Here’s the deal with VA home loans

Matt Saintsing
September 21, 2018 - 3:53 pm



So, you’re at the point where you’re finally ready to buy that house, condo, or apartment. Now starts the daunting task of getting a mortgage, and if you’ve served your country, you should consider using a VA home loan.

Why use a VA loan?

They aren’t the only loans veterans can use to purchase a home, but they do have some advantages that make them particularly attractive. 

First, you don’t need a substantial down payment. Most loans may require a 20 percent down payment, at least. Depending on what kind of place you’re looking for, this can translate to cash you don’t have in the bank. Since VA loans have the option of providing zero down, along with their competitive rates, they’ve made the dream of homeownership a reality for millions of veterans. 

But the proof is in the numbers. Nearly 80 percent of veterans are homeowners, compares to just 63 percent for non-vets, according to Forbes. The flexible VA loan program undoubtedly contributes to that.

And for those with less than stellar credit, a credit score of at least 620 typically is enough, so long you’ve resolved any liens or collections.

And as long as you pay off the loan, you can keep applying and using this benefit over and over. 

Those qualified for a VA loan are anyone who:

  • Served in the military, and were discharged with anything other than dishonorable 
  • Surviving spouses of a deceased service member
  • Cadet, or midshipman, at any of the military’s service academies

Once you’ve been determined to be eligible for such a loan you can apply through one of the VA-approved lenders. But that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get it. Most lenders have additional standards, and specific criteria applicants must meet, such as verifying credit scores, income, employment or other factors. 

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