Tips for getting a VA Loan in MN, WI, or SD
The two biggest benefits of a VA mortgage loan are simple…
- No down payment required
- 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.
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.
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.