VA Purchase & Refinance Transactions
A VA loan is a mortgage loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that is available to most U.S. service members. VA loans offer a loan guaranty benefit to help eligible veteran borrowers refinance or buy a home. VA loans do not require any monthly mortgage insurance included in the loan amount, and a veteran borrower could purchase a home without a down payment.
The VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) lowers the veteran borrower’s interest rate by refinancing their existing VA home loan. With a lower interest rate, the monthly mortgage payment should decrease.
VA High-Cost Counties
Although the VA loan program does not have a maximum loan amount, there are effective loan limits for high-cost counties throughout the United States. The limits are derived by considering the median home price for a county and the Freddie Mac conforming loan limit.
Contact one of our licensed loan officers today to apply!
You may be eligible for a VA loan if any one of these statements describes you:
Basic Eligibility Requirements
General Rule for Eligibility
- A veteran is eligible for VA home loan benefits if he or she served on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard after September 15, 1940, and was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable after either:
- 90 days or more, any part of which occurred during wartime, or
- 181 continuous days or more (peacetime)
- 2-year requirement:
- A great length of service is required for veterans who:
- enlisted (and service began) after September 7, 1980, or
- entered service as an officer after October 16, 1981.
- 24 continuous months of active duty, or
- the full period for which called or ordered to active duty, but not less than 90 days (any part during wartime) or 181 continuous days (peacetime)
- Cases involving other than honorable discharges will usually require further development by Va.
- This is necessary to determine if the service was under other than dishonorable conditions.
Wartime & Peacetime
- Wartime and peacetime refer to the following periods of service:
|World War II
|Post-World War II period
(The Vietnam Era begins 2/28/1961 for those individuals who served in the Republic of Vietnam.)
|Persian Gulf War
8/2/1990-date to be determined
Eligibility for Reserves and/or Guard
- Members of the Reserves and National Guard who are not otherwise eligible for loan guaranty benefits are eligible upon completion of 6 years’ service in the Reserves or Guard (unless released earlier due to a service-connected disability).
- The applicant must have received an honorable (a general or under honorable conditions is not qualifying) discharge from such service unless he or she is either:
- in an inactive status awaiting final discharge, or
- still serving in the Reserves or Guard.
Eligibility of Spouses of Veterans
- Some spouses of veterans may have home loan eligibility. They are:
- the unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran who died as a result of service or service-connected causes,
- the surviving spouse of a veteran who dies on active duty or from service-connected causes, who remarries on or after age 57 and on or after December 16, 2003, and
- the spouse of an active-duty member who is listed as MIA or a POW for at least 90 days.
- Eligibility under this MIA/POW provision is limited to onetime use only.
- Surviving spouses of veterans who died from non-service-connected causes may also be eligible if certain conditions are met. Refer to Application for Unmarried Surviving Spouses section above.
Other Qualifying Service
- Congress has periodically granted veteran status to groups other than members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, such as
- certain members of the Public Health Service,
- cadets at the service academies,
- certain merchant seaman, etc.
- Lenders should contact the Eligibility Center for assistance when one of these unique cases is encountered.
Exceptions to Length of Service Requirements
- There are numerous exceptions to the length of service requirements outlined in this section.
- For example, one day of service is sufficient for an individual who is discharged or released from service (regular active duty or Reserve/Guard) due to a service-connected disability.
- Because of the complexity and number of exceptions, this chapter does not attempt to cover all of them.
- Because there are exceptions, lenders should not assume a veteran is not eligible.
- Instead, they should make application and allow VA to make a formal determination of the eligibility.
- I served 181 days during peacetime. (Active Duty)
- I served 90 days during wartime. (Active Duty)
- I served 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard.
- I am the spouse of service member who was killed in the line of duty.
- I currently receive disability payments from the VA.
Benefits of VA Loans
- You can buy a home with no money down.
- You can refinance your home up to 100% of the value of your home.
- No monthly mortgage insurance/PMI
- Sellers can pay a portion of your costs. Seller concessions and/or seller contributions are permitted.
- Government insured.
- If you already have a VA Loan you might be eligible for a VA Streamline Refinance.
- Disabled Veterans may qualify for a waiver of the VA Funding
What is the VA Funding Fee and is it required?
Yes, it is required. It is a fee paid directly to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs so that they can guarantee your loan and provide you with the opportunity to receive a loan with little to no money out of pocket.
How much is the VA Funding Fee?
It depends on several factors including whether you are Active Duty, Retired, Guard or Reserve and whether this is a first-time use, subsequent use, or a cash-out refinance as well as how much of a down payment you are putting down. The fee can range from as little as .5% up to 3.30% of the loan. Generally, the more money you put down the lower the VA funding fee. Please contact us and we will help you to determine how what the exact cost of the VA Funding Fee would be for your situation.
Do I have to pay the VA Funding Fee out of pocket?
Under most circumstances you can include the VA Funding Fee in your total loan amount. Contact one of our licensed loan officers for additional information.
Do I still have to pay other normal closing costs like Appraisal, Title, and Escrows?
Yes, however, with a VA loan, if you are purchasing a new home, the seller may pay for all or part of your closing costs.
What is a VA Streamline Refinance?
A VA Streamline Refinance is a refinance option that is available if you already have a VA mortgage, and you want to lower your interest rate with little or no out-of-pocket closing.
Contact one of our licensed loan officers for more information!