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  • Veterans Affairs 

    What is a VA Loan? The VA Loan is a mortgage loan issued by approved lenders and guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program was created in 1944 by the United States government to help returning service members purchase homes without needing a down payment or excellent credit. This historic benefit program has guaranteed more than 22 million VA loans to help veterans, active duty military members and their families purchase homes or refinance their mortgages.
    Today, the VA Home Loan program is more important than ever to service members. In recent years, lenders nationwide have tightened their lending requirements in the wake of the housing market collapse, making the VA Loan a lifeline for military homebuyers, many of whom find difficulty when faced with tough credit standards and down payment requirements.

    VA guaranteed loans are made by private lenders, such as banks, savings & loans, or mortgage companies to eligible veterans for the purchase of a home, which must be for their own personal occupancy. The guaranty means the lender is protected against loss if you or a later owner fails to repay the loan. Most members of the military, veterans, reservists and National Guard members are eligible to apply for a VA loan. Spouses of military members who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability may also apply. Active-duty members generally qualify after about six months of service.

    A down payment is not required on VA loans. However, the veteran has to pay for closing costs, or receive enough seller or lender credits to cover them. VA loan closing costs average around 1% – 3% of the loan amount on bigger home purchase prices, and 3% – 5% of the loan amount for less expensive homes.

    Before arranging for a new mortgage to finance a home purchase, veterans should consider some of the advantages of VA home loans:
    No down payment is required in most cases. ...
    No monthly mortgage insurance premium to pay. ...
    Limitation on buyer's closing costs. ...
    Lower average interest rates than other loan types.

    You may be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you meet one or more of the following conditions:
    You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, OR.
    You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime, OR.
    You have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves, OR.

    Buying a home is a multi-step process, and everyone's homebuying journey is different. But there's a lingering myth that VA loans take forever to close. And that's simply not the case. Most VA loans close in 40 to 50 days, which is standard for the mortgage industry regardless of the type of financing.

    Although about 90 percent of borrowers use VA loans with no down payment, there's a perk to paying down as little as 5 percent. Once a VA loan borrower puts down at least that amount, the VA Funding Fee shrinks. For a first-time VA loan borrower, the funding fee is typically 2.15 percent with no money down.

    Buying a home is a multi-step process, and everyone's homebuying journey is different. But there's a lingering myth that VA loans take forever to close. And that's simply not the case. Most VA loans close in 40 to 50 days, which is standard for the mortgage industry regardless of the type of financing.

    Most VA lenders do use credit score benchmarks. Applicants with scores below a lender's benchmark usually can't be approved for VA financing. That minimum will vary from lender to lender, but most VA-approved lenders, including Veterans United Home Loans, are looking for a credit score of at least 620.