What Are VA Loans?
Learn about the benefits and find out if you may qualify for a VA loan.
VA loans are a type of home mortgage guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. This type of loan is available to many US service members, and offer some fantastic benefits for you and your family. VA loans can only be used for the purchase of a primary residence, not a second or rental home.
If you’ve served in active duty for 90 days during wartime, or 181 days during peacetime, you may be eligible to apply for a VA loan. Those who have served 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard are also able to apply for a VA loan. In addition, if you are the spouse of a service member who was killed in the line of duty, or if you’re currently receiving disability payments from the VA, you may be eligible for a VA loan. The easiest way to find out if you are eligible for a VA loan is to contact a licensed independent Mortgage Broker who can walk you through the process and find the best VA loan for you.
VA Loans are known for being easier to qualify for, compared to conventional loans. There is no minimum credit score required to get a VA loan, but most lenders require you to meet a minimum credit score of 580 in order to apply. Not only can these loans be attained easier than conventional loans, they also don’t require a down payment, making it more accessible for those who have served. VA loans also make it easier to get a lower monthly payment, which is great news for a lot of people. But be aware, there are still some one-time fees you should be aware of, which we’ll talk about in the next section. For a more detailed list of the benefits, check out our page about VA loans.
When you get a VA loan, you’re required to pay a fee directly to the VA, this is called the VA funding fee. The amount of your fee depends on several factors, like whether you’re retired, active duty, or a member of the National Guard or Reserves. The type of loan also affects your fee, like whether you’re getting a loan for first-time use, subsequent use, or cash-out refinancing. Along with those factors, the amount of money you put on your down payment also impacts your fee. Generally, the funding fee costs between 1.25 to 3.3 percent of the loan itself. Usually, the more money down, the lower your fee. The funding fee can be paid out of pocket, or included in the cost of the loan to be paid over time. And of course, other closing costs will still need to be paid, such as the appraisal, title and Escrows. If you have additional questions about the VA funding fee, please send us an email or give us a call and we’re happy to help.