Veterans, as well as active-duty members and their families, can qualify for United States Government VA home loans. Although this mortgage is issued by a private lending institution, just like the guaranteed options, VA loans are backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Created close to eight decades ago, the program was initially aimed at assisting returning service men and women in buying homes. Since its inception, it has assisted over 22 million beneficiaries.
Characteristics of a VA home loan
One of the most striking features of a VA home loan is the fact that there is no down payment or private mortgage insurance. This can be a great option for any veteran or an active service member looking to own a home. Ever since its inception and gaining greater popularity during the period when the housing market collapsed in the 2000s, the VA home loan program has been a critical component of home mortgages, being described as the best and easiest way to finance a homeownership endeavor.
The fact that it is backed by the federal government means that the VA will reimburse the lender for any losses which may be as a result of a default.
Requirements for a VA home loan:
Those who qualify for a VA loan are active service members or veterans, and the loan can extend to a surviving spouse if there are clean financial records. Children of a veteran do not qualify for this type of homeownership loan. Other requirements include having not defaulted on a home loan for the past year, as well as a veteran who has not filed for bankruptcy for the last 24 months. The qualification of a veteran is a person who has served for at least three months or more days in wartime or 181 days or more during peacetime. For a person who was discharged with a service-related disability, these requirements are waived. For those in the Reserves and National Guard, the period of service is six years. For the surviving spouse, they should not have remarried.
Benefits of a VA home loan:
- 100% financing for qualified veterans - No down payment
- No private mortgage insurance
- Even more competitive interest rates
- Government guarantee
- No prepayment penalties
- Lower closing costs