What do you know about the VA loan program? In 1994, the US Department of Veterans came up with a way to help service members, veterans and their families own a home through the VA loans program which we shall be discussing in this post. If you are eligible for the VA loan, you have a chance to get a government-backed mortgage loan without any down payment.
The VA does not lend money with VA loans, what it does is offer you a guarantee. You borrow money from a private VA mortgage lender and the government guarantees to pay part of your mortgage. If you default on the loan, the government will pay the lender back.
VA loan can be used to buy a home, to refinance a mortgage, or make energy-efficient changes to your home, however, the loan can only be used to buy your primary residence, the program does not cover investment or vacation properties. The program is such that you don’t necessarily have to be a first-time homebuyer to use the loan, you can use a VA loan multiple times given that it is a lifetime benefit.
VA Loans Eligibility
Here. We will be sharing the criteria you must meet up to be eligible for VA loans. Below are the eligibility criteria to apply for VA loans.
- You must have a minimum length of 181 days and 90 days of active duty service during peacetime and wartime respectively.
- Not up to 90 days of active duty service if discharged due to a service-related disability.
- 6 years in the reserves or national guard.
Veterans and surviving spouses of veterans who have remarried are not eligible for VA loans. Individuals that served with any of the following organization can also apply:
- Cadets at the U.S. military, Air Force, or Coast Guard academies
- Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy
- Merchant seamen with World War II service
- S. Public Health Service officers
- Officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The VA loan is made available to active duty service members, veterans and current and retired members of the national guard or reserve, and the surviving spouses of members that died in action.
How to Apply for VA Loans
Applying for VA loans is very similar to applying for a conventional mortgage. To apply for VA loans, you must do the following.
- Submit your COE as proof that you are met with the service requirements.
- If you are a vet, you must also present your DD form 214, discharge from active duty or certificate of release.
A certified VA appraiser will be coming to inspect the property to ensure it is met with all VA’s minimum property requirement and it is also acceptable for a loan. Click here to check VA’s minimum property requirements.
The Best VA Plan
When applying, you should choose the best VA plan and go for the best mortgage lenders, when considering this, look out for the following:
- Customer service
- Interest rates
- Product offerings
- Eligibility requirements
- Closing costs
With these five factors, you are on your way to choosing the best VA plan.