Step-by-step Guide to Getting a New VA Home Loan

So you’ve decided to take the plunge into home ownership. Now you need to navigate the world of home loans in order to find a suitable mortgage. If you are a veteran of the U.S. Army or a member of active duty, you may qualify for a VA home loan. VA loans are provided exclusively to current and former US military personnel and offer many advantages over conventional mortgages.

Read on to find out more about these inexpensive mortgages and how to get them.

Step 1. Confirm your eligibility

To get a VA home loan, you must first meet the requirements that depend on your military service. You may be eligible if:

1. Served 90 consecutive days during wartime, OR
2. Served 181 consecutive days in peacetime OR
3. Served over 6 years in the National Guard or Reserve OR
4. Are the surviving spouse of a soldier who died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.

If you meet any of the above criteria, you can begin gathering the documentation required to submit your application.

Step 2: collect 4 important pieces of documentation

Some information is needed to confirm your eligibility and your ability to pay. These include:

1. Certificate of Participation (General Director). The COE is your proof to the lending institution that you meet the minimum requirements for a VA loan. You can obtain this form through the Department of Veterans Affairs, online at the VA e-Benefit Portal, from a VA approved lender, or by mailing Form 28-1880 to VA.

2. Credit report. A credit report will provide the lender with information about your current financial condition, such as your debts and debt repayment history. This information helps determine how much you can borrow but still be able to repay. VA does not set a minimum credit rating. Individual lenders set a minimum credit rating, but VA lending requirements are usually softer than normal requirements, which is one of the main advantages of this type of mortgage.

3. Proof of income. You will need to provide proof of income in order to qualify for a mortgage. Most lenders require a receipt of the last two months’ wages and tax returns or tax returns from the last two years to prove income. If you are applying with your spouse, his or her income must be included.

4. DD-214 is the form you will need to use to apply for the COE. This form details the conditions for your discharge and confirms that you are eligible for benefits. DD-214s are provided upon discharge, but new ones can be obtained from the National Archives.

Your VA lender can help you obtain these documents if you cannot do it yourself.

Step 3: Choose a VA Lender

You will need to find an FDIC insured lender in order to write out the loan. FDIC support ensures that the lending institution follows safe and reliable business practices, which reduces your risk.

Not all lenders work with VA loans, and others are just leading farms and do not manage loans themselves, so you will need to do some research. Even among VA lenders, you will find other terms and conditions. Take a closer look at the products and find the best deal for your situation. Ideally, you will want to choose a lender who is FDIC insured, is a bank and specializes almost exclusively in VA loans or VA loan refinancing.

That’s all! 3 easy steps and you are on your way to buying a home with one of the best mortgage programs available. Come on, you deserve it!

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