Most veterans don’t know about this valuable home buying benefit


Sarah Sharkey
Military VA Loan contributor

A key advantage of the VA loan is that eligible homebuyers can make a home purchase without a down payment requirement. But surprisingly, only 3 out of 10 veterans know that they can get a VA loan to purchase a home without a down payment.

Let’s explore what this surprising statistic means for veterans and how you can use the VA loan to your advantage.

Check your VA home buying eligibility. Start here (Jun 23rd, 2024)

Most veterans don’t know about the VA loan’s down payment requirement

According to a recent survey by Veterans United, only three in ten veterans reported knowing they can use the VA loan to purchase a home without a down payment. That equates to thousands of veterans who might be missing out on the opportunity to purchase a home.

VA borrowers can purchase a home without a down payment

A down payment can be a major hurdle for prospective home buyers. After all, many would-be homeowners face a big challenge in saving up thousands of dollars for a down payment on a home loan.

Veterans and active-duty service members who qualify for the VA loan don’t have to wait to save for a down payment. Instead, veterans can get a loan with zero down payment. And that’s just one benefit of the VA loan, which also offers limited closing costs and relatively low interest rates.

Check your VA home buying eligibility. Start here (Jun 23rd, 2024)

VA home loan statistics

It’s undeniably surprising that many veterans are unaware of the many benefits that the VA home loan, backed by the Department of Veteran Affairs, has to offer. While thousands of veterans might not know about zero down payment requirement, many veterans can take advantage of the opportunity

For example, nearly 9 out of 10 VA home loan borrowers finalized their home purchase with less than 10 percent down. According to Realtor.com, the average down payment percentage for a VA loan was 2.7 percent of the home’s purchase price, which is significantly lower than the average down payment percentage of 19.1 percent for conforming loans.

VA home loan benefits 2024

The zero down payment requirement is a big deal for military home buyers. However, that’s not the only benefit offered through the VA loan loan. Other benefits include:

  • More flexible credit score requirements: The VA itself doesn’t set a minimum credit score requirement. While the VA lender will set its own qualifying minimums, military borrowers are free to shop around and find a lender willing to work with them.
  • More affordable monthly payments: Competitive interest rates and no PMI requirements often help VA home loan borrowers access lower monthly payments. The amount you can save varies based on your unique situation.

A combination of factors makes homeownership more attainable for eligible veterans. And the far-reaching benefits of a VA loan have big consequences for homeownership. According to Realtor.com, the homeownership rate for veteran households nationwide was 79.9 percent in 2021. That’s 16.2 percent higher than the homeownership rates in non-veteran households.

The bottom line: VA loans can be a great deal for military borrowers

A VA home loan is stacked with benefits for prospective homeowners. If you are a veteran or military member considering homeownership, take a close look at what the VA loan has to offer. Not only can it help bypass the need for a large down payment, but you might also benefit from the flexible credit score requirements and competitive interest rates.

Check your VA home buying eligibility. Start here (Jun 23rd, 2024)