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!


VA Home Loans and Loan Limits

VA Home Loans

VA Loans in MN and WI
The VA Home Loan is a big thank you for your service

Minneapolis, MN: VA Loans are some of the most amazing home loans in the market. It really is a true benefit for the service you’ve provided to this country.  The major benefits of a VA loan come in two forms:

  • Zero down payment
  • No Mortgage Insurance

Zero down payment is pretty easy to understand.  Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest hurdles stopping many from buying a home.  No mortgage insurance is also huge.  Generally speaking,  mortgage loans where you do not put at least 20% down payment will need mortgage insurance to offset the lenders risk.  It can be expensive.

Take for example a $200,000 home.  On an FHA loan, you would need a minimum down payment of $7,000 (3.5%), and along with paying back the actual loan, property taxes, and home owners insurance, you would also have $213.81 in monthly mortgage insurance.  With VA home loans, that would be zero and zero! How cool is that?

VA Loan Limits

VA does not set a cap on how much you can borrow to finance your home. However, there are limits on the amount of liability VA can assume, which usually affects the amount of money an institution will lend you. The loan limits are the amount a qualified Veteran with full entitlement may be able to borrow without making a down payment. These loan limits vary by county, since the value of a house depends in part on its location.

MN WI VA LenderThe basic entitlement available to each eligible Veteran is $36,000. Lenders will generally loan up to 4 times a Veteran’s available entitlement without a down payment, provided the Veteran is income and credit qualified and the property appraises for the asking price.

Lenders need a copy of your VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to verify your entitlement. Most experienced VA Loan Officers can obtain that for you.

Here in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota, you can get zero down payment on loans up to $453,100.  You can get bigger VA loans too, known as a VA Jumbo Loan. This is any VA loan OVER $453,100, but you’ll need a down payment.  Contact one of our VA Loan Expert Loan Officers to determine the exact amount of down payment required for a VA Jumbo Loan.