Who is eligible for a VA IRRRL?

Here’s what it takes to be eligible for an IRRRL:

  • You’re an active-duty member of the military, reserve or National Guard, or a veteran or surviving spouse.

  • You’ve served for a minimum length of time without dishonorable discharge.

  • You meet the lender’s minimum credit score requirement and certify that you’ve previously lived in the house.

Can you get cash out with a VA streamline refinance?

In one case only. You may be able to get a limited amount of cash for making energy-efficient improvements to the home. You may need to get a home energy audit to show the investment will lower your utility costs.

Last updated on April 4, 2022

Methodology

The star ratings on this page reflect each lender's rating for VA products. Read more about how we determine those ratings.

The lenders on this page are chosen using this methodology:

NerdWallet reviewed nearly 60 mortgage lenders, including the majority of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders by annual loan volume (lenders had to have at least a 1% market share), lenders with significant online search volume and those that specialize in serving various audiences across the country.

For inclusion on this roundup, lenders must score a 3.5 or above according to our VA loan methodology and offer IRRRLs.

NerdWallet solicits information from reviewed lenders on a recurring basis throughout the year. All lender-provided information is verified through lender websites and interviews. We also utilized 2020 HMDA data for origination volume, origination fee, rate spread and share-of-product data.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best VA Mortgage Lenders for Streamline Refinance (IRRRL) of 2022