A VA home loan is the best loan you can take if you want to buy a home. Nevertheless, before you proceed towards taking the VA home loan benefits, you will have to assess your eligibility and get prequalified with the help of a qualified VA approved lender. Some of these lenders might get in touch with you through VA leads once you start showing interest.
There are many bank chains and private lenders who offer VA loan products. Although it might get tempting to choose the first one that comes to you via VA leads, it is better you do some shopping around before making your decision on the right lending partner. Here is what you need to do to find the right VA lender:
Consider his VA loan expertise
When it comes to home-buying, your loan officer becomes your educator and advocate. You will have to depend on his VA loan expertise to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility, lock in a low-interest rate, and get the underwriting approval. While checking out the experience find out how much of the lender’s business comes from VA loans. If the percentage is high, it is obvious that he is an expert in VA loans. See if he has received any specific training on VA loan program and understands the unique requirements of military homebuyers.
Read the Customer Reviews
Many homebuyers rely on stats about VA loan volume and interest rate comparisons to choose between the VA approved lenders that come to them through VA leads. However, this doesn’t paint a complete picture. One other source that can come helpful here is the customer reviews. They tell you a lot about how it will be to work with that lender. You can find a lot such reviews on third-party review sites such as Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot. A low volume of reviews or a high volume of negative reviews is a red flag. So look for lenders who have lots of positive reviews.
Look for lenders who have a dedicated loan team
Most VA approved lenders who might come to you through VA leads happen to run their loan process like an assembly line. If you work with any of them you will keep getting passed from one person to the other. You will start getting calls and emails from different parties, leading to a lot of confusion. Lenders who have dedicated loan teams offer more personalized service. They assign you a dedicated loan officer who will be with you throughout the process. He will work closely with your real estate agent, your title agent, your insurance agent, the underwriter, and also the VA appraiser to get you to closing, as smoothly as possible.
Make it a point to Compare Rates
Interest rates matter a lot when choosing between VA approved lenders that contact you via VA leads. Although the difference between these rates might seem negligible, it can cost you thousands over the term. Your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio play a major role in getting good rates for VA loans. Speak to a couple of lenders and find out what you can offer you based on your specific scenario. Compare these rates and then make your decision.
Ask the right questions
If you want to make the right decision about your VA lender, you will have to ask a lot of questions. This will help you get a fair idea about the kind of service you can expect. Ask questions about your ability to qualify for a VA loan and the kind of fees you may have to pay. Make sure all your queries are clarified before you proceed.
Deciding on the right lender could be a difficult task especially when there are too many lenders contacting you via VA leads. Nevertheless, following the above steps will point you to the right VA lender who will make your life easier.