VA Programs: Home Loans and Refinancing
- posted 8.5.2015
- Nicole Johnson
- Home Loans
Designed to help active duty military and veterans qualify for homeownership, VA Home Loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and feature easy home financing options. Because VA loans are government insured, they offer veterans and military personnel lower interest rates and better terms than conventional mortgages.
Current VA mortgage holders may refinance with the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) to lower their interest rate. A licensed mortgage specialist will discuss all of your home financing options and work to qualify you for the best home loan possible.
Buy Your Home with a VA Home Loan
Servicemen and women make many sacrifices for their country; the joys and benefits of homeownership should not be one of them. With a government insured VA mortgage, veterans and military personnel may secure a home purchase loan with no down payment and no monthly mortgage insurance premiums. VA Home Loans are popular as first-time mortgages and for buyers with less-than-perfect credit.
Benefits to a VA Home Loan include:
- No down payment required
- Negotiable interest rates
- Adjustable and fixed rate mortgage options
- No monthly mortgage insurance premiums
- No prepayment penalty
- VA assistance to borrowers due to financial difficulty
- Ability to finance the VA funding fee
- Reduced funding fees with a down payment of at least 5% and exemption for veterans receiving VA compensation
Basic Allowance for Housing
The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is a military entitlement given to active duty personnel to provide housing for them and their families. If you are assigned to permanent duty within the 50 United States and not living in government housing, you can qualify for this important benefit.
While most often used for rental expenses, you can use your BAH to pay a mortgage, giving you the ability to save for the future while building equity in your home. In addition, BAH benefits put you at an income level needed to qualify for and support a VA Home Loan. Finance a new home with no down payment and use your BAH to pay your mortgage!
The BAH is determined by your pay grade, location, and whether you have dependents. Contact a mortgage specialist to learn about all the ways you can make your BAH work for you.
Requirements for VA Home Loans
All veterans, active duty personnel, Reservists/National Guard members, and un-remarried surviving spouses are eligible for a VA Home Loan, but must qualify. In order to receive financing, you must have a Certificate of Eligibility—a document issued from the Veterans Administration that verifies your eligibility to receive VA benefits. A VA Approved lender can submit an online request through the Department of Veteran Affairs and you can receive your Certificate of Eligibility in seconds, making your life easier.
Steps to Obtaining a VA Home Loan
- Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility. A licensed mortgage specialist will help you gather the necessary forms.
- Work with a mortgage specialist to ensure you qualify for the best home loan available.
- Allow them to refer you to a Real Estate Agent in their preferred network to find and negotiate a purchase agreement for your new home.
- Your lender will take care of the home appraisal process for you, ordering a property appraisal from a VA assigned appraiser.
- If your lender is VA authorized to approve and close your loan, you won't have to wait for the VA to review your credit application.
- Loan closing. You are now a homeowner.
VA Streamline Refinancing Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan
The VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), often referred to as the VA Streamline, is part of a federally insured loan program to help veterans and active duty military refinance their existing VA loan into a lower interest-rate loan. The underwriting process for the VA Streamline is simplified for military veterans, so you may get a lower monthly mortgage payment without the pain of submitting bank statements, W2s, paychecks, and other documents.
VA Streamline refinancing offers competitive home financing interest rates not available to the general public. Unless you are switching from an Adjustable Rate Mortgage to a Fixed Rate Mortgage, the VA Streamline must result in a lower interest rate than the one you currently hold. With a VA Streamline, you may refinance your home with no out of pocket expenses. You can also roll closing costs into the VA loan, making the refinance process even easier.
Refinance to A Fixed Rate VA Home Loan
If you purchased your home with an Adjustable Rate VA Home Loan, and would like to enjoy the security and consistency of a fixed rate mortgage, a loan professional can assist you in refinancing for a better rate. There are several Fixed Rate VA Home Loan options to choose from and your loan professional can help you decide which option is best for your needs.
If you purchased your home with an Adjustable Rate VA Home Loan, and you would like to enjoy the security and consistency of a Fixed Rate Mortgage, a licensed lender can assist you.
If you have questions about applying for a VA Home Loan, using your BAH benefits, or refinancing with the VA IRRRL Streamline loan program, contact your loan specialist.