How to Check Your VA Eligibility
How to check your VA eligibility
Have you served time in the United States Military, and now you’re wondering if you are eligible for one of the best perks (in our opinion, but we’re bias)—The VA Loan? VA Home loans can be used to buy a home, condominium, manufactured home, make improvements to a home or build a home. Determining if you are eligible is easy. You can check the VA’s website here, and depending on when and how you served, determine if you would be eligible. Of course you can always consult with your knowledgeable and experienced Low VA Rates loan officer to help determine if you are eligible. Once you have either determined that you are eligible or determined that you don’t know if you would be eligible, we can help you to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility, which would clarify your eligibility, which is especially important if you’ve had a VA loan in the past that the VA suffered a loss on. Most Certificate of Eligibilities can be obtained electronically in a matter of minutes, but sometimes we have to put in a request to the VA for them to be emailed to us, which can take 7-10 days. In order to submit a request, we would need your name, date of birth, social security number, and either a current statement of service or DD-214 or equivalent discharge paperwork.
Maybe you have already used your VA loan, have foreclosed on a VA loan in the past, or currently have a VA loan—what are your options now? Just because you have used your VA loan in the past doesn’t mean you can never use it again. Once you pay off that loan in full, your eligibility is restored to be used again. If you had a loan in the past that the VA took a loss on (in the case of foreclosure, etc.), we can always check your Certificate of Eligibility to see if you still have eligibility left. In a lot of cases you do! It’s important to understand what the loss was and if you have any remaining entitlement. You could be able to buy another home on a VA loan! And the most common misconception about VA loans is that you can only have one VA loan at a time—wrong! In a lot of cases you can have multiple VA loans at a time. This is called bonus entitlement. Simply broken down, the VA home loan guarantee is that if the veteran defaults on their home loan, the VA will pay back the lender a portion of the loan— generally 25% of the loan amount. Your entitlement amount is dependent on the county you are purchasing in. Most county limits are $417,000, but to find out your county limit you can go here. Based on the standard county limit of $417,000, any veteran would have a maximum guaranty of $104,250. If you don’t use it all on your current home and decide to purchase a new home and keep your current home, you can purchase the new home as your primary residence with the additional VA loan benefit. Understanding how this works can definitely be to your advantage!
The VA loan is a token for your service to your country. Unfortunately, this benefit is only for the veteran. It cannot be passed onto a child, friend or relative. Your legal spouse is able to be on the loan with you, and in cases where the veteran is deceased, either in active duty or has been rated as disabled for certain periods of time, the widow may be eligible for the VA home loan benefit. The widow must not be married at the time the loan is made.
Keep in mind that just because you are eligible doesn’t mean you are automatically approved. You still have to make sure you have adequate income, job history, suitable credit and meet all underwriting qualifications on the VA Loan. Also, remember that even if you already own a home, you may qualify for a VA refinance loan. So, whether you are looking to purchase your a home or refinance, a VA loan may be great for you!
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