The VA Home Loan program has helped more than 19 million veterans become homeowners since 1944. Even during difficult economic times, VA loans made home buying a streamlined and relatively hassle-free process for military homebuyers.
Like all government programs, there are requirements that need to be fulfilled before a service member can secure a VA loan to purchase a home, perform renovations or refinance a mortgage.
The VA insures up to 25 percent of each loan and applies its own guidelines to the program. But borrowers also have to meet any additional requirements and standards applied by an agency-approved lender. Ultimately, it’s the lender that issues a loan, not the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The VA doesn’t have any strict credit or income requirements for veterans. But lenders will certainly take a long, hard look at a prospective borrower’s credit score and overall financial profile. The lending climate has tightened in recent months. Service members need to pay closer attention to their credit and spending than ever before.
But there’s also a great deal of flexibility built into the VA loan process. Lenders don’t need to see perfect credit. In fact, the program’s flexible guidelines help scores of veterans who might not otherwise secure financing. About 80 percent of VA loan borrowers could not have qualified for a conventional loan.
There are also service requirements that determine a veteran’s initial ability to participate in the program. But a vast majority of veterans and active duty service members already qualify.
Veterans can talk to a VA loan specialist to see if they meet the eligibility requirements and obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, which is a formal government document that details a borrower’s VA home loan entitlement.
Click to Get Pre-Qualified for a VA Home Loan