Veterans United Lender Review for 2020

Veterans United is a top performer for VA mortgages, with competitive rates and top-rated customer service. Read our review to learn more about working with this lender.

Lending flexibility 4.5
Customer service 4.0
Ease of application 5.0
Online experience 4.5
Minimum down payment 0%
Minimum credit score 660
Loan Products Offered

Fixed-rate mortgage
Adjustable-rate mortgage
VA mortgage
VA Jumbo mortgage
FHA mortgage
USDA mortgage

Best Features

  • Specialist in VA mortgages
  • Exceptional reputation for customer service
  • 'Lighthouse' program helps low-credit borrowers

Drawbacks

  • Not available to non-military or military family borrowers
  • Does not offer home equity loans or lines of credit
  • Only operates branches in 18 states

Overview

Although it was founded in 2002, Veterans United was already America's biggest provider of VA mortgages by 2018.

That level of success suggests Veterans United has used its focus on a single product (VA loans) to develop real expertise that many find valuable.

Indeed, the company's staff is specially trained to help military members and veterans, and gets exceptionally high customer service ratings.

Veterans United also has competitive VA loan rates compared to other major mortgage lenders.

Veterans United won't be your best bet if you have no military affiliation. But if you do, we'd recommend getting a custom rate quote to see how this mortgage lender stacks up for you.


Compare Veterans United mortgage rates

Veterans United specializes in VA mortgage loans, which are almost exclusively available to current and former military members. But they’re an amazing choice for those who do qualify.

VA mortgages typically have lower interest rates than the rest of the market. They also let military members and veterans buy a house with zero down and no mortgage insurance.

Veterans United average VA mortgage rates

 
Veterans United
USAA
Wells Fargo
Quicken Loans
Avg. 30-year VA Loan Rate, 2019
4.0% 3.84% 3.88% 3.68%
Monthly P&I Payment*
$1,464 $1,441 $1,447 $1,419
Median Loan Costs, 2019
$3,666 $4,084 $3,484 $5,075
Median Origination Charges, 2019
$0 $949 $1,199 $2,805

Average fees and VA interest rates are sourced from public rate and fee records required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

According to public records, in 2019, Veterans United customers had median loan costs of $3,666 of which the lender’s own origination fees accounted for $0.

*Monthly principal and interest payment based on a $250,000 home price, with 0% down, at each lender’s average 30-year interest rate for 2019. Your own rate and monthly payment will vary. 

Verify your new rate (Dec 2nd, 2020)

Veterans United mortgage lender review for 2020

When asked to add their two cents to this Veterans United lender review, a VU rep had this to say:

“Veterans United Home Loans is the nation’s largest VA lender. We’re a full-service lender, but we specialize in VA lending and providing an exceptional customer experience for those who serve our country.

“Our staff is specially trained to work with Veterans and service members to help overcome the unique circumstances and challenges they may face to make their homebuying journey as seamless as possible.

“We publish all of our customer reviews online, unedited and unfiltered, and we’re honored to have more than 120,000 five-star reviews and a 97.9 percent recommendation rating.”

“Our staff is specially trained to work with Veterans and service members to help overcome the unique circumstances and challenges they may face to make their homebuying journey as seamless as possible.” –Veterans United

And it’s true that it’s hard to find anyone with a bad word to say about Veterans United.

For example, its Trustpilot page had, at the time of writing, more than 4,100 reviews. Of those, 95 percent ranked its service “excellent” (the highest) and another 3 percent called it “great” (the next highest). Only 1 percent labeled it “bad.”

Veterans United does offer other types of government-backed home loans. But its focus is clearly on VA loans and providing the best service possible to U.S. military personnel.

Veterans United mortgage eligibility

If you want to get a mortgage from Veterans United, you’ll need to be a current or former member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or an eligible family member.

