I'll start of by saying I'm a proud USAA member for my home and auto insurance. They have always provided me top-notch service. However, USAA insurance and USAA bank are two seperate entities, and my recent experience has proven they could not be more different in their level of quality and service.
I decided to contact USAA bank to fnd out if I could get pre-approved to buy a home. I had experienced a short sale within the last 3 years, and I had heard that it took that long before you could consider buying another home. At first USAA Bank was helpful, they ran my credit and quickly told me that I was good to go. It was downhill from there.
After talking to my realtor, I was told I needed a Pre-Approval letter, and what USAA Bank had provided me was only a Pre-Qualification letter. So I went back to my USAA Loan Officer, who informed me that USAA Bank has a policy about not providing Pre-Approval letters until an actual offer has been made and agreed upon (at that point it isn't a pre-approval, but an actual approval letter.) I've since talked to other banks, and they don't restrict the issuance of Pre-Approval letters like USAA Bank does. This puts me at a distinct disadvantage in a very competitive housing market.
But it gets better. After having talked with another bank they told me I can only be approved for an FHA type loan because I had a short sale within the last 3 years. I went back to my USAA Loan Officer, who said USAA doesn't do FHA loans, and that the underwriters might catch that the second time through. (Hmmm...maybe if they'd have processed a Pre-Approval letter they would have scrutinized it better.) So now I'm haivng to start all over with a different bank to get an FHA loan pre-approved because I have no confidence that USAA Bank will actually approve me for a loan, meanwhile I've lost another week of effecting home hunting in an extreemely competitive market.
Overall this experience has left me sorely dissapointed with USAA Bank, and it has put the first major blemish in my experience with USAA overall. For any other USAA members out there considering using USAA Bank for mortgages, I would advise that you don't. Stick with USAA for insurance, and leave the banking to a different organization that actually knows what they are doing.
We regret any frustration this matter has caused. USAA is committed to providing our members with products and services that best suit their needs. We are continuously looking to improve the products and services we offer our members. Your feedback has been notated for review and consideration of future product enhancements.
We hope you will consider USAA for your future real estate needs. Thank you. -Gus