30-Year Fixed VA Mortgage Rates

Aug 29, 2022 | Mortgage Guides

Secure Your Future: Current Rates for 30-Year Fixed VA Mortgages

Buying a home can be complicated because one must understand mortgages, credit scores, and loan eligibility. However, military veterans and active-duty personnel have the advantage of using VA loans when canvassing homes—especially if they’re looking for longer terms, like 30-year loans.

But how do these loans work, and what can you expect from 30-year fixed VA rates? This guide outlines the basics of VA loans, how they affect your mortgage rate, and how rates are calculated on a per-case basis.

Start Your Homebuying Journey Today with Wesley Mortgage

VA Loans Explained

The VA home and business loan program is guaranteed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) but issued by private lenders like banks, credit unions, or mortgage companies. This home loan option aims to help US veterans, active duty service members, and even surviving military spouses purchase a primary residence with low interest rates and attractive payment terms.

‍VA loans were established in 1944’s GI Bill of Rights, and many veterans continue to reap the benefits. In fact, veterans have a homeownership rate of 76% versus 62% of the non-veteran population. ‍

But how do these mortgage loan options work, and can anyone with a military affiliation apply for one? Read on to find out. ‍

How VA Mortgages Work

The VA home loan guaranty covers VA mortgages. Unlike an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), lenders are protected from loss if a buyer defaults on their payment, making them more likely to offer attractive interest rates for qualified buyers. However, several factors can still influence the final interest rate despite being a VA-backed mortgage. 

Regardless, the VA home loan guaranty doesn’t just cover first-time buyers. As long as the property will be your family’s primary residence, the guaranty can cover repairs, alterations, or major renovations. On top of low mortgage interest rates under ideal circumstances, qualified military service personnel may also find that lenders won’t request a down payment. ‍

VA Loan Eligibility Requirements

Because VA loan rates are so attractive, the requirements for the application are specific. A borrower qualifies for a VA mortgage if they fulfill the following eligibility guidelines: 

  • They are active-duty service members or honorably discharged veterans who have served more than 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime or 181 days during peacetime.
  • They have served in the National Guard or Selected Reserve for over six years.
  • They are the spouse of a service member who died while on duty. This only applies if you have not remarried before the age of 57 or if you remarried before December 16th, 2003. Spouses of prisoners of war or missing service members can also apply.
  • They meet the lender’s minimum credit score requirements. While the VA has no minimum credit score, your loan officer needs this information to evaluate your VA mortgage. 
  • The property being purchased meets safety standards and building codes. 

A borrower interested in applying must also present a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This can be obtained directly from the VA, their website, or through a bank or lender. ‍

VA Mortgage Pros

Whether you’re applying for a 30-year VA loan or a 15-year VA loan, you enjoy the same benefits. Below are the most relevant advantages of having a VA loan:

  • No down payment: A VA loan is one of the few remaining loans to get you a zero-down home today. In addition, the barrier to your mortgage is low.
  • Competitive interest rate: Another benefit is that 30-year VA loans are cheaper than 30-year FHA and conventional mortgages.
  • No maximum base loan amount: One of the best things about VA mortgage loans is that the sky’s the limit for your base loan amount. However, the VA will cover a portion—in 2020, it was $548,250 for single-family homes—but this is subject to change without notice.
  • No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Because VA covers part of your purchase loan, you don’t have to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance. Private mortgage insurance payments can account for thousands of dollars in your monthly payment. 
  • No definite credit score requirements: Student loans, credit cards, and more can affect your credit score, impacting your eligibility for a conventional mortgage. However, unlike conventional loans, VA loans don’t require good credit. 
  • Assistance for struggling borrowers: The VA offers services for borrowers struggling to pay off their mortgages. This happens through a third-party agent negotiating the mortgage rate on your behalf.
  • Limited additional costs: When securing a mortgage, you must pay real estate agents and the loan’s closing costs. VA loan options limit closing fees to 1% of the total loan versus 2-5% closing fees on traditional loans.‍

VA Mortgage Cons

Every loan type has shortcomings, and your VA loan is no exception. The following are the main disadvantages of buying a VA loan.

  • Zero down payment can be precarious: Having a zero down payment means you’re borrowing the total value of your property. As a result, you have no home equity – leaving you more vulnerable in a declining real estate market. However, asking your lender for a rate lock can protect you from a surge in interest rates. 
  • VA funding fee is paid out-of-pocket: When you take out a VA loan, you must settle the funding fee. Rates on these payments range from 1.25% to 3.3% of the total loan. While this may sound paltry, expect to pay thousands if your mortgage is worth more than $300,000. These fees are integrated into monthly payments, which can inflate interest rates. 
  • Low VA mortgage rates can be deceptive: A 30-year fixed VA mortgage rate is lower than a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. However, both cost more than 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Extended payment periods mean more money is put toward the interest rate.
  • You can’t buy investment properties or vacation homes: Because of how your VA loan is structured, you’re not allowed to buy a second property. However, you can use it to buy another house if you’ve paid off your loans and sold the first property. ‍

30-Year VA Loan Mortgage Rates: How Are They Decided?

While there’s no definitive answer to suit all buyers, a few things can impact your mortgage rates. This section addresses some of the most common factors that affect your rates. ‍

Your Credit Score

Your rates are based on various factors, but the credit score is the primary consideration in most cases. A credit score represents payment history, credit cards, and other loans – which lets lenders know how likely you are to make each monthly payment.

While borrowers taking advantage of VA loan rates, don’t have a minimum credit score requirement, having a low credit rating can still increase your rates because individual lenders have specific credit standards that can influence final mortgage rates. Other similar factors include your debt-to-income ratio and loan-to-value ratio.‍

Interest Rate

One of the determining factors is your quoted interest rate, especially for a VA loan. While having a VA loan means you’re entitled to better mortgage rates, the VA doesn’t set these rates. Instead, the lender decides your VA loan rates, which broadens the range of how much you’ll have to borrow. 

