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Frequently Asked VA Questions
Have a question about getting a VA loan? Here's some of our frequently asked questions related to the product. Once you're comfortable, use our free service to have lenders compete for your business.
VA loan eligibility is normally based on a person's military service. This includes the length of service and discharge status. Generally, veterans with an honorable discharge and active-duty service members meet the eligibility requirements. Anyone who can obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA can also get a VA Loan.
An example of a person who could receive a COE without military history could be a surviving spouse of a military member lost in the line of duty.
According to the VA "If you have full entitlement, you don't have a loan limit" (Source: US Department of Veteran Affairs). This also includes up to 25% of repayment if you were to default on a loan with a balance over $144,000.
To apply for a VA loan, you'll need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. You can apply for your COE through the VA, or many lenders can help you obtain it. Once you have your COE, you can find a VA-approved lender, complete a loan application, and begin the underwriting process.
Yes, you can use a VA loan multiple times, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements and have sufficient entitlement remaining. So you can refinance a current VA loan to a new VA loan. When purchasing a new home you can take out a VA loan to buy the new property as long as you will actually occupy that new property.
VA Loans offer many benefits to veterans and active military members. This includes but is not limited to:
- No down payment requirements
- No private mortgage insurance
- Flexible credit requirements
- Assistance to avoid foreclosure
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VA Loan - Serving Those Who Served
At FreeRateUpdate, we are committed to assisting veterans in finding the help they need to achieve their homeownership dreams. Our comprehensive guide will take you through the ins and outs of VA loans, a mortgage program designed to provide financial support and homeownership opportunities to veterans and their families. From understanding what VA loans are to exploring their advantages and requirements, we've got you covered.
What Is a VA Loan?
A VA loan, or Veterans Affairs loan, is a mortgage program established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide eligible veterans, active-duty service members, and certain members of the National Guard and Reserves with affordable homeownership options. VA loans are designed to make it easier for veterans to secure financing for their homes by offering unique benefits that set them apart from conventional mortgages.
VA Loan Calculator
When considering a VA loan, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your potential monthly mortgage payments. A VA loan calculator can help you estimate your monthly payments based on factors such as the loan amount, interest rate, and loan term. While we don't have this tool, FreerateUpdate can help you - through our intuitive form. This tool empowers you to speak with a qualified lender and get a VA loan.
VA Loan Rates
VA loan interest rates can significantly impact the cost of your mortgage over time. These rates are influenced by various factors, including your credit score, the lender's policies, and prevailing market conditions. It's essential to explore multiple lenders and compare rates to secure the most favorable terms for your VA loan.
VA Loan Requirements
To qualify for a VA loan, you must meet specific eligibility criteria. While these requirements may vary slightly depending on the lender, they generally include:
Eligibility Certificate: You must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA to prove your eligibility for the loan. The COE confirms your military service history and is a crucial document when applying for a VA loan.
Military Service: You typically qualify for a VA loan if you are an active-duty service member, a veteran with an honorable discharge, a member of the National Guard or Reserves with a certain number of years of service, or a surviving spouse of a veteran who died in service or as a result of service-related injuries.
Credit Score: While VA loans are known for their leniency regarding credit scores, individual lenders may have their own credit score requirements. The higher your credit score is, the more likely you are to secure favorable terms.
Income and Employment: Lenders will assess your income and employment history to ensure you have the financial means to repay the mortgage. Steady employment and sufficient income are essential.
Funding Fee: VA loans require payment of a Funding Fee at closing. If you are not planning to put any money down, this could make the mortgage value higher than the market value.
VA Construction Loan
If you're considering building a home rather than purchasing an existing one, a VA construction loan may be a viable option. This loan type provides financing for both the construction phase and the permanent mortgage once the home is completed.
Are VA Loans Assumable?
One unique feature of VA loans is their assumability. This means that in some cases, a qualified buyer can take over an existing VA loan from the current homeowner. Assumable loans can be an attractive option in a rising interest rate environment, as the new buyer may secure a lower interest rate compared to current market rates.
Benefits of VA Loans
VA loans offer several advantages that make them a popular choice among veterans and service members:
No Down Payment: VA loans often require no down payment, allowing veterans to purchase homes with minimal upfront costs.
Competitive Interest Rates: VA loans typically offer competitive interest rates, making homeownership more affordable.
No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Unlike conventional loans with low down payments, VA loans do not require private mortgage insurance (PMI), further reducing monthly costs.
More Lenient Credit Requirements: A good credit score will help you obtain a better interest rate VA loans are more forgiving of credit challenges. You still need to qualify to be able to repay the loan.
Flexible Loan Options: VA loans offer various loan options, including fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages, allowing veterans to choose the one that suits their needs.
Streamlined Refinancing: Veterans can take advantage of the VA's Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) program to refinance their existing VA loans and potentially lower their interest rates.
VA Home Loans
A VA loan is a valuable resource for veterans and service members seeking to achieve homeownership. Understanding the requirements, benefits, and options associated with VA loans is essential when embarking on your homeownership journey. At FreeRateUpdate, we are dedicated to assisting veterans. Let us help you find a lender to guide you through the process and help you unlock the benefits of a VA loan.
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