VA Loans Insider Page 15

  • 4 Simple Ways to Boost Your Credit Score

    4 Simple Ways to Boost Your Credit Score

    It's no secret that credit is key to securing a VA purchase or refinance loan. While VA loans feature less stringent guidelines than other loan programs, lenders are looking for a score of at least 620 in the current economic climate.  That can still prove a sizable hurdle for some military borrowers. But there are relatively simple, straightforward techniques you can use to help boost your score. I…

  • How Lenders Verify Employment for Active Service Members

    How Lenders Verify Employment for Active Service Members

    Verifying a prospective homebuyer's employment is one of the key steps of the loan process. VA lenders need to ensure a borrower has a steady, reliable income stream that's likely to continue and that covers their future housing needs. For veterans, military spouses and others, lenders will send a Verification of Employment (VOE), an official VA document, to past and current employers. The process is a bit …

  • VA Loans a Lifeline for Consumers Hit by Credit Crunch

    VA Loans a Lifeline for Consumers Hit by Credit Crunch

    Consumer credit scores have taken a beating in the last three years. Close to 21 million Americans saw their credit score plummet more than 50 points during the housing market and economic meltdown of 2008-09, according to FICO, which produces a key score for the lending industry. In all, about 50 million consumers lost more than 20 points from their score. Hits to your credit can make it secure a home loa…

  • VA Loans on the Rebound After Housing Market Collapse

    VA Loans on the Rebound After Housing Market Collapse

    Military borrowers continue to flock to the safety, security and unmatched buying power of VA loans in the wake of the subprime mortgage meltdown and ensuing credit crunch. VA loan guarantees have soared 168 percent since 2007, according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The agency backed more than 357,000 loans in Fiscal Year 2011, up from just 133,313 in FY07. That tremendous growth is a testa…

  • Refinance Surge Drives VA Loans to a Huge Year

    Refinance Surge Drives VA Loans to a Huge Year

    Spurred by a refinance surge, the VA guaranteed nearly 360,000 loans in Fiscal Year 2011, a 14-percent increase from the previous year. The lowest interest rates in years helped spark a resurgence in the VA's refinance program, which includes the no-frills Streamline, or Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), and the Cash-Out Refinance. The agency backed 171,605 refinance loans in FY11, a whopping 41-…

  • Bill Would Boost Access to VA Loans for Military Spouses

    Bill Would Boost Access to VA Loans for Military Spouses

    Thousands of surviving spouses currently ineligible for VA home loan benefits would gain access to the program if a U.S. House bill passed Wednesday becomes law. The VA Loan Guaranty program has helped more than 18 million service members become homeowners since 1944. The program provides no-down payment, government-backed mortgages and features less stringent credit and underwriting guidelines than other loan…

  • Still No Free Lunches: Understanding the

    Still No Free Lunches: Understanding the “No-Cost” Loan

    There's no such thing as a free lunch, especially in the mortgage industry. A reader at VA Loans Insider recently asked about so-called no-cost refinance loans. He had received some advertisements touting these painless mortgages and wanted to know if they're legitimate. The reality is pretty simple: There's always a cost. Always. It's more a matter of how and when you pay it. How 'No-Cost' Really W…

  • VA Loans and Employment

    VA Loans and Employment

    Income and employment are two basic elements in securing a home loan. But don’t let your assumptions about what is required discourage you from pursuing a VA loan, because the agency’s requirements allow for some flexibility in assessing both. When it comes to employment, the VA and VA approved lenders are looking for stability, consistency and a likelihood that those conditions will continue. The gold standar…

  • Patience at a Premium: Purchasing Foreclosures with a VA Loan

    Patience at a Premium: Purchasing Foreclosures with a VA Loan

    With the large number of foreclosed homes on the market these days, more prospective homeowners are looking in that direction to get the greatest bang for their mortgage buck. Purchasing a foreclosure can be frustrating and time consuming, and doing it with a VA home loan brings additional challenges. Sadly, some properties have been neglected as they work their way through the foreclosure process.  And to qua…

  • A Look at VA Refinance: Streamline and Cash-Out Programs

    A Look at VA Refinance: Streamline and Cash-Out Programs

    Home refinance is an attractive option for many military homeowners. Just as there are benefits to veterans borrowing through the VA home loan program, there are special refinancing options for qualifying veterans. Many veterans want to tap into the equity in their homes while others have sought to simply lower their monthly payments. The VA has refinance programs designed to help borrowers do both. Overall, th…