I just purchased my fico from equifax and have taken steps to improve my scores, now it is currently a 664 per equifax. I am hoping to go VA since I only have about three thousand in savings. Any advice on whether I should go directly to a bank for a loan or using local mortgage consultants with companies like Hunt, Nothnagle, Realty USA, etc... I want to do the least amount of work possible since I work a lot and do a lot of driving to worksites, etc... Also want to spend the least amount of money on actually getting the loan, ie fees, etc... Any advice?
Not really answering your question however, since your doing VA you must eligible for USAA and NFCU. With that said, they both have a thing now that if you use their program for finding a realtor they give you cash back. You don't need to finance through them either. Seems like a good deal and here's the link from NFCU on their program.
I am in a similar situation. Make sure you have a midscore of 640. I went ahead and did the Lending Tree thing. So far it is working out pretty well. I got in touch with the first lender that answered my Lending Tree app. He has been informative and helped me along the way. I was prequalified and made a bid on a short sale house. Just waiting to find out if bank agrees to offer then I can complete my loan process. Hopefully all goes well.
As info, I had my lender pull my Experian score since I did not know it and my Equifax was in te 640's. So I needed to make sure I had two scores above 640 before I went too far. Lucky for me my Experian was around 675.
The challenge with all loan products, but especially VA and FHA, is that all lenders are putting their own guidelines on top of VA and FHA guidelines. Mortgage brokers have several lenders to work with, and some offer less restrictive guidelines than others. With banks, they have their guidelines, and that is that.
My advice is to find a mortgage broker that has experience in VA lending, as in addition to the time and effort aspects you mentioned, it is important to make sure the loan is structured for the Veteran to take advantage of all the VA loan offers. This is a true "buyer's market" and VA loans offer several advantages Veterans need to capitalize upon.
Good luck and Thanks for Serving.