For active service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses, the path to homeownership may be more straightforward with a VA home loan. These government loans are considered a major benefit of serving in the U.S. military and honor the sacrifices of our proud men and women.
VA Home Loans
What is a VA Home Loan?
A VA home loan is a government loan backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Because the VA guarantees a portion of these loans, we can offer them without requiring a down payment. Plus, borrowers may enjoy lower interest rates on VA mortgages than other types of home loans.
How do VA Home Loans Work?
Many people mistakenly believe that the Department of Veterans Affairs issues VA home loans. It doesn’t–however, the VA does determine who is eligible for these loans, as well as which private lenders can qualify to issue them.
VA home loans are considered non-conforming loans and have additional requirements than traditional conforming loans. And unlike many other types of home loans, VA home loans never require monthly mortgage insurance. It’s easy to see why they’re considered a major benefit of serving in the armed forces.
VA Home Loan Eligibility
One of the most important things to know about VA home loans is that they’re only available to active duty service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses.
Not everyone who has served in the armed forces qualifies, and you must meet certain criteria set by the Department of Veterans Affairs. For example, VA loan eligibility requirements for National Guard and Reserve members differ slightly. Spouses of service members who lost their lives in the line of duty or passed away in connection with a service-connected disability may qualify for a VA loan. However, some restrictions apply.
In short, requirements for a VA home loan can vary greatly. We recommend checking the Department of Veterans Affairs website for the most current information.
Loan amounts vary, but if your entitlement (the dollar amount the VA guarantees on your loan) is full, you don’t have a loan limit.
Because they’re backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA home loans typically come with lower interest rates as a benefit.
Standard loan term is 30 years.
No Down Payment
As long as the home’s sale price isn’t higher than its appraised value, you don’t have to make a down payment on a VA home loan.
VA loans may be used to purchase a new home or refinance an existing mortgage.
Along with a Certificate of Eligibility, you’ll need to plan on living in the home you’re purchasing to qualify for a VA home loan, plus a FICO credit score of at least 640 or higher.
Common VA Home Loan Questions
VA home loans can be huge assets to homebuyers looking for more favorable financing options. However, understanding the requirements and conditions associated with them can be challenging. Use these FAQs to get acquainted with common terms and other considerations.
What is a Certificate of Eligibility (COE)?
A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is a document that proves your eligibility for a VA home loan. To get a COE, you must demonstrate proof of service. Proof requirements vary depending on whether you’re an active duty service member, a veteran, or a surviving spouse. You can check your eligibility and request a COE directly on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
What are the advantages of VA home loans?
VA home loans offer several competitive benefits. Lower interest rates, no down payment requirement, no private mortgage insurance requirements; make VA loans excellent options for eligible would-be homebuyers. Plus, as an additional benefit, the VA offers other loan programs designed specifically for disabled veterans. VA loans also present attractive refinancing options even if you don’t have equity in your home. You can refinance up to 120% of your home’s value for changing your term or lowering your rate. Yes, that means you might be able refinance even if you owe more on your home than the current value.
Which service members are eligible for VA loans?
Members of seven uniformed branches–Army, Navy, Air Force (including the Space Force), Marines, Coast Guard, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Service–are eligible to apply for VA home loans. Along with active duty service members and veterans, Reservists and National Guard members may also apply.
Are there additional benefits for disabled veterans?
Disabled veterans enjoy added perks in connection with their VA home loans. Exemptions from funding fees, access to additional adaptation grants, and property tax exemptions are available. Plus, if you have a disability that affects your mobility or vision, you may have access to specially adapted housing (SAH) grants.
Are there other VA home loan eligibility requirements?
Along with eligibility requirements set by the Department of Veterans Affairs, you also must meet specific lender requirements. Contact us to discuss the details of your service and learn more.
What fees are required for a VA home loan?
VA home loans don’t require down payments. However, you may need to pay other fees when you close on your loan. Additional fees can include closing costs, funding fees, and access to reserve funds.
Everyone Deserves a Home
According to the National Institute to End Homelessness, over 7,600 Nevadans experience homelessness on any given day, with nearly 20% being children and teens. Our Keys to Greater program donates a portion of the revenue from every new mortgage or refinance to community nonprofit organizations that address homelessness, which has resulted in over $177,100 donated since launching in 2021.
Applying for a VA Home Loan
Homeownership may be just an application away. Apply for your VA home loan today with help from our consultants–we’re here to simplify the process and answer any questions along the way.
Secure a Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
Confirm your eligibility and request a COE on the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Calculate What You Can Afford
See how much you can afford to borrow on your home purchase with our mortgage calculator.
Submit Your Application
It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s online. Plus, we have a mortgage documents checklist so you know what information to gather.
All your home loan questions are answered by your dedicated Mortgage Consultant and their team as you learn about what options work best for your goals.
APR = Annual Percentage Rate. APR is the cost to borrow money expressed as a yearly percentage. For mortgage loans, excluding home equity lines of credit, it includes the interest rate plus other charges or fees.
Rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Rates are for illustrative purposes only, and assumes a borrower with a credit score of 700 or higher which may be higher or lower than your individual credit score. Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) loans are subject to interest rate, APR, and payment increase after each change period. For instance, a 5/5 ARM means that you will pay a fixed rate for the first five years of the loan, and then your rate is subject to change once every five years thereafter through the remainder of the loan. Interest rates and APRs are based on current market rates, and may be subject to pricing add-ons related to property type, loan amount, loan-to-value, credit score and other variables. Depending on loan guidelines, mortgage insurance may be required. If mortgage insurance is required, the mortgage insurance premium could increase the APR and the monthly mortgage payment. Your loan’s interest rate will depend upon the specific characteristics of your loan transaction and your credit history up to the time of closing. The estimated total closing costs in these rate scenarios are not a substitute for a Loan Estimate, which includes an estimate of closing costs, which you will receive once you apply for a loan. Actual fees, costs and monthly payment on your specific loan transaction may vary, and may include city, county or other additional fees and costs. Not all loan options are available in every state. Borrower is responsible for any property taxes as a condition of the loan. Membership with Greater Nevada Credit Union is required for select loan options. This is not a credit decision or a commitment to lend.
Please contact a Mortgage Consultant to learn about all details on loan options and programs available. You may contact one directly, or call Greater Nevada Mortgage at 775-888-6999 or 800-526-6999. We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and the Equal Opportunity Act, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.