The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and VA issued their first, ‘Warning Order’, to service members and Veterans with VA home loans. If you have a VA home loan, then there is a good chance that you have already come into contact with unsolicited offers to refinance your mortgage that appear official and may sound too good to be true. Some lenders marketing VA mortgage refinances may use aggressive and potentially misleading advertising and sales tactics. Here is what you need to know about refinancing your VA home loan, please go to this link to learn more information.
An IRRRL can only be made to refinance a property on which you have already used your VA loan eligibility. It must be a VA to VA refinance, and it will reuse the entitlement you originally used.
A new Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is not required. You may take your Certificate of Eligibility to show the prior use of your entitlement or your lender may use our e-mail confirmation procedure in lieu of a certificate of eligibility.
VA does not set a cap on how much you can borrow to finance your home. However, there are limits on the amount of liability VA can assume, which usually affects the amount of money an institution will lend you. The loan limits are the amount a qualified Veteran with full entitlement may be able to borrow without making a down payment. These loan limits vary by county, since the value of a house depends in part on its location.
The basic entitlement available to each eligible Veteran is $36,000. Lenders will generally loan up to four times a Veteran's available entitlement without a down payment, provided the Veteran is income and credit qualified and the property appraises for the asking price. See Loan Limits for more information about the limits in your county.
Generally, VA loans require the congressionally mandated funding fee for each use. The funding fee is a set percentage and calculated based on the loan amount. It may be paid at loan closing or included in the loan. Public Law 116-23 established a new VA funding fee rate table for loans closed on or after January 1, 2020, and these rates vary based on loan type, down payment amount, and first versus subsequent use of the benefit. For loans made to purchase or build a home, funding fee rates may be reduced with a down payment of five percent or more of the purchase price. Current VA funding fee rates can be found here.
The following Veteran borrowers are not required to pay the VA funding fee. If you paid a VA funding fee and one of the exemptions apply to you, then you may be eligible for a refund. Please contact your current mortgage servicer or VA Regional Loan Center at (877) 827-3702 to begin the refund process.
The funding fee for second time users who do not make a down payment is slightly higher. Also, National Guard and Reserve Veterans pay a slightly higher funding fee percentage. See Loan Fees for more information about loan costs. Some lenders offer IRRRLs as an opportunity to reduce the term of your loan from 30 years to 15 years. While this can save you money in interest over the life of the loan, you may see a very large increase in your monthly payment if the reduction in the interest rate is not at least one percent (two percent is better). Beware: It could be a bigger increase than you can afford.