Thousands of lenders can process VA Loans. But, only a handful specialize in helping military members and veterans achieve homeownership. We list the best VA Loan providers, including Veterans United, Navy Federal, USAA and more.
Between banks, credit unions and full-service lenders, VA loan borrowers have no shortage of mortgage choices. But, some VA lenders are better than others.
While many mortgage lenders offer VA loans, they don’t all specialize in this unique loan type.
You probably don’t have time to sift through all your options to find the best lender. So, we’ve compiled this list of the best VA loan companies and lenders in the marketplace.
We’ve selected each of these lenders for VA loan specialization and other available financial services.
What Is the VA Loan?
VA loans provide unique benefits to military and veteran homebuyers. VA loans make homeownership more attainable because they don’t require a down payment. The Department of Veterans Affairs backs VA loans, but lenders ultimately fund them.
This means that the VA insures VA loans to protect lenders from borrower defaults. It also means that private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is unnecessary.
10 Best VA Loan Lenders in 2023
We didn’t rank these lenders in any particular order. However, we have allocated the top three slots to lenders who specialize in VA loans and other financial services for military members, veterans and their families.
|Veterans United||Best Veteran-Focused|
|Rocket Mortgage||Best for Refinancing|
|United Wholesale Mortgage||Best for Loan Variety|
|Freedom Mortgage||Best for Rate Reduction Refinance|
|Pennymac||Best for In-House Servicing|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||Best Credit Union|
|loanDepot||Best for Jumbo Loans|
|USAA||Best Total Package|
|Fairway Independent Mortgage||Best for Face-to-Face|
|Caliber Home Loans||Best for Cash-Out|
Veterans United Home Loans
Veterans United’s chief advantage is that the mortgage lender began in 2002 with a singular mission to provide VA loans to veterans with a high standard of customer care.
Veterans United is headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, but employs more than 5,200 employees in over 60 offices across the country.
The lender works with former senior enlisted members from each branch of the armed forces to help provide the best possible experience to veteran borrowers.
These military advisors have made it their mission to educate veterans about homeownership and the benefits of VA loans, including:
- Purchase and refinance
- 15-year and 30-year fixed, ARMs and other loan term options
- 0% down, no PMI
- 24/7 customer service
Veterans United offers in-house processing, underwriting and closing teams for both homebuyers and current homeowners who are looking to refinance to a VA loan. This means borrowers work with one team who guides them throughout the process.
The lender offers fixed-rate mortgages, as well as adjustable-rate VA mortgages. It also provides 24/7 customer service, which is unusual in the mortgage industry.
Veterans United’s website is comprehensive, featuring many resources to help guide homebuyers through the entire VA mortgage process. The lender also offers related services, such as Veterans United Insurance and Veterans United Realty, which represent its networks of veteran-friendly insurers and real estate agents.
Additionally, Veterans United offers a free credit consulting program to help homebuyers improve their credit before beginning the homebuying process.
Based in Detroit, Michigan, Rocket Companies, Inc., along with its Rocket Mortgage arm, is the largest retail mortgage lender in the country.
Formerly Quicken Loans, Rocket Mortgage generated more than $350 billion in loan originations in 2021.
The lender operates in all 50 states and has more than 26,000 employees across the United States and Canada. However, Rocket Mortgage operates entirely online, which has some advantages.
You can apply for a loan online and receive a decision minutes after submitting your loan application.
Rocket offers VA mortgages and will work directly with the Veterans Administration to get your certificate of eligibility and other paperwork necessary to qualify for your loan.
Rocket Mortgage services nearly all of its loans in-house. That means it’s unlikely the lender will sell your loan to another servicing company, which is a common lending practice.
Rocket Mortgage offers fixed-rate 15-to-30-year loans, 5/1 adjustable-rate VA loans and jumbo VA loans for as much as $1.5 million with a minimum 580 credit score.
The company also offers conventional and FHA mortgages, in case you want to save your VA loan eligibility for another property.
United Wholesale Mortgage
Over its 30 years in business, UWM has grown into one of the largest wholesale lenders in the United States. UWM doesn’t provide mortgages directly to borrowers, instead, it funds them for banks, brokers and other financial institutions.
The lender has seen significant growth in recent years, becoming the number one wholesale lender in origination volume.
UWM offers VA loans up to $2 million military service members and veterans with at least a 620 FICO credit score.
They also offer a “VA Elite” loan option for veterans and service members with higher FICO scores. These loans offer more competitive rates and pricing.
Founded in 1990, Freedom Mortgage has grown to become one of the top VA lenders in the country, with an emphasis on VA interest rate reduction refinance loans (IRRRLs).
In 2021, Freedom closed 204,727 VA IRRRLs. That’s 30% of all VA IRRRLs closed nationwide last year.
In addition to VA loans, Freedom Mortgage also offers conventional, FHA, USDA and jumbo loans at competitive interest rates – although they do not display their rates online, making it difficult to comparison shop.
For borrowers who prefer a face-to-face experience, Freedom Mortgage is one of a few major lenders with brick-and-mortar branches, as well as virtual appointment options.
