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Comprehensive Guide to VA Refinance Options in 2024

3 Min Read • 05/15/2024

Veterans have access to unique refinancing options through the VA, which can provide substantial financial benefits. The two primary programs available in 2024 are the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) and the VA Cash-Out Refinance. This guide details the benefits, drawbacks, and eligibility requirements for each to help you make informed decisions.

VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)

Often referred to as the Streamline Refinance, the IRRRL is designed for veterans looking to reduce their interest rates or switch from an adjustable rate to a fixed-rate mortgage without a comprehensive credit underwriting process.

Pros of VA IRRRL:

  • Simplified Processing: No appraisal or credit underwriting in most cases.

  • Cost Efficiency: Low VA funding fee of 0.5%, which can be rolled into the loan amount.

  • Energy Efficiency Improvements: Up to $6,000 can be borrowed for qualified updates.

Cons of VA IRRRL:

  • Limited Scope: Only available for existing VA loans.

  • No Cash-Out: Cannot be used to take cash out except for energy improvements.

  • Mandatory Financial Benefit: Must result in a financial benefit, such as a lower monthly payment.

VA Cash-Out Refinance

The VA Cash-Out Refinance is versatile, allowing veterans to refinance their existing VA or non-VA loan and withdraw equity from their home for various uses like debt consolidation, home improvements, or other significant expenses.

Pros of VA Cash-Out Refinance:

  • High LTV: Refinance up to 100% of the home’s appraised value.

  • Loan Conversion: Convert non-VA loans to VA loans.

  • Access to Equity: Provides cash from home equity for various needs.

Cons of VA Cash-Out Refinance:

  • Stricter Requirements: Requires full credit and income review.

  • Higher Costs: Closing costs cannot be financed into the loan.

  • Increased Funding Fee: Higher VA funding fee compared to the IRRRL.

Eligibility and Requirements

Both refinance options require that you have made at least six consecutive monthly payments on your existing loan and that at least 210 days have passed since the first mortgage payment. Specific eligibility requirements include:

  • Loan Seasoning: Must meet VA’s seasoning requirements of 210 days or six monthly payments.

  • Financial Standing: Must be current on your mortgage with a good payment history.

  • Primary Residence: Must certify that the home is your primary residence.

Conclusion

VA refinancing options in 2024 provide valuable pathways for veterans to manage their mortgage payments more effectively, access needed cash, or secure more favorable loan terms. Consider your financial situation and long-term goals to choose the right refinancing option. Consulting with a VA-approved lender can provide personalized guidance and ensure that you meet all requirements for these beneficial programs.

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