Veterans United Home Loans Review: The Top Name in VA Lending

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Veterans United Home Loans Review: The Top Name in VA Lending

As a household name in VA lending, Veterans United Home Loans offers every mortgage available under the VA program, ranging from VA streamline refinances to VA Jumbo loans. Veterans United's mission is centered around helping current and former military families achieve the American dream.

Good for

  • Lighthouse program guides you towards pre-approval
  • Client advocates recruited from every military branch
  • Legendary record for customer satisfaction

Bad for

  • Lacking in non-VA options
  • Limited branch network for face-to-face consultations
  • Does not offer home equity loans or HELOCs

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

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Available inAll 50 states and DC (Online and phone)
Minimum credit score:620
Minimum down payment:0%

The Verdict: ValuePenguin Scorecard

Government loans: 4/5One of the biggest names in VA lending Conventional loans: 2/5Limited loan selection outside the VA program Customer service: 5/5Excellent record for customer satisfaction Service area: 3/5Loans mainly brokered online or by phone, limited branch network across 18 states What Loans Does Veterans United Offer?Check out Veterans United's loan selection How Does Veterans United Home Loans Compare?Read our analysis of Veterans United vs its top competitors

Veterans United Home Loans is one of the most trusted names in VA lending. While the competition for VA home loans is stiff, Veterans United managed to secure the title of top VA lender in the United States for 2018, thanks to its outstanding reputation for customer satisfaction and almost single-minded dedication to the VA program. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a current homeowner with questions about your VA loan, Veterans United has staff available 24/7 to answer your questions.

Mortgage Loans at Veterans United

Veterans United is a full-service online mortgage lender that offers the entire basket of government-backed home loans, including low-down-payment FHA loans and rural USDA home and land loans. However, its overwhelming focus centers on the VA program, making it the optimal choice for veterans and qualifying service members.

VA Home Loans at Veterans United

Mortgage productFeatures
VA home loan 30- and 15- year terms
  • Requires 0% down payment for qualified borrowers
  • No PMI required
VA interest rate reduction refinancing loan (IRRRL)
  • Qualifying borrowers may not require a new appraisal
  • Requires no money out of pocket
VA cash-out refinanceAllows you to refinance and pull up to 100% of the equity out of your home
  • VA purchase loans allow for 0% down payment from qualifying veterans and active-duty personnel.
  • Conventional, FHA and USDA loans are also eligible for a VA cash-out refinance.
  • VA mortgage loans have lower qualification hurdles on average than conventional mortgages.

Why we like it: The overwhelming majority of Veterans United customers reported obtaining a VA loan, making Veterans United one of the most experienced market makers in the program. Qualified homebuyers can obtain VA loans with as little as 0% down on their new home purchase, requiring no PMI regardless of their home's loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.

Even if you don't have a current VA loan outstanding, you may still be eligible to refinance into a VA-backed home loan through a VA cash-out refinance, and withdraw cash to boot. The VA cash-out refinance allows eligible service members with outstanding FHA or conventional mortgages to refinance into the VA program, letting you reap the benefits of a home equity cash-out while simultaneously refinancing your home.

Drawbacks: Veterans United may not be the best choice for you if you're seeking anything other than a straightforward home purchase or refinance. While VA loans are an excellent choice for first-time homebuyers, the VA does not insure mortgages on second homes or investment properties, limiting its appeal to older veterans looking to build a real estate investment portfolio. Such borrowers may be better off exploring other options.

More: Compare VA Mortgage Rates

USDA, FHA and Conventional Mortgage Loans at Veterans United

Mortgage productFeatures
Fixed-rate mortgages Purchase and refinance
  • Allows for the purchase of second homes and investment properties
USDA home loan Home or land purchase
  • Requires 0% down payment for qualified borrowers
  • Lower PMI payments than conventional mortgage loans
FHA home loan
  • Requires a 3.5% down payment for qualified borrowers
  • Considers gift funds in the approval process
  • USDA loans allow 0% down payments for qualifying borrowers on properties/land in designated rural areas.
  • Conventional mortgage loans can be used for investment properties and second homes.
  • Veterans United jumbo loan allows you to obtain up to $1.5 million in home financing.

Why we like it: Yes, Veterans United does offer home loans outside of the VA program. The USDA home mortgage offers similar benefits to a VA loan, allowing for a 0% down payment on qualifying rural home purchases, and it can even be used to purchase land for a new home construction. This makes it considerably more attractive to homebuyers in rural areas, as the VA does not typically back new construction loans.

Drawbacks: Veterans United goes out of its way to stress the competitive advantage of its VA loans. In fact, the lion's share of its marketing materials exclusively center on the VA program. We found remarkably few details surrounding the available loan terms on its other offerings. The feedback we received from consumer surveys also showed that Veterans United's terms may not be as competitive for other loan programs. Additionally, it the online lender does not offer home equity financing, which makes it a nonstarter for many homeowners.

More: Compare FHA Lenders

How Does Veterans United Compare?

Veterans United draws its strength from its core VA lending expertise. Over 90% of mortgage loans completed over the past five years consisted of VA loans, and Veterans United continues to cement its position as the nation's leading VA lender. The online lender saw double-digit growth from 2014 to 2019.

