Serving our country is often a difficult but honored decision made by thousands of men and women each year. To help with the sacrifices made by these men and women, a variety of benefits are made available to veterans to ensure their well-being and future success after their time of service. Benefits offered to veterans vary from educational assistance to entrepreneurial guidance, but include: job training, VA health benefits, retirement funds, education benefits through the GI Bill. The VA Home Loan Perhaps the most important benefit for veterans pertains tosaving money while buying a home. Since its creation in 1944, the VA loan program has helped more than 18 million veterans and active duty service members homeownership. The VA home loan allows borrowers in most areas to receive loans up to $417,000 and, for borrowers seeking to purchase homes in high end real estate markets – up to $1,094,625, while still providing flexible eligibility requirements and competitive benefits. The VA loan program's dedication to helping veterans and active duty service members secure homeownership even affords borrowers with an imperfect credit history the opportunity to secure a VA loan.
What are the Benefits to a VA Loan?
Because the VA insures part of each loan, VA-approved lenders have greater confidence in eligible borrowers. This greater confidence in borrowers inclines VA-approved lenders to offer qualified borrowers a variety of benefits they would not be able to find with conventional loans including: • no down payment • competitive interest rates • down payments in the form of gifts • higher debt-to-income ratio allowed • no private mortgage insurance
Do I Qualify?
Over 80% of all veterans and active duty service members who are eligible for a VA loan would not have been obtain a home loan through conventional means. Although the VA home loan program is easier for veterans and active duty service members to qualify for, the must still meet one of the following initial requirements: • Have served 181 days on active duty or 3 months during war time • Or have served 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves • Be the spouse of a service member who was killed during active duty Those who meet the initial guidelines must also apply for and receive a Certificate of Eligibility which can be filed for by an approved VA-lender if necessary. Although the VA home loan program requires no income or credit requirements, most VA-approved lenders will desire a credit score of at least 620 to secure financing.
This post comes to you from James Kelley of VA Benefit Blog. A law school student at the University of Missouri, James Kelley works to educate the public on government financing options for home purchases.