There are an estimated 369,149 U.S. veterans living in Minnesota, according to the Veterans Administration. Of these men and women, most served during the Vietnam era and the Gulf War. If you are among our Minnesota veterans, we salute you for being so willing to lay your life on the line to protect our freedoms and our way of life.
We work with a lot of veterans when it comes time for them to buy homes and are surprised at how many don’t even think about using their VA homeownership benefits. So, today, we want to take a minute to remind you of just how awesome the VA loan is ― in fact, we think it’s one of the best mortgages on the market.
Ah, but helping veterans buy homes is not all they do. The VA helps veterans, service members and eligible surviving spouses build, retain or repair a home and even adapt a home for disabled veterans.
How the VA Loan Works
The VA doesn’t lend money. Instead, it offers a guarantee to lenders that provide the mortgages or other loans to the veteran. This guarantee states that a portion of the loan will be repaid should the veteran default. Since lenders are thus assured, they are able to offer our veterans more attractive rates and terms.
Some of the programs offered by the VA
- Home Purchase Loans: helps the veteran purchase a home at a competitive interest rate, with no down payment requirement and often no private mortgage insurance requirement. Even the payment of closing cost is flexible.
- Cash-Out Refinance Loans: This refinance loan allows the veteran to tap into the home’s equity. The money can be used for anything from paying bills to making home improvements.
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL): This is the popular streamline refinance loan that allows the veteran to refinance the home to obtain a lower interest rate.
- Adapted Housing Grants: These grants assist veterans with permanent and total service-connected disability to purchase or build a home that is adapted or to modify an existing home.
- You must have what the VA considers “suitable credit.”
- You must have sufficient income to pay your bills and your mortgage payment.
- You must plan on occupying the home.
- You must have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Our lending partners are certified and can even obtain your COE through the online ACE system.
These are bare-bones eligibility requirements and lenders may have others. But if you’re a U.S. veteran and you want to buy a home, we hope you’ll take advantage of the VA Loan.
Adapted from "Everything you need to know about the VA Loan" by Kris Lindahl and Nathan Raich. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.