VA Loan Basics VA Loans Insider

  • How to Refinance a Conventional Mortgage into a VA Loan

    How to Refinance a Conventional Mortgage into a VA Loan

    It comes as a surprise to some, but one of the myriad benefits of VA loans is that qualified veterans with non-VA home mortgages can refinance into a VA loan and reap the program's benefits. The VA Cash-Out refinance is the only way to make it happen. Conventional to Cash-Out The Cash-Out refinance is one of the VA's two refinance options. The other, the VA Streamline, is an interest rate reduction loan that…

  • Here's the Easiest Way to Have a Seller Pay Your Closing Costs

    Here’s the Easiest Way to Have a Seller Pay Your Closing Costs

    When the time comes to make an offer on your dream home, asking the seller to pay your closing costs can almost seem like you're tempting fate. Not only are you hoping to get a great deal on the purchase price, but you're also expecting the person to cover some or all of the up-front expenses that come with getting a mortgage. The fear is that you'll spook the seller and wind up losing out on a property you love. …

  • Understanding Clear to Close for VA Buyers

    Understanding Clear to Close for VA Buyers

    You’ve worked with your loan officer and the day you’ve been working toward has arrived. He says the magical words, “Your loan is clear to close.” But now, you wonder, what’s next? From the moment your loan receives approval by an underwriter a huge weight is lifted from your shoulders, but you aren’t quite finished. This guide will outline each step of the process from the moment you receive the “cl…

  • Getting Your Certificate of Eligibility: Let a Lender Do the Heavy Lifting

    Getting Your Certificate of Eligibility: Let a Lender Do the Heavy Lifting

    Even if you're positive you meet the VA loan eligibility requirements, there's only one way to be certain you have access to VA home loan benefits: Obtain your Certificate of Eligibility. This is where the VA separates belief from reality. The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is an official document that basically attests to your right to participate in the VA Loan Guaranty program. There are multiple ways …

  • What You Can (and Cannot) Do With Your VA Loan

    What You Can (and Cannot) Do With Your VA Loan

    America owes much to her veterans, who put their lives on the line for their country. It’s a debt that cannot possibly be repaid. But it can be appreciated in a tangible way, which is why we, as a nation, created the VA mortgage program. This is an amazing program that has allowed more than 21 million veterans and active military families to purchase a home since 1944. VA mortgages come with no d…

  • When's the Best Time to Lock the Interest Rate on Your VA Loan?

    When’s the Best Time to Lock the Interest Rate on Your VA Loan?

    Cliche and salesy as it might often sound, mortgage interest rates really can change constantly. So many uncertain, uncontrollable things — chiefly socioeconomic and political factors — help shape the markets that determine rates. Tools like the Veterans United VA home loan calculator can help you work out finances. Invariably, though, there's one question that dominates this entire discussion, no matt…

  • Get a VA-Savvy Real Estate Agent in Your Corner

    Get a VA-Savvy Real Estate Agent in Your Corner

    All real estate agents aren’t created equal. It might not matter too much if you’re purchasing with a conventional, run-of-the-mill loan. But the VA loan is a unique tool that demands specialized knowledge. The VA requires a home to be in good repair. Condos and homes that are part of an association must meet department approval. Private wells, septic systems, termite inspections and shared maintenance …

  • Comparing VA Loans to Conventional, FHA and USDA Finance Options

    Comparing VA Loans to Conventional, FHA and USDA Finance Options

    For the vast majority of military borrowers, VA loans are the most powerful and cost-effective mortgage program on the market. These government-backed loans come with significant financial benefits that help veterans purchase with no money down and no out-of-pocket spending up front — and plenty more benefits for America's heroes. But there are certainly times when a VA loan isn't the best answer. For example…

  • 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. If you want to use your VA home loan benefits to unlock the door to your dream home and your credit is standing in the way, Veterans United’s Lighthouse program can help you get on the right track. For more details, read on. Credit Benchmarks The first issue is tackling …

  • How to Rent Your Old House and Use the Income for a New VA Loan

    How to Rent Your Old House and Use the Income for a New VA Loan

    Military life is so often spent on the move. That can make homeownership tricky for some military buyers, if not downright treacherous. Having to PCS to Fort Riley three or four years after buying a home near Fort Campbell can put military families in a financial bind. Home values have plummeted in dozens of markets across the country. Military homeowners faced with relocation may owe far more on their house t…