Six Simple Steps to Obtaining a VA Loan! * Ashburn KWBacked by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and made possible by the G.I. Bill, the VA loan allows for no down payment, requires no mortgage insurance, and give applicants access to flexible mortgage guidelines. Furthermore, VA mortgage rates are often lower as compared to other home loan products.So, how do you get a VA loan? Here’s a step-by-step guide to what you’ll need to do.
1. Confirm Your Eligibility For A VA LoanMost U.S. military veterans are eligible for a VA loan. But vets aren’t the only ones who qualify. Most active-duty service personnel, National Guard and Reserve members, surviving spouses of deceased veterans and others can also be eligible.
2. Obtain A Certificate Of Eligibility (COE) For A VA LoanA COE is a simple document that proves to the lender that you are eligible for a VA loan. Your lender can help you get this document through an online system that can tap into the VA records to confirm your service. In mosts cases, a COE can be generated in seconds. All VA loans require a COE except for the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), which lowers your interest rate by refinancing your existing VA home loan.
3. Obtain your DD-214 or Active Duty OrdersYour lender will also require that you provide your DD-214 (discharge papers) or your active duty orders to provide evidence of your status. Make sure to order this through VA ahead of time if you do not have a copy on hand.
4. Get Pre-Qualified For A VA LoanThe VA establishes the rules and guidelines for VA loans. It doesn’t set interest rates, points or other loan closing costs. This is one reason it can be a good idea to shop for the “best deal” — something the VA actually encourages. As part of getting pre-qualified, the lender will check or “pull” your credit history and may ask to see recent pay stubs, bank statements and other basic financial paperwork. The more information you provide, the better your lender can explain your available loan options.
5. Find A Home To BuyAfter you’ve obtained your COE and prequalification letter, you’ll be ready to look at for-sale homes with a REALTOR®. Your agent can help you find a home that you like based on the loan amount for which you’ve been pre-qualified. Remind your agent to include a VA loan contingency in your purchase agreement which will protect you in the event you cannot close your loan.
6. Complete The VA Loan Process With Your LenderOnce you’ve found a home, your lender is tasked with most of the work, which happens behind-the-scenes, to ensure your loan is approved and ready for closing. You might be asked to supply additional financial paperwork during this part of the purchase, and the lender will also arrange for an appraisal of the home to make sure you haven’t over-paid as compared to the market.For home purchases, the VA also recommends that you commission a home inspection, so you’ll be informed about the condition of the home and its major components, such as the roof, appliances, electrical wiring and plumbing. Tested the home for lead-based paint, radon and other substances may be advisable, too.
Get Started With Your VA Loan ApplicationFor VA-eligible buyers, mortgage approvals can be simple. There are fewer hurdles in the VA loan program as compared to comparable mortgage products. Plus, mortgage rates often lower than “market rates” from Freddie Mac, for example.All credit for this information goes to Sean Glennon.