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.
» MORE: VA IRRRL FAQs
Top IRRRL lenders overall
When NerdWallet reviews VA lenders, these score high across several categories.
- Serves veterans and active-duty military personnel with full range of government loans, including USDA, VA and FHA
- Low complaint volume with CFPB
- Largest lender of VA purchase mortgages
- Veterans United Home Loans review
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Offers a wide range of mortgage purchase and refinance options, including VA purchase and VA refinance loans.
- VA IRRRL streamline refinance available if you have a VA loan currently serviced by Bank of America.
- Low down payment options and flexible requirements on FHA loans are inviting to first-time borrowers.
- Bank of America review
- VA mortgage options include purchase, refinance and IRRRL streamline refinance.
- 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.
- CitiMortgage review
Best IRRRL lenders for borrowers with low credit scores
Flexibility and experience in qualifying credit-challenged borrowers count with these lenders.
- 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
- 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
- Veterans United: Best overall
- Guaranteed Rate: Best overall
- Quicken Loans: Best online experience
- Fairway Independent Mortgage: Best online experience
- Veterans First Mortgage: Best for customer service
- Fairway Independent Mortgage: Best for customer service
- Bank of America: Best traditional banking lenders
- CitiMortgage: Best traditional banking lenders
- Navy Federal: Best for low-credit-score borrowers
- Alterra: Best for low-credit-score borrowers
VA IRRRL Refinance FAQ
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.
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.
» MORE: What to know about VA loans
» MORE: Cash-out refinance pros and cons