Understanding the VA Streamline Refinance

Samantha Gustafson Samantha Gustafson / Published Jan 1, 2016, 12:00 PM / Modified Aug 16, 2021, 12:16 PM

The VA Streamline Refinance (or IRRRL) loan is the VA’s simplest loan to use. It’s available to those who already have a VA loan and want to refinance it for a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments. It’s fast and easy to use because you can qualify:

  • With no verification of income or bank account information
    • Using paperwork from your home purchase or previous refinance
    • Even if you have a poor credit score


A VA Streamline Refinance can cost you very little. This type of loan has a lower funding fee than regular VA loans. Plus, the funding fee and other closing costs can be added to the loan amount.

Top Reasons to Use a VA Streamline Refinance

The top reason to get a VA Streamline Refinance is that it can save you money with a lower interest rate. Besides that:

  • It doesn’t require a home appraisal
    • There are no loan-to-value limits (“underwater” homes can be eligible)
    • You can close on the loan within 10 days sometimes
    • You may be able to skip a month or two of mortgage payments while your loan is closing
    • You might not pay any out-of-pocket expenses
    • You can lower the number of years for repayment, saving you interest in the long-term
    • You can switch from an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) to a Fixed Rate
    • You can switch from a Fixed Rate to a Hybrid ARM to lower your payments
    • You’ll skip the usual underwriting process
    • Your lender won’t call your employer

Understanding the Rules

The rules are different for a VA Streamline Refinance loan. Here are a few rules that stand out:

  • No Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is required
    • The loan must give you a tangible benefit, such as a lower monthly payment
    • You can’t currently be more than a month late on your existing mortgage or have more than one such late payment in the last year
    • You can’t get cash out
    • A Streamline has a funding fee of 0.5%
    • If you have a second mortgage, your mortgage holder has to subordinate it to the Streamline loan

Click here to enlarge infographic

How Do You Get Started with a VA Streamline Refinance?

When you apply for a VA Streamline Refinance, you’ll need to turn in a few documents. Your lender will need:

  • Your completed application or information sheets
    • A completed Borrower’s Authorization form
    • Your mortgage note
    • A current mortgage statement
    • Your homeowners insurance information
    • Proof of your Social Security number and date of birth

In some cases, you might also need to supply these documents or items:

  • A property survey, if you live in Texas, Florida, or Ohio
    • Other documents required by your state
    • A homeowners association (HOA) statement
    • A letter showing your retirement or award income
    • A utility bill
    • A non-participating spouse’s full legal name

Using a Streamline Refinance – What’s the Maximum You Can Get?

The VA requires that your lender gets you a “net tangible benefit” from your VA Streamline Refinance loan, such as a lower monthly payment or some other benefit.

The dollar amount you can get is based on the amount you owe on your current VA loan. You can also add:

  • $6,000 to the loan for energy efficiency upgrades
    • Discount points
    • Some fees and charges
    • The VA funding fee

Then, your lender will calculate if your improved interest rate can lower your monthly payments, and you can make your final decision.

You can learn more about VA Streamline Refinance loans from Low VA Rates. To get a quote started, you can use our easy online application system.