A VA home loan can help you with multiple housing issues. Most veterans use their VA home loans to purchase their first house, but existing homeowners can also apply for loans to make changes to their house. There are special emergency home loans available to veterans who are currently homeless or in danger of having their homes foreclosed on.
You can also get VA home loans to refinance your existing mortgage, allowing you to negotiate for better interest rates. Most of the VA home loans are also available to your family members.
Despite the name, a VA home loan does not come from the Department of Veterans Affair. Instead, the VA loan is supplied by a private lender, with the government providing insurance on the loan. This allows the lender to offer you much better rates, since the government will pay your loan if you default on your payments. As a result, VA home loans have much lower interest rates and require a smaller down payment compared to a traditional housing loan.
Some VA home loans completely waive the down payment. Another advantage that veteran loans specifically have over other government-insured loans is eligibility. There are several other programs to get government-insured loans, but these are only available if you are buying your first home. Veteran home loans provide the same benefits whether or not you previously owned property.
Veteran home loans have additional benefits, but these may vary depending on your lender. Many lenders will not require you to purchase any mortgage insurance if your loan is backed by the government. Lenders may also lower their minimum credit score, or completely waive the requirements when you use a VA loan.
As of writing, the largest VA home loan provider is Veterans United. Veterans United requires you to have a minimum credit score of 660. If you do not meet this requirement, you can apply for financial assistance through the Lighthouse program.
In this program, you receive free counseling from a financial expert. Your counselor helps you manage your spending, pay off debt and build up your credit score. Your family members can also apply for assistance through the Lighthouse program.
If you need a VA loan but do not have time to improve your credit score, you can apply through AmeriSave Mortgage. AmeriSave only requires a credit score of 580. The company waives any funding fees for veterans. VA loans from AmeriSave carry low-interest rates, rarely exceeding 2.40 percent.