If you’re a servicemember or veteran who’s in the market for a new home, have you considered a VA (Veterans Affairs) home loan for financing? These loans may make homeownership significantly more affordable for you and come with a number of advantages other home loans don’t have. But, some people think VA home loans seem almost too good to be true, and don’t understand how they work. Let’s test what you know about these great financing options.
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What credit score do I need to qualify for a VA loan?
A high credit score can certainly help, but the VA doesn’t set a minimum credit score for VA loan qualification. So, lenders are free to decide their own loan eligibility requirements.
Is it true that you can only get a VA loan once?
Nope. You can take advantage of VA loan benefits at any time. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, the benefit is yours for life. Even if you’re refinancing or upgrading to a larger home, you’ll still be able to apply for a VA home loan.
Do VA loans have higher rates than other loans?
Many times, it’s the opposite! A portion of every VA home loan is guaranteed by the VA, so lenders are more protected against loss. That means lenders are often able to offer loans at lower rates and waive both the down payment and the private mortgage insurance requirement—which can save you a lot of money.
But, VA loans are only for combat veterans, right?
Actually, no! Combat veterans are certainly eligible for VA loans, but they aren’t the only ones. Provided you meet all service requirements, you may be eligible if you’re: Active Duty, a National Guard or Reserve member, a veteran or a veteran’s surviving spouse. Others who may be eligible include cadets/midshipmen at certain military academies, public health officers and officers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Which take longer to close—traditional or VA loans?
While VA loans don’t close faster than traditional home loans, in general, they don’t take significantly longer either.
Do VA loans have different fees than other loans?
VA loans generally have fewer costs than other home loan types. Plus, the lender is required to give you a written loan estimate that includes details like the VA funding fee (between 0.5 and 3.3% of the loan amount), closing costs and whether certain estimated amounts may increase after closing. So, some fees are different, but the total amount is usually less than you’d pay for a traditional loan.
Score a Great Home Loan
There’s a lot to love about VA home loans. As a top VA lender, we understand the unique needs of military members and their families and can help you take advantage of every benefit you’ve earned.
This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.