Veterans United

Veterans United was listed as the nation's top VA lender in 2018 by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

According to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans United was the top VA lender in the nation for 2018 and early 2019, having issued a total of 183,789 mortgage loans over the past five years. A full 170,908 of those consisted of VA-backed mortgage loans.

Veterans UnitedPentagon Federal Credit UnionUSAA
AvailabilityAll 50 statesAll 50 statesAll 50 states
Minimum credit score620620620
Programs
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • VA
  • FHA
  • USDA
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • VA
  • Home Equity
  • Conventional
  • Jumbo
  • VA
Learn moreVisit Veterans United Home Loans for more infoRead our PenFed Mortgage ReviewRead our USAA Mortgage Review

Few specialty lenders in the nation drill down as deep as Veterans United, especially when it comes to VA lending. As a lender that draws the majority of its business from making homeownership affordable for veteran homebuyers, it's among the most experienced in the industry. Veterans United even goes so far as to employ both service members and senior enlisted personnel from every branch of the military on its client advocate team, ensuring your needs as a veteran are understood.

Veterans United vs USAA

Although USAA offers a greater variety of services, including banking, insurance and even credit cards, the lender's membership requirement may be a turnoff to those who prefer to obtain a home loan independent of any lender commitments. Veterans United offers a no-obligation consultation and allows you to apply for a loan without ever having to join a credit union or network. However, USAA may prove to be a better choice for some borrowers who prefer a one-stop shop for all their financial services. Check out our review on USAA to see if it might be a better choice for you.

Veterans United vs Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union offers an unusually large variety of adjustable rate mortgage terms, ranging from 3/1 ARMs to 15/15 Jumbo ARMs, which aren't seen everyday. The credit union also maintains a branch presence at major military bases around the world, making them much more accessible to active-duty military personnel who prefer in-person consultations. Also, unlike Veterans United, PenFed offers both fixed and variable rate home equity loans for current homeowners. While it does offer VA loans, PenFed doesn't match the laser-sharp focus on VA financing offered by Veterans United. If you want a broader range of financing options beyond what’s available at Veterans United, take a look at our review of PenFed to see if a nationally-ranked credit union is right for you.

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Customer Service and Mortgage Servicing

Veterans United outperforms its competitors when it comes to customer satisfaction, registering less than one-quarter the rate of complaints filed under its rival USAA, and even outperforming industry giant Quicken Loans. Although it wasn't rated by J.D. Power due to the lender's military focus, the low number of complaints and generally positive customer feedback seem to indicate this is not an issue.

Mortgage-Related Complaints at Major Banks, 2014–2019

Veterans UnitedUSAAQuicken Loans
Mortgage originations183,789274,0711,754,303
CFPB complaints674111,371
Complaint ratio0.04%0.15%0.08%
2018 J.D. Power: OriginationsN/A891876
2018 J.D. Power: ServicingN/A864857

Based on our review of complaints submitted through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Veterans United received a total of 67 mortgage-related complaints between January 2014 and January 2019, all of which were subsequently addressed and closed by the lender. This is a fraction of the number of complaints we've seen at other mortgage companies and banks. Higher ratios represent a greater proportion of complaints relative to a company's total underwriting volume.

CFPB Highlights

  • A quarter of complaints were due to problems encountered with specific brokers, applications or originators.
  • ~15% of issues were logged as a result of something that occurred during the application process.
  • ~15% of problems were encountered during the escrow or loan servicing process.
  • ~15% of complaints were the result of problems encountered during the closing process.
  • The remainder of complaints were logged as result of credit issues or a borrower's inability to pay.

At Veterans United, a dedicated Lighthouse consultant can coach you through the process of fixing your credit profile and can assist you on a variety of items, such as correcting mistakes on your credit report or even helping you dispute outstanding collection issues.

Highlighting its commitment to customer satisfaction, Veterans United offers free credit counseling and repair services through the Veterans United Lighthouse Program. This program walks prospective homebuyers through the process of improving their credit profiles so that they can get pre-qualified for a home loan.

How to Get a Mortgage With Veterans United

Veterans United is a licensed mortgage lender in all 50 states, including Washington, D.C. The lender maintains 23 physical branches in major cities and military bases in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington

If you don't live near a Veterans United branch, you can complete your entire application online or over the phone. Once you're preapproved, the lender can coordinate all the details of the closing on your behalf through a title company and real estate agent. Unfortunately, Veterans United does not provide specific rate quotes or closing cost estimates on its website, so you'll need to speak with a loan officer to get a quote.

Veterans United Home Loans Application

Available inAll 50 states and D.C. (online and by phone)
Application process
  • Phone: Yes
  • Branch: Yes
  • Online: Yes
ContactCall or click the link above to schedule a consultation with a Veterans United home loan adviser.

Although it's not necessary to begin your application, prospective VA applicants will need a certificate of eligibility as well as their form DD214 to qualify for a VA loan. You may request those forms on your own or choose to have a Veterans United loan officer request those on your behalf.

To begin your application, click the contact button at the top of our page. You can either submit your application through its site or have a loan officer call you directly.

Comments and Questions

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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