Mortgage rates are subject to change because they’re determined by bond market health. VA loan rates can fluctuate several times within a day, and two lenders can provide different rates. Ask for mortgage quotes for your credit rating without considering discount points.

Alternatively, if you find a deal with an excellent quoted rate, you can always ask for a rate lock. However, this may cost you in the long term. 

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

VA loan rates aren’t always representative of how much you’ll pay on your 30-year fixed mortgage – that’s where the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) comes in. But how does an APR differ from your interest rate? 

The interest on your 30-year fixed-rate mortgage tells you how much you pay each year. However, it doesn’t consider additional fees (like discount points) that must be settled to maintain your mortgage. In contrast, your APR reflects a broader spectrum of costs. That’s why your APR can be helpful when comparison shopping.

You receive the APR for a specific mortgage when you ask for a quote. Each APR includes your interest rate plus all additional costs, such as the below list:

  • Origination fees and costs
  • Closing real estate agent fees
  • Discount points
  • Other transaction-specific fees ‍

Loan-Specific Details

Loan-specific details like the price of the house you’re trying to buy and your chosen term length also have a role in determining your loan amount. More expensive homes require larger loans, which lenders might find risky. This may result in a higher interest rate and a more expensive mortgage. 

Term length also plays a large part in your mortgage rates. Shorter-term loans, like those with a 15-year fixed rate, have lower interest rates and overall costs in exchange for higher monthly payments. Conversely, veterans who are settled on longer, 30-year fixed-rate loans pay less monthly, but a higher mortgage rate may apply. ‍

Location

Lenders may offer a different interest rate depending on the state, which also applies to VA mortgage rates. Use a VA Loan Rates Comparison tool to get the most accurate interest rate for your circumstances. You must input your loan type, ZIP code, purchase price, down payment, credit rating, and term length for an accurate estimation. 

Note that state-specific considerations may apply to local lenders. While an estimation accurately represents your potential mortgage rate, we recommend shopping around for a better idea of the rates available per loan type. 

30-Year Fixed VA Mortgage Rates | Wesley Mortgage

How to Calculate VA Loan Interest Rates

According to Bankrate’s latest survey of mortgage lenders, as of May 2023, the national average interest rate for a 30-year VA mortgage is 6.65%, and the national average interest rate for a 30-year fixed refinance is 6.75%. 

The slightest change in an interest rate can result in drastic fluxes to one’s monthly mortgage payments. To see how much of a difference the interest rate can make, utilize the Wesley Mortgage online mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments and amortization schedule on a VA loan. These tools provide customized data based on your details so that you can see different outcomes based on the interest rates. It also accounts for the mortgage amount, term period, insurance, and taxes. 

How Does a 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Compare to a 15-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate?

Understanding which loan options are available is part of getting the most out of your VA-backed mortgage rate. 30-year mortgages may seem attractive because of their more forgiving payment terms, but how do their rates measure up against shorter loan terms, like 15-year fixed loans? 

Unlike “conventional” or non-government loan options, VA mortgages don’t have a down payment, so you don’t have home equity at the start. The amount you pay depends on the housing market, your perceived risk as a buyer, plus how long you have left to spend. 

‍30-year mortgages have higher interest rates but lower monthly payments. On the other hand, 15-year fixed mortgages have lower interest rates but higher monthly payments. While the difference can be as small as 0.5% of your loan, it can add up over the years. 

‍Therefore, longer plans are an excellent choice for people who want lower monthly payments, but 15-year mortgages cost less in the long run. The best option depends on your financial circumstances. ‍

‍Frequently Asked Questions​​​​

What is the maximum loan term for a VA mortgage?

The longest possible duration for a VA home loan is 30 years and 32 days; however, when evaluated by an appraiser, the loan must not exceed the expected lifetime of the asset.

What is the maximum loan amount for a VA mortgage?

The loan limits of VA purchase loans determine the specific amounts veterans with limited eligibility can draw upon without incorporating a down payment. These amounts differ per location, but as of 2023, they currently range anywhere from $726,200 to $1,089,300.

Is there a prepayment penalty for a 30-year fixed VA mortgage?

Unlike other home loans, VA loans do not incur any fines for early repayment, such as prepayment penalties. Interest payments may be lowered by paying off the loan before being scheduled or by increasing the size of the initial deposit.

Bottom Line

With its zero down payment policy and lax credit requirement, buying a home with VA-backed loans can be a game-changer for many veterans and military spouses. 30-year mortgages, in particular, can soften the financial blow of monthly payments. However, every mortgage differs, and each lender has terms that may affect your payment plan. 

That’s why we recommend connecting with experts who can help you get the best rates, regardless of the term length. Contact Wesley Mortgage if you have questions or concerns regarding your homeownership experience, and find out how we can help you achieve your life goals.

Start Your Homebuying Journey Today with Wesley Mortgage

View Floor Plans and Get Prequalified For A Home Today

Brian/DestinyHomes

First Name(Required)
Last Name(Required)

View Floor Plans and Get Prequalified For A Home Today

Dalton/Ardent

First Name(Required)
Last Name(Required)

View Floor Plans and Get Prequalified For A Home Today

Emily/Parkside Form

First Name(Required)
Last Name(Required)

View Floor Plans and Get Prequalified For A Home Today

Samantha/SmithDouglas

First Name(Required)
Last Name(Required)

View Floor Plans and Get Prequalified For A Home Today

Brittney/SignatureHomes

First Name(Required)
Last Name(Required)