VA Refinance

Mortgage applications are on the rise, driven in large part by homeowners looking to refinance.

For America’s veterans, that’s just another signal that now is the time to capitalize on a VA refinance.

Demand for refinancing loans last week hit its highest level since the first week of June, according to figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association. In all, applications for purchase and refinance loans increased 7.5 percent for the week ending Aug. 21.

Refinance applications continue to increase their share of the market.

With the housing market showing signs of life, veterans with VA loans and conventional home loans may want to consider the benefits of a refinancing through the Veterans Administration.

The VA has different refinancing options for veterans with VA loans and for those with conventional loans. Veterans who used a VA loan to purchase their home can utilize the VA’s Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan, often known as a VA Streamline.

VA Streamline loans don’t require credit underwriting, certificates of eligibility or even appraisals. Veterans with less than perfect credit may be eligible for a Streamline. At the outset, prospective borrowers must at least be current on their mortgage payments and have no more than a single 30-day late payment within the past calendar year.

Some veterans can obtain a VA Streamline with no out-of-pocket costs. Borrowers can also roll up to $6,000 for energy efficient improvements into their Streamline loan.

Streamline recipients are on the hook for the VA’s funding fee (half of 1 percent), but that can be paid in cash or included in the cost of the loan.

Any lender with the requisite approval can issue a VA Streamline. Veterans don’t have to stick with the lending institution that that issued their current VA home loan.

Veterans with conventional loans can also refinance using the VA. Borrowers who qualify can refinance up to 100 percent of their home’s appraised value.