USAA Mortgage Review 2021

By Mitch Strohm

Please note: In response to the coronavirus pandemic, lenders are changing their requirements continuously. Although we strive for accuracy at the time of publication, please be sure to check with the lender for updated details on down payments, credit scores, etc.

At a glance

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4.3

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Loans offered

Conventional, VA, jumbo, fixed-rate, adjustable-rate (ARM); refinancing options include rate-and-term refinancing and cash-out refinancing
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Nationwide availability

Available in all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the U.S Virgin Islands
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Min. credit score required

620 for conventional loans; 620 for VA loans

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Specializes in VA loans
  • Offers VA IRRRL refinance loans
  • Online prequalification in minutes
  • First-time homebuyer programs

Cons

  • Doesn't offer FHA or USDA loans
  • Only available to military members, veterans and their families
  • Only 11 brick-and-mortar locations in seven cities

USAA overview

USAA Federal Savings Bank is a full-service lender offering mortgage loan products to bank members. It specializes in loans for active military members, veterans and their families. Founded in 1922, USAA Federal Savings Bank also offers insurance, banking, investing and retirement services. USAA serves more than 13 million members of the military and their families. More than 20 percent of its employees are veterans or military spouses. The bank is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

Loan types

  • Conventional
  • VA
  • Jumbo
  • Fixed-rate
  • Adjustable-rate (ARM)
  • Rate-and-term refinancing
  • Cash-out refinancing

Lender fees

USAA charges a funding fee for VA loans of anywhere from 0.5 percent to 3.6 percent of your loan amount, based on your down payment and whether this is your first use of a VA loan. These fees are standard for VA loans.

If you’re refinancing with a VA IRRRL, USAA will pay for the title, VA funding fee and appraisal fee, and there is no origination fee.

Minimum borrower requirements

USAA generally follows Fannie Mae’s underwriting guidelines for conventional loans. To qualify, borrowers typically need a credit score of 620 or better, a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of at least 43 percent and a down payment of at least 5 percent.

However, USAA also offers a 30-year, 3-percent down conventional loan for borrowers who haven’t owned a home within the last three years. For that program, borrowers must complete a free homebuyer education course online before closing on their home.

USAA mortgages have a $50,000 minimum loan amount. It offers jumbo loans from $548,250 up to $3 million.

VA programs through the lender require no down payment and no PMI. To get the best rates, you’ll need a credit score of 740.

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