A VA loan is a unique home-financing option with special benefits for veterans, active military, and surviving spouses. Private lenders issue these loans and they are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Dan Eichhorn at West-Cal Mortgage can walk you through the process of getting a VA loan, step-by-step.
- No down payment
- Compared with a minimum down payment of 3.5% for FHA loans and 3.5 – 5% for conventional financing
- No monthly insurance premiums or PMI (private mortgage insurance); 0.3% – 1.15% savings of entire loan amount per year
- Conventional buyers are only free from mortgage insurance if they pay a down payment of at least 20%
- VA does not set a minimum credit requirement, but most lenders call for a score of 620 or more
- Low interest rates
- With government backing from the VA guarantee, lenders have a higher level of security. With less risk, they can offer more competitive rates.
- Can pay off mortgage early without penalties
- All buyer’s loan-related closing costs and up to 4 percent in concessions can be paid for by the seller.
- The VA loan program has two refinance options:
- Homeowners with existing VA loans can lower their monthly payment with a new interest rate
- Eligible homeowners who financed with something other than a VA loan can refinance into the VA loan program
- It may be possible for veterans who have already used their loan benefits to buy homes again with VA financing using remaining or restored loan entitlement. This called “Second Tier Entitlement”.
- The ability to have someone else take over the payment of your mortgage. This is called an “assumable mortgage”.
- Foreclosure avoidance advocacy from the VA loan program. VA staff members will advocate on the homeowner’s behalf to find alternatives to foreclosure.
- Easier qualification standards
- Since lenders assume less risk as a result of government backing, they are able to make VA loans more accessible that conventional options
How to Qualify (Requirements)
The home-buyer must meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Served 90 days of continuous service during wartime
- 181 days of service during peacetime
- At least 6 years serving in the National Guard or Reserves
- The spouse of a service member who died of a service-related disability or in the line of duty
Call Dan Eichhorn at West-Cal Mortgage for more info!