How Long do VA Streamline Loans take?
This is a fairly common question that we get about streamline refinances. Often, borrowers interested in a streamline refinance are interested in getting it done as quickly as possible. In cases where the borrower is getting an IRRRL to lower their monthly payment to something manageable, getting a refinance finished quickly can make the difference between becoming delinquent on the loan and staying current. Obviously, one can expect a streamline to be faster than a standard refinance, else what’s the point of having a streamline option. So how fast is a streamline? Each loan is different, but here are some time frames to get you in the ballpark.
The rule of thumb for the length of time it takes to get an IRRRL is 30 days. In other words, if you give yourself 30 days to complete an IRRRL, you’re probably safe. That being said, streamlines can be done in as little as 10 days. IRRRLs can be completed so much faster than normal refinances because there is no requirement to have a VA appraisal done on the home, and there is no need to verify income, employment, or assets of the borrower in order to get approved. Simplifying the underwriting process makes the loan process much faster than otherwise. Just because IRRRLs can be completed in 10 days, however, does not necessarily mean that your IRRRL can be completed that quickly. For answers that are specific to your exact circumstance, speak with a VA-approved loan officer and ask how long it will take. For information on common things that can affect the time it takes to close an IRRRL, continue reading this blog post.
Of the things that affect the time it takes to get approval, some of them you have direct control over, and some you do not. The single most common reason that IRRRLs take longer than they have to is the borrower not providing the information and documents the lender requests in good time. If it takes you three days to get back with the lender after they’ve requested a document, then you just added three days to how long it will take before approval. When you’re first speaking on the phone with a loan officer to schedule an appointment, ask him or her what documents you should bring with you. Write down a list of every document they tell you. Then ask him or her what other documents are likely to be needed during the process. If you can, bring those to the initial meeting as well. Otherwise, find a way to scan them onto a computer (if they’re not already electronic), then put all of the documents on a thumb drive and carry the thumb drive with you until the loan closes. That way, when your loan officer calls or emails you asking for one of those documents, you can plug your thumb drive into the nearest computer and email them to him or her immediately.
There are other things that you don’t have direct control over. For example, if you’re trying to get an IRRRL to refinance a delinquent loan, if it can be done at all, it will most likely have to be sent to the VA for prior approval before the loan officer can close on it with you. Most IRRRLs do not need to be sent to the VA for prior approval, but in cases where the existing loan is delinquent, or in cases where the obligors on the loan are changing (adding a spouse, removing an ex-spouse, etc.) the IRRRL may have to go to the VA for prior approval before the lender can close on it. In other cases where obligors have changed, an IRRRL may not be possible at all. Consult with a VA loan officer to find out if you can get an IRRRL for your VA loan.
In most cases, if the borrower is prompt with getting the documents and information to the lender, an IRRRL can be completed very quickly. The best way to find out exactly how long your IRRRL will take is to speak with a VA loan officer and explain your specific situation.