VIENNA, Va. (May 3, 2022) - Navy Federal Credit Union today released its first-ever Spotlight on VA Loans report —a comprehensive look at servicemembers’ understanding of, and opinions about, VA home loans and how they use them. VA loans are designed to make the dream of homeownership more attainable for military families, but the report revealed widespread misconceptions about these mortgages, which often prevent servicemembers and their families from taking full advantage of their hard-earned benefits.
Released in coordination with Operation Homefront, The Spotlight on VA Loans report is based on 1,000 online interviews with active duty servicemembers and veterans, both within Navy Federal’s current membership and in the general population, in late 2021. Respondents answered more than 20 questions that highlighted their experiences with homebuying and mortgages, their opinions of VA loans, and their understanding of their benefits. These survey results informed Navy Federal’s new VA Home Loan Requirements guide for homebuyers who are interested in using a VA loan, but do not know where to start.
Key findings from the Spotlight on VA Loans report include:
- The Best Part of VA Loans? No Down Payment: VA loans require no down payment, but 32% veteran respondents and just 12% of active duty respondents know about this major financial benefit. Meanwhile, 17% of veterans and 45% of active duty soldiers believe a down payment of more than 20% is necessary.
- Myths About Paperwork and Delays: Navy Federal data has consistently shown similar processing and closing times for VA and conventional loans. Still, 58% of active duty servicemembers and 40% of veterans believe VA loans have delays due to paperwork; and 40% of active duty respondents and 18% of veterans say “VA loans are more a hassle than what they’re worth.”
- Eligible But Unaware: Almost all servicemembers (95%) say they are aware of what a VA loan is and are aware that they are eligible (89%) for them. However, 29% of homeowners who did not use a VA loan said the main reason they opted not to was either they did not know about VA loans or did not think to use one.
“VA loans can make homebuying and homeownership much more cost-effective for veterans and servicemembers than conventional mortgages, but as the Spotlight on VA Loans report confirms, many eligible buyers know little about the benefits of VA loans and may even have a negative view of them,” said Kevin Parker, Vice President of Field Mortgage Originations at Navy Federal Credit Union. “Our hope is that this report will help dispel some of the myths around VA loans and encourage servicemembers and veterans to learn more about the terrific benefits they have earned.”
As part of the Spotlight on VA Loans report, Navy Federal is also donating $10,000 to Operation Homefront. The donation, made in celebration of Military Appreciation Month, will support Operation Homefront’s impactful mortgage-free and rent-free housing programs that help military and veteran families have a stronger chance of accessing the dream of homeownership.
"We are deeply grateful for Navy Federal Credit Union's ongoing support as we work together to find ways to help our military families realize the American dream of homeownership,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., President and CEO of Operation Homefront. “Clearly, the entire NFCU team shares our belief that our collective efforts have a national impact as strong military families make their communities stronger and these strong communities, in turn, make America stronger.”
For more information about the Spotlight on VA Loans report and resources to help servicemembers achieve the dream of homeownership, visit https://www.navyfederal.org/resources/articles/home-loans/va-loan-report.
About Navy Federal Credit Union: Established in 1933 with only seven members, Navy Federal now has the distinct honor of serving over 10 million members globally and is the world’s largest credit union. As a member-owned and not-for-profit organization, Navy Federal always puts the financial needs of its members first. Membership is open to all branches of the armed forces and their families. Dedicated to its mission of service, Navy Federal employs a workforce of over 19,000 and has a global network of 351 branches. For more information about Navy Federal Credit Union, visit navyfederal.org. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Opportunity Employer.
About Operation Homefront : Celebrating 20 years of serving America’s military families, Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 88 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing, and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.