VA loans are hands-down the preferred choice for those who qualify searching for a competitive loan program with no money down. VA lending guidelines are similar to those with other loan types and are approved and documented in much the same fashion as conventional loans. However, VA loans do have specific requirements that make the program unique and do have additional requirements. Here is a list of some common questions.
No, the VA guaranty is to the lender approving your VA loan. As long as the lender approves your loan using established VA guidelines, should the loan ever go into default, the lender can receive compensation of 25 percent of your loan amount. Lenders will still review your income and credit amount other requirements before issuing an approval.
The VA restricts certain closing costs that may be charged to and paid for by the veteran. Your VA lender can provide you with a list of these restricted fees along with other charges that you may be responsible for.
Credit scores, a 3-digit number reflecting your current credit profile, are not required by the VA. However, most VA lenders do require a minimum credit score with lenders asking for a score to be at or above 640. We require a 550!
VA lenders must review your certificate of eligibility to determine whether or not you’re eligible for a VA loan. However, basic requirements ask that you have more than 180 days of active duty service, an honorably discharged veteran, served six years in the National Guard or Reserves or the spouse of a service member who died as a result of a service-related injury.
All VA lenders provide loan choices in both fixed rate and adjustable rate loans. Most lenders offer fixed rate terms of 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years. Adjustable rate mortgages are typically issued as hybrids, where the initial rate is fixed for a predetermined period before changing into a loan that can adjust annually
The funding fee is an insurance premium that finances the VA guarantee on your loan and is expressed as a percentage of the amount borrowed. This percentage can vary based upon loan type, equity and other loan characteristics but the funding fee for a first time purchase with no money down is 2.15 percent of the loan. The funding fee may be rolled into the loan amount in lieu of paying out of pocket. Most borrowers choose to roll the fee into the loan.
VA loans are typically offered by most lenders but it’s important to work with a lender that is an approved VA lender. An approved VA lender is authorized to process, underwrite and fund a VA loan. It’s important that you work with a lender with extensive VA experience to help you navigate your way through the VA approval process.
Yes, you can use a VA loan more than once as long as your original entitlement is restored. Your entitlement is restored when you sell your house and pay off the existing VA home loan.
The entitlement issued today is $36,000 and the VA will guarantee a loan up to four times that amount, or $144,000. For loans above that, the VA guarantee will be 25 percent of the loan amount up to $417,000. In certain “high cost” areas, the guarantee and maximum loan amounts are greater.