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VA Streamline Refinance (IRRRL) mortgage guidelines

VA IRRRL

The VA IRRRL is a refinance mortgage loan available to homeowners with existing VA mortgages. The program, which is commonly known as the VA Streamline Refinance, simplifies home refinancing by waiving the documentation typically required by a bank, including income and employment verification, bank account and credit score verification, and an appraisal of the home.

This VA IRRRL information is accurate as of today, November 14, 2016.

What Is A VA Streamline Refinance/VA Loan?

VA loans are loans which belong to a special loan program designed specifically for veterans. VA loans can be issued by any VA-approved lender and are guaranteed by the federal government.

The VA loan's definitive characteristic is that veterans with qualifying credit and income can purchase a home with no money down, which makes buying a home extremely attractive for those who have served in the military.

In order to qualify for a VA Loan, a veteran must have served 181 days during peacetime, 90 days during war time, or 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard. You may also qualify as the spouse of a service member who was killed in the line of duty.

The VA Streamline Refinance is a specific loan program available via the VA Loan Guaranty program.

Officially known as an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) by the government, the VA Streamline Refinance is sometimes called a VA-to-VA Loan.

Generally speaking, almost all active duty and/or honorably discharged service members are eligible for a VA purchase or streamline refinance loan.

The VA Streamline Refinance (VA IRRRL) Loan

The VA Streamline Refinance is also known as the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL). The IRRRL allows you to refinance your current mortgage interest rate to a lower rate than you are currently paying.

The Streamline loan is extremely popular because of its ease of use: once you have already been approved for your initial VA purchase loan, it is relatively simple to lower your interest rate and experience considerable savings.

In most cases, a loan officer or lender with expertise in VA loans should be able to complete the loan within a month’s time in most cases.

VA loan closing costs can be rolled into the cost of the loan, allowing veterans to refinance with no out-of-pocket expenses. Sometimes it is also possible for the lender to take the brunt of the cost in exchange for a higher interest rate on your loan.

In order to qualify for a VA Streamline, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be current on your mortgage with no more than one 30-day late payment within the past year.
  • Your new monthly payment for the IRRRL must also be lower than the previous loan’s monthly payment. (The only time this condition does not apply is if you refinance an ARM to a fixed rate mortgage.)
  • You must not receive any cash from the IRRRL.
  • You must certify that you previously occupied the property.
  • You must have previously used your VA Loan eligibility on the property you intend to refinance. (You may see this referred to as a VA to VA refinance.)

The VA Cash-Out Refinance Loan

A secondary VA refinance loan type is the VA Cash-Out refinance loan. The Cash-Out refinance allows borrowers to refinance their conventional or VA loan into a lower rate while also taking cash from the home’s value.

Functionally, the VA Cash-Out refinance loan replaces your existing mortgage instead of functioning like a home equity loan, which it is often confused for. A qualified borrower can refinance up to 100 percent of their home’s value in some cases.

The Cash-Out refinance loan is a loan type available in any form – whether USDA, FHA, or conventional. Veterans generally choose to use the VA Cash-Out over other loan types because the period to pay off the loan is extended, and also, generally comes with a lower interest rate.

Just like the VA Streamline Refinance loan, the home must be used as a principal dwelling by the owner. There is no set period of time that you must have owned your home, however, you must have sufficient equity to qualify for the loan.



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