VA refinance

The IRRRL: A Question About VA Refinancing Loans

October 12, 2012

The IRRRL: A Question About VA Refinancing Loans

A reader asks, “I am a veteran. When I married, I moved into my new wife’s home. She currently has a mortgage and is wanting to refinance. Is it possible for me to apply for a VA loan? Will she also be on the loan as a co-borrower or do I need to qualify for the loan on my own?”

VA loan rules on refinance loan applications state, “Generally, the party(ies) obligated on the original loan must be the same on the new loan (and the veteran must still own the property). The lender should contact VA regarding a proposed IRRRL involving a change in obligors unless the acceptability of the IRRRL is clear.  Sample cases are provided in the table in this subsection.”

This rule–which specifically addresses VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans–seems generally aimed at situations where the veteran owns the property but there’s a change in who else is obligated on the loan. A situation where the borrower does not own the property to begin with isn’t specifically discussed in the following table for VA IRRRLs:

In spite of the reader’s circumstances not being listed in the IRRRL table above, it should be possible for the veteran and spouse to apply for a VA refinancing loan together for their home. VA loans with spouses aren’t considered “joint loans” where a vet and non-vet apply together. VA Joint loans between non veterans and veterans are only guaranteed for the veteran’s portion of the mortgage. In the case of two spouses applying together, the non-military spouse is treated no differently than the veteran because of the marriage.

Do you have questions about VA home loans? Ask us in the comments section.


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