VA Loans - A Great Mortgage Option for Minnesota Veterans

A VA loan is a mortgage loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) that is available to most US service members. It offers some very great benefits to those that have served our country.

Benefits of VA Loans

  • You can buy a home with no money down.
  • You can refinance your home up to 100% of the value of your home.
  • You never have to pay PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance).
  • Sellers can pay your closing costs.
  • They are usually easier to get because the Government insures the loan so that there is much less risk to the lender.
  • If you already have a VA Loan you might be eligible for a VA Streamline Refinance.
  • Disabled Veterans may qualify for a waiver of the Funding Fee if they receive any disability payments from the VA or if they are considered to be at least 10% disabled.

Who is eligible for a VA Loan?

As a rule of thumb, almost all active duty or honorably discharged service members are eligible for a VA loan.  Spouses of military members who have died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related disability may also apply.

You may be eligible for a VA loan if any one of these statements describes you:

  • I served 181 days during peacetime. (Active Duty)
  • I served 90 days during wartime. (Active Duty)
  • I served 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard.
  • I am the spouse of service member who was killed in the line of duty.
  • I currently receive disability payments from the VA.

What is the VA Funding Fee and is it required?

Yes, it is required. It is a fee paid directly to the Department of Veteran's Affairs so that they can guarantee your loan and provide you with the opportunity to receive a loan with little to no money out of pocket.

How much is the VA Funding Fee?

It depends on several factors including: Whether you are Active Duty, Retired, Guard or Reserve and whether you this is a first time use, subsequent use, or a cash-out refinance as well as how much of a down payment you are putting down. The fee can range from as little as 1.25% up to 3.3% of the loan. Generally, the more money you put down the lower the VA funding fee. Please contact us and we will help you to determine how what the exact cost of the VA Funding Fee would be for your particular situation.

Do I have to pay the VA Funding Fee out of pocket?

No, you can include the VA Funding Fee in your loan and pay the funding fee over the course of your loan.

Do I still have to pay other normal closing costs like Appraisal, Title and Escrows?

Yes, however with a VA loan if you are purchasing a new home the seller can pay for all or part of your closing costs.

Underwriting Requirements:

Veterans Affairs does not require a minimum credit score for a VA loan, but lenders generally have their own internal requirements.  Most lenders require a credit score of 620 or higher.

Borrower's must show sufficient income to repay the loan and shouldn't have excessive debt, but the guidelines are usually more flexible than for conventional loans.

VA guidelines allow veterans to use their home loan benefit a year or two after a bankruptcy or foreclosure.

What is a VA Streamline Refinance?

A VA Streamline Refinance is a refinance option that is available if you already have a VA mortgage and you want to lower your interest rate with little or no out-of-pocket closing costs. You don't have provide bank statements, W2s, job verification or paychecks.

What if I can't make the monthly payment?

If you find you cannot make your monthly VA mortgage payment, VA loan assistance is offered for struggling borrowers.  If the borrower of a VA loan can't make payments on the mortgage loan, the VA can negotiate with the lenderon behalf of the borrower.  Regardless of whether they have a VA loan, veterans who are struggling to make their mortgage payments can call (877) 827-3702.  For active duty members stuggling to make their payments, check out the Sevicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

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