VA home loans are mortgages that are guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. This program was designed to help military veterans and their families purchase homes with no money down and no private mortgage insurance. VA home loans can be used to purchase a home, or to refinance an existing mortgage.
Here are ten things you need to know about VA home loans:
- A VA home loan is a mortgage that is guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
- This program was designed to help military veterans and their families purchase homes with no money down and no private mortgage insurance.
- VA home loans can be used to purchase a home, or to refinance an existing mortgage.
- The benefits of using a VA home loan include: No down payment required, No private mortgage insurance required, Competitive interest rates, and Flexible qualifying guidelines.
- How to apply for a VA home loan: You can apply online through the Veterans Affairs website, or you can contact a lender who specializes in VA loans.
- What are the requirements for a VA home loan? In order to qualify for a VA loan, you must meet the following requirements:
6.1. You must have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE).
6.2. You must be a veteran, active duty service member, National Guard or Reservist member, or the spouse of a service member.
6.3. You must have satisfactory credit history.
About Home Loans
VA helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. As part of our mission to serve you, we provide a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy.
VA Home Loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies. VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide you with more favorable terms.
Read VA guide for buying a home
Before you buy, be sure to read the VA Home Loan Buyer’s Guide. This guide can help you under the homebuying process and how to make the most of your VA loan benefit. Download the Buyer’s Guide here.
VA Home Loan Benefits
Purchase Loans Help you purchase a home at a competitive interest rate often without requiring a down payment or private mortgage insurance. Furthermore, Cash Out Refinance loans allow you to take cash out of your home equity to take care of concerns like paying off debt, funding school, or making home improvements. Learn More.
Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL): Also called the Streamline Refinance Loan can help you obtain a lower interest rate by refinancing your existing VA loan. Learn More.
Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program: Helps eligible Native American Veterans finance the purchase, construction, or improvement of homes on Federal Trust Land, or reduce the interest rate on a VA loan. Learn More.
Adapted Housing Grants: Help Veterans with a permanent and total service-connected disability purchase or build an adapted home or to modify an existing home to account for their disability. Learn More.
Foreclosure Avoidance Assistance: VA provides financial counseling to help Veterans avoid foreclosure during periods of financial difficulty. Learn More.
State Resources: Many states offer resources to Veterans, including property tax reductions to certain Veterans. Learn More
VA Loan Overview Podcast: Listen to a podcast about the benefits of VA Home Loan program and helpful tips about owning a home. Listen Here.
Main pillars of the VA home loan benefit
- No downpayment required
(*Note: Lenders may require downpayments for some borrowers using the VA home loan guaranty, but VA does not require a downpayment)
- Secondly, competitively low interest rates
- Limited closing costs
- No need for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
- Moreover, the VA home loan is a lifetime benefit: you can use the guaranty multiple times
Your length of service or service commitment, duty status and character of service determine your eligibility for specific home loan benefits.
*Eligibility now includes National Guard members with at least 90 days of active service including at least 30 consecutive days under Title 32, Sections 316, 502, 503, 504 or 505.
Purchase Loans and Cash-Out Refinance: VA-guaranteed loans are available for homes for your occupancy or a spouse and/or dependent (for active duty service members). To be eligible, you must have satisfactory credit, sufficient income to meet the expected monthly obligations, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Learn More.
Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL): The IRRRL is a “VA to VA” loan, meaning it can only be done if you have an existing VA guaranteed loan on the property. The IRRRL is generally performed to lower the interest and reduce the monthly payment on the existing VA guaranteed loan. Learn More.
Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program: The NADL program helps Native American Veterans purchase, construct, improve, or re-finance a home on Native American trust lands. Your tribal organization must participate in the VA direct loan program. You must have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Learn More.
Adapted Housing Grants: VA helps Veterans with certain total and permanent disabilities related to your military service obtain suitable housing with either a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) or Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant. Learn More.
How to Apply
Purchase Loan & Cash-Out Refinance: VA loans are obtained through a lender of your choice once you obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You can obtain a COE through eBenefits, by mail, and often through you lender. Learn More.
Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan: A new Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is not required. You may take your Certificate of Eligibility to show the prior use of your entitlement or your lender may use our e-mail confirmation procedure in lieu of a certificate of eligibility. Learn More.
Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program: First, confirm that your tribal organization participates in the VA direct loan program. NADL loans are obtained through a lender of your choice once you obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You can obtain a COE through eBenefits, by mail, and often through you lender. Learn More.
Adapted Housing Grants: You can apply for an SAH or SHA grant by either downloading and completing VA Form 26-4555 (PDF) and submitting it to your nearest Regional Loan Center, or completing the online application. Learn More.