PennyMac offers a range of online tools and features, including electronic signatures for loan documents and easy online loan process tracking.
The lender offers fixed-rate mortgages with terms ranging from 10 to 30 years, adjustable-rate mortgages, FHA, USDA and VA loans.
PennyMac services every loan it originates, rather than selling them to a third party. That means you’ll continue to make your mortgage payment to the company that helped you with your loan in the first place.
However, if you’re looking for an in-person lender, PennyMac may not be the best for you, process loans online or over-the-phone.
Applying for a VA loan with PennyMac is straightforward, You can get started with their mortgage rate quote tool.
Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union, founded in 1933, specifically worked with members of the Navy. Since then, it has expanded to cover all service members in all branches, including National Guard and reserve service members, delayed entry program (DEP) participants, officer candidates, ROTC cadets, veterans, retirees and annuitants.
Navy Federal is the largest credit union in the country by asset size and membership. It has over 11 million members and more than $153.5 billion in assets, according to its 2022 fact sheet.
Navy Federal’s VA loans come in 15 and 30-year fixed-rate terms, but it does not offer adjustable-rate loans. For current homeowners, Navy Federal offers VA Streamline Refinances, which enable you to do an interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL) on an existing VA mortgage to lower your rate. (VA streamline refinancing doesn’t require a home appraisal or inspection).
Navy Federal also offers complete banking services, IRAs, credit cards, car loans, personal loans and student loans. The credit union has 3,500 branches across the country and nearly 30,000 ATMs. They also maintain 24/7 customer service through their call centers.
LoanDepot is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the country, employing over 11,000 employees in over 200 loan offices across the country.
In 2021, LoanDepot had a net income of $623.1 million, according to its annual report.
As a full-service mortgage lender, LoanDepot offers a range of mortgage products, including conventional and FHA mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOC).
For veterans, military members and their families, LoanDepot offers VA home purchase loans, cash-out refinance loans and interest rate reduction refinance loans.
One of LoanDepot’s disadvantages is its limited customer service availability. They’re available only Monday through Friday, from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., all times Pacific. They are not available on Sundays.
USAA is another financial services company created with the military in mind. Twenty-five Army officers founded USAA in 1922 to provide mutual self-insurance for automobile coverage. Now, USAA offers many other financial services, including conventional mortgages and VA fixed-rate mortgages with 10-to-30-year terms. They also offer the VA 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage.
By the end of 2020, USAA had over 13 million members, according to its annual report.
New homebuyers and refinancing homeowners can take advantage of USAA’s loan programs.
- Purchase and refinance
- 10, 15, 20, and 30-year VA fixed, 5/1 VA ARM
- 0% down, no PMI
- VA and conventional mortgages
One of the major advantages to getting a VA loan through USAA is the wide variety of other financial services they provide. You can start out with a mortgage and then add services like banking, home or auto insurance when you need them.
Fairway Independent Mortgage
Fairway Independent Mortgage offers veterans a wide variety of mortgages, including VA loans.
Its loan application process is quick and easy, thanks to its comprehensive mobile app.
Fairway has an extensive network of over 500 nationwide branches, staffed by over 10,000 employees. This network gives Fairway expertise in its local markets and allows it to work with state housing finance agencies to offer down payment and closing cost assistance for its mortgages.
In 2021, Fairway closed 12,360 VA purchase loans, roughly 5% of all VA purchase loans closed nationwide, making them the fourth-largest VA purchase lender.
However, Fairway doesn’t post its mortgage rates online, so it’s difficult to shop for comparisons. Additionally, Fairway’s origination fees can be on the high side and are not offset by low rates, according to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data.
But, the lender’s local knowledge, extensive footprint, and overall ease of use may make it great VA loan option.
Caliber Home Loans
Caliber Home Loans is a high-volume lender with accessible loan options for first-time home buyers, veterans and borrowers with credit challenges.
Caliber offers a wide variety of conventional and government-backed home loans, extensive educational resources and several digital tools to streamline your loan application process.
Like Fairway, Caliber participates in state down payment assistance and first-time home buyer programs that can benefit veterans and service members.
Visit CaliberMilitaryLending.com for more details about its VA loan options and eligibility requirements.
Find and Compare Top VA Lenders
Take the guesswork out of finding a VA Loan provider. We help you find the right VA lender so you can buy your dream home.
USAA Disclosure: Use of the term “member” or “membership” refers to membership in USAA Membership Services and does not convey any legal or ownership rights in USAA. Restrictions apply and are subject to change. To join USAA, separated military personnel must have received a discharge type of “Honorable.” Eligible former dependents of USAA members may join USAA. Bank products provided by USAA Federal Savings Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender NMLS ID 401058.
Equal Housing Opportunity. The Department of Veterans Affairs affirmatively administers the VA Home Loan Program by assuring that all Veterans are given an equal opportunity to buy homes with VA assistance. Federal law requires all VA Home Loan Program participants – builders, brokers and lenders offering housing for sale with VA financing – must comply with Fair Housing Laws and may not discriminate based on the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin of the Veteran.