USAA Mortgage Review 2021

Written by
David McMillin
Edited By

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At a glance

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4.4

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Bankrate Score

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Loans offered

VA (including jumbo), fixed-rate; rate-and-term (conventional and VA) and streamline refinancing
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Nationwide availability

Available in all U.S. states
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Min. credit score required

640 for VA loans

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Specializes in VA loans
  • Fast online preapprovals
  • No origination fee for all VA loan products
  • Displays rates online

Cons

  • No cash-out refinancing available
  • No FHA or USDA loans
  • Only available to military members, veterans and their families

USAA overview

USAA is a full-service mortgage lender that specializes in financial products for current and former members of the military and their family members. The company was founded in 1922 and is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Since its founding, USAA has originated more than 1 million home loans. Loan preapprovals are available online and can be completed in a few minutes.

Good for

Borrowers looking for a VA loan

Loan types

  • VA (including jumbo)
  • Fixed-rate
  • Rate-and-term (conventional and VA) and streamline refinancing 

Lender fees 

USAA doesn’t charge an origination fee. As is the case with most VA loans, those purchasing a new home will need to pay the VA funding fee, which varies based on loan amount, service history and other factors. With a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL, or streamline refinance), USAA covers a range of closing costs. Conventional refinances carry a fee of either $1,295 or 1 percent of the total loan, depending on the amount of the loan.

Rates

USAA publicly advertises mortgage rates on all its loan products and updates them daily. The rates tend to be higher than Bankrate’s national averages for VA products. 

Reputation

USAA is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau but has earned an A rating from the organization. Customer feedback on Trustpilot is not favorable: USAA scored a “bad” 1.3 out of five-star rating from more than 950 reviews.

While USAA did not meet the eligibility criteria for ranking in J.D. Power’s most recent Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study, it did score 887 out of 1,000 — a score that would have put USAA in first place. Similarly, while it did not meet the criteria for ranking in J.D. Power’s Primary Mortgage Servicing Study, its score of 895 out of 1,000 also would have put it in the top position.  

Online services 

USAA offers plenty of online and mobile services, including the ability to submit questions and seek financial advice from USAA experts, along with a dedicated educational section on homeownership on its website.

“We provide a robust digital mortgage experience [including] the ability to apply online, import bank statements, electronic document uploads and e-sign loan documents,” says Brad Russell, senior communications partner at USAA. “We prefill a large part of the mortgage application based on information in the member’s profile, which reduces needless keystrokes and speeds up the process.”

Minimum borrower requirements 

A 640 minimum credit score is required for a USAA mortgage, and the loan must be for at least $50,000. The lender has options that include no mortgage insurance, no down payment and the ability to finance your VA funding fee.

Refinancing with USAA

USAA offers the VA IRRRL program, which includes quite a few cost benefits for members: no origination fee, plus USAA covers the costs of appraisal, title and the VA funding fee. According to the lender’s website, that saves the typical borrower more than $2,600 in closing costs.

The lender also offers conventional refinances to members who are refinancing a USAA mortgage serviced by Nationstar Mortgage. For conventional refinances, the fee structure is:

  • All mortgages $129,500 or greater: Flat rate fee of $1,295
  • All mortgages less than $129,500: 1 percent of the total loan amount

Not sure if USAA is right for you? Consider these alternatives

Breakdown of USAA overall review score

  • Affordability: 15/15
  • Availability: 12/15
  • Borrower experience: 13/15 

Review methodology

To determine a mortgage lender’s Bankrate Score, Bankrate’s editorial team rates lenders on a scale of one to five stars based on a variety of factors relating to the lender’s products and services. Bankrate’s partners compensate us, but our opinions are our own, and partner relationships do not influence our reviews. Here is our full methodology.

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Written by
David McMillin
Contributing writer
David McMillin writes about credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes and travel. David's goal is to help readers figure out how to save more and stress less.
Edited by
Mortgage editor