Refinancing VA Loan – What You Need to Know


Greetings to all homebuyers and homeowners out there who are considering refinancing their VA loan! It’s always wise to conduct some research before refinancing your loan. After all, a VA loan is a mortgage loan guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s available for veterans, active-duty military members, and some surviving spouses. So, if you’re eligible for it, you’re in a fortunate position.

Refinancing a VA loan might not always be the right decision for everyone. However, if you’re planning on lowering your interest rate, shortening the loan term, or even getting some cash-out, it’s worth considering. This journal article will provide you with all the necessary information about refinancing VA loans in the current market.

Refinancing VA Loan: Quick Overview

Before we dive deeper into the details, it’s essential to have a quick overview of refinancing a VA loan. Refinancing a VA loan involves taking a new loan to replace an old loan. The new loan comes with different terms and conditions, such as a lower interest rate, which can result in less money paid over the life of the loan.

Additionally, refinancing a VA loan allows you to take cash-out from your home’s equity, which can help you consolidate debt or make home repairs. However, if you’re considering a cash-out refinance, there are different loan-to-value (LTV) requirements and funding fees.

Reasons for Refinancing VA Loan

There are various reasons for refinancing your VA loan. The primary reasons for refinancing a VA loan include:

Lower Interest Rates
Pay less interest over the life of the loan
Cash-Out Refinance
Take cash-out to consolidate debt or make home repairs
Switching from Adjustable to Fixed Rate
Lock-in a fixed interest rate to avoid fluctuations
Shortening Loan Term
Pay off the loan faster and reduce interest paid

Refinancing VA Loan: In-Depth Explanation

Eligibility Requirements for Refinancing VA Loan

Before applying for refinancing, you must meet the eligibility requirements set by the VA. The eligibility requirements for refinancing a VA loan are as follows:

  • You must have an existing VA loan.
  • You must be current on your mortgage payments for the past 12 months.
  • You must be refinancing to lower your interest rate or change your loan type.
  • You must not receive cash-out exceeding $500 or cover the closing costs, except in certain situations.

Types of Refinancing VA Loans

There are two types of refinancing VA loans:

  • Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)
  • Cash-Out Refinance Loan

IRRRL Refinancing VA Loan

An IRRRL is a VA-backed loan that can help you refinance your current VA loan to a lower interest rate. This loan is also known as a streamline refinance because it requires minimal documentation and no appraisal. Essentially, the VA assumes that the borrower continues to qualify for the loan and has a proven repayment history.

The benefits of an IRRRL refinancing VA loan include:

  • No credit score requirement
  • No income verification
  • No appraisal required
  • No out-of-pocket costs

Cash-Out Refinance VA Loan

A cash-out refinance VA loan allows you to take out cash from your home’s equity. The cash can be used for home repairs, debt consolidation, or other financial needs. However, this type of refinancing requires an appraisal to ensure that the home is worth more than the amount owed on the mortgage.

The benefits of a cash-out refinance VA loan include:

  • The ability to take cash out from your home’s equity
  • Lower interest rate compared to personal loans or credit cards
  • Potentially tax-deductible interest paid

Refinancing VA Loan Fees

Like any other mortgage refinance, refinancing a VA loan comes with fees. The fees associated with refinancing a VA loan may include:

  • Origination fee
  • Appraisal fee
  • Recording fee
  • VA funding fee

The VA funding fee is a one-time payment required by the VA to help cover the costs of the VA loan program. The funding fee can vary depending on the type of refinancing VA loan and can range from 0.5% to 3.6% of the loan amount.

Refinancing VA Loan Interest Rates

The interest rates for refinancing a VA loan depend on several factors, such as your credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio. However, VA loans typically offer lower interest rates than other mortgage loans because they’re backed by the government.

If you’re refinancing your VA loan, it’s important to shop around for the best interest rate. You can compare rates from different lenders, such as banks, credit unions, and mortgage brokers.

