Top VA Loan Lenders: Freedom Mortgage Beat Out the Competition in 2020

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If you’re curious who the top VA loan lenders were last year, wonder no longer. The biggest was Freedom Mortgage, a direct lender based out of Boca Raton, Florida.

Somewhat amazingly, they also took the top spot for FHA loans, despite not being a household name like say Rocket Mortgage.

Speaking of, Rocket Mortgage, formerly known as Quicken Loans, snagged the second spot, though it was behind by a large margin.

Rounding out the top three was Veteran United Home Loans, which wasn’t too far behind Rocket.

That brings us to number four, United Wholesale Mortgage, which relies only on mortgage brokers to bring in business. They are also a fierce crosstown rival of Rocket’s.

Coming in fifth was USAA, a bank that serves only U.S. military and their family members. You can see the full top-10 list below.

Top VA Loan Lenders

RankingCompany Name2020 Loan Volume
1.Freedom Mortgage$39.8 billion
2.Rocket Mortgage$26.7 billion
3.Veterans United$23.2 billion
4.UWM$17.8 billion
5.USAA$13.3 billion
6.Navy Federal$11.7 billion
7.Pennymac Loan Services$10.5 billion
8.loanDepot$10.2 billion
9.Caliber Home Loans$9.7 billion
10.Nationstar Mortgage$8.4 billion

Now let’s take a look at the top VA purchase lenders, who made the most VA loans for home buyers.

These lenders helped military customers become homeowners, as opposed to assisting them with an existing mortgage.

Top VA Purchase Lenders

RankingCompany Name2020 Loan Volume
1.Veterans United$16.1 billion
2.USAA$6.3 billion
3.Navy Federal$5.9 billion
4.Fairway Independent$3.8 billion
5.UWM$3.8 billion
6.Caliber Home Loans$3.2 billion
7.DHI Mortgage Co.$2.7 billion
8.Rocket Mortgage$2.6 billion
9.loanDepot$2.5 billion
10.Movement Mortgage$2.3 billion

The list is quite a bit different, with Veterans United Home Loans easily taking the top spot, well ahead of USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union.

You’ll notice that Freedom Mortgage and UWM didn’t even make the list, but home builder D.R. Horton’s financing division DHI Mortgage did.

This makes sense because some lenders focus more on purchases, especially a home builder financing unit.

If you do buy a new home, be sure to compare options beyond the home builder’s financing department as well!

This is similar to checking out auto loan financing outside the dealership, which could be considerably better.

Top VA Refinance Lenders (IRRRL)

RankingCompany Name2020 Loan Volume
1.Freedom Mortgage$36.8 billion
2.Rocket Mortgage$18.2 billion
3.UWM$11.8 billion
4.Pennymac Loan Services$9.0 billion
5.Nationstar Mortgage$7.2 billion
6.Lakeview Loan Servicing$7.1 billion
7.Veterans United$5.9 billion
8.loanDepot$5.7 billion
9.Caliber Home Loans$5.4 billion
10.USAA$5.2 billion

If you already have a VA loan, the lenders above are the most likely to help you with a streamline refinance, also known as an IRRRL.

There is where Freedom Mortgage shines, and it’s basically all they do, accounting for more than 90% of their overall business.

You can thank the low mortgage rates that have been available for several years now. If and when they start going up, these lenders could take a big hit unless they pivot to purchase lending.

Assuming that happens, we could well have a new largest VA lender as a result.

Top VA Refinance Lenders (Cash Out)

RankingCompany Name2020 Loan Volume
1.Rocket Mortgage$6.0 billion
2.Navy Federal$3.1 billion
3.UWM$2.3 billion
4.loanDepot$2.1 billion
5.USAA$1.8 billion
6.Freedom Mortgage$1.5 billion
7.The Federal Savings Bank$1.4 billion
8.New Day Financial$1.3 billion
9.Veterans United$1.3 billion
10.Caliber Home Loans$1.1 billion

Last but not least, we have the top VA cash out lenders, those who help existing owners tap equity.

The nation’s number one lender overall, none other than Rocket Mortgage, topped this list.

And they did so by a large margin, basically doubling the volume of their nearest competitor, Navy Federal.

Next on the list was UWM, which managed decent volume through the wholesale channel only.

Aspiring #1 lender loanDepot came in fourth, followed by USAA and New Day Financial, which runs lots of commercials on TV under the NewDay USA brand.

Biggest Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Best

Now I’ve discussed some of the largest VA lenders out there, but size isn’t necessarily synonymous with the best service, or the lowest interest rates.

Just because a company does more business than another doesn’t mean they’re superior. It just means they either advertise a lot or have more resources available to them.

Of course, it’s possible to be the best as well if they happen to top the customer satisfaction rankings at the same time.

Be sure to put in the time to comparison shop by reading reviews for these lenders and others that didn’t make a top-10 list.

You may find that the best VA home loan lender is a local shop, small credit union, or even an individual mortgage broker that provides excellent customer service and product knowledge.

Remember, once your loan funds it doesn’t really matter who made it. And it will more than likely be transferred to a new loan servicer.

(Data source: VA.gov)

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