VA Loan Basics VA Loans Insider

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Water Quality, Well Tests and Your VA Home Loan

    Water Quality, Well Tests and Your VA Home Loan

    Water quality probably isn't high on your home shopping checklist. But making sure the property you want to purchase is safe, sound and sanitary is one of the key missions of the VA home loan program. That's why the type of water connection and treatment system at your potential dream home can become a big deal. These are part of the VA's Minimum Property Requirements, a set of standards the agency wants prop…

  • 10 Key Facts About VA Home Loans and VA Borrowers

    10 Key Facts About VA Home Loans and VA Borrowers

    Knowing how VA loans work is the first step toward getting the home of your dreams, and awareness is incredibly important when it comes to the VA loan. A Department of Veterans Affairs survey back found that one-third of veterans didn't know this benefit existed. Social media and a sagging housing market have helped more active military members and veterans to learn about homebuying and their options over the …

  • 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…