Those eligible for VA loans from Veterans United include:

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Coast Guard
  • Marine Corps
  • Air Force
  • Military Spouse
Check your VA loan eligibility here (Dec 2nd, 2020)

If none of these apply to you, Veterans United is likely not the right company for your home purchase or refinance. You can explore reviews of other top lenders here.

Working with Veterans United

Veterans United has a limited branch network — which may be an issue if you prefer face-to-face dealings. However, its online facilities are slick and are backed up by 24/7 telephone support.

If you wish, you can upload your documents securely and complete your VA mortgage application online. You can also:

  • Complete a part application, save it and return later to finish it off
  • Use mobile devices as well as home and office computers
  • Securely upload your documents
  • Monitor your application’s progress through to closing

Meanwhile, Veterans United’s call centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So there’s always an expert available to help you through a mortgage or technical issue. And there’s also a hotline number you can call to access the lender’s Client Advocates.

Things may be less straightforward if you hate technology. With only 25 branches nationwide, many people won’t live close to a Veterans United location.

However, if you’re lucky enough to, you can enjoy the sort of traditional experience that you can only find in a brick-and-mortar environment.

Veterans United Lighthouse program for poor credit

It’s worth expanding on Veterans United’s Lighthouse Program. This unique service helps veterans with sub-par credit build up their score to homebuying levels.

If your credit score is too low for you to qualify for a mortgage (think, 620 or below), you can work one-on-one with a credit consultant from Veterans United. He or she will suggest a strategy to get your finances back on track and to rebuild your score quickly.

According to the lender’s website, one family with a credit score in the 400s was approved for a mortgage only 10 months after first getting in touch.

Customer service and mortgage servicing

When it comes to customer service, it’s hard to write a Veterans United review that doesn’t read like an ad. Of course, many lenders strive to deliver excellence. But it’s hard to think of one who achieves that status so well.

Company
Mortgage Originations 2019 
CFPB Complaints 2019 
Complaints per 1,000 mortgages
2019 JD Power Rating7
Veterans United
122,851 19 0.15 891/1,000
USAA
115,206 49 0.43 900/1,000
Quicken Loans
774,900 187 0.24 880/1,000
Wells Fargo
1,026,800 342 0.33 837/1,000

We already mentioned this lender’s excellent ratings on Trustpilot. And those results are matched on Better Business Bureau: more than 1,650 reviews at the time of writing, with an average 5-star rating.

Veterans United also gets the second-highest rating in J.D. Power’s mortgage customer survey (after USAA) and has fewer than one complaint per thousand mortgage customers.

Veterans United mortgage loan products

Clearly, Veterans United has a very tight focus on VA loans. And if you’re eligible for one of those, that’s probably enough. Especially if you’re a first-time buyer with fairly straightforward needs.

After all, VA loans often come with zero down payment, fairly easy credit thresholds (minimum score 660 at VU), lower mortgage rates than many other types of mortgages, and no continuing mortgage insurance payments after an initial premium. What’s not to like?

However, if for some reason a VA loan is not the right product for you, Veterans United does offer alternatives.

Other mortgage loans at Veterans United

If you’re not eligible for VA loans or have needs they can’t satisfy, Veterans United offers other products:

  • USDA loans — The only other mortgage that requires no down payment. But credit thresholds start at 640, and you’ll have to pay mortgage insurance throughout the time you have the loan. There are also income caps on who can qualify
  • FHA loans — Veterans United FHA loans allow a down payment as low as 3.5 percent, and require a credit score of 640 or above. They also come with a monthly mortgage insurance payment
  • Conventional loans — Down payments start at 5 percent, but you have to put at least 20 percent down to avoid paying mortgage insurance. Conventional loans from Veterans United have a credit threshold of 660
  • VA Jumbo loans — When you need to borrow more than standard (county-based) VA loan caps allow. You’ll need a down payment and a credit score above 660 if you want to borrow more than $1 million

Because it originates so few non-VA loans, it’s difficult to say how competitive or Veterans United is for these types. You’ll want to get a custom rate quote to find out for yourself.

