Does the VA set interest rates for VA loans (and the VA streamline program)?
No. The VA does not set or control interest rates for the VA loan programs. Further, the VA is not a lender, so they also do not lend you money. VA approved lenders are the ones who actually lend you the money and the interest rates for VA loans are not set as only one rate for everyone – each lender will have a different interest rate that is set by the market.

Does the VA streamline refinance program require a credit check and/or an appraisal?
The VA itself does not require an appraisal or credit check when doing a VA streamline, but that doesn’t mean that a lender will not require it. Requirements for appraisals and credit checks will vary by lender – which is just one more reason to shop around when thinking about getting a VA loan.

Do I have to use my current lender to do a VA streamline?
Many people hear about the VA streamline program through their current lender and assume that the only way to go through the program is through their current lender. False! With the VA streamline, you can use any VA approved lender – which is why it makes all the sense in the world to shop around for the best deal. You might be surprised to see how much you can save just by making a few phone calls or asking a few lenders for a quote.

Can I do a HARP refinance with the VA streamline
The HARP program (also commonly called an “Obama Refinance”) is for people who are currently in a loan that is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. In short, if you are in a VA loan you are not going to be eligible for HARP and if you are eligible for HARP then you aren’t going to be eligible for the VA streamline. Although the two programs are similar – they are not identical and each has its own guidelines.

Can I get cash back or cash out?
Generally speaking, no. The program is designed to help VA homeowners lower their rate with the least amount of paperwork possible and not to provide any cash back from the equity in their home. That said, occasionally there will be an overage when you go through the transaction and sometimes you may receive a small amount of money at closing or shortly after – but the amount shouldn’t be more than $500.

Does the VA streamline program require an appraisal?
Whether or not you will be required to get an appraisal depends on the lender you are working with. Some lenders will require an appraisal, some will not – which is just one of the reasons that you will want to shop around for the best deal possible. If you are in a situation where you owe more than your house is worth, then you will want to do a VA streamline without appraisal and find a lender who can help you get it done.