#240: Benefits Breakdown: Home Interest Rate Reduction Loans (IRRRL)

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Home interest rates are at historic lows and VA home loans offer lower rates than any other type of home loan. Navy Veteran John Bell, deputy director of VA's Loan Guaranty Service, joins Borne the Battle to break down VA’s Interest Rate Reduction and Refinance Loan (IRRRL), mortgage refinancing, VA home loans and how these benefits help Veterans stay in their homes.

Bell, a Gulf War Veteran, began his career in the mortgage industry working in the private sector. Before starting with VA, Bell most recently served as Vice President of VA Real Estate Management at Bank of America. He held other senior leadership positions at large lending institutions where he designed a portfolio retention strategy that is now an industry-leading model.

Bell started with VA in 2010. Before taking his current position, he served as the assistant director for Loan Policy and Valuation in VA's Loan Guaranty Service, where he helped reduce timelines for determining eligibility from 14 days to less than 48 hours.

Bell builds on his appearance in Borne the Battle's #150: Benefits Breakdown – 75th Anniversary of the VA Home Loan Program episode to answer key questions about VA home loans, refinancing, the current mortgage market and IRRRLs. He says VA Home Loan Guaranty services want to be the voice of the Veteran and aims to help Veterans buy and stay in the home of their dreams.

This episode answers these questions:

  • How quickly can a Veteran receive their certificate of eligibility for a VA Home Loan?
  • What are the pandemic and CARES Act doing to the mortgage market?
  • Why are Veterans receiving mailers about Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRRLs) and what are IRRRLs?
  • How do IRRRLs work and where do you start when seeking refinancing?
  • Why use IRRRLs now? What might be delaying an IRRRL right now?
  • How often can you refinance your mortgage?
  • What are important questions to ask your lender?
  • What fees are negotiable when closing on refinancing? What third party fees are involved?
  • Does VA require you to escrow?
  • What is the best way to shop for an effective rate and how do you avoid predatory lending?

Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:

Mentioned in this episode:

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