Bank of America VA IRRRL Refinance Program

December 4, 2010

Have you received something that says there is a “special” Bank of America VA IRRRL refinance program and are looking for more information?

Good news – the VA IRRRL refinance program is probably the best VA refinance program available if you currently have a VA loan and want to get a lower interest rate.

Even better news – the program is not something that you can only get at Bank of America.

In fact, it is a very, very good idea to shop VA lenders who can give you a quote of what exactly the closing costs will be with a VA IRRRL loan as well as what the interest rate is. Obviously, the lower the interest rate and fees, the better “deal” it is for the Veteran.

Bank of America VA IRRRL Refinance

The reason that many Veterans may think that the VA IRRRL program is something that is specific to Bank of America is that they do a good job of marketing the program – and since many Veterans are not familiar with the program (maybe it is due to the funny name!) they just assume that it is only available at Bank of America.

But it isn’t!

So be sure to shop among at least a small handful of lenders to get the best rate and fees associated with your IRRRL refinance. Chances are that you will be surprised by the differences in what you see as far as getting the “best deal” from various lenders.


VA IRRRL: Form DD214 Required

September 12, 2010

When you go through the VA IRRRL refinance program, it is sometimes called the “VA streamline refinance” program because of the “streamlined” documentation.

And yes, it is true that the VA IRRRL refinance program requires less documentation than getting a VA loan when you purchase a house or doing a fully-qualified VA refinance.

But even though there are less documents required, there are still a number of documents that you cannot avoid having.

One of those is the DD-214 Form.

What The DD-214 Form?
The DD-214 form is the proof that you have served in the military and it details information such as the dates of discharge, dates of service and current classification, retired or active, and National Guard or Reserve status.

As a general rule, the form is required to claim any VA benefits, not just a VA loan or when you go through the VA IRRRL refinance program.

You should have received your original DD-214 when you were discharged from the military – and chances are that they also told you not to lose it!

But if you lost it and are now wondering if you can participate in the IRRRL refinance program, be sure to contact one of our VA loan experts who can help you get the right information you will need to get it.

Be aware — when you go to request it, you will need the following:

* Social Security number
* Branch of service
* Dates of military service
* Place of discharge

When doing a VA IRRRL refinance, it is required that you have the DD214.

Have questions about the DD-214? Let us know, we are happy to help.

VA IRRRL Program on Facebook
Now: more information available on Facebook about the IRRRL program!


Can You Get The 8000 Tax Credit If You Get A VA Mortgage Loan?

August 20, 2009

Someone this week asked me this question:

“If I finance my home with a VA mortgage loan, can I still claim the 8000 tax credit?”

And the answer is…

It depends.

The way that the 8000 tax credit works is it doesn’t matter what loan program you finance your home with, it only matters that you are a first time home buyer. So if you are a first time home buyer and finance the home with a VA loan, then yes – you will qualify. But if you don’t qualify as a first time home buyer and you finance your home with a VA loan – then no, you won’t qualify.

I realize that it is all confusing — but the simple way to remember how the tax credit works is just to remember that it is based on whether or not you are a first time home buyer and not what loan program you use to finance your home.

So if you use a VA loan to finance your home — yes, you may be eligible for the 8000 tax credit… and no, you may NOT be eligible for the 8000 tax credit – depending on whether or not you are a first time home buyer!


VA Streamline Refinance: Removing Somone From The Loan

August 16, 2009

When you participate in the VA streamline / VA IRRRL program, can you remove one of the borrowers from the loan?

This question has been popular with lenders and so we figured we would put more information out about it.

Not unless you plan on fully qualifying for a new VA loan with the remaining person on the loan.

Many times when people get divorced, one spouse gets the house and they continue making the mortgage payment. When it comes time to refinance, in the VA streamline refinance program, both people on the loan still must sign and agree to the refinance – otherwise, it can’t be done as a VA streamline – it will have to be a VA full documentation loan (or perhaps a different type of full-documentation loan).

