Tips for getting a VA Loan

Tips for getting a VA Loan in MN, WI, or SD

VA Mortgage Lender in MN and WI, SDMinneapolis, MN: If you are an active or military veteran, the VA home loan is one of the most amazing benefits provided to you for your service to our country.

The two biggest benefits of a VA mortgage loan are simple…

    1. No down payment required
    2. No monthly mortgage insurance, which can save you a HUGE amount of money when buying a home.

Basic VA Loan Eligibility Requirements for a VA loan

The first step is to understand if you qualify for VA Loan benefits.  The vast majority of people with regular service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard qualify as long you have served  active duty a minimum of 181 days (90 days during the Gulf War). and you haven’t been dishonorably discharged.

Reserves and National Guard have to have completed 6-years of basic service, or at least 90-days of active duty (deployed) service.

There are all sorts of additional rules and guidelines in terms of service less time, and still qualifying. These include hardship early out, and service related disabilities. There are even options for the surviving spouse of a veteran who passed away during active duty to obtain a VA home loan.

Anyone dishonorably discharged from service does not qualify for a VA Loan, and some with less than honorable discharge may also not qualify.

VA loans MN, WIAlways check with an experienced VA Loan Officer if you have questions about your eligibility.

Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

All VA are require to obtain a copy of your VA certificate of Eligibility (COE).  The certificate tells the lender if you qualify, if you have a service related disability, and if you’ve used your VA Loan benefits previously.

Most veterans don’t seem to know where their certificate is these days – but that is OK.  Experienced VA Loan officers can usually obtain your COE in just a few minutes through a special VA Lender Portal called ACE.  Sometimes we can’t get it, and will need you to sign VA Form 26-1880, and for you to supply your discharge papers (like a DD214)

VA Home Loan Specialist

While most of the basic guidelines for a VA Home Loan are similar to any other mortgage loan, there are enough other requirements that anyone not specifically trained and experienced in VA loans is someone to avoid.  I hear from people all the time that they started a VA loan application at some other company, only to realize the loan officer has no VA loan experience.

VA Loan Application

Before you apply for a VA Loan with just anyone, I strongly suggest you contact a local to your area VA Loan Specialist.  Someone right down the street that you can go meet with well documented VA Loan experience.

There are a lot of VA Mortgage lenders.  We suggest you don’t take a chance with your largest financial transaction trying to get approved over the phone with some out state internet based lender. There is NOTHING they can offer that you can’t get locally.
Stop by my St Paul, MN office. Let’s chat, have a coffee, and get your VA Loan in MN approved today!


Mortgage Buzz Words to Watch Out For

Getting a mortgage loan?  Here are some fancy buzz words and popular phases that you should be aware of:

First, understand that all lenders are essentially the same when it comes to programs, interest rates, and closing costs. If we advertised “USE ME – I AM THE SAME AS EVERYONE ELSE”, it would be pretty hard to get anyone to call.  So the lender game is to use creative buzz words, and creative quoting games to make themselves “appear” better than everyone else, and get you to call:

1) NO Closing Costs: All lenders have costs to close a mortgage loan, and most of the costs are from third parties like appraisers, title company, credit reports and state taxes. The ONLY way for a lender to reduce or claim no closing costs is they simply INCREASE your interest rate to offset your costs.  No Lender Fee, No Origination also apply here.

2) FREE Quote: I don’t know a single lender that charges to quote someone, so this isn’t anything special.

3) QUICK Closings:  There is no such thing anymore. New mortgage disclosure rules mandate minimum numbers of days after disclosure before closing a loan (so you can think about it). Furthermore all the new  rules also seriously slow down the process of getting appraisal, verifying your information with the IRS, and making you prove just about everything has turn a fast loan closing into at least 30-days.

4) In House Underwriting:  Pretty much all lenders have their own underwriting teams, and pretty much all brokers do not.

5) Competitive Rates: Simply “competitive”?  Not the lowest, not the cheapest… but, competitive?  Why don’t they show you the rates?