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Whether you’re refinancing or purchasing a home, a VA loan may be appropriate for you if you served in the armed forces and need a mortgage. Heres what to know.
How Does the VA Loan Work?
VA loans work a bit differently than conventional mortgages. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guarantees a portion of each loan against default but does not create or originate loans. Private lenders are confident enough to offer $0 down financing and favorable rates and terms because of this backing, or guarantee.
The VA Loan Process
With a few exceptions, VA loans function largely in the same way as other mortgage options.
To find out how much house you can afford based on your income, credit, entitlements, and other financial factors, find a VA lender and prequalify. Prequalification is a fundamental initial step that opens the door to VA loan preapproval, a much more powerful step.
Getting your loan preapproved is a big step that gives you the power to act quickly once you find a house you love. Lenders will examine your financial records and income to determine how much you can afford. The end result is receiving a preapproval letter. These letters demonstrate to house sellers and real estate agents that you are a capable and determined buyer with what it takes to close the deal.
Put in an Offer
Once you and your agent locate the ideal house that qualifies for a VA loan, it’s time to draft an offer and negotiate a deal with the seller. It’s critical to locate a reputable agent who is knowledgeable about VA loans and who understands their specifics.
Go Through the VA Appraisal and Underwriting
Your lender will request a VA appraisal of the property once it is under contract. The purpose of the VA appraisal is to verify that the property satisfies the VA’s minimum property requirements and fair market value; it is not a home inspection.
Underwriters will assess your income, finances, and related documents at about the same time as the appraisal, once it has been finalized. If all goes according to plan, you’ll receive the go-ahead to close and proceed with your loan closing.
At the loan closing, you’ll sign a plethora of legal documents and paperwork and receive the keys to your new residence.
How hard is it to get a VA loan?
VA loans are generally simple for qualified Veterans to obtain because they have lax credit score requirements, no down payment, and no maximum loan amount.
10 Things Most Borrowers Don’t Know About VA Loans
VA loans are the most potent lending program available to the vast majority of military borrowers. Since 1944, these flexible mortgages with no down payment have assisted over 24 million service members in becoming homeowners.
There are many aspects of VA mortgages that prospective borrowers and agents are frequently unaware of, even though the process of obtaining a VA loan can be summed up in a few simple steps. The ten facts listed below will help you get ready to use your VA loan benefit.
1. They’re reusable. As long as you repay the loan each time, you are able to utilize your entire VA entitlement consistently. However, even if you already have a VA loan or have lost one to foreclosure, you might be able to get another one.
2. They’re only for certain types of homes. The VA loan might not be appropriate for you if you want to purchase a fixer-upper, a working farm, or a downtown deli. It is primarily intended for “move-in ready” properties, such as single-family homes, condominiums, modular homes, certain multi-unit buildings, and more.
3. They’re for primary residences only. Don’t even try to use the benefits of your VA loan to purchase a vacation house in the Poconos or an investment property. VA loans are only available for primary residences, but if you live in one of the units, you can use this benefit to purchase a duplex or other multiunit property. Although lenders may have their own requirements that impact occupancy requirements, the VA does provide exceptions.
4. They’re not issued by the VA. The VA isn’t in the business of issuing home loans. Rather, the organization offers a guarantee on every eligible mortgage loan.
5. But they’re guaranteed by the government. Usually, the VA will guarantee up to 25% of the loan amount if you qualify for one. The guarantee helps service members obtain favorable terms and rates and instills confidence in lenders.
6. They’re available despite foreclosure or bankruptcy. VA loans are available to service members who have a history of bankruptcy or foreclosure. VA loan benefits are still available to borrowers who have had their VA loans foreclosed on.
7. They don’t have mortgage insurance. With other programs, mortgage insurance is a monthly cost you pay if you don’t put down at least 20% of the total amount. Because of the VA’s guarantee, borrowers can save even more money each month by not having to pay for mortgage insurance or premiums.
8. They come with a mandatory fee. VA loans do not come with mortgage insurance, but there is a VA Funding Fee. This cost is necessary for both purchase and refinance loans and aids the VA in maintaining the program. For those with disabilities related to their military service, it can be fully waived and rolled into the loan balance.
9. Theres no limit to how much you can borrow. Qualified Veterans can use the VA loan benefit to borrow as much as a lender is willing to give them, with no down payment required. That’s obviously a huge benefit. While down payments on larger loans can easily reach 15 to 20 percent, conventional loans typically require at least 5 percent. For a $400,000 home, a 20% down payment is $80,000.
However, what about the VA’s loan limitations? These don’t set a maximum amount that you can borrow. Rather, in order to determine what kind of down payment may be required for Veterans who do not yet have access to their full VA loan entitlement, lenders and the VA use these county-level limits. Purchasers who meet all eligibility requirements are not concerned with these restrictions or the requirement for a down payment.
10. They don’t have a prepayment penalty. You can pay more whenever you choose, which will save you a ton of money in interest over the course of your loan. You can even set up your payments to take out a little extra each month automatically. An additional $100 per month can reduce the balance by years and tens of thousands of dollars.
1. realtor. com is running the sweepstakes and assisting with its administration and promotion. 2. NMLS #1907 (nmlsconsumeraccess. org). Not affiliated with Dept. of Veterans Affairs or any government agency. 3. May be subject to tax withholding. See.
How does a VA loan for a house work?
What is the process for a VA-backed home loan? Basically, a portion of the loan that you obtain from a private lender is guaranteed by us. The guarantee enables the lender to recoup all or part of their losses in the event that your VA-backed house loan is put into foreclosure.
How much does the VA give for home loans?
State:Loan Caps Beginning At:Link:California$510,400View all loan caps in California
How does a $0 down VA loan work?
As of 2020, even in the event that borrowers make no down payment, their maximum loan amount remains unrestricted for those who are eligible for VA loans in full. In the event that these borrowers cease making payments, the VA will reimburse lenders up to 25% of the loan balance.
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