How Soon Do I Refinance?

Many VA borrowers decide they want to refinance their loans, and some choose to do so sooner rather than later. The motivations for this can vary but any borrower with an adjustable rate mortgage might want to explore the possibilities of refinancing before the introductory interest rate period ends and a new, higher mortgage rate kicks in on the loan.

But how soon until a borrower is permitted to refinance a VA mortgage?

The rules for refinancing are found in VA Pamphlet 26-7 Chapter Six. There are many requirements that affect VA refinancing loans found in this chapter, but the lender is allowed to exercise discretion in terms of approving refinance loans on mortgages that aren’t very old.

For example, your lender may have a minimum waiting time of six months---you may be required to make at least six mortgage payments before you can be permitted to complete a refinance loan application.

This goes hand-in-hand with other minimum requirements and regulations. For example, an appraisal may be valid and considered effective for six months, but for any “appraisal required” refinance loan application the borrower will need to pay for a brand new appraisal in any case. The appraisal used to purchase the home with can’t be re-used a second time.

The lender’s standards dictate how long you may have to wait before refinancing a recent VA mortgage loan, but if your loan is a year old or more chances are good there will be no “seasoning period”. Each lender’s standards vary, so it’s impossible to tell how long you would be required to wait on a brand new VA purchase loan--you would need to speak to that financial institution to know what’s required.

One thing that’s important to remember about refinancing a VA loan:
You are not tied to the original lender for the refinancing loan. You can shop around for a new lender, and find one that meets your needs in terms of minimum required waiting periods and other rules. Shopping around for a lender will give you a good idea of what general VA loan terms and conditions might be available to you.

Once you decide on the right lender, the key is to discuss your specific needs with the loan officer to make sure you apply for the right refinancing loan package for you.

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