What are VA Loans?
Veterans and active duty military personnel may be eligible for a VA home loan offering up to 100% financing. One of the few remaining ‘zero down’ options, there are many advantages to this program. Because these loans are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, mortgage lenders are able to offer more favorable terms to borrowers such as lower mortgage rates.
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Benefits of VA Loans
- Low down payment requirements, up to 100% financing available
- Low Mortgage Rates
- May be easier to qualify for compared to other loans
- Available in 30 year and 15 year loan terms
- Loan may be assumable by a future buyer of your home
Available VA Loan Options
- Purchase Loans – Buy a home with little to no out of pocket expenses. VA loans allow for 100% financing and seller-paid closing costs up to a certain percentage of the loan amount
- Refinance – Lower your rate, change your loan term or choose a cash-out refinance. If you are moving from one VA loan into another, you may qualify for a Streamline Refinance that has reduced fees and a more simplified process
Each of these programs is backed by an agency of the US government, meaning they insure the lender against losses should the home go into default or foreclosure. This allows lenders to offer more favorable terms to borrowers and creates many home ownership opportunities.
How do I qualify for a VA Loan?
Qualification requirements may vary, but will be based on several factors including:
- A Valid Certificate of Eligibility – This means you must be an eligible service member or Veteran and have met the minimum active duty service requirements for your service type. Some surviving spouses may qualify as well.
- Credit history and score
- The amount of income you earn
- The amount of your other debts
- How much equity you will have in the property
- Home must be used as your primary residence