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VA streamline refinance remains quick and easy

Here's the bad news for FHA borrowers: it's getting harder and harder to get a Federal Housing Administration Streamline Refinance loan. The good news for veterans and active duty military who have taken advantage of their VA home loan benefits is that the VA has not followed suit in making similar changes to the VA Streamline Refinance Program. VA Streamline refinancing is still as quick and easy as ever.

Unlike the FHA program, the VA-to-VA Streamline Refinance for current VA mortgage holders retains its important features:

• Appraisal-free interest rate reduction

• 100 percent loan-to-value ratio

• No income verification

• No asset verification

• Quick start-to-finish processing

When the VA loan program was first introduced in 1944, the original intent was to assist the nation's military population as homeowners. In keeping with this goal, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has maintained its VA Streamline guidelines. A portion of each VA mortgage being considered for Streamline refinance has already been guaranteed by the federal government when it was originally made. Therefore, fully requalifying the same borrower and property in order to complete a VA-to-VA Streamline Refinance is deemed unnecessary. Furthermore, helping VA loan homeowners lower their monthly mortgage payments with Streamline refinancing lowers the VA's overall risk on each loan.

Changes to the FHA Streamline rules will ultimately cause FHA lenders to deny many streamline refinance applications. The new employment, income, assets, and property value requirements can prove problematic for many people whose circumstances have changed since they first acquired their FHA loans.

With credit qualification standards based primarily just on mortgage payment history, the VA Streamline (IRRRL) allows VA lenders to continue to assist VA borrowers lower their interest rates and monthly payments. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides guidelines for VA Streamline loans and VA-approved lender requirements may vary. For more information about VA-to-VA Streamline Refinance contact a VA loan professional.

Please see your local county veterans service officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by e-mail at As always, have a great week.