Getting a VA Home Loan: Taking the First Steps

The Veterans Administration (VA) offers a loan guaranty program that can help military veterans get home loans at low mortgage rates. The program requires little cash for down payments and closing costs. Here are the basic eligibility requirements for veterans with honorable discharges. Veterans with less than honorable discharges may be eligible, but their cases may require case-by-case review by the VA.

VA Home Loan Guaranty Eligibility

With current low mortgage rates, eligible military veterans can use the VA loan guaranty program for getting VA mortgage loans and buying homes. The VA doesn't make home loans; much like FHA, it insures qualifying home loans made to eligible veterans. This means that the VA reimburses mortgage lenders' losses associated with default or foreclosure of VA guaranteed home loans.

Your First Steps Toward Getting a VA Guaranteed Home Loan

  • Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility: You need to get a certificate of eligibility from your mortgage lender or VA Loan Eligibility Center. Not all eligibility requests can be processed through mortgage lenders, but starting with mortgage lenders may save time, unless more information is needed regarding your military service.
  • Check current VA loan limits: Verify loan limits for your county using VA County Loan limits for 2009.This information can help you estimate the amount you can borrow and also determine a price range for affordable homes.
  • Consider attending a home buyer education course: The VA does not require this step, but this type of education can help you learn the lingo and complexities of buying and financing a home. Learn more about HUD approved home buyer education programs in your area
  • Research mortgage loan options using home loan calculator tools: Using our mortgage calculator tools can help you compare mortgage rates and terms. Although each situation can vary, using home loan calculators can help you determine how much you can afford to borrow, the amount of principle and interest (P&I) payments, and more.
  • Get multiple mortgage quotes: It's worthwhile to compare mortgage quotes and use the mortgage loan comparison calculator for evaluating home loan quotes. There's more to consider than mortgage rates; taking time to shop VA loan quotes before looking at homes can help you find your best deal.

Read mortgage loan quotes carefully and be sure that you understand the loan terms and costs. Make sure everything is explained to your satisfaction before accepting a home loan.


Posted By :
Karen Lawson is a freelance writer with extensive background in mortgage banking. She holds BA and MA degrees in English from the University of Nevada, Reno.

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