VA home mortgage loans are available to Veterans of the United States Armed Services who have been honorably discharged and have served a specified period of time. VA home mortgage loans are not originated by the Veterans Administration, but are loans that are guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to private lenders who procure the loan to a veteran.
VA loans offer some tremendous benefits to qualified veterans who meet the income and credit criteria. Because the VA guarantees the loan, often a veteran can get a favorable interest rate on their mortgage loan. Also, with VA home mortgage loans a veteran can get up to 100% financing of the purchase price of the home and since the loan is guaranteed there is no need for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This further reduces the monthly mortgage payments.
The amount of mortgage loan entitlement that a veteran can receive, depends on where they live in the US and that amount changes yearly. In 2008, the maximum loan entitlement is $417,000. That means that a qualified veteran who meets the income and credit criteria can get a $417,000 mortgage loan with no money down. That is certainly a sweet deal.
With all of the great benefits of VA home mortgage loans there is a need for the veteran and his/her spouse to understand the responsibilities that come with successful home ownership. The VA offers counseling to prospective buyers and their families where they will sit down and go through the complete process from obtaining financing to purchasing and owning a home.
In order to apply for VA loans veterans need to have a Certificate of Eligibility from the Veterans Administration. For some veterans who have sufficient personal information in the VA database, they can get an Automatic Certificate of Eligibility (ACE) directly through their lender who accesses this information via the internet. For other veterans, they can get this certificate by downloading VA Form 26-1880 available at www.va.org and send it filled out along with their DD Form 214 to the financial institution originating the loan.
The brave men and women who choose to serve their country through US Armed Services and National Guard are only befitting the benefits offered to them through the VA home mortgage loans program. If you are one of those veterans make sure you take full advantage of this program at your end of service. It is your right and I would add, your privilege, as a proud defender of the security of the United States of America.