VA Home Loan Requirements – What is & Where to apply for a VA mortgage

The VA loan is a government guaranteed mortgage. The VA loan is a benefit for active duty military, veterans and reservists.  The VA loan requires no money down and no closing costs.

What is a VA Loan?
How To Apply For A VA Loan
VA Home Loan Centers
Who Is Eligible For A VA Loan?
What Are The Advantages of The VA Mortgage?
Can I Use A Cosigner For My VA Loan?
How Many Times Can I Use My VA Loan?
Can I Use A VA Loan If I Have A Foreclosure or Bankruptcy?
What Types of Properties Are Eligible For A VA Loan?
How Do I Obtain My DD214 Or Certificate of Eligibility?


What is a VA Loan?

A VA loan is a government backed home loan program started in 1944 available to Americans who served or are currently serving in the U.S. military.  Administered by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, the VA does not actually make home loans.   The VA only protects approved lenders from loss in the event of borrower default.  By guaranteeing the loan, the Veterans Administration is essentially affirming the veteran’s credit worthiness.   A VA loan is for the purchase or refinance of the borrower’s primary residence.

The three most notable features of a VA loan are:  

  1. No down payment is required  
  2. No mortgage insurance is required and
  3. Qualifying is much easier than a conventional loan.   To confirm eligibility for a VA loan, it is necessary for the borrower to get a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). VA Home Loan Centers http://www.vahomeloancenters.org can obtain this for you.

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How To Apply For A VA Loan

A VA guaranteed home loan provides an opportunity for veterans to purchase a home with little or no out of pocket expense.  Now more than ever, this is a huge benefit, because since the financial crisis, except for USDA loans, all other 100% financing programs have dried up.

To apply for a VA loan, complete the loan application located here or by calling 888-573-4496.

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VA Home Loan Centers

If you want to explore your options for using a VA loan to purchase a home or refinance an existing home, the first step is to contact Federal Home Loan Centers or our sister company VA Home Loan Centers and speak with a Government Loan Specialist.  Your Certified Government Loan Specialist is an expert when it comes to all types of government home loans.  The specialist will listen to your concerns and evaluate your home buying criteria before recommending the government loan that best suits your needs.  You can speak with a Government Loan Specialist by calling 877-432-5626.

If you choose a VA Loan, you can expect to follow the process as indicated below:

  • Verify if you are eligible to receive a VA Loan

To be eligible for a VA loan, you must be a military veteran, active duty person or a member of the National Guard or Selected Reserves.  To determine eligibility, either submit a VA Form 26-1880 along with proof of service, DD Form 214, to VA Home Loan Centers Eligibility Center or call 888-573-4496.  If you are eligible for a VA loan, the VAHLC will obtain a Certificate of Eligibility.

  • Identify the home you want to purchase and have it inspected

By contacting Federal Home Loan Centers or VA Home Loan Centers, your Certified Agent will help you find an affordable home that meets or exceeds all of your preferences and criteria.  As a prequalified buyer, sellers will take your offer seriously.  Your Certified Agent will represent your interests from start to finish including the selection and scheduling of a qualified VA home inspector.  Your Agent will accompany you during the home inspection to insure you get all of your questions answered about the homes mechanical systems and overall condition.

  • Submit the loan for final approval

At this stage, you have already been preapproved for a VA loan by your Government Loan Specialist.  Now it is time to get a final approval, fund the loan and close escrow.  When making the offer, your Certified Agent will make sure there is a financing clause in the purchase agreement and escrow instructions that makes the purchase contingent on getting the VA loan.  In the unlikely event that you are not approved for a VA loan, you will not be required to complete the purchase.

Federal Home Loan Centers is authorized to work with approved LAPP lenders which gives us delegated authority directly from the VA to process loans much faster than other lenders.  Because Federal Home Loan Centers specializes in government loans, we will provide the best combination of interest rate, discount points and other negotiable costs for a VA guaranteed loan.

  • Ordering the VA Appraisal

On your behalf, VA Home Loan Centers will order an appraisal from a state-licensed real estate appraiser who is approved for VA appraisals.  The appraiser will complete an evaluation of the property and present the conclusions on the required VA appraisal form.  This will let the VA know if the property is sufficient collateral for the loan. If there are any repairs required to meet the government standards for habitability, the appraiser will notify the lender in writing. Note the VA appraisal is not the same as a home inspection. The VA appraiser will only inspect the home for habitability. All buyers are advised to obtain a home inspection form a licensed, professional home inspector.

  • Close escrow and finalize the purchase

Prior to closing, you will need to obtain a homeowner insurance policy for your new home.  If you don’t already have a real estate agent, Federal Home Loan Centers can refer a licensed agent.  Homeowner coverage will protect you and the lender from loss due to property damage.  As part of the escrow process, you will also receive a title insurance policy this will insure you and the lender against any issues relating to rightful ownership of the property and its boundaries.  The escrow process is there to make sure that all of the “i’s” are dotted and “t’s” crossed before the property actually changes hands.

  • Allowable closing costs for a VA home loan

With a VA loan it is impossible to pay too much for your closing costs.  The VA is watching over you by limiting the amount a lender can charge for services as well as the type of services that can be billed.  The VA has pre-determined what costs and services are allowable and which are not.

Federal Home Loan Centers offers the most competitive government home loan rates and terms available.

To receive a free VA home loan quote, call now at 888-573-4496.

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Who Is Eligible For A VA Loan?

VA Loans were created primarily for Americans currently serving in the military or with an honorable discharge dating back as far as World War II.  The intended purpose of VA loans is to assist military service people and their families who risked their lives for the security of our country.  The VA loan is an act of gratitude to show appreciation for our veterans.  Those qualifying as veterans also include participants in the Selected Reserves or National Guard.  Other individuals who are eligible for a VA loan may include an unremarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service or as a result of service obtained injury or is missing in action or a prisoner of war.  It may also include cadets at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy and midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy.  Certain Public Health Service Officers and officers of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration may also be eligible for a VA loan.