The VA streamline won’t allow you to remove borrowers, but you can add borrowers in the process. So for example, if you originally bought the house as a single person but have since been married and want to add your new spouse to the loan and title – you can do that with the VA streamline refinance program.

So you can add more borrowers, but you can’t subtract borrowers with the VA streamline refinance. VA is happy to have more people responsible for the loan, but not so happy to have less people responsible for the loan.


VA Streamline Refinance: VA IRRRL Refinance Program Highlights

August 16, 2009

Many people contact us every day asking about the highlights of the VA streamline (also known as the VA IRRRL refinance program) so we thought we would put out a simple list of the basic requirements of the VA streamline / VA IRRRL refinance program.

You cannot get any “cash back” at closing when doing a VA streamline / VA IRRRL refinance.

The abbreviation “IRRRL” stands for Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan and is also commonly referred to as a “VA Streamline Refinance”.

If you currently have a fixed rate VA loan, the new interest rate on your new VA loan must be lower than the interest rate on your current VA loan at the end of the VA streamline / VA IRRRL refinance.

If you currently have an adjustable rate VA loan, your interest rate can be higher than it is now as long as your new interest rate is a fixed rate when you participate in the VA streamline / VA IRRRL program.

With the VA streamline / VA IRRRL refinance program, no appraisal is required by the VA. It is possible that certain lenders will require an appraisal for their own purposes, but one is not required by the VA.

The VA streamline / VA IRRRL refinance can be done where you don’t have to pay any “out of pocket” closing costs. All costs may be rolled into your new loan.

You may use any VA approved lender – Veterans are encouraged to shop around.


VA Streamline IRRRL Program: Minimum Credit Scores?

July 26, 2009

If you are searching for more information on the VA Streamline / VA IRRRL refinance programs and confused about all of the different information you see regarding minimum credit score requirements — don’t worry, many people are.

It can be confusing.

The reason that it can be confusing is becauseĀ  VA doesn’t actually have a minimum credit score requirement for the VA streamline refinance program — but many lenders do.

The most common credit score requirement from lenders right now is 620, but some have lower and some have higher minimum credit score requirements.

If you are working with a particular lender who says that they have minimum credit score requirements and you don’t currently meet those requirements, don’t worry — just keep shopping for a lender who has a lower credit score requirement or even better — doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement for VA streamline refinances.

They are out there – and if someone tells you that they can’t help you with your VA streamline, be sure to ask them if they are aware of any lenders who are currently doing VA streamlines without requiring a minimum credit score — I know of at least one lender who still allows a VA streamline with no credit score.

The VA streamline minimum credit score requirements are also always changing – so what you hear today, may not apply tomorrow – it is a moving target!


VA Loan Modification: New Video From Freddie Mac

July 12, 2009

VA Loan Modification: Freddie Mac Releases New Loan Modification Video

Many people across the country currently have a VA loan and are interested in seeing if a loan modification can help them. This week, a new video was released by Freddie Mac titled “Stop Foreclosure: Documents Your Lender Needs To Help You” and with many people all over the country calling their lender about a possible loan modification – this video should help explain what is needed. Most lenders are overwhelmed with people requesting loan modifications and this video will do an excellent job of letting people what their lender will require.

VA Loan Modification: Documents Your Lender Will Need

  • Copies of your last years tax return
  • For any other debt such as credit cards, car loans, etc. – have account balances and minimum payment amounts
  • A copy of your most recent mortgage statement
  • A copy of recent paystubs
  • Any second mortgage or home equity line of credit statements that you have

VA Loan Modification: Hardship Letter

If you are wondering if you really need to write a hardship letter — don’t wonder. A well written hardship letter is a vital part of the loan modification process. A well written hardship letter that describes the “human story” can often be the key that makes the difference between your loan modification getting approved or denied – so don’t neglect it!