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Best VA Mortgage Lenders for Streamline Refinance (IRRRL) of 2018

Finding the Right Mortgage, Mortgages
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We spent over 400 hours reviewing the top mortgage lenders before selecting the best for our readers. We’ve picked at least two lenders in several "best of" categories to help you find a lender that meets your needs.


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 in five key ways.

Top IRRRL lenders overall

When NerdWallet reviews VA lenders, these score high across several categories.

loandepotlogo-270x55 4.5-stars
  • Nearly as many loan products as banks offer, including FHA, VA and USDA loans
  • Low complaint volume and transparent rate-comparison page
  • Repeat customers offered a “Lifetime Guarantee” refinance program waiving lender fees and reimbursing appraisal costs
  • LoanDepot review
guaranteed-rate-logo-55x270 4.5-stars
  • VA lending experts with a strong online mortgage tool
  • Works with most borrowers as long as they have good credit scores and incomes
  • 170 branches across the country for in-person service
  • Guaranteed Rate review

IRRRL lenders with the best online experience

These VA lenders have strong digital-application and loan-tracking options.

Quicken Loans 4.5-stars
  • Experienced national expert in government-backed mortgages
  • Largest online lender, with speedy approvals and cutting-edge technology
  • Can instantly access employment and income verification for nearly two-thirds of working Americans
  • Quicken Loans review
Fairway-270x55 4.0-stars
  • Fairway app lets borrowers close a mortgage in as few as 10 days
  • Adjustable rate mortgages offered at over 250 local offices
  • Applications can be completed and a local loan officer found online
  • Fairway Independent Mortgage review

Best customer service from IRRRL lenders

NerdWallet rates these lenders high for engagement and responsiveness.

Veterans-First-270x55 3.5-stars
  • Experienced VA lender known for personal attention
  • Online and mobile features make access easy from overseas
  • Company stresses relationships, borrower education, military borrowers’ needs and VA lending expertise
  • Veterans First Mortgage review
Fairway-270x55 4.0-stars
  • 24/7 customer service through Fairway mobile app, call center and email
  • Licensed in all 50 states
  • Full range of home loan options, including adjustable-rate, fixed-rate, cash-out refinance and interest rate reduction refinance loans (IRRRL)
  • Fairway Independent Mortgage review

Best traditional bank IRRRL lenders

These lenders excel at offering streamline refinancing in a familiar bank setting.

BOA-logo 4.0-stars
  • The big bank advantage: BofA has a wide range of mortgage purchase and refinance options
  • Low down payment options and flexible requirements on FHA loans are inviting to first-time borrowers
  • Options are limited to Bank of America products and rates
  • Bank of America review
citimortgage 4.0-stars
  • A full line of purchase mortgages, including FHA, available in addition to VA loans
  • Low down payment options available with no private mortgage insurance required
  • Available in all 50 states
  • CitiMortgage review

Best IRRRL lenders for borrowers with low credit scores

Flexibility and experience in qualifying credit-challenged borrowers count with these lenders.

navy_federal_credit_union_logo-55x270 4.0-stars
  • Licensed in 50 states, with a wide range of affordable mortgage products for military members
  • Underwriting model allows greater loan flexibility
  • Willing to look at rent, utility and cell phone payments in evaluating eligibility
  • Navy Federal Mortgage review
Alterra-Logo-55x270 4.0-stars
  • Government loan specialist offering VA, FHA and USDA loans, along with conventional mortgages
  • Is experienced at qualifying borrowers with weaker credit and nontraditional credit, employment and income sources
  • Spanish language website page and hundreds of Spanish-speaking employees
  • Alterra Home Loans review

Best VA mortgage lenders for streamline refinance (IRRRL): summary

More from NerdWallet:

Calculate how much to borrow with a VA loan

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Learn the basics about VA loans