VA Loan Basics VA Loans Insider

  • Can VA Buyers Borrow More Than a Home Is Worth?

    Can VA Buyers Borrow More Than a Home Is Worth?

    It's tough to find a home in mint condition, unless you're buying sparkling, brand new construction. There's often a host of upgrades, fixes or improvements that prospective homebuyers envision making once that property is all theirs. Many first-time homebuyers expect to be able to build the cost of those improvements and upgrades into their new home loan. Unfortunately, making that work in practice is tough with …

  • 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…

  • Using a VA Loan for Manufactured or Modular Housing

    Using a VA Loan for Manufactured or Modular Housing

    Out of the gate, it's incredibly important to make this distinction: Modular homes and manufactured homes are not the same thing, at least as far as the VA home loan program is concerned. The VA loan offers many advantages that make homebuying easier and less expensive for veterans. Regardless of the home you choose, now is the time to get started on your VA home loan application. Manufactured homes are mobile …

  • 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? The answer isn't black-and-white, in part because there's no clear-cut definition of what "bad credit" actually means. For VA loans, borrowers will often need a FICO credit score of at le…

  • 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…

  • How Your Military Discharge Can Affect VA Home Loan Eligibility

    How Your Military Discharge Can Affect VA Home Loan Eligibility

    Documenting your proof of service is an important step in the VA mortgage process. As with most military benefits, the nature of your discharge can affect your eligibility for a VA home loan. This isn’t an issue for most veterans. But in certain cases, you may need a more formal review before moving forward. Let’s take a closer look. Types of Discharges You're generally eligible for VA loan benefits if y…

  • A Simple Explanation of Second-Tier Entitlement on VA Mortgages

    A Simple Explanation of Second-Tier Entitlement on VA Mortgages

    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…