VA loans are governed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and enable eligible veterans and active duty personnel to purchase or refinance a home with favorable loan conditions. VA loans are available with either fixed or adjustable rates, and come in a variety of loan terms. Maximum loan sizes on VA loans vary by county and property location.
VA mortgages offer a variety of benefits including lower down payments and less stringent qualifying criteria. They also allow veterans to qualify for larger loan amounts than traditional conforming loans, and provide options for those with less than perfect credit or no formal credit history. Perhaps the greatest benefit that a VA loan offers is the ability to purchase a home with no money down, or to refinance up to 100% of your home's value. VA loans also never require monthly PMI (mortgage insurance), like traditional and FHA loans. If you are currently in a VA loan, you should also consider the VA Streamline Refinance, also known as an IRRRL (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan) which offers a reduced funding fee and flexible documentation requirements.
Is a VA Loan the right choice for you?
Are you a veteran, member of the military, or a surviving spouse of a veteran? If the answer is yes, then VA loans are a benefit you've earned and something you should take advantage of. Keep in mind that you will need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs to obtain your loan.
Do you want fast approval and minimal red tape? If you are having difficulty qualifying for a conventional loan that meets your needs, a VA loan may present you with a more viable option. If you have less than perfect credit you are likely to get a lower rate with a VA loan than with a conventional loan, and VA loans allow you to have a higher debt-to-income ratio.
Do you lack the money for a down payment? VA loans allow you to to purchase a home with no down payment.
Do you currently own a home but have little home equity? VA loans allow you refinance up to 100% of the value of your primary residence home.