VA home loans are an exclusive benefit made available to qualifying service members, military Veterans, and their surviving spouses. These loans usually come with great terms that work out to the advantage of the borrower, such as low-interest rates and zero down.
Though many military members and Veterans are aware of the program, they aren’t familiar with its particular ins and outs. Below, we’ve shared some important facts about VA loans that most borrowers don’t know.
Who Can Get a VA Home Loan?
You may be eligible for a VA home loan if you or your spouse actively serves or has retired from the…
- Air Force
- Coast Guard
- National Guard
- National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- Public Health Service (USPHS)
You may also be able to get a VA loan if you served in the Armed Forces of a government allied with the United States in World War II or were a Merchant seaman during World War II.
It’s important to note that service alone doesn’t allow you to qualify. You must also meet the VA’s Minimum Service Requirements and eligibility criteria.
10 VA Loan Facts that Most Borrowers aren’t Aware of
Because they’re reserved for service members and military Veterans, VA loans differ from conventional mortgages in a number of ways. Here are the top ten things that most VA borrowers aren’t aware of when first starting the process:
- VA loans are for primary residences only. In other words, you cannot use your benefit to purchase a second home or vacation property that you don’t live in full-time.
- Homes have to pass a VA inspection. So if you’re looking to buy a fixer-upper, you’ll need to jump through some hoops. All homes need to meet the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements.
- You can use your VA loan benefit more than once. VA loans are not a one-and-done deal. You can use your benefit more than once to buy a home in the future. So long as you pay off your previous loan, you’ll have full entitlement. In some cases, it’s even possible to have more than one VA loan at the same time.
- The VA does not provide these loans. Contrary to popular belief, the VA does not issue loans. Private lenders do.
- The VA backs these loans. The VA does not issue loans but rather guarantees them. This means that there’s less risk for the lender.
- You don’t need PMI. Since the VA guarantees the loan, lenders do not require Private Mortgage Insurance.
- You’ll have to pay a VA funding fee. This fee applies to all VA home loans. You may, however, be able to include the fee in the total loan amount instead of paying it upfront.
- The VA does not set loan limits. The VA does not set loan limits. Lenders do. Depending on your entitlement status, you may also have to comply with limits set by your local county.
- You don’t have to worry about prepayment penalties. This means that you can pay extra on your loan or pay it off early if you want.
- Bankruptcy and foreclosures don’t automatically disqualify you. Neither will prevent you from getting a VA loan. But you may have to meet other criteria such as time passed, credit score requirements, etc.
Ready to Apply for a VA Home Loan?
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