Since its inception in 1944, the VA home loan has been used by more than 20 million Americans to get a mortgage. This program has some great advantages, and we’ve put together a video to highlight them.
VA Home Loan Basics
Insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), VA home loans are available to our nation’s military vets, eligible active duty service members and qualified surviving spouses.
The program is very attractive for several reasons.
To begin with, there’s a great deal of flexibility. You can get a VA-backed fixed-rate mortgage with a term of 15, 20 or 30 years. If you don’t plan on being in a house for very long, the VA also offers a 5-year ARM that might be right for you.
VA loans are the only program that doesn’t require a down payment. This can save you money upfront. And whether you put down 1% or 20%, you won’t have to pay private mortgage insurance on your VA loan. This can save you thousands over the life of the loan.
If you have a 680 median FICO score, you can take cash out of your home up to the property’s full value with a VA loan, in most cases. This is true for conforming loans. This could be a huge benefit in helping you meet your financial goals.
Under the VA Streamline program, you can refinance up to 120% of your home’s value to get a lower rate or change your term if you owe more on your home than it’s worth. That lower payment could mean extra money in your pocket to put toward home improvements, a college education or whatever you choose.
How Do I Qualify?
There are some things you should know when getting qualified for a VA loan:
- You have to use a VA-approved lender.
- You must meet military requirements for eligibility.
- Your lender will need a copy of your DD 214 document from the military.
- You’ll need to obtain a certificate of eligibility from the VA.
- Your credit score must be 580 or higher to qualify for the program.
If you have any questions about these requirements, our Home Loan Experts can walk you through them. For more information on the VA home loan program, check out this blog post on common misconceptions about VA loans.
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