The Veteran Loan Program 2018 – Use Your Benefit
VA home loans remove many barriers to homeownership and allow eligible servicemembers and veterans to buy a home more easily. VA mortgage rates are lower than those of most other loan types. The VA loan is simply the best way to buy a home. Why? Because with a VA mortgage:
- No down payment is required.
- No mortgage insurance is required.
- You get a great interest rate.
- More lenient credit guidelines are available to you.
The VA home loan is an amazing benefit available only to current and former US armed forces service members who meet eligibility requirements. In 2018, the VA home loan will continue to be one of the most popular VA benefits.
Because VA home loans are backed by the federal government, VA-approved lenders can lend with greater flexibility. Your status as an eligible service member or Veteran lets you take advantage of this home buying benefit that is not available to just anyone
You’ve earned it, so complete this short one-minute form to use your VA home loan for your home purchase.
VA Home Loans Require No Down Payment, No Mortgage Insurance
VA home loans require zero down payment which significantly reduces out-of-pocket expenses. Qualified buyers can purchase a home costing up to $424,100 – or even higher with a VA jumbo loan – without a down payment.
Also, VA loans do not require mortgage insurance. Most other loan types require you to pay a significant amount each month to a private mortgage insurance company if you make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price. A VA loan eliminates that cost, freeing up that money for other expenses.
Current VA Home Loan Rates
VA mortgage rates are some of the lowest we’ve seen in years. It’s a great time to buy a home and take advantage of these low VA rates.
A low rate on your mortgage means you qualify for more house. Today’s lower home prices combined with low rates means you might qualify for the home you’ve always dreamed of.
VA Eligibility Service Requirements
There are several ways you may be eligible. General guidelines are that you have the following service history:
- 90 days in wartime while in active duty
- 181 days in peacetime while in active duty
- 2 years or the full time called if enlisted after 9/7/1980
- You were separated from service due to a service-connected disability
- You are an unmarried surviving spouse of a service member who was KIA/POW/MIA.
Additionally, eligibility may be established for those who have served in the Selected Reserves or National Guard, Public Health Service officers, cadets of the United States Military, Air Force, Coast Guard Academy, and others.
How Do I Know if I am Eligible?
The only way to be 100% sure that you are eligible to purchase a home with a VA loan is to receive a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. There are two ways to obtain your COE:
- Have your lender obtain your COE through VA’s eligibility website. Typically a loan officer can obtain your COE in just minutes, often without a DD-214 (if separated from service) and your Request for COE Form 26-1880, although sometimes these forms are needed. Calling a VA-approved lender is the quickest and easiest way to obtain your COE. Complete a short contact request form.
- You can order your COE by visiting VA’s eBenefits website. This process may take longer.
If you are an unmarried spouse of a veteran who was killed in action, you may be eligible for VA financing. You will need to complete Form 26-1817.
What Do I Need before I Contact a VA Lender?
For your initial call or contact request to a VA lender, you don’t need any documentation. Most of the initial information the lender will ask about, you already know.
The lender will request your COE, so they will need your service history information.
To get pre-approved, the VA loan officer will need information on your monthly income, the approximate amount in your checking and savings accounts, and a few other personal details. This is all part of the VA home loan qualification process. Our lenders are pre-screened and reputable, so your information is safe and secure.
What Types of Properties can I buy?
The VA home loan allows you to buy many types of properties:
- Single-family homes (non-connected)
- Two- to Four-unit homes
- Attached townhouses (VA approved projects only)
- Condominiums (VA approved projects only)
- Mobile Homes/Manufactured Homes (provided the home comes with land, is permanently affixed, and the structure is at least 20 feet wide and 700 square feet if a double-wide.)
- In some cases, you can buy land or a home in need of repairs, with the intent of constructing or repairing the home.
VA loans are only valid on a home that you plan to keep as your primary residence. They cannot be used to obtain a rental home, investment property, or second home. They can, however, be used to purchase a 2- to 4-unit property even if you live in one unit but rent out the rest.
Homes must also meet Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs), which are standards for the condition of the home. For an in-depth look at MPRs, see our blog post or contact one of our VA loan professionals.
I’m Ready to Take Advantage of my VA Home Loan Benefit
As an eligible veteran, you’ve earned the privilege of using a VA home loan, one of the best mortgage products available today. As a VA buyer, you have an advantage over most home buyers: you don’t need a down payment.
If you’re ready to proceed with buying your home with a VA home loan, call (866) 240-3742 to speak with a licensed lender who can answer any questions that you might have and who can help you find the lowest rate on a loan. The home of your dreams is made better with a great loan.