Our VA Loan Rates Are Low & Our Process is Quick
A VA loan is a mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The loan may be issued by qualified mortgage companies. The VA loan was designed to offer long-term financing to eligible Military Veterans or their surviving spouses (provided they do not remarry).
We’re here to make the VA home loan process a whole lot easier, with tools and expertise that will help guide you along the way, starting with our FREE VA Loan Qualifier.
We’ll help you clearly see differences between loan programs, allowing you to choose the right one for you whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned investor.
The VA Loan Process
Here’s how our home loan process works:
– Complete our simple VA Loan Qualifier
– Receive options based on your unique criteria and scenario
– Compare mortgage interest rates and terms
– Choose the offer that best fits your needs
VA Loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
While you DO NOT need your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in hand to apply for a VA loan, it is an important part of VA loan eligibility. Your COE provides the mortgage company with confirmation that you qualify for VA loan benefits.
Again, it is not necessary to obtain your COE before applying for a VA loan as most mortgage companies that do VA loans are able to get your COE through the VA’s automated system. In fact, nearly all VA loan COEs are requested electronically, and about two-thirds of certificates are issued immediately, according to the VA.
There are three basic ways you can obtain your COE for a VA loan, which include:
1. Applying through a VA approved mortgage company
2. Applying online through the VA’s eBenefits portal
3. Applying by mail with VA Form 26-1880
What are the benefits?
– Eligible homebuyers are not required to have a down payment in most cases – typically cited as the greatest VA loan benefit. Conventional loans generally require a 3-5 percent down payment, and FHA loans require 3.5 percent.
– No monthly mortgage insurance premiums or PMI to pay. FHA loans come with both an upfront and an annual mortgage insurance charge. Conventional buyers typically need to pay for private mortgage insurance unless they’re making a down payment of 20 percent or more.
– Limitation on buyer’s closing costs. Sellers can pay all of a buyer’s loan-related closing costs and up to 4 percent in concessions.
– Lower average interest rates than other loan types. VA loans continue to have the lowest average interest rates of all loan types.
– No prepayment penalties. VA buyers can pay off a loan early without any financial penalties.
– Two refinance options. The VA loan program allows homeowners with existing VA loans the option to lower their monthly payment with a new interest rate. Eligible homeowners who financed their property with a loan other than a VA loan can refinance into the VA loan program.
– Second tier entitlement. Even though many veterans have already used their loan benefits, it may be possible for them to buy homes again with VA financing using remaining or restored loan entitlement.
– An assumable mortgage, typically subject to VA and/or mortgage company approval. You may be able to have someone take over your mortgage payment, which can be a big benefit in an environment of rising interest rates.
– Foreclosure avoidance advocacy from the VA loan program. The VA has staff members who advocate on behalf of homeowners to find alternatives to foreclosure.
Who is eligible for a VA Mortgage?
The borrower must be a qualifying active duty member of the U.S. Military, Veteran, Reservist or National Guard member, or eligible surviving spouse.
Borrowers will also need to meet the income and asset requirements of VA loans. They must also obtain a certificate of eligibility (COE) from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The spouse of a Veteran can also apply for home loan eligibility under one of the following conditions:
– Un-remarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service or from a service-connected disability, OR
– Spouse of a service member missing in action or a prisoner of war
– Surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003 (Note: a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, must have applied no later than December 15, 2004, to establish home loan eligibility. VA must deny applications from surviving spouses who remarried before December 6, 2003, that are received after December 15, 2004).
– Surviving spouses of certain totally disabled veterans, whose disability may not have been the cause of death
Borrowers may also apply for eligibility if they fall into one of the following categories:
– Certain U.S. citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in World War II.
– Individuals with service as members in certain organizations, such as Public Health Service officers, cadets at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard, Academy, midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, officers of National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, merchant seaman with World War II service, and others.
In which scenarios is the VA Loan Useful?
The VA Loan is the best option for Military, Veterans, and qualified spouses because it doesn’t require a down payment or private mortgage insurance, and it offers competitive rates.
Buying a Home with a VA Mortgage
As with any fully amortizing fixed rate loan, the VA loan product offers borrowers stable monthly payments that won’t change due to mortgage rates. The rate remains fixed for the entire length of the loan; however, the monthly payments are applied to principal and interest differently as the loan progresses.
Broad Requirements for a VA Loan
To obtain a VA loan, the law requires that:
– The applicant must be an eligible veteran who has available entitlement.
– The loan must be for an eligible purpose.
– The veteran must occupy or intend to occupy the property as a home within a reasonable period of time after closing the loan. There are exceptions and workarounds in some cases. Talk with an Elite Mortgage Professional about your particular occupancy situation.
– The veteran must be a satisfactory credit risk.
– The income of the veteran and spouse, if any, must be shown to be stable and sufficient to meet the mortgage payments, cover the costs of owning a home, take care of other obligations and expenses, and have enough left over for family support.
An experienced Elite Mortgage Professional will be able to discuss specific income and other qualifying requirements, such as credit history, debt-to-income ratio and more.
VA Fixed Loan Refinancing
Not only is the VA Loan a great option for home buying or building, it can also be used for refinancing. Eligible homeowners who have an existing mortgage may be able to lower their monthly payment, move from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate, or shorten or increase their loan term by refinancing into a VA mortgage.