VA Streamline Refinance (IRRRL) Program 2021
The VA streamline refinance is the quickest, cheapest, and most beneficial type of refinance for veterans who currently have a VA home loan. VA refinance rates are at historic lows. If you are interested in reducing your interest rate and monthly payment, it’s worthwhile to check current VA streamline rates.
The VA streamline is one of the only refinance programs available in 2021 that allow you to qualify without income or bank account verification. It’s available to those with less than perfect credit. It is one of today’s quickest and easiest refinance options.
What is a VA Streamline Refinance Loan?
The VA streamline helps veterans lower their mortgage rate and payments. When rates are low like they are now, veterans can refinance into a new loan based on today’s rates, and often reduce their monthly payment quickly and easily.
This loan type, also called the Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan (IRRRL) eliminates many of the roadblocks that hold up applicants on other types of refinances. The VA Streamline is much easier because:
- No paystubs or W2s are required
- No bank statements are required
- No home appraisal is required
- There is no loan-to-value limitation because no appraisal or value is required.
- Underwater homes are eligible
- The required funding fee is lower than for VA purchase loans
- Closing costs can be wrapped into the new loan, meaning little or no out-of-pocket expenses
Why is this loan so easy to obtain? Homeowners with a VA loan are more likely to make payments on time if their payments are lower. It benefits everyone when veterans have affordable mortgage payments.
Current VA Refinance Rates
VA streamline refinance rates are at historic lows. Many Veterans who have purchased or refinanced a VA home loan in the past few years should check today’s VA rates to make sure they have the absolute lowest rate and monthly payment possible.
If you’re interested in a VA Streamline (IRRRL) you must currently have a VA loan. Your mortgage professional will pull a Prior Loan Validation from VA’s website to prove current VA loan status. There are some additional requirements.
In addition, you are required to have made on-time payments over the past year, with no more than one payment that was 30+ days late in the past 12 months. If you did have a late payment, say, 8 months ago, you may want to wait 4 months before applying.
The VA Streamline Refinance Must Improve Veteran’s Situation
The VA streamline has to put the borrower in a better financial situation. VA lenders may only approve streamline refinances that help the veteran.
The new payments on the VA streamline must be lower than your current payments. There are a few exceptions, like when you:
- Refinance an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate mortgage.
- Refinance into a shorter term
- Finance energy efficient improvements into the VA streamline
In all cases except for an ARM refinancing into a fixed rate, the interest rate must decrease.
Estimate how a VA loan could drop your monthly payments.
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*You could save up to $3,000 in interest payments by comparing rates from multiple lendersRequest Rates
To prove the benefit of the refinance, your lender will provide you with a form stating the interest rate and payment of your current loan compared to the rate and payment of the new loan. The form will also state how long it will take the refinance to pay for itself. For instance, if the refinance will cost you $3000 in closing costs, but you are saving $300 per month, you will make back the cost of the refinance in 10 months. Be sure to review this form to make sure you are receiving an adequate benefit from the refinance. Talk to one of our VA experts to determine your refinance payback time frame.
You must certify that you previously occupied the home that you are refinancing with a VA streamline. Those applying for a VA streamline are more likely to qualify if they currently live in the home.
There are still instances where you may still qualify if you don’t live in the home. For example, if you lived in the home, then relocated and rented it out, you still may be able to apply for a VA streamline. Speak with your lender for more information.
VA Streamline Funding Fee
The VA funding fee is required for most purchase and refinance VA loans to defray the costs of the VA home loan program. In most cases, the VA Streamline funding fee is 0.50% of the new loan amount. This fee can be financed into the loan so that the veteran does not have to pay it at closing of the loan.
The fee is waived for veterans who are disabled due to service-related injuries. The VA makes this determination and provides it to the lender.
The 0.50% fee is much less than the 2.15% or 3.3% usually required for purchase or VA cash-out refinance loans.
The VA streamline is not viewed as a subsequent use of your VA home loan benefit. You will not incur the 3.3% subsequent use fee because you used the VA streamline refinance program.
This loan does not use any of your VA home loan entitlement, nor do you have to prove remaining entitlement to obtain a VA streamline. Your remaining VA entitlement after a purchase of the home, if any remains, does not change when you obtain a VA streamline.
Loan Terms and VA Streamlines
As discussed previously, your VA loan term may decrease, for instance, from 30 years to 15 years. In this case, it’s OK that your payment increases.
You can also refinance a 15-year loan into a longer-term loan. However, keep in mind that the most your loan term can increase is 10 years. So if you currently have a 15-year term, the longest loan you can refinance into will be 25 years.
I’m Ready to Apply for a VA Streamline. What’s my Next Step?
Source of information on this page: VA Handbook