The VA home loan isn’t like other mortgage loans. It was created with military personnel and their families in mind, to help them achieve the dream of home ownership. And if you look at the story as told by the numbers, it appears to be working.
Currently, veteran homeownership far outpaces non-veteran homeownership, and the benefits of the VA loan program may be a big reason why. Whether the goal is buying, building, or refinancing a home, a VA loan could help you realize it.
But, how do you know if a VA loan is right for you?
First step, find out if you’re eligible.
Here’s the short of it: If you’re a veteran, active-duty personnel, reservist, National Guard member or, in some cases, a surviving spouse, you could be eligible for a VA loan.
In fact, most military personnel are eligible for this program. However, there are a few additional boxes you need to check in order to meet eligibility requirements.
- If you’re no longer in service, you must have been discharged from your service under conditions other than dishonorable.
- For veterans, there is a minimum active duty service requirement, which is typically between 90 and 181 days of service.
- If you’re a National Guard or Reserve member, you must have at least six years of service (unless you served in the Gulf War).
- Surviving spouses lose eligibility if they remarry before age 57 or if they are living with a person who has been recognized publicly as their spouse.
Don’t think you meet the minimum requirements? Keep reading! The VA loan program offers flexibility on many of these requirements, so you may still be eligible. Click here to get a better understanding.
What Makes a VA Loan Better?
Now that we’ve covered the Who, it’s time to understand the Why of VA loans. There’s an extensive list of benefits through this program, making home ownership more attainable for millions of military personnel and their families.
With a VA loan, you can enjoy:
- No down payment, as long as the sales price doesn’t exceed the appraised value.
- Flexibility on closing costs, including a capped limit on fees, as well as seller-paid closing costs.
- No pre-payment penalties.
- In many cases, a lower interest rate than traditional mortgages.
- An assumable mortgage (i.e., if you decide to sell your home, the buyer will be able to take on the mortgage as long as they’re approved).
And, as a bonus, if you’re a current VA loan borrower, you can even enjoy a streamlined refinance process with minimal documentation.
How do I apply for a VA loan?
The process of obtaining a VA loan is a bit different than acquiring a conventional one. Here’s what you can expect along the way:
- Get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) – This document proves that you’re qualified for a VA loan. You can get it right through your lender, but if you don’t already have one, ditech can help.
- Get pre-qualified – Your lender will check your credit score and other financial records to see how much loan you can afford.
- Find a home to buy – That’s what it’s all about, right?
- Apply for your VA loan – Work with your lender to complete the final application. You’ll need to gather some important documents, such as paystubs and bank statements.
- Close on your VA loan – This is the final step, where you’ll sign your VA mortgage note, complete the process, and walk away with the keys to your new home!
Ready to get started? We can help with that. Find a Home Loan Specialist today or call 1-800-700-9212.