VA Loan Basics VA Loans Insider

  • Are You Eligible for a VA Funding Fee Refund?

    Are You Eligible for a VA Funding Fee Refund?

    The VA Funding Fee is a set fee applied to every VA loan. Some buyers are exempt from paying the fee; others are eligible to receive a refund after closing. Veterans and military buyers who receive compensation for a service-connected disability, or are rated eligible to receive disability compensation as a result of a pre-discharge exam, are exempt from paying the funding fee. Military members who are entitled to…

  • 10 Key Facts About VA Home Loans and VA Borrowers

    10 Key Facts About VA Home Loans and VA Borrowers

    I've been putting together information on VA home loans for some folks in Washington. Sometimes just spelling things out in black-and-white really makes a difference, so one of the things I tried to do was come up with some key facts and figures about this more than 70-year-old lending program. Knowing  how VA loans work is the first step toward getting the home of your dreams, and awareness is incredibly importa…

  • 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…

  • 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 22 million veterans and active military families to purchase a home since 1944. VA mortgages come with no …

  • Occupancy Requirements for VA Loans

    Occupancy Requirements for VA Loans

    VA borrowers are expected to live in the properties they purchase. Sounds like a novel concept, right? But the issue of occupancy is important, not to mention often confusing, especially for first-time home buyers. These flexible, government-backed homes can’t be used to purchase investment properties or vacation homes, but the VA loan advantages are staggering. VA loans are for primary residences,…

  • How Much is the VA Funding Fee?

    How Much is the VA Funding Fee?

    Home ownership is a priority for many U.S. veterans and the incredible benefits of the VA Loan Program are helping thousands of service members achieve this goal. VA loans are one of just two no-down payment loan programs available today. Credit and income requirements are generally more lenient with VA loans than conventional mortgages, and the VA caps what veterans can pay in costs and fees. But there…

  • What VA Borrowers Need to Know About Foreclosure After Bankruptcy

    What VA Borrowers Need to Know About Foreclosure After Bankruptcy

    One of the most consistently confusing situations for prospective homebuyers and lenders alike involves the thorny issues surrounding bankruptcy, foreclosure and the status of your mortgage. Distressed homeowners may file for bankruptcy protection. Some want to keep their houses, others seek to have their mortgage debt discharged in the bankruptcy. Sometimes months or even years later the house is foreclosed upon.…

  • 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 …

  • Pulling Back the Curtain on VA Home Loan Closing Costs

    Pulling Back the Curtain on VA Home Loan Closing Costs

    No matter which side of the homebuying equation you're on, nobody likes closing costs. These are costs and fees associated with procuring and finalizing a home purchase or refinance, and most of them must be paid before you get the keys to your dream home. But the VA mortgage program does an exceptional job of limiting what veterans can pay in closing costs. That cost consciousness is a benefit designed to help ma…

  • 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…