VA Home Loan Myths and Facts
Many veterans and active duty military members often hold back when considering a VA Home Loan due to some common misconceptions. According to VA Survey Data, about 1 in 3 home-buying veterans didn’t know they had a home loan benefit. Understanding the truth about VA Home loans and its process can help buyers take advantage of a solid financing option.
Top 11 VA Home Loan Myths, Debunked
VA Home Loan Myth 1. VA Loans Take Longer to Process & Close.
Truth: It’s actually faster than most loan processes.
The only difference between obtaining a VA loan and any other type of home loan is that you will need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA loan. Some lenders have the ability to issue you your Certificate of Eligibility before you even begin the loan process, and the maximum turnaround time currently for closing is 14 days, which is actually faster than most all other loan programs. You also have to get a Notification of Value on the appraisal, but this is usually issued within days after the appraisal. Other than these two items, the process is the same as any other program, if not easier due to the looser guidelines set forth by VA.
VA Home Loan Myth 2. VA Loans are More Expensive.
Truth: There are fewer fees and no down payments, making the VA Loan cheaper than most.
VA Loans, like all government loans (USDA, FHA) have a funding fee added to some of the loan amounts. This funding fee ranges from 1.75% to 3.3% for most on the purchase price. However, depending on your discharge or first-time use, this could be as low as 0%! USDA charges 2% and FHA charges 1.75%. Both USDA and FHA loans have monthly mortgage insurance on top of the upfront fees added to the loan, whereas VA loans do not. Conventional loans do not have an upfront fee, but if you go over 80%, they do have monthly mortgage insurance so in most cases you will find a VA loan to be cheaper than conventional loans as well. Also, you do not have to put a down payment on a VA loan, whereas FHA and conventional loans do require at least 3.5% or more.
VA Home Loan Myth 3. You can only use your VA Loan Once.
Truth: Qualified veterans and active duty military members can use their VA home loan benefits time and time again.
The VA also makes it possible for you to use more than one active VA loan at the same time. Once you’ve earned your benefits, it’s yours for life.
VA Home Loan Myth 4. VA Appraisals are harder than FHA or USDA Appraisals.
Truth: VA Appraisals have less requirements than other types of loans.
VA has no additional rules or procedures on appraisals when compared to FHA or USDA loans, and if anything there is actually less requirements for VA loans. When compared to conventional loans, VA appraisals do have some safety hazards that are looked at, but this is in the Veteran’s best interest to have these items fixed before living in the home.
VA Home Loan Myth 5. Only Retired or Discharged Veterans can use VA Loan Benefits.
Truth: Active service members get access to the VA Mortgage benefit as well.
Are you unsure if you qualify? Visit our VA Loan Eligibility Page for more information, or give us a call at 800.537.2050 and we can answer your questions immediately!
VA Home Loan Myth 6. VA Loans are only used for Purchasing a Home.
Truth: VA Loans may be used for other home refinance and purchase purposes.
You can use your VA Home Loan benefits to purchase a home, repair or improve an existing home (refinance), or purchase a lot.
VA Home Loan Myth 7. Members of the National Guard or Reserves are not eligible.
Truth: Members of the National Guard or Reserves may still qualify for a VA Loan.
There are different requirements for the National Guard and Reserves members, but these members may still qualify for the same VA-home loan benefits. Are you unsure if you qualify? Visit our VA Loan Eligibility Page for more information, or give us a call at 800.537.2050 and we can answer your questions immediately!
VA Home Loan Myth 8. Widows and widowers are not eligible for VA loan benefits.
Truth: If you are an unmarried, surviving spouse of a veteran who died while on active duty or as the result of a service-connected disability, you are eligible for the home loan benefit.
In addition, if the surviving spouse obtained a VA home loan with the veteran prior to his or her death regardless of the cause of death, they may obtain a VA guaranteed interest rate reduction refinance loan.
VA Home Loan Myth 9. VA Loans Require a Perfect Credit Score.
Truth:There is no minimum credit score requirement for a VA loan.
It’s the lender’s job to make sure the borrower is credit-worthy and offer terms.
VA Home Loan Myth 10. VA Loans are guaranteed benefits.
Truth: You must qualify for the loan in order to receive its benefits.
It’s important to understand that while the VA loan is a benefit every eligible service member has access to, it is not guaranteed. The good news is that unapproved veterans can qualify in the future if they are proactive about fixing the issues that keep them from being approved. Getting help from a credit counselor can help those who feel they may not qualify based on past mistakes or problems.
VA Home Loan Myth 11. VA Loans aren’t possible to receive after bankruptcy / foreclosure.
Truth: You can actually use a VA loan two years after a bankruptcy and/or foreclosure.
Depending on the circumstances, there are instances when you may use your VA Loan just 12 months after a bankruptcy and/or foreclosure.