VA Loan Buyer’s Guide: Eligibility, Benefits and How to Apply

If you’re a military veteran or still in active service, you may qualify for a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan. These often require no down payment and have lower closing costs, which can help keep your savings secure.

Debbie is a proud member of the Vetted VA team where she strives to provide accurate and helpful VA financing information as well as support. Whether you need answers for house buying, refinancing, building, or general mortgage issues, we can help!

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned homeowner, we’ll help you understand the differences between financing programs so you can select the one that’s best for you.

Frequently asked questions

How many times can you use a VA loan benefit?

You can use your VA loan benefit as often as you wish, as long as you have sufficient entitlement to buy a home and are purchasing a primary residence. Your VA loan entitlement is a lifetime benefit.

Do VA loans require PMI?

No, private mortgage insurance (PMI) is not required. Instead of the borrower paying for insurance to cover a lender’s potential losses, the VA offers a guaranty that covers the cost of lender losses equaling up to 25% of your loan amount if you default. The VA also charges you a funding fee of 0.5% to 3.6% to offset the program cost to taxpayers.

How much are VA loan closing costs?

You’ll usually pay 2% to 6% in VA loan closing costs depending on your loan size. However, VA-approved lenders can’t charge more than 1% of your loan amount in lender fees.

What is the required down payment for a VA loan?

Eligible veterans typically don’t need any down payment. However, you may need one if you have an outstanding VA loan on another home and don’t have enough entitlement to cover the guaranty on the new loan.

Can I refinance my VA loan to lower my rate?

Yes. The VA IRRRL program makes it easy to refinance to a lower rate with no income verification or appraisal required.

What is residual income?

Residual income is the amount of money you have left over each month after paying your basic expenses and ongoing debts. The VA sets minimum residual income requirements based on loan amount, location and family size to ensure that you can afford the loan you are taking out.

Are VA loans assumable?

Yes, VA loans are assumable. Just make sure that you’ve done your due diligence and know the pros and cons of assuming a VA mortgage.

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