Getting a mortgage can be confusing. There are many types of loans, from conventional and no-doc, to FHA and VA. It can be hard to know which is the right choice for you.  

Who are VA home loans for?

VA home loans are offered to anyone that has served in the military. It is one of the many entitlements offered to veterans in thanks and acknowledgment of their service. 

What if I am no longer in the military or the spouse of deceased military?

VA loans are not only for currently serving military men and women. It is for anyone that is currently serving, the spouse of a deceased veteran, and those who previously served and have been discharged. A dishonorable discharge prevents access to the benefit, however. 

Do I need a down payment with a VA home loan?

VA home loans allow for zero down payment. If you have available funds for the down payment, you can put money down on the home. In fact, the VA will reduce some of its loan fees when veterans put five percent or more down. 

Do VA home loans charge PMI?

Another great benefit of a VA loan is the fact that they do not charge PMI, or private mortgage insurance. PMI is collected from borrowers who put less than the traditional twenty percent down. Each lender has different requirements, but PMI is typically one percent of the loan paid annually. So, a 100K house would have a PMI of $1,000, adding $83 to the monthly mortgage payment. Not paying PMI is a great benefit. 

Is the loan from the VA?

The term 'VA loan' is a bit of a misnomer. The VA does not loan actual money. Home buying veterans work with a traditional lender who has experience writing VA loans. The lender or bank provides the funds for the purchase while the VA guarantees those funds. 

What does my credit score need to be?

A va home loan is very lenient with both credit scores and previous bankruptcies. In fact, the VA does not have a minimum score. The private lender may have their own requirements, however. The latest report for 2020 states that lenders will work with scores at 580 or above. 

Are the interest rates higher than conventional loans?

Another great benefit to choosing a VA home loan is that the interest rates are lower than the average conventional loan interest rate. While the rate varies from lender to lender, they are lower on average than FHA and conventional loans. 

Can I refinance into a VA loan?

VA home loans work for both purchases and refinances. If you did not know about VA home loans previously, you can still refinance into a VA home loan and reap all the benefits. 

Home buying can be scary, but having the power of the United States government behind you can make everything much easier.