Financing your home is a big endeavor to take on, but you don’t have to finance everything by yourself. There are many options that are worth exploring before settling on just one. In previous posts, we have explored the ins and outs of a Federal Housing loan and a Conventional loan. Today we will be discussing a Veteran Affairs (VA) loan and what it entails.
A Veterans Affairs loan is a mortgage option available to Veterans, service members, and select military spouses. A VA loan is fulfilled by private lenders but guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The loan offers Veterans (and those who are qualified) a loan that does not require a down payment or private mortgage insurance.
The loan was first created in 1944 to help returning service members purchase a house without the hassle of a down payment or possessing an excellent credit score. The loans also allow lenders more security which in return offers competitive interest rates. Since the program was created, over 22 million VA loans have been distributed.
Regulations and Fees
Although a VA loan is funded by the government, the government does not provide a direct loan. Private lenders provide the loans while the Department of Veterans Affairs is able to offer a guarantee to the lender, thus making the private lenders offer a loan that has better terms.
Those who are qualified for the loan are able to purchase a home up to $430,100. If you live in a more expensive area, your loan can be altered to accommodate the pricing.
To ensure that the program continues, there is a VA Funding Fee. The fee is reflective of the borrower’s situation and is often rolled into the overall loan amount. For the first time VA loan users, the fee is around 2.15 percent and 3.3 percent after any additional loans.
VA Loan Requirements
The most basic requirement to be eligible for this loan, you must be a veteran, an active duty service member, National Guard members, or reservist. If you meet the criteria of one or more of the following conditions, you may be eligible for a Veterans Affairs Loan:
- You are a military member that has served 90 days and consecutive days during the war
- You are a military member that has served 181 days during peace
- You have served more than 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves
- You are the spouse of a military member who has died while serving or from a disability
If you don’t find yourself meeting these requirements, you may still be eligible for a VA Loan. Talk to a VA Loan Specialist to find out if you are able to qualify.