Is a VA Loan Right for You? – Q & A

At the end of World War II, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act was passed to give returning veterans the financial support they needed to ease back into civilian life. One of the most important parts of the act was the VA loan program, which has made it possible for millions of veterans to become home owners.

VA Loan Perks

VA loans offer a number of unique benefits. These help veterans qualify for mortgages that they may not have on the regular market, and to get mortgages in areas where funding is hard to come by. Some perks provided by the loans:

  • There’s no need to take out private mortgage insurance on loans up to 103.15% on a first mortgage and 20% of the value of the house on a second one. This means that more of the monthly payment goes toward the principal, so, a larger loan is possible with the same payment per month.
  • While the maximum loan guarantee varies by county, a VA loan can be made with no down payment on mortgages up to $625,000. In certain high-cost areas, there are allowances for loans a little over a million.
  • Sellers are permitted to pay all of a veteran’s closing costs. This can be of great value to those who do not have the money up-front for those fees, which add up to thousands of dollars.
  • Veterans who receive at least 10% VA disability can have all funding fees waived. And, if a disability determination is in progress at the time of the loan, any fees can be refunded after the fact if the vet qualifies.
  • The loans can be used to build, buy or improve a home.

Who Qualifies

Since the program began, the VA has guaranteed over 20 million loans for veterans. The loans are granted to eligible military personnel, or their surviving spouses, as long as the spouse has not remarried. Some of the qualifications include:

  • Usually, a credit score of at least 620. While the VA itself has no credit score requirements, this is usually the minimum that the lender will allow.
  • Depending on the time of your service, you’ll have to meet certain active duty requirements. If you are currently on active duty, you’ll need 90 continuous days of service. If you are a veteran, you’ll need to have served your full active duty time and have an honorable discharge.
  • If you are a Reserve member or a member of the National Guard, you can qualify for a VA loan if you had 90 days of active service and spent at least six years in the National Guard or Selected Reserve.

Talk to lenders to find out if you are eligible for a VA loan. The many advantages of these loans can make all the difference in achieving your dreams of owning a home.