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USAA Mortgage Review 2021 | US News

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USAA serves more than 11 million members, offering financial products exclusively to military members and their families in all 50 states. Qualifying members can obtain mortgage products including VA loans, conventional loans and mortgage refinancing. USAA is known for its customer service and specialization in products for military members.

Best Features

  • Good customer service ratings
  • VA loan specialization
  • VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans, also known as IRRRL or streamline refinance loans

Drawbacks

  • USAA is only available to military members, veterans and their families.
  • Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture and home equity loans are not available.

Mortgage Products Offered by USAA

With a military focus, USAA’s mortgage division specializes in VA home loans and refinancing.

“VA loans are our specialty, and we have a 5/1 VA ARM [adjustable-rate mortgage] product that is particularly attractive to those on active duty who are moving every few years,” says Paul Brown III, USAA director of product management.

FHA loans are not available with USAA. However, USAA offers a 3% down payment mortgage to first-time homebuyers that does not require borrower-paid mortgage insurance, Brown says.

  • Conventional loans
  • VA loans
  • Jumbo loans
  • 5/1 ARM
  • Mortgage refinancing
  • Mortgage with no down payment (VA loans)

  • FHA loans
  • USDA loans
  • Home equity loans

Qualifying for a USAA Mortgage

USAA requires military affiliation to become a member and apply for mortgage products. You must be an active military member, former military with an honorable discharge or an eligible family member.

Eligible consumers with fair credit may qualify for a mortgage with USAA. The lender has a 620 minimum FICO credit score and accepts up to a 50% debt-to-income ratio.

Loans are available from $50,000 to $3 million. A 3% down payment is available for first-time homebuyers seeking conventional loans. Like all other VA lenders, USAA offers VA loans with no down payment.

Mortgage Fees

There are no underwriting, documentation or application fees with USAA. VA loans have no origination fee, and conventional loans have a 1% origination fee. You’ll pay a 0.5% origination fee for high-balance conforming and nonconforming jumbo loans. Pass-through fees required by USAA include a $24 credit report and a $400 to $600 appraisal fee.

Customer Service

USAA has an A- Better Business Bureau rating, but it it not BBB-accredited.

In 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 88 mortgage-related complaints for USAA, with a timely response for all. The company closed 80 complaints with an explanation, five with monetary relief and three with nonmonetary relief.

Online Features

USAA offers online preapproval, document submission, loan tracking and account management. However, full applications must be completed over the phone. Closing is usually done in person, but closing with a mobile notary may be an option for refinancing.

USAA Mortgages Are Best for:

  • People who can qualify for USAA membership
  • People who want a VA loan with waived fees
  • People who value good customer service

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