USAA Bank mortgage review
finder.com’s rating: 3.5 / 5.0
Custom loans for current and former military members and their families.
USAA serves military members and their families with a diverse arsenal of mortgage options. But customer reviews have fallen in the last few years.
What types of loans does USAA offer?
USAA offers several home loan options, specializing in VA loans. You can apply for the following types of mortgages if you’re a member of USAA:
USAA offers both 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages.
USAA offers jumbo loans of up to $3 million. You can choose from a conventional or VA jumbo loan.
USAA advertises this loan option as an alternative to an FHA loan. It’s available with as little as 3% down to qualifying homebuyers who haven’t owned a home in the last three years.
USAA focuses on VA loans, offering conventional and jumbo VA loans to active duty military, veterans and certain spouses.
Other loan types
- Refinance. Qualifying homeowners can refinance their current loans with USAA to get lower rates or a different term.
- Vacation or investment homes. USAA offers mortgages to buy or refinance vacation or investment homes.
USAA doesn’t charge underwriting, documentation or application fees. It also doesn’t charge prepayment penalties, meaning that you can pay off your loan early without any fines or fees.
But you will be responsible for a 1% origination fee on your mortgage.
The number one requirement to qualify for a loan with USAA is membership in the organization. In order join USAA, you must be:
- Currently serving in the US Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, National Guard or Reserves.
- Former military who have retired or separated from the US military with an honorable discharge.
- Family, including widows, widowers and un-remarried former spouses of USAA members who had USAA auto or property insurance while married and individuals whose parents have or had USAA auto or property insurance.
- Cadets or midshipmen at US service academies, in advanced ROTC or on ROTC scholarship, plus officer candidates within 24 months of commissioning.
Financial factors that USAA considers when determining if you qualify for a loan include debt-to-income ratio, income and a minimum credit score of 620.
VA loan requirements
To be eligible for a VA loan, you must have served a minimum of 90 days during wartime, 181 days in peacetime or six years in the National Guard or Reserves. These loans are also open to surviving spouses.
Be prepared to supply:
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
- Income statements, such as pay stubs or award letters.
- Other supporting documents as requested.
How to get a home loan with USAA
- Get prequalified in minutes. Tell USAA about your finances and where you want to move. They’ll check your credit to reduce the chance of getting denied later, and you’ll get a shopping letter that might help with seller negotiations.
- Work with a network agent. If you choose an experienced agent through USAA’s Real Estate Rewards Network, you could get a $350 to $24,000 reward after closing, based on the sale price of your home. The average reward is $1,228 — more if you both buy and sell.
- Apply for your mortgage. Once you find a home, your loan officer will help you complete a mortgage application. You’ll need income statements, current bank statements and other supporting documents.
- Wait for approval. USAA takes two to three weeks to confirm required documents and a clear title for your home, sending status updates of your application’s progress.
- Get the keys to your new home. When your paperwork is approved, you’re ready to close. Bring along your government-issued ID and a cashier’s check for your closing costs and down payment.
USAA bank reviews and complaints
USAA home mortgages is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where it earns a B- rating. And with more than 430 reviews left on the site, it earns just over 1/5 stars. Customers complain of paperwork beyond what they expected and poor communication and transparency.
On Trustpilot, USAA gets 2/5 stars, with some customers praising its excellent customer service and low fees while others complain of fraudulent account activity and higher APRs than promised. Though these reviews are for USAA as a whole, and not necessarily its mortgage products.
For unfiltered feedback, check out USAA’s Member Community online. USAA responds to most inquiries on the forum, even forwarding negative reviews to more senior departments to sort out any issues.
Pros and cons of USAA
- Solid customer service. USAA gets strong reviews from its customers.
- Specialized help for military members. USAA offers VA loans, insurance, investments and bank accounts to qualifying military members, veterans and family.
- Simplified mortgage process. A streamlined process makes home buying less stressful.
- Members only. Loans with USAA are only available to former and current members of the military and their families.
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What is USAA?
Founded in 1922, USAA offers loans, banking products, investments and insurance to the military and their families.
But customer reviews of the bank have been falling recently. While it was once praised for its customer service, it now gets 2/5 stars on Trustpilot and just over 1/5 stars from the BBB.
Frequently asked questions
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Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.
USAA mortgages are good for first-time homebuyers. Even if you don’t qualify for a VA or FHA loan, its first-time homebuyers program offers down payments as low as 3% down for buyers who haven’t owned a home in the last three years.