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The VA Refinance Process

Your home can be your biggest investment, so during the life of your loan it may make good sense to refinance to reduce your expenses, take cash out to pay off debt or leverage your home's equity to pay for a major expense.

There are two refinance options available from Freedom Mortgage:

  • VA Refinance, which is designed to lower your monthly mortgage costs.
  • VA Cash-Out Refinance, which allows you to tap the equity in your home to get cash out.

With both options, when you refinance, you pay off your existing mortgage and take out a new loan.
A VA Refinance can be a quick and easy process especially when you already have an existing VA loan. A VA Cash-Out
Refinance requires a little more time, since there is additional paperwork and an appraisal is required.

We make it easy with 4 simple steps to get you on your way with your refinance.

Step 1

Check your VA eligibility

If refinancing your existing VA loan without taking "cash out", you can take advantage of a streamlined process which means you will not need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). If you want to refinance to a VA Cash-Out, you will need to prove your VA eligibility.

  • A Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

    A COE proves VA home loan eligibility through the Department of Veterans Affairs. To receive one, you must complete the appropriate government forms as well as your statement of military service. A COE can be obtained online through the VA benefits website and Freedom Mortgage can help you with all the details.

  • Your credit score

    Your credit score is based on several factors, including how much debt you have, your credit history and whether or not you pay your bills on time. Your credit score can affect whether or not you'll meet the requirements for a VA loan. VA loans can be more forgiving than conventional loans when it comes to credit scores. Even if your credit score is lower than you'd expected, you may still be eligible for a VA loan.

You are eligible for a free annual credit report through www.annualcreditreport.com. Read through it carefully and make sure there are no mistakes. If there are any errors, follow the information provided to correct any accounts so that your score is as accurate as possible. If you have already received your free credit report, you can still get another, you'll simply need to pay a small fee to receive another copy to know where you stand.

You may want to avoid opening a new credit card account or making any large expense purchases when applying for your home loan, as that could change your credit and may affect your eligibility.

Step 2

Determine your goal

Once you have confirmed your eligibility, it is time to focus on your refinance goals. Do you want to reduce payments to meet your budget, move from an adjustable-rate-mortgage to a fixed rate, pay off debt or do you need cash?

  • Point 1Is your current mortgage interest rate higher than today's market rates?
  • Point 2How much could you save by refinancing over the life of your loan?
  • Point 3How long do you plan to stay in your home?
  • Point 4Would refinancing to a shorter term loan help you pay off your mortgage faster?
  • Point 5How much equity do you have in your home and could you take cash out?
  • Point 6What is your total outstanding debt that you may be able to pay off with cash out?

Not sure of the answers to these questions or have more questions? Don't worry, a Freedom Mortgage Loan Advisor has expertise in VA loans and can guide you every step of the way with options based on your personal goals. Give us a call and we'll help simplify things for you.

Once you have explored your financial situation and decided to refinance, you will complete your application. Your Loan Advisor will ask you questions about your income, debts and expenses and will check your credit.

If you are taking cash out, a loan processor may ask for additional documents including W2s and verification of employment. It's important that you have had a clean payment history for the last 12 months and no bankruptcy or other credit issues.

Typically you can roll the closing costs and fees into the balance of the loan to avoid out-of-pocket costs. Your Freedom Mortgage Loan Advisor will work with you to quickly process all of the documentation needed.


Step 3

Lock in your rate

One you submit your application, your Freedom Mortgage Loan Advisor can help you determine the term and rates that are available to you and what your monthly cost will be. Once you find a rate that provides the best cost savings over your existing loan or a better term, then you can lock it in to secure that rate for a certain number of days until you close the loan.

Step 4

Sign documents & close

Refinancing your existing mortgage is typically faster than the home buying process because you can schedule your closing without needing to select a new property, negotiating a sales price or coordinating a closing date with the seller.

To prepare for closing, make sure you bring the necessary items such as:

  • Point 1Government-issued photo ID for borrower and co-borrower.
  • Point 2Cash necessary for closing costs and fees (typically a cashier's check; not a personal check), unless you are rolling the costs into the loan.
  • Point 3Binder for homeowners' insurance (hazard insurance) and paid receipt.

Once you're done with your closing, you will have cash in hand, a shorter term or a lower rate which can give you peace of mind.