What is a VA Loan?
A VA Loan is a type of mortgage loan in the United States guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The program is designed to offer long-term financing to eligible American veterans or their surviving spouses.
Who is eligible for a VA Loan?
VA Loans are available to active duty service members, veterans, certain members of the National Guard and Reserves, and certain surviving spouses. Eligibility is based on service history and duration.
Do VA Loans require a down payment or private mortgage insurance (PMI)?
No, one of the significant benefits of VA Loans is that they do not require a down payment or private mortgage insurance. This makes homeownership more affordable for those who have served or are serving.
Can I use a VA Loan more than once?
Yes, the benefit of a VA Loan is reusable. You can use your VA Loan benefit again if the previous loan has been paid off and the property sold, or under certain conditions, you may have remaining entitlement to use for another VA Loan.
Can I use a VA Loan to buy a rental property or vacation home?
No, VA Loans are intended for primary residences only. This means you must intend to live in the home you’re buying with a VA Loan.
What kind of property can I buy with a VA Loan?
VA Loans can be used to buy a single-family home, a unit in a VA-approved condominium, a manufactured home, or a multi-unit property (up to four units), among other types of properties.
What if I’ve had a bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past?
Bankruptcy or foreclosure doesn’t automatically disqualify you from a VA Loan. However, you’ll typically need to wait two years from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or foreclosure before you can apply for a VA Loan.
What is the VA Loan limit?
As of 2023, the VA does not cap how much you can borrow to finance your home. However, there are limits on the amount of liability the VA can assume, which may affect the amount of money a lender will let you borrow.
Can I refinance a VA Loan?
Yes, there are specific programs available for individuals who want to refinance a VA Loan, such as the VA Streamline Refinance (IRRRL) and the VA Cash-Out Refinance.
Where do I start with the VA Loan process?
The first step in the VA Loan process is to confirm your eligibility. Once you’ve done that, you can obtain your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and then reach out to a VA-approved lender to begin the prequalification process.