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As a veteran, or the surviving spouse of a veteran, you have the option to apply for VA loans when searching for a home. These loans are designed to make it easier for veterans to obtain financing to purchase a home of their own.

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VA loans are funded by private lenders and partially backed by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Before applying for a VA loan, you should know a few things:

VA Loans Have Lower Downpayments

VA loansBecause they are partially backed by the Department of Veteran Affairs, VA loans have lower downpayment requirements. Just remember that lower downpayments often mean higher interest rates, but with VA loans you can get lower rates.

You Will Need To Find A VA Approved Lender

Since VA loans are privately funded, you will need to find a VA approved lender. Veteran-friendly lenders like SmartMortgage have the knowledge and resources to get you approved for a VA loan. They will also get you preapproved for a mortgage and help you determine how much home you can afford.

A VA approved lender can easily answer any questions you may have regarding the VA loan program, and easily work through any delays in the process.

You Will Need Get A Certificate Of Eligibility

Before you get preapproved for a VA loan, you will need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You can apply for one either through your lender or via your eBenefits online portal.

The following are generally eligible for a VA loan:

  • Service members who have served a minimum period on active duty
  • Veterans who’ve met the requirements for length of service
  • Qualifying surviving spouses of deceased veterans
  • Qualifying National Guard and Reservists members

Depending on your status, you will need to provide paperwork such as a copy of your discharge or separation papers (DD214) if you are a veteran.

Keep An Eye Out For Program Changes

The VA loan program, like many programs, can change. For example, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 that went into effect on January 1, 2020 changed it to where qualified first-time VA loan borrowers have no cap on the size of zero-down VA loans. This is a change from where there were amount limits specified for a veteran’s county.

Your VA lender will keep you up-to-date on any changes that affect your loan. If you have questions, never be afraid to ask.

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