A VA loan is available for those that have served or are serving in the U.S. military. It is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Although the VA does not lend money for the loans, it backs loans made by private lenders such as bank, mortgage companies, to veterans who qualify for the loan. It is an exclusive benefit for active-duty personnel, veterans, reservists/national guard members and some surviving spouses.
The VA loan application is a standardized loan application form 1003 issued by Fannie Mae. A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA to prove you are eligible for a VA loan is needed.
Some of the benefits include:
- No down payment or private mortgage insurance required (unless required by the lender or the purchase price is more than the reasonable value of the property)
- No mortgage insurance premiums.
- Negotiable interest rate.
- For homes inspected by VA during construction, a warranty from builder and assistance from VA to obtain cooperation of builder.
- VA assistance to veteran borrowers in default due to temporary financial difficulty.
- An assumable mortgage.
- Right to prepay your mortgage without penalty.