Refinancing VA Loan Requirements

When refinancing a VA loan, you must meet certain requirements. These requirements include:

  • Meet the eligibility requirements
  • Provide proof of income and assets
  • Complete a loan application and provide documentation
  • Pay the required fees associated with refinancing
  • Provide proof of homeowners insurance
  • Provide proof of good credit and debt-to-income ratio

Refinancing VA Loan vs. FHA Loan

Many homeowners might wonder whether it’s better to refinance their VA loan or FHA loan. Both VA and FHA loans offer similar benefits, such as low or no down payment, but there are some differences.

FHA loans require mortgage insurance premiums (MIP), both upfront and annual, for the life of the loan. However, VA loans do not require mortgage insurance. Refinancing from an FHA loan to a VA loan can help you eliminate the MIP requirement and save money in the long run.

Refinancing VA Loan vs. Conventional Loan

Refinancing a VA loan or a conventional loan can be a tough decision for homeowners. Conventional loans require a higher credit score and down payment than VA loans, but they offer more competitive interest rates.

Refinancing from a conventional loan to a VA loan can be a great option for veterans who want to reduce their interest rates and monthly payments. However, refinancing from a VA loan to a conventional loan is usually not recommended.

Refinancing VA Loan FAQs

1. Can I refinance my VA loan multiple times?

Yes, you can refinance your VA loan multiple times. However, you must meet the eligibility requirements each time and pay the associated fees.

2. Can I refinance my VA loan to a fixed-rate mortgage?

Yes, you can refinance your VA loan to a fixed-rate mortgage. This type of refinancing can help you lock in a low interest rate and avoid fluctuations over time.

3. Can I refinance my VA loan with bad credit?

It’s possible to refinance your VA loan with bad credit, but it might be difficult to find a lender that’s willing to offer you a low interest rate. You may need to improve your credit score before refinancing.

4. What is the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for cash-out refinancing VA loans?

The maximum LTV ratio for cash-out refinancing VA loans is 90%.

5. How long does it take to refinance a VA loan?

The time it takes to refinance a VA loan depends on several factors, such as the lender, the type of refinancing, and your financial situation. On average, it takes about 30 to 45 days to complete the refinancing process.

6. Can I skip mortgage payments during the refinancing process?

No, you cannot skip mortgage payments during the refinancing process. You must continue to make your current mortgage payments until the refinancing is complete.

7. How much equity do I need to have to qualify for cash-out refinancing VA loans?

The minimum equity required to qualify for cash-out refinancing VA loans is 10% of the home’s value.

8. Can I use a VA loan to buy a second home?

No, you cannot use a VA loan to buy a second home. VA loans are only available for primary residences.

9. Will refinancing my VA loan affect my credit score?

Refinancing your VA loan can affect your credit score, but the impact is usually minimal. Applying for new credit can lower your credit score slightly, but if you make your payments on time, your credit score should recover quickly.

10. How often can I refinance my VA loan?

There’s no limit to how often you can refinance your VA loan, but you must meet the eligibility requirements each time and pay the associated fees.

11. Can I refinance a non-VA loan into a VA loan?

Yes, it’s possible to refinance a non-VA loan into a VA loan. This type of refinancing is known as a VA cash-out refinance.

12. Can I refinance my VA loan if I have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)?

Yes, you can refinance your VA loan if you have an ARM. Refinancing to a fixed-rate mortgage can help you avoid interest rate fluctuations over time.

13. What happens if I default on my refinancing VA loan?

If you default on your refinancing VA loan, the lender can foreclose on the home and sell it to recover the debt. Additionally, your credit score will be affected negatively and can make it challenging to get approved for future loans.


Refinancing a VA loan can be an excellent option for homeowners who want to reduce their interest rates, shorten their loan term, or take cash-out from their home’s equity. However, before refinancing, it’s essential to understand the eligibility requirements, types of refinancing VA loans, fees, and interest rates.

If you’re considering refinancing your VA loan, we hope this journal article has provided you with the necessary information to make an informed decision. It’s always best to consult with a reputable lender that specializes in VA loans to explore your options further.

Actionable Steps:

  • Check your eligibility for refinancing a VA loan.
  • Compare rates from different lenders to find the best deal.
  • Take into account the fees associated with refinancing.
  • Consider the pros and cons of IRRRL and cash-out refinancing VA loans.

Closing Disclaimer

This journal article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, financial, or professional advice. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Always consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions.