VA mortgage loans are a great benefit available to veterans, but there's a lot of things people don't know about the loans. So, are you a VA loan expert or do you still have a lot to learn? Test yourself:
1. They're not issued by the Veterans Administration:
The loans are backed by the federal government, which is one of the reasons they have such great rates and terms. But you don't go to the Veterans Administration to get them. Instead, you'll get your Certificate of Eligibility through the VA and your loan through a qualified lender.
2. You have to live in the home you're financing:
VA loans are designed specifically for your primary place of residence. So, you won't be able to use them to finance businesses, rental properties, or vacation homes.
3. You can use them more than once:
Your funding fee will be a little higher the second time you use the loan program, but you can use it multiple times if you want to.
4. You'll have to pay a fee:
Each VA loan borrower is required to pay a funding fee. The amount is based on your military category, your disability status, and how many times you've used the benefit before. The fee helps reduce the burden to the taxpayers if you end up defaulting on the loan.
5. You can use them to refinance a home:
VA loans aren't just for new purchases. You can also use them for cash-out refinancing. The only thing that will change is your funding fee.
6. They're easier to get than a traditional loan:
Since the loan is insured by the federal government, lenders can approve you with lower credit scores and no money down--something that would be virtually impossible with a traditional loan.
7. You can pay them off early--with no pre-penalty fee:
Lots of traditional loans will charge you a fee if you pay your home loan off a certain amount of months before you're scheduled to. That fee helps ensure lenders they'll be able to make money through interested. But if you get a VA mortgage, you'll be exempt from that fee.
8. You can get them while you're deployed:
As long as you have someone to handle things stateside and you can prove you're alive and well, you can use your benefit while you're deployed. Find out how.
9. They're not just for veterans:
True, these benefits are designed for veterans, but there's also a provision to allow the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran to claim the benefit.
10. You can pair them with a state program:
Lots of states have local benefits for veterans who buy a home in their state. Depending on where you live you might be eligible for reduced property taxes or other benefits. Check your state's VA website to find out.
Think you're ready to claim your benefits and buy a home? Read the VA mortgage guidelines to find out if you're eligible.