To determine your eligibility for a VA loan, call 888-573-4496 or visit http://www.vahomeloancenters.org/ .

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What Are The Advantages of The VA Mortgage?

If you are eligible for a VA loan, you have access to one of the best loan products available.  A VA loan has several distinct advantages over conventional loans and even FHA loans.  The main advantages of a VA Loan are listed below:

Zero Down

A VA loan has no down payment requirement.  It is the only loan product left in the aftermath of the credit crisis (except a USDA loan) that offers 100% financing.  This is in stark contrast when compared to the 10 – 20% down payment typically required for conventional loans.

No Mortgage Insurance

Even though, a VA loan provides the highest possible loan to value, there is still no mortgage insurance required.  Conventional loans with less than 20% down will have PMI that can add hundreds of dollars to your mortgage payment.  FHA Loans have upfront mortgage insurance as well as an annual premium.

Easy Qualifying

VA loans have some of the least restrictive qualifying standards of any loan available today.  VA loans allow for higher debt-to-income ratios and are more lenient about credit blemishes than other loan products.  Generally, only a 12 month credit history is used when looking at credit defaults and a loan can be approved just two years from a bankruptcy discharge or foreclosure.

Low Closing Costs

VA loans are designed to protect the borrower from excessive closing costs.  Therefore, borrows using a VA loan can be assured that the closing costs will be reasonable.  The VA determines what fees can be charged and how much they should be.  A list of allowable and non-allowable fees is available on the VA website.

Easy Refinance

If you have a VA Loan and rates improve from the time you originally got it, the VA makes it easy to refinance to lower your rate and payment.  The VA has a Streamline Refinance Program with reduced paperwork and a reduced funding fee.

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Can I Use A Cosigner For My VA Loan?

A cosigner is a person who agrees to share a borrower’s loan obligation without having any ownership interest in the property themselves.  A typical example of this would be when a parent agrees to be responsible for a grown child’s home loan, but has no need to be listed on title.  With a conventional or FHA loan, a cosigner can usually be anyone who is a blood relative, spouse or co-owner of the home.

VA Loans are a little more difficult when it comes to choosing a cosigner.  If the VA borrower is married, the cosigner must be the borrower’s spouse.   If the VA Borrower is unmarried, the cosigner can be another unmarried VA eligible borrower.

When considering a cosigner, it is important to remember that not only will the cosigners income be used in the loan decision, but also the cosigners credit history, good or bad.  Before going through the trouble of adding a consigner to your VA loan application, be sure the cosigners credit history will be a help and not a hindrance.

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How Many Times Can I Use My VA Loan?

There is a common misconception that a veteran is only entitled to one VA loan.  This is simply not the case.  If a VA borrower pays off their previous VA loan by selling the property, their VA entitlement can be “restored” every time they sell.  Each time, they are entitled to a new VA loan for their personal maximum as long as they are in good standing with the VA.

There is no limit to how many times a VA borrower can use their VA loan benefit.

On the other hand, if the VA borrower pays off a VA loan but still retains ownership in the original property the borrower is limited to only one more VA loan while he still owns the original property.  In addition, if the full amount of the veteran’s entitlement is not used on a particular VA loan, the remainder of the entitlement is still available for an additional loan.  In the event that the home is not sold or paid off before obtaining a new VA loan, the new loan amount will be reduced by the amount of the previous loan. For example, if a veteran borrower qualifies for a $500,0000.00 VA loan but only uses $200,000.00, they can get another VA loan for $300,000.00. However, they must occupy the property as their primary residence. Many borrowers who have purchased in the past and have PCS’d or moved find that they qualify for additional loan amount due to a change of income.  For specific details about VA home loan requirements, contact your Government Loan Specialist at Federal Home Loan Centers by calling 888-573-4496 or visiting http://www.vahomeloancenters.org/.

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Can I Use A VA Loan If I Have A Foreclosure or Bankruptcy?

One of the main advantages of a VA loan is the flexible qualifying standards used to approve the loan.  VA loans were created to help veterans achieve the joys of sustainable homeownership.  When reviewing the borrower’s credit history, dings to your credit that are more than 12 months old will be ignored.  The VA also takes a lenient stand when it comes to bankruptcies and foreclosures.  You can get a VA loan just 2 years after a declaring bankruptcy or having a foreclosure.

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What Types of Properties Are Eligible For A VA Loan?

The purpose of a VA loan is to help provide safe and affordable housing for U.S. veterans and their family.  Therefore, since the loan is for the veteran’s primary housing it is expected that the veteran will be occupying the property.  The property can be a single family home (SFR), Planned Unit Development (PUD), Condominium, a Duplex, Triplex, or even a Fourplex as long as the property is determined to be safe and habitable.  The approved VA appraiser will confirm the condition of the property during the appraisal process.  If there are any substandard issues regarding the property, they will need to be corrected by the seller before close of escrow.  The borrower is allowed to own other properties, but the VA loan is for the veteran’s personal residence.

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How Do I Obtain My DD214 Or Certificate of Eligibility?

Your Certificate of Eligibility or COE is your proof that you are eligible for a VA loan.  The COE is issued by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs.  There are several ways for you to obtain a COE.  You can apply online by going to the VA Home Loan Centers website and filling out the required information. Or you can request the COE by mail using a VA Form 26-1880.  The easiest way however, is to contact a Government Loan Specialist at Federal Home Loan Centers and we can order your COE for you.

To get started, simply call 888-573-4496.

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