VA Loans Insider Page 3

  • Explaining VA Entitlement: What You've Earned and Why It's Important

    Explaining VA Entitlement: What You’ve Earned and Why It’s Important

    The concept of VA entitlement is often a confusing one. You can think of it as something you're entitled to given your service to our nation. This is certainly a hard-earned and well-deserved benefit. But that's not what it really means, at least in practical terms. Veterans who are eligible for a VA loan have an entitlement, which is basically a dollar amount the VA promises to repay back to a lender in the ev…

  • 5 Things That Can Hamper Your VA Loan

    5 Things That Can Hamper Your VA Loan

    Despite the reams of documents and sophisticated computer programs, home lending is ultimately a business comprised of human beings. That means there’s always a chance for something to go wrong, even though the VA loan process isn’t more difficult than any other loan type. In fact, VA loans continue to be more likely to close than their conventional counterparts. Simple mistakes, oversights and paperwo…

  • Explaining the VA’s Standard for Debt-to-Income Ratio

    Explaining the VA’s Standard for Debt-to-Income Ratio

    When applying for a VA home loan, borrowers hear a lot about something called debt-to-income ratio. Debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is an underwriting guideline that compares a borrower’s monthly debt payments to gross monthly income and helps lenders determine if you meet VA loan qualifications. VA lenders look for a DTI of 41 percent but evaluate it a bit differently than the other major lending avenues (FHA, U…

  • Restoration of Entitlement: How to Reuse Your VA Loan Benefit in Full

    Restoration of Entitlement: How to Reuse Your VA Loan Benefit in Full

    VA entitlement is a financial guaranty from the government, which pledges to repay a portion of your home mortgage in the event of default. Your VA entitlement is a specific dollar amount. Veterans and service members using the VA loan benefit for the first time have their full VA loan entitlement available, which allows qualified buyers in most of the country to borrow up to $453,100 before having to make a d…

  • Explaining VA Loan Residual Income Guidelines

    Explaining VA Loan Residual Income Guidelines

    The VA’s residual income guideline offers a powerful and realistic way to look at affordability and whether new homeowners have enough income to cover living expenses and stay current on their mortgage. Residual income is a major reason why VA loans have such a low foreclosure rate, despite the fact that about 9 in 10 people purchase without a down payment. The heart of this is discretionary income. Residual …

  • VA Termite Inspections By State

    VA Termite Inspections By State

    The VA home loan program is focused on getting service members, veterans and military families into "move-in ready" homes that are safe, sound and sanitary. It's not as flashy, but we could also add "termite-free" to that list. VA  loan rules state that a wood-destroying pest inspection is required in certain parts of the country or in low-rise and high-rise condo units when the VA appraiser observes a poten…

  • Can I Have Bad Credit and Still Get a VA Home Loan?

    Can I Have Bad Credit and Still Get a VA Home Loan?

    This post was inspired by VA Loans Insider reader Mary Ann Parker, who asked about securing VA financing with less than perfect credit. In fact, one of the most common questions we receive is: Can I get a VA loan with bad credit? It is possible to get a VA loan with bad credit. For VA loans, borrowers often need a FICO score of at least 620, but the VA doesn’t mandate a minimum credit score requirement and some …

  • Short Sales and Seasoning Periods for VA Home Loans

    Short Sales and Seasoning Periods for VA Home Loans

    When is a foreclosure not a foreclosure? Short sales often get lumped together with foreclosure and its offshoot, the deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. But these aren't the same thing, and that can make a huge difference for homebuyers. Borrowers will almost always need to wait two years after a foreclosure before applying for a VA home loan, but VA guidelines do not set a required wait, or seasoning period, after…

  • Getting a Second VA Loan: a Closer Look at Second-Tier Entitlement

    Getting a Second VA Loan: a Closer Look at Second-Tier Entitlement

    There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about the VA loan program. Two of the most common are rooted in the concept of VA entitlement, which is basically the amount of money the VA pledges to guarantee in the event of borrower default. So let's get this out of the way at the outset: The VA allows veterans to have two VA loans at the same time in some situations. It's actually possible to have more t…

  • 8 Unbeatable Benefits of VA Home Loans

    8 Unbeatable Benefits of VA Home Loans

    The VA home loan program is more important today than ever before and is one of the most powerful loan options on the market for active military and veterans. It's increasingly difficult for many military borrowers to build the credit and assets necessary to move forward with conventional home financing. The VA loan program's advantages over other loan types are a big reason why VA loan volume has continually gro…