Overview of VA Benefits: Part 3: Home Loans

Overview of VA Benefits Series: Part 3: Home Loans

house for sale

by Levi Newman on May 25, 2011

Thanks to our twitter follower @Rmart73 for the request sparking the idea for this article series.  We often discuss the benefits available to disabled veterans, but overlook the many millions of non disabled veterans who are also out there.  There are VA benefits that are available and have no contingency upon a disability determination.  Here are some of those benefits.  Take note, the most basic eligibility requirement is that a veteran has received a discharge of anything other that what the VA considers dishonorable.  For some who received a discharge designated “other than honorable,” this does not immediately constitute a dishonorable designation.  In this case the VA will look over your discharge circumstances and make a decision.

Part 1: Health Care and Life Insurance

Part 2: Education, Including Vocational Rehabilitation

Part 3: VA Home Loans

Part 4: Upgrading a Discharge Designation

 

The VA Home Loan used to be somewhat of a secret, but today more and more veterans and active military members are utilizing this great benefit to purchase their home. Financing your home using a VA Home Loan is a great option not only because you, the veteran or active member, deserve the benefits it offers, but — simply put — it will save you money. Below is a breakdown of what the loan offers and how to determine if you’re eligible.

VA Loan Requires $0 down.

This is a rarity in the market today, and the VA Home Loan is one of the remaining that offers this benefit because the loan is backed by the federal government. Compared to a conventional loan, where the bank will likely require a down payment from 10-20%, the VA Loan allows borrowers the freedom to finance 100 percent of their home’s value while still putting nothing down. For this reason, many veterans and active military members have realized that owning their own home is a dream well within reach.

No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Another benefit of using a government-backed loan is that the bank through which you’ll finance your loan will not require you pay PMI. Those who finance their home with a conventional loan are required to pay this insurance, and on top of that, typically have higher interest rates. This is because the banks are willing to take a higher risk on a loan that is backed by the government. What does this mean for you? Lower monthly payments.

Eligibility

You are eligible for the VA Loan if:
• You are active duty and have served 90 or more consecutive days during wartime
• You are no longer active duty but have served 90 or more consecutive days during
wartime
• You served 181 days or more of active duty during peacetime
• You’re a Reservist and have six years of service
• You are the surviving spouse, currently not remarried, of a veteran who died during
service or because of service-related causes
• For each of the above requirements, you cannot have been dishonorably discharged

 

Photo thanks to whatatravisty under creative common license on Flickr.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Winston BeLisle May 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I got my certificate and can’t get a loan with it…just a scrap of paper for me…

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Audrey Beebe May 31, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Winston, the certificate allows you to get a va loan, but doesn’t promise that you can have one. All the usual credit-worthyness checks that a “normal” mortgage loan would require are also required for a va loan. Sometimes when a veteran doesn’t meet credit standards, they can find financial or credit improvement classes at local veterans organizations that can help them.

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