Looking for Unbiased VA Home Loan Information?
Once A Soldier Has It
Looking out for our Veterans and Veteran families inspired this helpful page. Find approved VA lenders, rates and reviews, as well as updates and guides for your VA-backed home loan.
VA Loan Requirements
If you have remaining entitlement for your VA-backed home loan, find out the current loan limits and how they may affect the amount of money you can borrow without a down payment. As of 2020, if you have full entitlement, you don’t have a VA loan limit.
VA Home Loan Eligibilty
Learn about VA home loan eligibility requirements for a VA direct or VA-backed loan. Find out how to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to show your lender that you qualify based on your service history and duty status. Keep in mind that for a VA-backed home loan, you’ll also need to meet your lender’s credit and income loan requirements to receive financing.
VA Home Loan Types
We offer VA home loan programs to help you buy, build, or improve a home or refinance your current home loan—including a VA direct loan and 3 VA-backed loans. Learn more about the different programs, and find out if you can get a Certificate of Eligibility for a loan that meets your needs.
VA Home Loan Apply
Learn how to apply for a VA home loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This is the first step in getting a VA-backed home loan or Native American Direct Loan. It confirms for your lender that you qualify for the VA home loan benefit. Then, choose your loan type and learn about the rest of the loan application process.
Loan Office Near You
Regional loan centers are closed to the public at this time.
Contact a VA Home Loan Representative by calling 1-877-827-3702. The VA Home Loan toll-free number operates Monday – Friday, from 8:00am to 6:00pm EST.
Alternatively, contact the regional email addresses on the link below to reach them.
VA Loans for Spouses
To get a VA-backed home loan as the surviving spouse of a Veteran, you’ll need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to show your lender that you qualify for this benefit. Find out if you can get a COE. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to meet your lender’s credit and income requirements to get a loan.
Reviews and Information Current as of June 2021
VA Home Loan Glossary of Terms
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)
These are mortgages where the interest rates can fluctuate based on what’s happening in the greater economic landscape. Most ARMs allow for an annual rate change based on the one-year Treasury bill index.
Mortgage appraisals help determine the fair market value of a property by comparing it to nearby homes that have sold recently. The VA appraisal also aims to help ensure veterans are purchasing homes that are safe, structurally sound and sanitary. To that end, VA appraisers also look at a broad range of property condition guidelines, known as the Minimum Property Requirements. Lenders can also have their own property condition guidelines.
The VA appraisal is not as in-depth as a home inspection and should not be considered a substitute for one. A home inspection is also recommended, as it can provide a more thorough look at a property’s structural integrity and major systems.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
This rate reflects the total cost of borrowing money, including the interest rate and other costs built into the loan amount. The interest rate and the APR are typically different, and veterans should look at both when comparing VA lenders. Two loans can have similar interest rates, but the one with a higher APR will cost more. Buyers should also understand that lenders can calculate this figure differently.
Automated Underwriting System (AUS)
Mortgage lenders often use a computer system to help immediately assess a borrower’s suitability for a home loan. These automated underwriting systems evaluate a borrower’s credit, finances and more. Getting approval from one of these systems can help veterans move through the loan process faster and with more flexible requirements. Unlike the USDA loan program, the VA loan program does not currently have its own automated underwriting system.
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)
BAH is a monthly allowance to help qualified active duty service members cover housing expenses. Mortgage lenders can count BAH as effective income toward qualifying for a mortgage. Housing allowances can help defray or entirely cover monthly mortgage payments.
Certificate of Eligibility
This is a formal VA document that says whether a prospective borrower is eligible for a VA home loan. Many potential buyers can obtain their Certificate of Eligibility online through the VA’s eBenefits portal. You do not need to have your COE in hand to start the loan process. In fact, lenders can often get it for you once you’ve kick-started your homebuying journey. But borrowers will need a COE before they can close on their loan.
ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER
Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.
Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.
We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.
Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.
Links for More Information:
- Go here for FDA-approved therapies
- Go here for drug-free PTSD abatement techniques
- Go here for suicide prevention tips
- Go here to download this guide in MS Word
- Go here to download this guide as a PDF