VA Loan Basics VA Loans Insider

  • How Lenders Can Approach Appraisals and VA Refinance Loans

    How Lenders Can Approach Appraisals and VA Refinance Loans

    We've seen some questions and confusion recently about appraisals and VA refinance loans. The uncertainty is usually because of that gray area between what the VA requires (or doesn't) and what lenders want to see. The VA has two major refinance options. There's the Streamline, or the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), and the Cash-Out Refinance. The first one allows qualified homeowners with an e…

  • Let’s Make a Deal: Seller Concessions on a VA Loan

    Let’s Make a Deal: Seller Concessions on a VA Loan

    When it comes to the current housing market, the buyers are in charge. Sellers often make concessions to sweeten the deal, which is allowed when you’re buying property with a VA loan. Think of a seller concession as a gift of sorts—something of value that the seller offers to bring a buyer to a final offer.  The Department of Veterans Affairs define them as “anything of value added to the transaction…

  • Small Business Income and VA Loans

    Small Business Income and VA Loans

    Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. And studies and surveys have shown consistently that, when given a choice, a vast majority of consumers would rather patronize a veteran-owned business over a civilian-owned one. There are more than 3 million veteran-owned small businesses nationwide. Despite the tough economy and credit crunch, veterans in communities across the country are starting ne…

  • Housing Help Dries Up For Military Members

    Housing Help Dries Up For Military Members

    Home values have taken a nosedive for thousands of active military members, many of whom are now "underwater," meaning they owe more than the home is worth. The epidemic isn't unique to service members. But, unlike civilians, military homeowners face the prospect of receiving new orders and suddenly having to unload an underwater home in a sagging real estate market. That can prove financially ruinous for thos…

  • 3 Key Contract Contingencies to Consider

    3 Key Contract Contingencies to Consider

    It’s the home of your dreams. Your offer has been accepted. You can’t wait to get your loan finalized and start moving your furniture in. But a home inspection reveals a leaky basement. That charming porch is on the verge of collapse. And lurking behind the freshly painted walls are thousands of termites. Time to reconsider. Contract contingencies are designed to protect prospective buyers from the unkn…

  • VA Loan Eligibility Isn't a Home Loan Guarantee

    VA Loan Eligibility Isn’t a Home Loan Guarantee

    It’s important to remember that being eligible for a VA loan and actually getting one are two very different concepts. To be eligible means the VA has determined you meet the initial VA loan eligibility requirements and have earned some degree of home loan entitlement. But your Certificate of Eligibility isn’t a coupon you can just redeem for a VA loan or refinance of your choice. It just doesn’t work…

  • VA Loan Fees and Disability Status

    VA loans remain the most flexible and buyer-friendly lending option on the market for the vast majority of military borrowers. These government-backed loans come with no down payment, no private mortgage insurance and competitive rates. They also come with a mandatory fee known as the VA Funding Fee. This charge is applied to all purchase and refinance loans and goes directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs …

  • How Lenders Verify Employment for Active Service Members

    How Lenders Verify Employment for Active Service Members

    Verifying a prospective homebuyer's employment is one of the key steps of the loan process. VA lenders need to ensure a borrower has a steady, reliable income stream that's likely to continue and that covers their future housing needs. For veterans, military spouses and others, lenders will send a Verification of Employment (VOE), an official VA document, to past and current employers. The process is a bit …

  • VA Loans a Lifeline for Consumers Hit by Credit Crunch

    VA Loans a Lifeline for Consumers Hit by Credit Crunch

    Consumer credit scores have taken a beating in the last three years. Close to 21 million Americans saw their credit score plummet more than 50 points during the housing market and economic meltdown of 2008-09, according to FICO, which produces a key score for the lending industry. In all, about 50 million consumers lost more than 20 points from their score. Hits to your credit can make it secure a home loa…

  • Still No Free Lunches: Understanding the

    Still No Free Lunches: Understanding the “No-Cost” Loan

    There's no such thing as a free lunch, especially in the mortgage industry. A reader at VA Loans Insider recently asked about so-called no-cost refinance loans. He had received some advertisements touting these painless mortgages and wanted to know if they're legitimate. The reality is pretty simple: There's always a cost. Always. It's more a matter of how and when you pay it. How 'No-Cost' Really W…