The VA Home Loan program is the best option available exclusively to active or retired military veterans and their spouses to help them pursue their dream of homeownership. Only a small fraction of eligible active duty and retired veterans actually use their VA Home Loan benefit, and it is our goal at West Coast Mortgage Group to help get this important information out to our military servicemen and women and educate them on the many benefits to this type of loan.

VA Home Loans do not always require a down payment and offer highly competitive rates. The Department of Veterans Affairs guarantee the loans that approved lenders, such as West Coast Mortgage Group, make to the eligible borrowers and the process is fairly similar to conventional lending with only a few items that are specific to the VA. This allows VA Home Loans to have no mortgage insurance requirement which furthers the monthly savings to our military members. Available to millions of retired veterans and active armed forces, VA Home Loans are generally easier to qualify for than conventional mortgages and offer highly competitive terms.

You may be wondering who might actually eligible for this program? Active Duty Armed Forces: if you are currently active duty (in wartime), you may be eligible after only 90 days of continuous service. Retired Veterans: this will depend on when you served and for how long. You may be eligible if you served during peacetime for more than 181 days or if you served during wartime for over 90 days. Other Service Branches: VA home loan benefits may also be available for Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserves, and surviving spouses. Click here for full eligibility details from the va.gov website

Here is a full breakdown of all our favorite VA Home Loan benefits:

Qualifying for a VA Home Loan is easier than other home loan programs.

As stated, the Veterans Administration views this loan program more as a benefit, so their goal is to make sure as many eligible borrowers as possible have access to this program. Qualifying for a VA Home Loan based on debt to income is very unique since borrower debt to income ratios can go as high as 50% and with a special “residual income” analysis it may go higher. In addition, credit scores for some borrowers may be allowed down to the high 500’s.

You can use your VA Home Loan benefit multiple times throughout your life.

One thing we hear from veterans is that since they are retired from the armed forces and no longer active duty, they cannot use their VA Home Loan benefits. This is not true, once eligible, this benefit may be used at any time. In addition, many borrowers think they can only use this benefit once. This is also not true, as long as you qualify it may be used to buy or refinance your primary home many times. West Coast Mortgage Group is able to check your certificate of eligibility on your behalf, and this item will tell the story of your remaining VA entitlement.

VA Home Loans have generous Loan Limits.

Although there are VA Home Loan Limits depending on the local county the property is in, a borrower may take out a loan higher than these loan limits. Most borrower’s VA Home Loan will not exceed the local VA Home Loan limit. If the desired loan amount will exceed the local VA Home Loan Limit, there may just be a small down payment requirement, but a VA Home Loan can still be obtained.

Great cash out or rate reduction VA Home Loan refinance options.

If you need to refinance your VA Home Loan, there are many options to choose from. Our two favorites are the cash-out refinance and the VA interest rate reduction refinance loan program (VA IRRRL).

The VA IRRRL is a streamlined refinance program (VA loan to VA loan), with the goal to help eligible borrowers reduce their monthly payment and save on interest as soon as possible. You will not need to include your current income for your loan application, you may not need a home appraisal, no debt to income ratio is required, and your VA Eligibility is transferred to the new loan. With this program, the Veterans Administration rules will require a certain amount of interest rate savings. If you are interested, we can run a free analysis for you.

Through a cash-out refinance, a VA Home Loan borrower may be able to receive up to 100% cash-out value on their home to pay of debts and other personal costs. This can be very helpful financially for homeowners and a great chance to help stabilize finances through paying off high interest debt.

VA Home Loans do not always require a down payment.

Did you know that the majority of VA Home Loans do not require a down payment? This is one of the largest benefits of the program. Generally, saving up for a down payment when looking to purchase is the most difficult thing for new homeowners and is the largest reason people put off home buying. Through this loan program the Veterans Administration believes in the power of owning your own home and promotes home ownership as soon as possible.

The VA Home Loan remains one of the few mortgage options for borrowers that do not always require a down payment. Down payment requirements are based on local county VA Home Loan Limits and if your desired loan amount is above the limit, there will be a down payment requirement which is normally a reasonable amount.

No Monthly Mortgage Insurance is required on VA Home Loans.

No mortgage insurance is needed for a VA Home Loan, even if you are eligible and qualified for a no money down VA Home Loan.

Almost all other loan programs will require you to have mortgage insurance if you put less than 20% down for a home purchase. This can often add hundreds of dollars per month to your housing costs, but with a VA Home Loan you will not have this added cost.

VA Home Loans have lower interest rates than other programs.

Did you know VA Home Loans tend to have lower interest rates than other conventional loan programs or jumbo loan programs? Out of all loan options on the market, VA Home Loans consistently have some of the best rates available.

Because VA Home Loans are guaranteed by the Federal Government, lenders are able to offer lower rates on these types of loans. If you are curious about a rate quote, click here for a quick quote

Final Thoughts 

A VA Home Loan should be your top choice if you are looking to buy or refinance your primary residence and are an active or retired US Military member. If you think you may be eligible for a VA home loan, make sure to tell your loan officer or give us a call. With only a few personal details from you, our lending team can check with the Veterans Administration to see if you are eligible. Our team has helped hundreds of families verify their eligibility and successfully obtain a VA Home Loan.

We still always advise our clients to consider each loan option prior to making a decision to see which loan program may be the best option for their personal situation. Each individual’s circumstances are different, and other loan options may be a better choice. 

With over 16 years of residential home loan experience, West Coast Mortgage Group has mastered the art of helping clients through the loan process. We are here to answer any questions you may have and our loan officers are here to assist you with your home purchase, mortgage refinance, and mortgage planning. Call us at any time for a free live consultation or schedule a meeting today!