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For Veterans: All the Benefits of Home

Benefit overview

You saw your share of moving in the military. Now, as a veteran, maybe you’re thinking about settling down in one place. Thanks to your service, you’ve earned good benefits on the homefront. Check out these loan and assistance programs as you make a place for yourself in the civilian world.

How this benefit helps veterans

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Make your final move in the military

Most service members have three years if they are retiring and 180 days if separating before retirement to complete a final move at the government’s expense, and this benefit will help you make your transition out of the military a success.

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Securing a home loan

The Department of Veterans Affairs and Military OneSource offer numerous resources to help veterans secure a loan and buy a home.

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Housing assistance

Veterans have access to help with everything from finding a retirement home to financial counseling and assistance.

How to access this benefit

Most service members transitioning out have three years if retiring and 180 days if separating before retirement to complete a final military move at the government’s expense. Plan early and visit your installation’s relocation support offices as you organize your move. Find comprehensive moving information on the Military OneSource Preparing to Move page.

Here are some of the specific resources available:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers substantial help with home loans and general housing assistance. You don’t have to be a first-time homebuyer to take advantage of VA home loans.

  • Purchase a home at a competitive interest rate with a Purchase Loan, often without requiring a down payment or mortgage insurance.
  • Cash-Out Refinance Loans are for homeowners who want to take cash out of their home equity to take care of things like paying off debt, funding school or making home improvements.
  • Obtain a lower interest rate with the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan.
  • Eligible Native American veterans may be able to participate in the Native American Direct Loan Program to finance the purchase, construction or improvement of homes on Federal Trust Land.
  • Veterans with a permanent and total service-connected disability can get help purchasing or building an adapted home with an Adapted Housing Grant. The grant can also go toward modifying an existing home.

Make sure you read over the eligibility requirements to determine what benefits you can receive.

If you’re over 60 and have 20 or more years of active service, you might want to check into Armed Forces Retirement Homes. AFRH currently has two communities — in Gulfport, Miss., and Washington, D.C. Contact them to see if you can apply.

  • National Resource Directory: When you decide on a location for your new home, you can always check the VA’s National Resource Directory for more location-specific housing assistance.
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: HUD also sponsors housing counseling agencies throughout the country that can provide advice on everything from buying a home to foreclosures and credit issues.
  • Having difficulty? Late payments can happen. Don’t beat yourself up — instead, address it. Your community is here to help.
    • Military OneSource offers financial counseling for retirees and service members who were discharged under honorable or general discharge under honorable conditions for up to 365 days after their retirement, end-of-tour or discharge date.
    • Visit the VA website for information on what to do when payments can’t be made or financial troubles arise.
    • HUD also provides resources on avoiding foreclosure.
    • If you or someone you know is at risk of homelessness, contact your local VA medical center, call 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838) or visit VA can connect you with resources to get you back on your feet.

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