The VA home loan benefit has made it so that millions of military families, veterans, and service members can find their dream home. This program offers many financial benefits that make the homebuying process simple and cost effective. In addition, it opens this possibility up for veterans that might not qualify for other mortgage loans. If you’re a veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran and are looking to purchase a home, you’re probably wondering if getting a VA loan is right for you.
Before you begin the VA loan process, you’ll want to verify what requirements are necessary for you to obtain a VA loan. These change yearly so it is best to check with the Veterans Association current requirements to make sure you meet these qualifications. From there, you can start discussing the different mortgage and loan options with a professional. The truth is, many mortgage lending companies can take advantage of veterans and charge really high interest rates. So finding a trustworthy mortgage professional that understands va loans and can guide you through the process is essential. From there, you’ll find that VA loans are a great way to make your home buying dreams a reality.
First of all, the largest benefit of the VA loan is that they offer 100% financing. This means that no down payment is required and you can finance the entire cost of your home. This is great and allows veterans to purchase the home of their dreams without tapping into their savings account to put down a large amount of money upfront. This creates a lot more buying opportunity for veterans and their families because they don’t have to wait years before they have enough money to finally purchase a home. Of course, if you want to lower your monthly payments you can definitely put a percentage of money down, but this isn’t a requirement. So if you’ve been worried that a VA loan won’t cover the cost of your dream home, look no further. Veterans can obtain a loan of as much as they can afford, without the need of a down payment.
Another reason a VA loan is the way to go is that they don’t require monthly mortgage insurance. Generally, if you put less than 20% down when purchasing a home, you are required to have mortgage insurance on that loan. This Private mortgage insurance is in place to protect lenders in case of a borrower default. Which means that in addition to your mortgage payment and property taxes, you’ll have to pay that extra insurance fee. Monthly mortgage premiums or insurance rates added on to your already costly fees can definitely add up and make purchasing a home very stressful. So this waived insurance fee will actually save you money over the life of your loan.
Low Interest Rates
VA loans also offer relatively low interest rates. Typically, VA loans interest rates range from 0.5 to 1 percent lower than average interest rates which helps Veterans save a tremendous amount every month and overall. This also reduces the risk of having to refinance your home later on, because you’ve already secured a low interest rate.
No High Credit Score Necessary
Most loan programs require a high credit score to obtain the loan which makes it difficult for those with a lower score to buy a home. Luckily, the Veterans Affairs agency doesn’t enforce a credit score minimum, so VA lenders will use credit score benchmarks to determine a buyer’s risk of default. This is great because it provides many more with the opportunity to purchase a home and allows them to secure a loan with competitive rates, despite their financial past.
Veterans Affairs also limits what buyers can be charged when it comes to closing costs and fees. Generally, closing costs are inescapable and can add up quickly. However, with a VA loan, buyers can negotiate with sellers and ask them to pay their loan-related closing costs as well as up to 4 percent of costs for things like prepaid taxes and insurance. This makes homeownership affordable for those that qualify.
One of the biggest myths about VA mortgage programs is that it can only be used once. Luckily, this is not actually the case. Veterans and service members that qualify can use a VA loan over and over, as the benefit never expires. Also, it is possible to have multiple VA loans at the same time. Therefore, if you are eligible you can purchase a second home with another VA loan.
Since the VA focuses on not just putting veterans into homes, but actually helping them keep their home, the mortgage program advocates for those in jeopardy and ensures that they stay in their home. This is a tremendous benefit and adds an extra layer of protection for new homebuyers. Veterans don’t have to worry about their home foreclosing because there is a team behind them supporting them. This makes VA loans the safest on the market for veterans and their families.
Lenders will want to verify a buyer’s income before offering them a loan to make sure they can actually afford their monthly mortgage cost. Those living on disability or retirement funds can deter a lender from working with them, as this type of income can be viewed as unreliable. Luckily, VA lenders accept many forms of income. This makes it so that overseas pay, hazard pay, basic allowance for housing and more, can be counted towards income.
VA loans are government-backed loans that have been on the rise since the Great Recession. They are the most favored mortgage options on the market for Veterans, surviving spouses, and those currently active in the military because of the numerous financial benefits and security. What VA loans have to offer sets it apart from other mortgage types, and makes the home buying process obtainable. For many years, this benefit program has helped families of veterans and service members find their home and create a new future. So if you’re trying to find a way to manage the financial burden of purchasing a home, go with a VA loan to ease the process.
Catalina McFarland holds a B.S. in Communication from Arizona State University. She is a blogger at catasparkle.com where she loves sharing her passion for wellness and personal growth. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, doing yoga, and reading.