If you or your spouse is a veteran, you have earned the right to own a piece of the country that you protected.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs oversees all programs related to veterans' benefits, including home loans. In fact, after World War II and the Montgomery GI Bill, veterans have been among the biggest driving forces responsible for the growth of the US economy. The homeownership and education benefits during the second half of the 20th century created the largest middle class of any nation on earth.
Today, those benefits still exist. If you're a veteran, you are entitled to these benefits.
How to access VA home loan benefits
The document you'll need is the Certificate of Eligibility. This form will ask you for various forms of ID, but it comes down to what service were you in, how long did you serve, were you activated, and were you honorably discharged.
The advantages of a VA loan
The single biggest benefit is a 0% down payment. Most VA loans don't require any down payment. That makes getting into a home much easier.
You also don't need private mortgage insurance (PMI). This insurance can cost up to 20% of the value of the mortgage. That savings alone can make purchasing a home much easier.
Closing costs are limited by law. Because those costs are so low, the sellers will often offer to pay them for the vet.
Easy credit ratings for approval are part of the VA program. The average VA FICO score is 620. Conventional loans are 753 and FHA loans are 676. Lower credit score requirements make the whole thing much faster and easier.
VA loans consistently have the lowest interest rates. Even when other rates rise, VA loan interest rates will rise more slowly and stay down.
The criteria for eligibility
The following are the base criteria of service that required:
- 90 days or more of active duty service during wartime
- 181 days or more of activation during peacetime
- More than six years in the Reserves or National Guard
- Are the spouse of a veteran who died due to a service-related incident, either in the line of duty or after the fact
If you served your country in the military you are entitled to some of the most relaxed home purchase benefits available. You are encouraged to take advantage of them. You've earned them.
Thank you for your service.