In 1998 I bought an older home in Tennessee on more than 20 acres. I lived in the house until 2003 and then bought a doublewide through the same lender and put it on my land. I tried to refinance from a 30-year fixed to 15-year fixed this year and the lender would not do it because I’m living in the doublewide and not in the house. Can I get a VA approved loan? I did use the VA approved loan on active duty in 1985. I have never been late with a house payment, and my credit is around 785. I owe less than $1,000,000 on my mortgage and do not have a second mortgage. I too am a retired E-8 of 28 years. -Herbert


Thanks for your service and your question. You may be able to refinance your non-VA loan to a VA loan. However, you’ll have to certify your intent to occupy the property to qualify for the VA loan. We’re just not sure how that would work in your particular circumstance. What does "occupy" really mean? Our best advice is to talk with a number of different lenders and get their input and guidance.

Our other thought was given that you’re at roughly the 10-year mark on your mortgage and the shift from a 30-year to a 15-year would likely result in a similar principal and interest payment as you have now. If you were to throw in a couple hundred extra dollars toward principal each payment, you’d probably end up finishing up at the same time while saving the closing costs on the refinance. Sorry we couldn’t be more definitive, but we think you should expand your search beyond your original lender. Consider giving the folks at USAA a call at 877-699-2654.