The VA mortgage loan guaranteed by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs and can only be issued by qualified lenders such as banks, savings & loans, or mortgage companies. Thousands of qualified veterans and active military reside right here in Florida, especially in Jacksonville Duval County. The government VA guaranteed mortgage can be used to buy or refi your existing VA loan. There are many advantages to a VA loan, of course the biggest benefit is that VA loans are 100% financing and require NO down payment. That’s right, VA (along with the USDA loan) still do NOT require a down payment. You won’t have to compromise on that dream home or wipe out all your savings. VA loans also come with limits on closing costs, origination fees and appraisal fees. This is another way to help lower out-of-pocket expenses when buying a house.
The VA purchase loan is a perfect solution for young military families in Jacksonville (NAS JAX, Mayport) or the Panhandle area of Pensacola, Hurlburt, Eglin, Tyndall, etc that don’t have a lot of excess cash. You also don’t need Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) to guarantee the loan. Without monthly PMI, you can expect to save an average of $50-$100 a month depending on your homes purchase price.
So who is eligible for the VA loan?
Veterans. To see if you qualify for a VA home loan, you must fill out VA Form 26-1880, Certificate of Eligibility Request and send it to your VA Regional Processing Center along with a copy of your DD-214 service record, or equivalent proof of service. Current service members – If you are either on active duty or in the Selected Reserves, you need to submit a statement of service letter from your command verifying your service dates, along with the VA Form 26-1880.
Veterans, active duty, National Guard and Reserve, along with military spouses, may qualify for the certificate. When you served, along with the amount of time you served, establishes your eligibility. Generally speaking, military service falls into seven categories:
Wartime: You serve (or served) at least 90 days during the time periods below, on active duty and can’t have a dishonorable discharge:
- WWII – September 16, 1940 to July 25, 1947
- Korean – June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
- Vietnam – August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975
- Gulf War – August 2, 1990 to an undetermined date
Peacetime. You must have served at least 181 continuous active duty days during one of the below periods, and not have a dishonorable discharge:
- July 26, 1947 to June 26, 1950
- February 1, 1955 to August 4, 1964
- May 8, 1975 to September 7, 1980 (enlisted)
- May 8, 1975 to October 16, 1981 (officer)
Service after September 7, 1980 (enlisted) or October 16, 1981 (officer). To qualify, you must:
- complete 24 months of continuous active duty or
- if called up for active duty, serve the full period of the call-up of not less than 181 days and
- discharge under conditions other than dishonorable
Served at least 181 days of active duty and discharged under the authority of a U.S. Code:
- with a hardship
- as an early out
- with a service-connected disability and receiving compensation
Served less than 181 days of active duty and discharged due to:
- an involuntary reduction in force
- certain medical conditions
- a service-connected disability
- the convenience of the Government
- on active duty–eligible after 181 days
- in the Selected Reserves–eligible after six years of service
A spouse of a service member who:
- is missing in action
- is a prisoner of war
- died either while serving or as a result of a service-connected disability
Complete the first step to securing your VA loan by submitting a Certificate of Eligibility Request. Getting an approved certificate does not guarantee VA home loan approval–it just means you meet the service requirements to continue with the process. Contact us, we can assist you!
VA Loans and Credit Score:
We recognize that some veterans have a hard time getting financed after leaving the military. It’s a job that can bring unique financial challenges. Many military families don’t have the extensive credit history civilians do. Many veterans don’t have student loans to pay back or cars to pay off. VA loans are tailored to those with a shorter credit history. Approval and underwriting is based on the past 12 months of your financial history. With traditional loans lenders look much farther back into your credit past. Generally speaking most lenders will require a 620 credit score as their min requirement.
VA Loan Application and Pre Approval process:
The process of applying for a VA home loan is the same as for any other mortgage loan. In fact, the application form used for VA loans is exactly the same as the one used for both HUD/FHA and conventional loans. As with other loans, your lender is ultimately responsible for verifying your income, assets and otherwise processing your loan application. If you approved and credit approved, the VA appraised value of the property is sufficient for the loan amount needed, the loan can then be submitted for approval by the VA prior to closing. The pre approval process only takes a few min, give us a call today to find out how easy applying can be!
VA Questions? We are available to assist you 7 days a week. For quick service please submit the “Request Contact” form at the top right side of your screen. Mobile users can find the short Request Contact Form here. Please also be sure to visit www.FiveStarsMortgage.com for the latest mortgage info.
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