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  • Review: USAA mortgage rates and refinance products

    This full-service financial institution was organized to serve our greatest patriots; veterans, active military members and their families. USAA is a blend between a credit union and a bank – offering components of both. Established in 1922 in San Antonio, Texas, the company has expanded to serve at least 77 million service members in this country. USAA is not a publicly traded company. Only members can participate in the programs USAA offers, which allows USAA to offer unique benefits and such as the USAA mortgage rates.


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    USAA offers home refinance rates that are conventional, adjustable products and over 66 percent of their loans are backed by VA loans. The service is focused on our military personnel; officers, soldiers and their families. According to the company, cashouts can be paid or, if you seek a USAA refinance because you have run into trouble, a loan officer will evaluate your situation and let you know your loan re-structuring options. USAA works in full co-operation with the current federal government programs.


    USAA mortgage refinance rates

    Military, retired and active duty, as well as family members of military personnel are eligible for USAA mortgage refinance rates (Photo/Pexels)

    Refinancing products offered by USAA

    All lenders offer a variety of products. Take a look at all of USAA’s refinancing rate options. Currently, USAA home refinance programs exclude home equity loans and home equity line of credits (HELOC).


    • 30- year fixed rate
    • 20-year fixed rate
    • 15- year fixed rate
    • 10-year fixed rate


    As with all fixed rate loans, the rate you agree to will not adjust over the life of your home loan. A fixed-rate mortgage makes budgeting for your mortgage payment easier than with an adjustable rate mortgage. USAA mortgage rates offers terms ranging from 10 to 30-years. Single family loan amounts will cap at $424,100 per the market limit. For USAA refinance rates, check their website directly, or call them on the phone.  Generally, the minimum loan amount at USAA is $50,000  but can go as high as $3 million. Through the fixed-rate mortgage options at USAA borrowers can refinance up to 95 percent of the value of their home.


    • ARM


    ARM loans have a shorter term than most traditional fixed-rate mortgage terms but come with a tempting incentive. The shorter terms also mean lower interest rates. One downfall of an ARM is the higher monthly payments that accompany a shorter term.


    USAA doesn’t denote the terms of ARM for refinances, like many other inquiries with USAA it’s best to get them on the phone. Pre-approval processes, however, can be viewed at the website: usaa.com. Once pre-approval is accomplished and a purchase contract is in place, the website applicant can complete the process toll-free by telephone. As with any lender, the rate you’ll be able to secure up-front will depend on your credit profile and loan amount.


    • VA loans

    Being a financial institution that caters to families with military ties, it makes sense that USAA’s strong suite is in their USAA VA loan offerings. Over half USAA’s mortgage business comes from VA loans. The no-fee VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) is hard to beat for other banks.  USAA also allows VA borrowers to refinance up to 100 percent of the value of their home.  USAA structures their VA loans in 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year terms.


    Most home loans offered through USAA work with credit scores 620 or higher.

    USAA mortgage rates today

    USAA refinance rates are very competitive to other rates in the market. USAA will take a homeowner’s current debt load and history into consideration in deciding upon a refinancing rate. USAA’s online features don’t customized rates by geography, credit history, or other information.  To find current and customized rates for your financial situation, you’ll need to call USAA directly.

    How do USAA’s products compare to other banks?

    USAA vs. Chase bank  If you’re eligible for a VA loan, or an IRRRL it definitely makes sense for you to start your research at USAA. As we stated, there are no fees associated with the IRRRL loan, which Chase cannot currently beat. Outside of the IRRRL loans, USAA charges a .50 percent origination fee. If you want to secure an ARM loan or a non-VA fixed rate mortgage, shop both banks. They are competitive with other mortgage product rates and their origination fees could be comparable.


    USAA vs. PNC mortgage USAA does not currently look at alternate forms of credit history, like rent payments, when considering someone’s overall credit profile. PNC does. Your credit profile will be one of the components that dictate your rate. If your credit score needs some repairs, but refinancing can’t wait, you might consider shopping at PNC first, even if you are looking to lock in a VA loan.  


    USAA vs. Navy Federal  As another financial institution focused on serving military members and their families comparing Navy Federal to USAA for VA loan opportunities is important for comparison. While both places claim to do 50 percent or more of their mortgage business through VA, Navy Federal can’t compete with no fee IRRRL that USAA offers. Also, Navy Federal charges a higher origination fee by .50 percent. Toe to toe, USAA seems to pull ahead a bit of Navy Federal.

    Other considerations when picking a refinance product

    USAA does not currently offer home equity loans or home equity line of credits (HELOC). They could potentially bring this product on board by the end of 2017. USAA also does not promote their participation in HARP loans.


    Because USAA listens to its members and works to make sure they are not being left behind in this highly charged and changing housing and loan market, this company seems committed to service and support for those invested in them. Working to remain competitive, the organization clearly respects its mission and works to improve on results – especially on the technology front.

    Deciding which option is best for you

    It’s always best to shop around for the best mortgage rate when it comes to refinancing. By assessing your individual situation, you will discover which products make the most sense for you. If you are eligible for USAA mortgage interest rates there are certain perks to being apart of this financial institution – like the USAA IRRRL product. Finding the right lender isn’t always about interest rates, it’s also best to consider customer service and alignment with your beliefs.

    On the numbers front, there are many fees that can accompany a refi. No matter which lender you are considering, always do the math to see if the fees offset the interest rate. You might discover that banks with higher interest rates will be less expensive in the long run.


    In a climate where our service personnel needs all the support and understanding we can find, this company appears to be a good investment for those of us wishing to make certain our service patriots and their families are cared for properly.


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