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The Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan Basics

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The first step toward owning your own home is meeting with a lender to secure a loan. The Department of Veterans Affairs Home Loan Program is a substantial benefit earned with military service. These invaluable loans require no down payment, no private mortgage insurance and have low-interest rates.

You get much better financing terms than a traditional home loan. Even if you haven’t been approved for a traditional loan, you might still qualify for a VA loan.

For more information, call a VA home loan representative at 877-827-3702, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. ET.

Features of Department of Veterans Affairs Guaranteed Home Loans

Every loan can end up being a little different, but here are the standard features:

  • No down payment: Perhaps you can save or invest what you would have put aside as your down payment.
  • Limited closing costs: Some of these costs may be paid by the seller, lender or other party.
  • Low interest rates: VA home loans offer one of the most competitive interest rates in the market.
  • No mortgage insurance premium: Veterans are required to pay the VA’s funding fee, unless exempt, but no private mortgage insurance.
  • Reusable benefit: You can use this benefit more than one time if you have a remaining entitlement.
  • One-time funding fee: Some veterans and service members are exempt from paying the funding fee. If you are not exempt, you may pay this fee at closing or include it in your loan.
  • Minimum property requirements: VA loans have minimum property requirements to ensure your home is safe, sound and sanitary.
  • No penalty for prepayment: Rule of thumb — always try to pay off loans early. Not having to pay interest leaves you with additional money to invest in other things. Some loans will penalize you for doing that, but these won’t.
  • Assumable mortgage: When you sell the property, you may elect to have a VA-eligible buyer assume your mortgage. If you do, the assumer’s qualifications must be reviewed and approved by the lender or VA.
  • VA staff assistance: If you are experiencing some temporary financial difficulty, VA has loan technicians that can discuss your specific situation.

There are some exemptions to the VA funding fee. For more information, visit the VA funding fee and loan closing costs webpage or view the VA-Guaranteed Home Loans for Veterans details.

The VA Home Loan Program has helped thousands of active-duty service members and veterans become homeowners. Now that you’re armed with the basics of VA home loans, you can start looking into how to use one to get your dream home. Read more home ownership benefits at Military OneSource.

Need additional help navigating the transition process? Military OneSource offers personalized support for transitioning veterans through specialty consultations. Call 800-342-9647, view international calling options or schedule a live chat.

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