Veterans United Home Loans FAQ

Does Veterans United pay closing costs?

Veterans United does not have a closing cost assistance program to pay closing costs for borrowers. However, the company specializes in VA loans, which typically have lower closing costs than other loan types. And it’s possible for all those closing costs to be covered by the seller. A Veterans United loan officer can help you navigate your closing cost options.

Is Veterans United a direct lender?

Yes, Veterans United is a direct lender. That means it offers its own, in-house mortgage products, rather than acting as a middle-man for loans from other companies.

How does Veterans United Home Loans work?

Veterans United specializes in VA loans, which are available to most military personnel, veterans, select spouses, and others with military affiliation. VA loans allow you to buy a house with 0% down and typically have lower rates than other home loans. 

To get a VA loan, borrowers must prove they’re eligible using a “certificate of eligibility.” And there’s a VA funding fee due upfront which will be between 1.4% and 3.6% of the home price, depending on your down payment. Veterans United also offers FHA, USDA, and conventional loans for veterans who want to explore other options.

Are VA loans good?

VA loans are arguably the best mortgage product available. To name a few VA loan benefits: There’s zero down payment required, there’s no monthly mortgage insurance, rates are exceptionally low, and closing costs might be cheaper as well. You can learn more about the VA loan and who’s eligible for one here.

What credit score does Veterans United use?

Veterans United usually requires a FICO credit score of 660 or higher. That’s on the high end compared to other VA mortgage lenders, who might allow scores as low as 580. However, Veterans United stands out for offering a special program — the “Lighthouse Program” — that helps veterans build up credit to qualify for a house and get a lower rate. So it might be worth considering this company if you have low credit for buying a home. 

What is the VA funding fee for 2020?

VA funding fees changed in 2020. There’s no longer a separate fee for members of the Reserves or National Guard. Now, all VA borrowers pay between 2.4% and 3.6% for a home purchase loan, depending on the size of their down payment and whether or not they’ve used a VA loan before. Learn more about current VA funding fees here.

Where can you get a mortgage with Veterans United?

Veterans United. NMLS ID: 1907

If you prefer to arrange your mortgage face to face, Veterans United currently has one, two or three branches in each of the following states:

Veterans United Branch Locations, VU Mortgage Lender Review from The Mortgage Reports

Most Veterans United branches are located near military bases in the states where they’re available.

Those who don’t live close to a branch can apply online from any U.S. state. And the website provides better functionality than most competitors’ do.

Indeed, you might be able to carry out almost the entire transaction digitally. And if you need help with a technology issue or a mortgage query, there’s 24/7 telephone support.

Is Veterans United the best mortgage lender for you?

So what should you take away from this Veterans United mortgage lender review? Well, if you want a VA loan, you should definitely explore your options with this company.

If you want another sort of mortgage, it may well still be able to help. But its talents are less obvious and less proven.

Either way, make sure you compare personalized mortgage rate quotes from a few lenders before buying. You can get started using the link below.

Verify your new rate (Dec 2nd, 2020)

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Sources:

  1. Average mortgage rates and fees sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. Rates and fees shown reflect the previous year’s data and may not align with today’s mortgage rates
  2. Monthly principal and interest payments calculated using TheMortgageReports.com mortgage calculator. Payments shown are based on a $200,000 loan amount and assume a “very good” credit score. Property taxes and homeowners insurance are not included. Your own monthly payment will vary
  3. Number of mortgage originations for the previous year sourced from self-reported data mortgage lenders are required to file under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
  4. CFPB Complaints reflect the number of mortgage origination or closing-related complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the previous year
  5. Complaints per 1000 mortgages reflect the number of official complaints filed against a lender with the CFPB for the previous year, compared to the lender’s total number of mortgage originations for the previous year
  6. JD Power Rating reflects the company’s customer satisfaction score according to JD Power’s most recent Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study. Survey respondents score their lenders in four areas: application/approval process, communication, loan closing, and loan offerings