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Benefits of a VA Home Loan

By B Wood
Jan 23rd, 2014

benefit va loansVeterans, active duty military, and reservist receive VA benefits including access to the VA loan guarantee. The VA home loan program has helped Veterans to purchase homes for decades and is instrumental in making home ownership affordable for soldiers and their families. In order to qualify for a VA home loan,you need to be honorably discharged or active duty and have served a minimum of 181 days during peace time or 90 days during war time. The National Guard qualifies after serving for six years. If you meet these criteria, you will be awarded a Certificate of Eligibility by the VA.

There are many benefits to a VA home loan that traditional mortgages may not have.


Zero Down is Available

The VA purchase loan is one of the only ways to buy a home without a down payment. This is a key component to the VA loan program and essential for helping service members purchase a home for the first time.

Benefits for Disabled Veterans

Veterans that have been disabled in the line of duty may qualify for a waiver of certain VA funding fees.

Purchase or Refinance Multiple Housing Types

A VA mortgage can be used with a mobile home, single family home, duplex, triplex, or fourplex, as long as you live in the home. This means you can purchase a multi-unit home that will generate you income. If you live in one unit and rent out the others,you can use a VA mortgage to buy a property that will pay for itself!

Credit History

The VA can use things like utility bills to establish trade lines if you don’t have enough credit history.

Streamline Refinance

After you have a VA loan,you can use their version of a streamline refinance, Interest Rate Reduction Loan, to lower your mortgage interest rate. This is a quick way to save money when interest rates go down and typically won’t require an appraisal.

Jumbo Home Loans

If you live in an area of the country with a high cost of living,you could qualify for a VA home loan that is higher than the conforming loan limit of $417,000. The VA sets loan limits based on county, for example,Marin County is $600,000. You can find the limit for your area at the VA benefits site.

How Does the Process Work?

Before you can start a VA home loan,you need to get your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA. Many VA approved lenders will help you with the process. Otherwise,contact your local VA office. Call your mortgage lender to apply and let them know you are specifically interested in a VA home mortgage.

They need to be a VA approved lender in order to help you. You will need to go through the standard underwriting process and if you are active duty they can use additional benefits as part of your pay to help you qualify. Once you meet the underwriting requirements of the mortgage lender and the VA, the lender will issue the loan,and the VA will guarantee up to 25% of it. The VA acts like an insurance policy so that if the lender needs to foreclose the VA is responsible for a portion of the loan balance. This assurance is what enables mortgage bankers to offer zero down VA mortgage loans.

Interest rates are low so call a VA approved lender now to find out what you qualify for.