Veterans First Mortgage Review: Low down payment options for military families and veterans

Man sitting in his office, talking on the phone while considering a Veterans First mortgageImage: Man sitting in his office, talking on the phone while considering a Veterans First mortgage
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Veterans First mortgage loan at a glance

  • Conventional loans: No
  • FHA loans: Yes
  • VA loans: Yes
  • Refinancing: Yes
  • Jumbo loan: Yes
  • Adjustable rates: No
  • Fixed rates: Yes (30-year, 15-year)

Veterans First Mortgage’s roots date back to 1985 with the founding of Freedom Mortgage Corporation, which developed a focus on VA loans and FHA loans.

Today, Veterans First Mortgage has provided more than 180,000 families with loans and specializes in serving veterans and military families.

Pros

  • Specializes in VA loans
  • Low down payment options available
  • Walks veterans through the VA loan process

Cons

  • No conventional loans available
  • No info about rates on website
  • Must opt into calls and possibly texts when requesting that the company contact you

5 things to know about Veterans First Mortgage

1. Low down payment options are the norm

Veterans First Mortgage specializes in VA, FHA and USDA loans, so low to no down payments are the norm, making it easier for veterans and military families to purchase a home.

Qualifying veterans have $0 down payment VA loan options, and FHA loans have down payments as low as 3.5%. USDA loans, which are offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture for rural properties, also have a low or no down payment requirement.

2. Walks homebuyers through the loan process

Veterans First Mortgage gives guidance to homebuyers through the entire VA loan process, which can be especially useful for first-time homebuying veterans.

3. Conventional loans are unavailable

Veterans First Mortgage is a specialized company concentrating on VA, FHA and USDA loans — so it doesn’t offer conventional loans (though its parent company, Wintrust Mortgage, does, and Veterans First can direct you to Wintrust to explore that option). If you’re a military veteran with a strong credit history, it may make sense to comparison shop with lenders that offer conventional loans, as well, so you’ll be able to compare loan products across the board and see which option makes the most sense for your situation.

4. Not transparent about rates

Veterans First Mortgage doesn’t list any rates on its site. To get that info, you’ll have to start the process by contacting Veterans First or by filling out the online form.

Though it doesn’t show rates, Veterans First’s site does list the types of fees that VA loans typically include such as an origination fee of up to 1%, a VA funding fee, VA appraisal fee, credit report fee, prepaid fees for escrow and typical closing costs like title insurance fee and recording fees. The site also mentions the option to purchase interest rate discount points. Veterans First also points out that VA loans have advantages, including forbidding certain fees that come with conventional loans and not requiring private mortgage insurance, or PMI.

5. Must opt into texting and calls when applying

To work with Veterans First Mortgage, you must opt into calls and possibly text messages — and be willing to work with your lender over phone and the internet. So before you apply, make sure you’re comfortable working remotely with your lender. If you prefer in-person service, Veterans First Mortgage probably isn’t the best fit.

Who is a Veterans First Mortgage loan good for?

Veterans First Mortgage may be a consideration for first-time homebuying veterans or military families who are comfortable working with their lender remotely. Veterans First can help eligible veterans use their VA entitlement to buy a home with a VA loan, and it also offers resources about VA loans and walks you through the VA loan process.

Veterans First also specializes in refinancing with VA loans, so homeowners looking for this option could also benefit from its specialized services. And finally, homebuyers interested in an FHA or USDA loan or refinance may find Veterans First Mortgage helpful to their unique needs.

How to apply for a Veterans First Mortgage loan?

Veterans First doesn’t explain much on its website about its application process.

If you’d like to complete the application in one step, you can call the company’s toll-free phone number and apply by phone. Otherwise, you can complete a basic online form requesting that the company contact you.

A representative can tell you about the process for applying to get prequalified for your home loan.

Unfortunately, Veterans First offers no detail on its site about the paperwork or documents you’ll need to gather to start your application process, besides a mention that you’ll need to get your Certificate of Eligibility early on. Make sure to ask your representative what documentation you’ll need if you decide to go with Veterans First.

Not sure if Veterans First Mortgage is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re shopping for a mortgage, you have a window of time where multiple credit inquiries are only counted as one for your credit scores. You typically have 14 days — though it could be longer depending on the scoring model.

  • Wells Fargo: If you prefer a big bank experience where you can find information on conventional loans as well as VA, FHA, and USDA loans, check rates and use a mortgage calculator, Wells Fargo may offer the experience you’re looking for.
  • Veterans United Home Loans: If you’d like to try out another company that specializes in veterans and military families, Veterans United Home Loans includes a vast educational resource of information on its website, walking you through homeownership, various loan products, and the VA loan process.

About the author: Jennifer Nelson is a freelance content marketing writer and ghostwriter who specializes in health, home and money. She writes for AARP, Costco Connection, NextAvenue.org, Realtor.com, We… Read more.