How do you qualify for veterans mortgage loans? Eligibility and application tips

Among mortgage brokers, VA loans are widely one among the most attractive loans open to veterans who qualify. The greatest benefit of a Veterans Association Loan, or perhaps a VA loan, is the fact that there is no down payment. Eligible veterans can buy a home and pay 0 percent down.

What is really a VA loan?

A VA loan, confirms the customer Financial Protection Bureau, is offered with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA loan was initially made in 1944 to make it easier for military personnel to buy a home. Designed to help servicemembers, veterans, as well as their families, VA mortgage loans are structured by the VA and funded via a mortgage lender.

VA loans are well-known among most servicemembers and veterans due to their big no-down payment benefit. “Another awesome benefit of the VA loan over other alternative loan options is that it does not require the addition of private mortgage insurance,” Rhett M. Struve, a Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area realtor and owner/operator from the real estate blog, says. “This is primarily due to the fact the Veterans Association gives private lenders an assurance the homeowner won't default. If they do, the VA will work using the lender to circumnavigate the problem.”

The U.S. VA explains that the VA-guaranteed loan may be used by those who are permitted to purchase a house, either pre-construction or existing, for use as a primary residence. The VA loan also provides one more option for homeowners to refinance an existing mortgage, with similar loan benefits.

Along using the no down payment with no mortgage insurance perks Struve describes, a VA-guaranteed loan includes additional benefits like:

  • Equal opportunity mortgage loan for those veterans who qualify.
  • One-time VA funding fee often lumped into the total loan amount.
  • Minimal “safe, sanitary, and sound” property requirements.
  • Reusable.
  • VA limits some closing costs paid by veterans.
  • VA staff remains dedicated to helping veterans who fall behind on their own mortgage.
  • Veterans on VA disability compensation don’t have to pay VA funding fee.

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How do veterans qualify for a VA loan?

The VA loan is a great benefit for veterans to take benefit of, John Cooney, veteran and owner of Green and Gold Financial Planning, LLC, a completely independent fee-only financial planning firm in Massachusetts, explains. Cooney is also currently in the process of buying a home together with his wife and is while using VA loan benefit.

To qualify for the VA loan, Cooney says, an experienced must satisfy a minumum of one from the following criteria:

  • Serve 90 consecutive active days during wartime.
  • Serve 181 active days during peacetime.
  • Have more than 6 “good” many years of National Guard or Reserve Time.
  • Or, be a spouse of someone who died within the line of duty or because of a service-related disability.

Detailed eligibility requirements are available here.

A veteran must still satisfy the basic requirements associated with a mortgage borrower to get a VA loan – have good credit along with a satisfactory debt-to-income ratio, for example. “When trying to get a VA loan, an experienced should work with a large financial company that has knowledge about VA loans. These financing options do have some requirements not contained in a regular mortgage,” Cooney says.

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How to apply for a VA loan

Once you’ve found a lender with VA experience, the applying process is fairly straightforward. Cooney explains:

  1. To begin the procedure, speak to your local VA rep or create a merchant account at to get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
  2. Be prepared to provide proof that you meet the eligibility criteria outlined above. “The most common form of proof is thru submitting the shape DD-214. Once you submit your DD-214 as well as other form of verification, you can receive your COE in under a week.” Cooney says.
  3. Then, provide your COE to your lender as proof of your qualification for any VA loan. From there, Cooney says, the borrowed funds approval process is similar to what all applicants go through when seeking a home loan. (Managing a credit check, income verification, and more.)
  4. In addition, the Veterans Administration requires an appraisal done on a property by a VA-approved appraiser. Cooney emphasizes the loan applicant and also the lender don't have any say in who the appraisal. “It is selected through the VA on the rotational basis among several VA-approved appraisers,” he explains.

The VA appraisal process can take more than the normal appraisal process for a loan. In Cooney's case, he thought it was most useful to notify his real estate agent, lender, and seller’s agent he was financing his purchase through the VA loan to ensure that everyone was conscious of the potential for an extended closing process. “It's also recommended that you institute a VA loan clause into any Purchase and Sale, a good example of which the VA supplies here,” Cooney says.

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Your guide to VA loan fees: 6 charges an experienced could pay

Remember, the VA loan also has a VA Funding Fee. “Veterans who're trying to purchase their first home pays 2.15 % of a home's sales price. For just about any property purchases that follow, military members who plan on employing a VA loan for a second time are required to pay 3.3 percent from the sales price,” Struve says. But when you're a veteran who receives a service-connected disability, this funding cost could be waived.

To waive the charge, Cooney recommends doing a couple of things. First, make sure your COE specifically mentions your disability. And second, provide your lender with a copy of the verification from the VA of the disability finding.

Therefore, a veteran taking out a VA loan may purchase:

  1. Appraisal Compliance Inspection.
  2. Authorized local and state fees.
  3. Survey.
  4. Taxes and insurance on the escrow account.
  5. Title examination and insurance.
  6. VA appraisal and funding fees.

As mentioned above, the VA does set limits how much a veteran are usually necesary to pay. An experienced getting a VA loan can't be charged for:

  1. Loan application and processing fees.
  2. Loan broker, finder, or other third-party fees.
  3. Negotiation fees, debt management service fees, or required property repairs on the short sale.
  4. Notary fees.
  5. Tax service fees.
  6. Trustee’s fees.

For many service members and veterans, the VA mortgage loan remains an untapped resource. More than 21 million individuals are eligible within the U.S. today, yet only 6 % of these veterans have purchased a home while using VA loan previously 5 years. Many veterans aren’t conscious that these benefits never expire. Whether you served 15 or Half a century ago, you can still have the VA loan benefits if you’re eligible.

Our loan officers will always be open to help you with your VA loan questions — and to help get you qualified. Our resolve for assisting you find the correct loan program to satisfy your needs is but a small way to thank you for your resolve for our country.

For educational purposes only. Please contact your skilled professional for specific guidance.