Do You Qualify For a VA Mortgage?

We often hear about VA loans, but what do they really entail? In short, a VA mortgage is a loan guaranteed by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, an office also referred to as simply the VA. But the loan can be issued by any qualified lender, which opens the process up to a variety of avenues. The basic idea was to provide long term financing to eligible American veterans or, in some cases, their surviving spouses. But what does it take to be considered eligible? And how can you take advantage of the programs offered? Let’s take an in-depth look at a VA Mortgage to give you more context and offer avenues to pursue.

What are the Requirements for a VA Mortgage?

If you have served in the U.S. military, you may be able to get a VA loan to purchase your next home. But there are some criteria you need to meet in order to be eligible for a VA Home Loan. They include:

  • At least 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime.
  • 181 days or more of active service during peace time.
  • 6 or more years of service with the National Guard or Reserves.
  • The spouse of a service member who has died in the line or duty or due to a service-related disability. This is limited to spouses who have not remarried.

If you meet these criteria, you may qualify for a VA Mortage before buying your next home. There are also other factors that may make you eligible, best to reach out to a qualified lender, like Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc.

How Do You Qualify for a VA Mortgage?

Along with these general requirements of service, there are some other qualifications that may impact your ability to receive a loan that is VA guaranteed. For instance, you need to have a credit score that is satisfactory, a sufficient income from employment or other verifiable sources, as well as a Certificate of Eligibility or COE. This can be obtained online, by mail, or through your lender at Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc.
It is also important to note what your VA Mortgage can cover.

For instance, you can use it to:

  • Buy a home or a VA-approved condominium unit
  • Build a home
  • Purchase and improve an existing home
  • Make energy efficient improvement or install energy related features
  • Buy a manufactured home
  • Refinance and existing loan, either VA or direct, to get a lower interest rate
  • Refinance a mortgage or other secured by a lien of record if the residence is owned and occupied by a veteran

To learn more about the benefits of VA loans, you can visit the website here.

How Do You Apply for a VA Mortgage?

At Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc., we suggest you start by talking with one of our experts to learn about your options and to begin the process. While you can apply online, there is comfort in knowing that you’ll have a direct point of contact for questions or concerns long the way. Face to face appointments are more than welcome at our retail office space in Asheville, NC.

Most mortgage lenders have access to a system called WebLGY which gives them the ability to apply for the Certificate of Eligibility and start the process of qualifying you for a VA loan.

What is the Difference Between Types of Loans?

As with any other mortgage option, there are many VA Mortgage types you can consider when it comes to a VA-guaranteed loan. VA purchase loans include fixed rate mortgages or adjustable rate mortgages or ARM. If you’re looking to refinance, loans may include a Refinance Loan or a Streamline Refinance Loan.

To give you a little more detail, let’s start with the Fixed Rate VA loan. Features include:

  • Fixed rate for the life of the loan
  • Regular monthly payments that normally stay the same
  • No money down
  • No private mortgage insurance is required
  • Limited closing costs
  • Competitive interest rates

The fixed rate means that whether or not interest rates go up or down throughout the life if your loan, your rate will always be fixed at the percentage cited when you secured the loan. This can help with long term planning and budgeting.

On the other hand, you might be interested in an adjustable rate VA loan, which offers:

  • Periodically adjusted interest rates
  • Variable payments based on the interest adjustment
  • Limits on the amount of interest adjustments across the life of the loan
  • No money down
  • No private mortgage insurance
  • Limited closing costs
  • Competitive interest rates

An ARM may be the right choice for some home buyers, but this is why we recommend you talk with an expert before making a decision. For example, a 1 year ARM will adjust annually but what would that mean for your long term strategy?

There may be additional loan types that will be specific to your location, needs, and financial picture.

If you are looking to refinance, you can use a VA Refinance Loan to get equity out of your home to make home improvements or for other financial needs. A Streamline refinance loan may be allow for a lower interest rate without any additional fees. For this, you can use your original Certificate of Eligibility. But keep in mind that this is only available for existing VA Mortgages.

A VA Mortgage is not necessarily cut and dry, so we want to help you navigate the process. Are you considering a VA loan for your next home purchase or refinance opportunity? Contact the team at Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc.

 

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