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  • 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…

  • VA Funding Fee to Stay at Current Level Through September 2016

    There's been a lot of confusion and uncertainty recently regarding the VA Funding Fee, which is a mandatory government fee on every purchase and refinance loan backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bottom line is this: The fee levels will remain the same through September 2016 after President Obama signed legislation this week that included a provision regarding the funding mechanism. Explaining the…

  • How to Have Two VA Loans at the Same Time

    How to Have Two VA Loans at the Same Time

    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 agency pledges to guarantee in the event of borrower default. So let's get this out of the way at the outset: It is possible in some situations to have two VA home loans at the same time. And you can definitely qualify…

  • 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…

  • VA Loans and Employment

    VA Loans and Employment

    Income and employment are two basic elements in securing a home loan. But don’t let your assumptions about what is required discourage you from pursuing a VA loan, because the agency’s requirements allow for some flexibility in assessing both. When it comes to employment, the VA and VA approved lenders are looking for stability, consistency and a likelihood that those conditions will continue. The gold standar…