VA Home Loan
Near the end of World War II in 1944, the U.S. government showed its appreciation to returning veterans by creating the VA Home Loan program to help vets buy homes. VA loans help eligible veterans by guaranteeing the loans that banks, credit unions and independent mortgage lenders underwrite. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for this program.
We often hear about a VA home loan, but what do they really entail? In short, a VA mortgage is a loan guaranteed by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, an office also referred to as simply the VA. But the loan can be issued by any qualified lender, which opens the process up to a variety of avenues. The basic idea was to provide long term financing to eligible American veterans or, in some cases, their surviving spouses. But what does it take to be considered eligible? And how can you take advantage of the programs offered? Let’s take an in-depth look at a VA Mortgage to give you more context and offer avenues to pursue.
How Do You Qualify for a VA Mortgage?
Along with these general requirements of service, there are some other qualifications that may impact your ability to receive a loan that is VA guaranteed. For instance, you need to have a credit score that is satisfactory, a sufficient income from employment or other verifiable sources, as well as a Certificate of Eligibility or COE. This can be obtained online, by mail, or through your lender at Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc.
It is also important to note what your VA Mortgage can cover.
For instance, you can use it to:
- Buy a home or a VA-approved condominium unit
- Build a home
- Purchase and improve an existing home
- Make energy efficient improvement or install energy related features
- Buy a manufactured home
- Refinance and existing loan, either VA or direct, to get a lower interest rate
- Refinance a mortgage or other secured by a lien of record if the residence is owned and occupied by a veteran
To learn more about the benefits of VA loans, you can visit the website here.
What are the Requirements for a VA Mortgage?
If you have served in the U.S. military, you may be able to get a VA home loan to purchase your next home. But there are some criteria you need to meet in order to be eligible for a VA Home Loan. They include:
- At least 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime.
- 181 days or more of active service during peace time.
- 6 or more years of service with the National Guard or Reserves.
- The spouse of a service member who has died in the line or duty or due to a service-related disability. This is limited to spouses who have not remarried.
If you meet these criteria, you may qualify for a VA Mortgage before buying your next home. There are also other factors that may make you eligible, best to reach out to Zachery Adam and his team at Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc.
How Do You Apply for a VA Mortgage?
At Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc. we suggest you start by talking with one of our experts to learn about your options and to begin the process. While you can apply online, there is comfort in knowing that you’ll have a direct point of contact for questions or concerns long the way.
Most mortgage lenders have access to a system called WebLGY which gives them the ability to apply for the Certificate of Eligibility and start the process of qualifying you for a VA loan.
What is the Difference Between Types of VA Home Loans?
As with any other mortgage option, there are many VA Mortgage types you can consider when it comes to a VA-guaranteed loan. VA purchase loans include fixed rate mortgages or adjustable rate mortgages or ARM. If you’re looking to refinance, loans may include a Refinance Loan or a Streamline Refinance Loan.
To give you a little more detail, let’s start with the Fixed Rate VA loan. Features include:
- Fixed rate for the life of the loan
- Regular monthly payments that normally stay the same
- No money down
- No private mortgage insurance is required
- Limited closing costs
- Competitive interest rates
The fixed rate means that whether or not interest rates go up or down throughout the life if your loan, your rate will always be fixed at the percentage cited when you secured the loan. This can help with long term planning and budgeting.
On the other hand, you might be interested in an adjustable rate VA loan, which offers:
- Periodically adjusted interest rates
- Variable payments based on the interest adjustment
- Limits on the amount of interest adjustments across the life of the loan
- No money down
- No private mortgage insurance
- Limited closing costs
- Competitive interest rates
An ARM may be the right choice for some home buyers, but this is why we recommend you talk with an expert before making a decision. For example, a 1 year ARM will adjust annually but what would that mean for your long term strategy?
There may be additional loan types that will be specific to your location, needs, and financial picture.
If you are looking to refinance, you can use a VA Refinance Loan to get equity out of your home to make home improvements or for other financial needs. A Streamline refinance loan may be allow for a lower interest rate without any additional fees. For this, you can use your original Certificate of Eligibility. But keep in mind that this is only available for existing VA Mortgages.
A VA Mortgage is not necessarily cut and dry, so we want to help you navigate the process. Are you considering a VA loan for your next home purchase or refinance opportunity? Contact the Team at Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc.
Safeguards with VA Loans
If you qualify for a VA home loan, you have added peace of mind with these VA home safeguards:
- Builders of new homes are mandated to provide you with a one-year warranty that the home is built to VA-approved specifications. The same warranty also must be provided for newly manufactured homes and condominiums.
- The Department of Veteran Affairs may suspend the loan program from lenders who scam or try to take advantage of the veteran borrowers. Loan suspensions may also be issued if lenders decline to sell a new home or provide loans to eligible veterans of good credit based on race, religion, color, disability, sex, national origin or family status.
- In instances of new construction completed under HUD or VA inspection, the government compensates you for repairing any structural defects that affect livability. You have to request this assistance within four years of the VA loan application to receive the warranty.
- The Department of Veteran Affairs encourages lenders to extend forbearance if you become unable to meet the terms of the loan (based on temporary reasons).
- You can only be charged the fees and additional charges that are deemed allowable by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- You can repay any VA loans with a penalty of no less than the amount of one installment of the loan or $100. In other words, you can’t be penalized for paying a loan off in full before its due date, as is the case in certain other loan types.
Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc. Helps Veterans
Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc. offers VA loans as just one of its many loan packages available. If you’re an eligible veteran, first, thank you for your service to our country! Second, Zachery Adam and his Team at Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc. does everything he can to match you to the very best mortgage that fits your needs. That may or may not be a VA loan.
But there are many ways that VA loans can help you if you’re a veteran, including:
- Purchasing a new home or condominium
- Building a new home
- Refinancing your existing home loan
- Improving, repairing or altering your home
- Buying a manufactured home with or without the lot
- Improving a manufactured home lot
- Installing a cooling or heating system
- Doing home weatherization upgrades
- Purchasing a home while simultaneously improving the energy efficiency of the home
- Refinancing an existing VA loan to decrease the interest rate
In addition to the appreciation that the VA shows with these fabulous loan options, remember that it’s local people like your team at Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc. who help you get those loans. You’ll receive first-class customer service whenever you talk to Zachery or his Team.
Zachery Adam works really hard for veterans, not only to provide the best mortgage products (including VA loans), but also to explain everything in terms you can understand. It’s not just the right thing to do; it’s the only thing to do. And so, with gratitude for your service, you’ll always be treated with the utmost respect at Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc.