A VA loan is a top benefit of military service for eligible veterans, service members, and surviving spouses. It allows you to qualify for a low-cost mortgage when you’re looking to purchase or refinance, even if your credit isn’t perfect.
If you currently serve in the military or are a veteran, you’re potentially eligible for a VA loan. This article will explain what you need to know about these special government-backed loans, including rates, qualification requirements and special benefits for disabled veterans.
What Are The Closing Costs For A VA Loan?
As with any type of mortgage, VA loans have fees associated with getting the loan. These fees are often called “closing costs,” and they are paid to the lender for services rendered in creating and processing your mortgage. Note that closing costs must be settled before the loan can close and the funds distributed.
How Much Will You Pay For VA Closing Costs?
Aside from the benefit of requiring no down payment for qualified VA borrowers, veterans can also pay less on closing costs overall due to certain restrictions on what the VA loan borrower can be charged for.
VA closing costs are typically between 3 to 5% of your loan amount and vary according to the home’s location and price. Unlike traditional loans, VA loans have limits on what buyers can pay in closing costs, and some fees are completely eliminated for the VA borrower.
Non-allowable fees include prepayment penalties, settlement charges, and lawyer fees. Lenders can’t require you to pay these fees.
What Is A VA Loan?
A VA loan is a type of government loan, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The VA offers specific guarantees to private lenders that handle VA loans. Because of these guarantees, lenders will issue loans to candidates with no down payment or less stringent requirements than other loans.
Who Qualifies For A VA Loan?
For those who are eligible, VA loans are attractive because they don’t require a down payment. They also have lower interest rates than many other types of mortgage loans you can get for similar terms. They don’t have monthly mortgage insurance.
Although lenders set their own requirements for certain aspects of qualification, VA loans have more lenient credit requirements than many other mortgage programs.
Not all who have served in the Armed Forces qualify for a VA loan. You must meet at least one of the following criteria to qualify:
- You’ve served 181 days of active service during peacetime.
- You’ve served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime.
- You’ve served more than 6 years of service with the National Guard or Reserves or 90 days under Title 32 with at least 30 of those days being consecutive.
You’re the spouse of a service member who lost their life in the line of duty or as the result of a service-connected disability. You generally cannot have remarried, although there are exceptions, as well as other requirements for a spouse getting a VA loan.
VA Loan Eligibility Requirements
VA loans were designed to help veterans buy their first properties at affordable prices. Here are the main requirements for a VA loan:
- The home must be your primary residence. No investment or rental properties are allowed.
- You must meet all underwriting requirements, especially those for credit and income.
- You must have a Certificate of Eligibility which proves that you qualify based on the service member’s duty status and service history. Alternatively, one can be the surviving spouse of a service member that meets those requirements. Your lender can help you order a COE.
What’s The Minimum Credit Score For VA Home Loan Approval?
Through the VA home loan program, millions of veterans and service members have become homeowners. VA loans are favored for the following reasons: lower mortgage rates, no PMI required, no down payment necessary, and, to an extent, no minimum credit score requirements.
While the Department of Veteran Affairs does not set a minimum credit score, lenders will have their minimum standard. Read on to understand what this means and how flexible credit score requirements with a VA loan works.
Credit Score Requirements
With VA loans, buyers can expect more flexibility and lenient credit guidelines.
Whatever type of loan you are applying for, you need to meet the lender’s minimum requirement to secure home financing. Credit scores show a buyer’s creditworthiness or how likely a borrower can repay a loan. And as with other types of loans, lenders will offer the best rates to applicants with higher credit scores.
So while the VA doesn’t require a specific credit score, the lender –who actually funds the loan –will still have a standard they want their borrowers to meet.
It’s worth mentioning that a government-back VA loan comes with much security for the lender, which is why their requirements are considerably laxer. This is notable because low credit scores are a frequent reason for getting turned down when applying for a loan.
So although the VA doesn’t enforce a minimum credit score, a minimum score between 580 to 660 is a guideline most often seen with VA loan approval.
About David Delgado:
David Delgado is an amazon best selling co-author with Jack Canfield The Soul of Success Volume 2. David stepped foot into the mortgage industry and in 1998 was schooled by the most successful mortgage bankers. In 2005, David became a real estate broker and mortgage. In 2006 David creator and founder of DreamLoan, a mortgage banking advocate company for homeowners across the country. In 2015, 2016, David became the #1 sales team at the Downey Board of Realtors with GCI over $1,000,000. He’s featured in the top 250 teams in NAHREP.
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