Veterans United Home Loans Review 2020

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

Kate WoodAugust 12, 2020
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Our Take

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Veterans United specializes in VA loans but offers a wide range of mortgage products. Online conveniences and easily viewed rates make it a strong choice for military borrowers, but its rates and fees are higher than those from some other lenders.

Veterans United

at Veterans United

Min. Credit Score

660

Jumbo:

N/A

VA:

660

USDA:

660

FHA:

660

Conventional:

660

Min. Down Payment

0%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Pros & Cons

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 18 states.

  • Charges higher rates and fees than some other lenders.

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

Compare to Other Lenders

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Min. Credit Score

660

Jumbo:

N/A

VA:

660

USDA:

660

FHA:

660

Conventional:

660

Min. Credit Score

620

Jumbo:

N/A

VA:

620

FHA:

580

Conventional:

620

Min. Credit Score

640

Jumbo:

N/A

Conventional:

640

VA:

640

USDA:

640

FHA:

640

Min. Down Payment

0%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Min. Down Payment

3%

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA

Loan Types and Products

Purchase, Refinance, Home Equity, Jumbo, Fixed, Adjustable, FHA, VA, USDA

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Full Review

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, getting a mortgage may be a bit of a challenge. Lenders are dealing with high loan demand and staffing issues that may slow down the process. Also, some lenders have increased their fees or temporarily suspended certain loan products. If you can’t pay your current home loan, refer to our mortgage assistance resource. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this pandemic, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Veterans United at a glance

Veterans United offers service members, veterans and eligible reservists a broad array of loan products in addition to VA loans. Potential borrowers can easily find up-to-date rate information, reach customer service by phone any time of night or day, and apply online.

Here’s a breakdown of Veterans United’s overall score:

  • Variety of loan types: 4 of 5 stars

  • Variety of loan products: 5 of 5 stars

  • Online convenience: 5 of 5 stars

  • Rates and fees: 3 of 5 stars

  • Rate transparency: 4 of 5 stars

Veterans United loan types and products

Veterans United is the largest VA home loan lender in the nation.

Mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are among the most valuable benefits provided to active-duty service members, as well as veterans and their families.

"Veterans, service members and their families can face unique financial and credit challenges, given the nature of their service,” says Chris Birk, director of education at Veterans United Home Loans. "It can also take military families years to save the typical 5% down payment for a conventional loan." VA loans generally require no down payment.

Nationally, VA loan volume has reached record highs in recent years and topped $175 billion in 2019. Riding that wave of popularity, Veterans United has originated more than $10 billion in loans annually since 2017.

While Veterans United specializes in VA loans, FHA, USDA and conventional loans are available too. It offers refinance options for VA borrowers, including the VA IRRRL, as well. For borrowers needing a jumbo loan, Veterans United says it writes mortgages up to $1.5 million.

The lender also offers the VA's energy-efficient mortgages, which allow veterans to roll the cost of efficiency-boosting improvements into their mortgage payment. Like most non-bank lenders, Veterans United does not offer home equity loans or HELOCs.

Veterans United online convenience

To get a mortgage with Veterans United, most people start online or over the phone. You can complete a loan application and prequalify online, through the My Veterans United portal.

Borrowers with a limited credit history may be able to use the on-time payment of other accounts, such as a cell phone, P.O. box or cable subscription, to help them qualify, Birk says.

Once you're under contract for a house, you'll be assigned "tasks" to complete using this online portal, such as uploading required documents. Your loan team will stay in touch throughout the process, letting you know what's needed along the way, Birk says.

With an "any time, any place" client base, Veterans United offers 24/7 customer service, so getting a mortgage — or just a question answered — works on your schedule. Though Veterans United has branches in only 18 states, it lends to customers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Veterans United mortgage rates and fees

The lender’s fees vary "based on the loan product, the borrower’s credit profile and the market area we’re serving," Birk says.

One of the most important considerations when choosing a mortgage lender is understanding what the loan will cost. In order to provide consumers with a general sense of what a lender might charge, NerdWallet scores lenders on two factors regarding fees and mortgage rates:

  • A lender's average origination fee compared to the median of all lenders reporting under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Veterans United earns 4 out of 5 stars on this factor.

  • A lender's offered mortgage rates compared to the best available on comparable loans. Veterans United earns 3 out of 5 stars on this factor.

Borrowers should consider the balance between lender fees and mortgage rates. While it's not always the case, paying upfront fees can lower your mortgage interest rate. Some lenders will charge higher upfront fees to lower their advertised interest rate and make it more attractive. Some lenders just charge higher upfront fees.

You can decide to buy discount points — a fee paid with your closing costs — to reduce your mortgage rate.

Deciding whether to pay higher upfront fees is a matter of considering how long you plan to live in your home and how much cash you have to apply toward closing costs when you sign the loan paperwork.

Veterans United rate transparency

Veterans United publishes sample mortgage rates on its site, and not all available mortgage products are included. To get a rate quote based on your credit score, debt-to-income ratio and desired loan term, you can fill out an online form or call Veterans United to speak directly with a loan specialist.

More from NerdWallet

NerdWallet’s star ratings for mortgage lenders are awarded based on our evaluation of the products and services each lender offers to consumers who are actively shopping for the best mortgage. The five key areas we evaluated include the variety of loan types and products offered, online conveniences, online mortgage rate information, and the rate spread and origination fee lenders reported in the latest available Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. To ensure consistency, our ratings are reviewed by multiple people on the NerdWallet Mortgages team.