Updated January 2016
California VA Streamline Information
California is one of the largest markets in the nation for VA loans and it has some unique twists the VA mortgage market that many people aren’t aware of. Most people know that the benefits of a VA loan include 100% financing, no mortgage insurance and loan limits that are equivalent to are the amount a qualified Veteran with full entitlement may be able to borrow without making a down payment. These VA loan limits will vary by county, since the value of a house depends in part on its location. Getting a VA loan is one thing – but it is yet another benefit of how easy it is to refinance a VA loan when interest rates are low by using the VA streamline refinance program.
VA Lenders in California
Lenders that are approved to lend money under the VA loan program come in different shapes and sizes. Some are big, some are small. Some only work in California, some work in a few states and some work in 50 states. Some are mortgage brokers, some are mortgage bankers and some are depository banks. The one thing that is common among all lenders who can help you with a VA streamline is that they are approved to lend money under the rules that the VA has set out – or in other words, they are “VA approved”.
Work with any VA approved lender.
When considering talking with a lender about your current VA loan, it is important to know that should you elect to participate in the VA streamline program, you are not required to use the lender you currently make your mortgage payments to. So if your current lender is Wells Fargo for example, you may or may not end up using Wells Fargo to help you with the loan. If you don’t use Wells Fargo to help you with the loan, then you should expect to NOT make your future mortgage payments to Wells Fargo, but to a new lender. That said, it is common for one lender to sell (usually in bulk) loans to another lender – so being that Wells Fargo is one of the biggest lenders in the nation, you very well could work with a different lender, make a payment or two to that new lender and then that lender ends up selling the loan to Wells Fargo soon after.
Get multiple quotes from multiple VA approved lenders.
When thinking about possibly participating in the VA streamline program, it is a good idea to get a quote in writing from multiple VA lenders here in California. Quotes are free and there isn’t an obligation to go with a particular lender during the quote stage – they are designed to help you understand what the rates and fees of a lender are as well as provide you a way of communicating with the loan officer who will be assisting you and seeing how good he is. You may be surprised at how much difference a good, knowledgeable, experienced loan officer can make in the process.
Work with one VA lender.
When choosing to work with a VA lender to help you – you may end up getting multiple quotes from multiple VA approved lenders, but you will want to make sure that you are only working with one lender once your loan is submitted to underwriting. It really isn’t a good idea to submit your loan file to multiple VA lenders – just pick the best one that you like the most early in the process and work with them to get your loan funded.
Don’t be surprised at different guidelines.
When it comes to guidelines for the VA streamline program, don’t be alarmed that the guidelines may vary from one lender to another slightly. Some lenders may require a minimum credit score, some may require no credit score. Some may require an appraisal, some may not require an appraisal. This is yet another reason that it makes the most sense to speak with multiple VA approved lenders who can help you not only understand the rates and fees that are required, but also about the lender guidelines that may impact the transaction.
VA loan limits in California
Each county in California will have a different limit as to how much you can borrow with a VA loan. Here is a link to the best place to look up VA loan limits for California:
California Lender Presentation
Here is a great presentation about VA loans by a leading California lender.
Located In California? Get Started Here
If you are currently in a VA loan and the home is located in California, you can get matched up with a California lender right here. Getting matched with a lender is free and only takes a few minutes – then you can see how much money you could be saving each month if rates are low and you take advantage of the VA streamline program before they go up.