In a Nutshell
- Fast and easy online comparison tool
- Lots of lenders keep rates competitive
- Totally free service to use
- Not a direct lender, so no control over terms
- New to the industry, so no reputation yet
VA Rate Lock at a Glance
|Loan Types:||New purchases, refinancing, home equity, home equity lines of credit, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate mortgages|
|Featured Loans:||VA, FHA, USDA|
|Repayment Terms:||Varies based on lender|
|Minimum Down Payment:||Varies based on lender|
|Minimum Credit Score:||Varies based on lender|
|Best For:||People looking for quick comparisons|
VA Rate Lock is a mortgage loan marketplace. The objective is to pair consumers up with the best lender for their situation, providing them with the best rates and loan terms possible. VA Rate Lock is a handy tool for competitive pricing and comparing loan offers quickly and conveniently.
Taking out a mortgage loan is not a simple process and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Before you make this major decision, it’s important to weigh your options, discover what types of terms and conditions are out there, and compare the different offers you are being given. For this reason, VA Rate Lock is a perfect fit for homebuyers who want to make an informed decision about their home mortgage loan.
VA Rate Lock takes your information, pairs you with potential lenders, and lets you compare the various offers immediately. So, you get to see which lender is making you the best offer instantly. Plus, since there are so many lenders in the network, VA Rate Lock helps to drive interest rates down, something that is great for consumers. Aside from the fact that this is a free tool, you are also likely to get better rates and offers thanks to it.
Types of Loans/Products
VA Rate Lock doesn’t provide mortgage loans directly since it is not a lender in and of itself. Instead, you will give a little information about yourself (we’ll explain this part in the application process section below). Then, VA Rate Lock will pair you with an eligible lender that suits your needs.
As a result, everything involved with the mortgage loan will vary and be based solely on the discretion of the lender in question. Things like APR, down payments, loan terms, and eligibility requirements are all set forth by the lender.
However, VA Rate Lock runs one of the largest mortgage loan marketplaces in the country. So, you are dealing with a huge variety of lenders. The various lenders can choose which types of loans they make available to consumers, but here is a list of the different types that are available within the network:
- Conventional fixed-rate mortgage loans
- Conventional adjustable-rate mortgage loans (aka ARM)
- Unconventional jumbo loans
You can also find various government-backed loans, including FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans, USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) loans, and VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) loans.
The Application Process
To be clear, you are not actually applying for a loan with VA Rate Lock. As mentioned already, VA Rate Lock is not a direct lender, so it cannot and will not give you a mortgage loan. You can find mortgage loans from one of its partner lenders by using this service, though. Here’s how that works:
- Answer a few basic questions. These include if you are a veteran, are you employed, do you own a house, and other such relevant queries.
- After that, VA Rate Lock will run your information through its system and curate a list of potential lenders for you.
- You can then go through the list, apply with each lender individually, and find the best rates based on these offers.
VA Rate Lock only sends you to direct mortgage loan lenders that are appropriate for your situation. So, for example, you won’t be matched with a lender that doesn’t service someone with your credit rating or a lender that is outside of your area.
Another great thing about using this service is the extra help it offers. When you apply, VA Rate Lock will also give you several savings options you may be eligible for. These depend on your location and other information you gave when filling out your application form. Reduced rates can come from things like reducing energy bills with solar panels and tax credits to help pay for installations.
Rates and Fees – The Bare Basics
Rates vary based on each lender. The lowest rates for a mortgage loan is usually 3%, but you can even find ones for as low as 1% depending on several factors, including your credit history, your location, and the actual size of the home you are purchasing.
The best part of using VA Rate Lock is its cost. In fact, this is a totally free service to use. VA Rate Lock doesn’t charge any of the fees associated with finding a mortgage loan. However, once you sign up for a loan with one of the partner lenders, you will be required to pay their service fees. Fees and rates vary based on the lender you’ve chosen, but some common fees incurred during the mortgage loan process include:
- Origination fee
- Closing fees
- Prepayment penalty
- Homeowners insurance
- Legal fees
- Home inspection fee
As with the rates, fees, and eligibility requirements, repayment terms are subject to the lender's discretion. Typical mortgage loan terms will range from 5 years and can include increments of 10-, 15-, 20-, 25-, or 30-year loans.
How VA Rate Lock Compares
|VA Rate Lock||Wells Fargo||LendingTree|
|Credit requirements||Varies based on lender||620||500+|
|Minimum down payment||Varies based on lender||3%||0%-2%|
|DTI ratio||Varies based on lender||35% or less||N/A|
|Fees||Varies based on lender||Closing costs and origination fee (sometimes)||Varies based on lender|
|Repayment terms||Varies based on lender||5, 10, 15, 30-year fixed and adjustable rates||10, 15, 20, 30 fixed, 5/1, 7/1 ARM|
|APR||Varies based on lender||From 3%||From 3%|
VA Rate Lock is new to the industry, so there isn’t much online about them. However, using the service was fast and easy. Having a number of lenders competing for your business also helps to keep interest rates low. VA Rate Lock works with reputable lenders and is totally free to use, making it an obvious choice for homebuyers looking for a good resource.
Q: What is a prepayment penalty?
A: When you sign up for a mortgage loan, you agree to a set of repayment terms, including a set time when you will pay the loan back to the lender. You will make monthly payments to reduce the amount owed incrementally until it is paid off completely. Each month you will incur interest fees based on your interest rate and the amount left to your loan. Some lenders will charge you an early termination fee (aka prepayment penalty) if you pay off the loan earlier than the agreed-upon date. This is because the lender loses out on the interest payments you would be making if you still have time left on your loan.
Q: Can I get a loan with bad credit?
A: Credit score is one of the most significant factors that lenders look at when determining approval for a loan. However, it is not the only one. If you score well on other factors like debt-to-income ratio, credit history, or have a cosigner, a poor credit score may not be the deciding factor.
Q: What is a VA Rate Lock?
A: An interest rate lock ensures that you will retain the same low-interest rate that you were given initially despite fluctuating market prices. It could save you thousands of dollars and a lot of heartache.
Q: Who is eligible for a VA loan?
A: While various lenders can set their own requirements, generally anyone who is a veteran, active duty service member, National Guard member, or reservist can apply for a VA loan. Often, these benefits also extend to family members.