Why Choose A VA Home Loan For Your Home Purchase Or Refinance
Up To 100% Financing
Other loans require you to have a down payment or equity in your home. VA home loans don’t require a down payment. This is perfect for veterans who don’t want to put money down or utilize their home’s equity.
Lower Interest Rates
Because the VA provides a guarantee to the lender, VA loans typically have lower rates than other loan programs. This makes your monthly payment more affordable and saves you money.
Flexible Credit Guidelines
You don’t need perfect credit for VA home loans. VA loans have lower credit score requirements and shorter waiting periods if you’ve had a bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past.
No Mortgage Insurance
Even without a down payment or 20% equity in your home, veterans are not required to pay mortgage insurance each month. This helps save you money on your mortgage payment. Alternatively, most veterans pay a funding fee of 1.25% to 3.6%.
Enlist The Help Of A VA Loan Specialist
Many lenders and loan officers can do VA home loans, but very few have the right knowledge & experience.
Experience makes the difference. Who you choose to work with matters.
- Assisted 1,188 veterans purchase or refinance a home
- Subject matter expert
- Industry resource for VA loans
- Understands unique challenges & circumstances of veterans
- USAF veteran
- Loan officer since 2003
I’m a VA loan specialist. Get to know me better here.
What Other Veterans Are Saying
VA Home Loan FAQs
Find answers to your frequently asked questions.
What are the benefits of a VA loan?
VA home loans offer a number of benefits over traditional mortgage products. For starters, a VA loan is available to active duty military personnel, veterans and their surviving spouses. This makes them one of the most accessible loan products on the market. Additionally, VA home loans do not require a down payment, which can make them an attractive option for first-time homebuyers or those with limited savings. Finally, VA loans typically have lower interest rates than traditional mortgages, and they also come with some unique features like the funding fee, which can help to lower your monthly payments.
In addition to the financial benefits, a VA home loans come with a number of other perks. For instance, VA home loans are exempt from certain fees and closing costs. Additionally, the VA provides a number of protections when buying a home. The Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan (IRRRL) helps save money on your mortgage payment. A VA loan offers significant savings when compared to other loan programs.
How do I qualify for a VA home loan?
To qualify for a VA home loan, you’ll need to meet the service requirements of the Department of Veterans Affairs. You must have served at least 90 days of active duty during wartime, or 181 days during peacetime. If you’re the spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty or is missing in action, you are eligible for a VA home loan Utah if you receive Dependent Indemnity Compensation (DIC).
Reservist or National Guard members need to have completed at least six years of eligible service or served on Title 10 orders for at least 90 days. National Guard members who’ve served at least 90 cumulative days on Title 32 orders of which 30 days were consecutive for Section 502, 503, 504 or 505 orders are also eligible.
Those with a general or dishonorable discharge are not eligible for a VA loan.
Once you’ve met the service requirements, you’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA.
How do I get a VA Certificate of Eligibility for my VA home loan?
The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is a document that shows a service member, veteran or surviving spouse is eligible for a VA home loan. The COE verifies to the lender that you are eligible for a VA home loan and that the Department of Veterans Affairs will guarantee the mortgage.
To obtain a COE you can request a copy from the VA’s eBenefits website, through your lender or by requesting a copy by mail from the VA Regional Loan Center.
What FICO Score is Required?
The minimum FICO score needed is 620 for most lenders. Some lenders will go lower to a 580 score or even as low as a 560 score. The interest rate you receive will largely depend on your credit score. Having a higher credit score will improve your mortgage rate and save you money each month on your payment.
What is the process of getting a VA Loan?
The process of getting a VA loan starts with getting preapproved from a loan officer. You’ll need to provide income documentation and possibly bank statements. The lender will also need to run a credit check.
Once you’ve been preapproved for your VA home loan, it normally takes 30 days or less to close once you have a home under contract.
Do I Need A Down Payment?
VA home loans do not require a down payment in most cases. One of the biggest advantages of using your VA loan benefit is being able to get 100% financing. A down payment may only be required when you have two or more VA loans at the same time.
Veterans are responsible for their closing costs whether buying, refinancing or selling a home regardless of disability status.
What Are The VA Loan Limits?
Beginning in 2020, VA loan limits were eliminated when a service member, veteran or surviving spouse has just one VA loan at a time. However, when a borrower has two or more VA loans at the same time. The VA loan limits 2023 for most counties is $726,200 for a single unit property. Other loan limits exist for two to four-unit properties.
The loan limit for High-Cost counties is $1,089,300.
For VA loans greater than $726,200, the loan is considered High Balance. High Balance VA loans are for loan amounts over the loan limit. Some veterans have purchased homes for over $2,000,000 with no money down using their VA loan.
What VA Refinance Loans Are Available?
Veterans and service members have several options when needing to refinance using a VA loan.
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL or streamline refinance)
- Cash out refinance
- Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)
How To Choose The Right Mortgage Lender
When looking for a lender to help with your VA loan, it’s important to find someone who is local and specializes in VA home loans. Compare your options by finding a loan officer that:
- Demonstrates knowledge of the VA loan process and guidelines
- Has a network of other real estate professionals familiar with VA loans
- Is familiar with VA-required inspections for the area
- Knows what VA resources are available to find the latest information
- Can show exceptional reviews and testimonials from other veterans
Many mortgage lenders claim to specialize in VA loans. However, they typically hire loan officers with little to no experience. The lender doesn’t underwrite the loans themselves, have extended closing times up to 45 days, make you work with a team instead of a single person and don’t respond to your inquiries during the process. Plus, you typically end up with a higher interest rate.
Choosing the right lender for your VA home loan could save you thousands of dollars and ensure a positive home buying or refinance experience.
Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption
Disabled veterans with a permanent place of residence may be eligible for a property tax exemption based on their service-connected disability rating from the VA. Disabled veterans must have at least a 10% rating to be eligible. The exemption is also available to surviving spouses or minor orphans.
To receive the property tax exemption, you must apply with the county in which the home is located. A copy of Summary of Benefits Letter from the VA along with the county’s application must be submitted for approval. Veterans do not need to have a VA loan to qualify.