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VA loans offer an affordable way for qualifying veterans to buy a house. So the real question is this, “do you qualify for a VA loan”? If you do, the benefits are amazing. No money down, no mortgage insurance, allowing the seller to pay part or all the costs and amazingly low rates are just a few reasons these loans are the best.
VA loans also have more lenient debt to income ratio and credit rating requirements than most other types of home loans, making it easier to get approved. Fees for VA loans are also regulated by the VA and are usually less expensive than conventional bank mortgage loans.
To qualify for a VA home loan, a person must meet the following requirements…
- Purchase a single-family home (1-4 units), condominium unit, or manufactured home OR build a single-family home.
- Intend to occupy the home as a primary residence (as opposed to renting it).
- Move into the home within 60 days of closing.
- Be an active service member, veteran, reservist, member of the National Guard, or the surviving spouse of someone who was killed in the line of duty or as a result of disability from his or her service. Qualifying length of service varies depending on when you served.
- Basic outlines for qualification are as follows:
- 90 days of consecutive active duty service during wartime
- 181 days of consecutive active duty service during peacetime
- 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard
- A spouse of a veteran killed in the line of duty or a service-related disability
- For a full list of required documentation, visit the home loan page on the VA website.
This is the one document that is required to get a VA home loan. Even if you meet the above requirements you will need a C.O.E. (certificate of eligibility). You can’t get a VA loan without one.
What is a VA home loan?
Backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), VA home loans are designed to allow U.S. military personnel, veterans, and qualifying surviving spouses to purchase affordable housing. Although the VA does not originate or directly loan money for your home, it sets the guidelines for them and guarantees the loan to the financial institution that lends you the money. Because of this, there are many different lenders wanting to loan to Veterans. This also breeds some “not so good” lenders. The interest rates and fees may vary between lenders and you need to make sure to shop at least 2-3 lenders to make sure you are getting the best deal.