In 2020, there was more than $375 billion in funding secured through VA loans.
Buying a house is a stressful process any consumer can go through. Luckily for current and former US military veterans, there is the VA loan.
With the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) help, there are other low-cost mortgage options for qualifying active military or veteran families. VA purchase loans are available across the country to qualified buyers.
First introduced as part of the GI Bill, VA loans have grown exponentially in popularity as of late. They are especially popular with younger generations who tend to look for non-traditional financing to purchase homes.
There are also non-monetary benefits to using this route for securing a home loan. For example, the VA will sometimes vet new communities before the buyer moves in. This way, they can determine if the community is suitable for veterans with disabilities.
Whether it be a VA purchase loan or a refinance, there are various benefits to the VA mortgage. Keep reading to learn more about these loans and who can qualify.
VA loans are mortgages provided to veterans and active-duty service members who meet specific qualifications. It can sometimes apply to widowed military spouses.
The loans are originated by private lenders and are government-backed through the VA. The veteran pays an upfront “funding fee” as part of the loan, which reduces risk, and lenders can offer more favorable terms than many other traditional mortgages.
There are various types of VA loans:
The VA purchase loan is a VA loan to buy a home that is new to the buyer.
It does not require a down payment and has no cap on the loan amount of the home. Though, individual lenders may still place a limit on how much they will approve buyers for.
These loans are less common, as they only apply to a small percentage of the population—Native American veterans. NADL funds help those who qualify to purchase, build, renovate, or refinance a home that sits on federal trust land.
Veterans and current service members can also seek VA loans for rehab or renovations. These loans cover the costs of home improvements on an existing home.
This option is also known as “VA Streamline Refinance.”
Using an IRRRL is a great way for qualifying service members to refinance their existing mortgage. It allows veterans to take advantage of lower interest rates—thus reducing the monthly mortgage payment.
This option may not even require an appraisal or credit underwriting. However, it’s important to note this loan strictly reduces interest rates and therefore does not allow for withdrawing cash held in home equity.
A VA cash-out refinance loan is another option to refinance an existing mortgage. It allows for extracting equity out of the home, unlike the IRRRL option. It also provides for the flexibility to turn a conventional loan into a VA loan.
With such generous benefits to VA purchase loans, there are also specific guidelines. They include the length of service requirements for each type of service and an “Honorable Discharge.”
They are to benefit those that have risked their lives in support of the United States. As such, it’s only available to those that can prove their service.
Generally speaking, VA loans are available to those who can obtain a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE). These can be obtained through the VA website, by mail, or directly through your mortgage lender.
From there, eligible buyers will also receive their “Entitlement.” The “Entitlement” is the value for which the VA guarantees a loan. However, lenders can sometimes loan up to four times this amount.
Eligibility is narrowed down to service members who were honorably discharged and have their Form DD214. In place of this, active-duty military members can provide a signed statement of service.
This statement includes:
Furthermore, service members must meet one of the following classifications:
As for the applicant’s financial situation, VA loans can offer more flexible terms than a traditional mortgage. Even those with bankruptcy or foreclosure on their credit report can still be eligible for these opportunities (as long as two years have passed).
Plus, there is technically no minimum credit score requirement for this option. However, lenders still tend to look for a minimum score of 620 in most cases.
As with any mortgage, the process of applying for a VA loan can be tricky to navigate. It’s important to consult with a trusted mortgage expert with years of experience in the industry to find the best possible loan for your situation.
In the Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area, Blake Mortgage is here to cover all of your VA loan needs.
Blake Mortgage is dedicated to helping military and veteran families obtain a VA purchase loan. With over two decades of experience, they are ready to serve you.
To inquire about VA loans or to request a mortgage quote, contact Blake Mortgage today!