Learn About VA Home Loans

Having a home suiting your needs, and those of your family, is important to any veteran.

For some, this means being able to purchase your own home. If you have already purchased a home, you may need help making the payments to keep it.

Other veterans wish to obtain a loan to rebuild or refurbish a home. It is important to make changes to your home if you are adapting to a service-related disability.

If you need financial assistance in one of these areas, the VA can help.

Several home loan program options are available through the VA. The program you qualify for varies depending on your personal circumstances and eligibility.

Determine your eligibility for any home loan you want to apply for in advance. It is advisable to review the application process in advance as well, so you know what is required and have the best chance of success.

What are the requirements for VA home loans?

To be considered eligible for a VA home loan, you must meet several requirements. The service requirements to qualify you for the loan vary depending on the nature of your service.

Those currently on active duty qualify after 90 days. If your service has ended, then the number of days you served, or the reason for your discharge, are taken into consideration.

Spouses of service members qualify for a VA home loan in some cases. Eligibility in these cases is generally determined by the service member to whom you are or were married.

If a service member dies in the line of duty, or is classified as missing in action, his or her spouse qualifies.

As well as your service, the purpose of the loan determines whether you are granted approval. In general, the loan must be for a home you currently occupy.

In addition to this, the loan is good for one of the following purposes:

  • The purchase of a home that has been approved by the VA.
  • The improvement of a home.
  • Building a home.
  • Installing energy efficient features in a home.
  • Refinancing an existing loan or mortgage.

Learn About Purchase Loans

As with other types of VA home loans, the basic purchase loan means the VA offers security for your home loan. The loan itself is generally sourced through a private lender.

By guaranteeing the loan, the VA enables you to get approval you may struggle to obtain otherwise.

Additionally, with a purchase loan supported by the VA, you take advantage of a much better interest rate than you otherwise would have been offered.

You may be offered further benefits, such as a cap on closing costs. The lender may be willing to forgo the down payment.

Those who are interested in farming can take advantage of the fact that there is no limit to the size of the property for a VA backed loan.

Farm loans are available through the VA home loan program, although the purchase must include a residence in which you intend to live. You may not use the loan for a business purchase.

Find Out About Cash Out Refinance Loans

If you want to use your existing home equity to obtain a loan for other purposes, apply for a cash-out refinance loan through the VA.

This type of loan is used if you have a non-VA loan you want to refinance to a VA loan. By refinancing in this manner, you take advantage of the benefits of a VA loan, instead of a traditional loan.

As with other VA home loans, this loan does not require you to be a first-time home buyer.

Learn About the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan 

If you already have a VA loan on a property, and wish to refinance it, use an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL).

You can only use this loan for another VA loan, and it cannot be used to refinance a traditional loan. Unlike other VA loans, this can be used for a home you no longer occupy.

Use your previous loan application and eligibility certification as part of your IRRRL application.

Learn About Assistance with Delinquent Home Loans

Those who already own their own homes through a VA loan, but are struggling to make their payments, find this program helpful.

The VA may be able to help by stalling your loan or setting up a new payment plan. In this manner, the VA hopes to prevent veterans from losing their homes due to foreclosure.

Learn About the Native American Direct Loan

Native American veterans benefit from this loan option, which is offered directly from the VA. The loan is used to purchase or improve a home on Federal Trust land, or to refinance a previous loan.

If you qualify, you are not required to make any down payment or pay for private mortgage insurance.

The closing costs and interest rates are low. To qualify, your tribe must have a Memorandum of Understanding with the VA.

Learn About Adapted Housing Grants

These grants are made available as part of the VA home loan program. Different grant types exist, each intended to help veterans who need specific living arrangements as a result of a service-related disability.

You must meet the disability level and service-related requirements for eligibility, according to the standards set by the program.

If you do qualify, use the grant to adapt your current home, adapt a home you plan to buy or buy a home that already has features designed to assist with disabilities.

You may be able to build a new home with one of these grants or use the grant to assist with mortgage payments for a home you have already purchased to adapt.

What is the Vendee Loan?

This loan program is available to veterans and non-veterans alike. The properties being sold are VA Real Estate Owned (REO) properties, and the VA offers competitive financing to encourage buyers.

Down payments are kept to a minimum, with no appraisals or mortgage insurance needed. The fees for origination and funding may be included in the cost of the loan itself, keeping additional expenses down for the overall home purchase.