A VA home loan is a benefit available for active-duty military and veterans. Some of the benefits of taking out a VA home loan include lower down payment requirements, less strict credit requirements, and favorable interest rates. While VA home loans are backed by the U.S. government, the government is not the lender. Thus, in some ways, applying for a VA loan is similar to applying for a traditional mortgage loan. However, there are some differences to be aware of. Continue reading to learn more about the process of applying for a VA home loan to purchase your next house.
Find a Lender That Is Approved to Provide VA Loans
When it comes to getting a VA home loan, the good news is that you have a lot of options. There are numerous lenders who have been approved by the VA to originate home loans, so you will be able to compare the loan terms offered in order to ensure that you select the best loan possible for your needs. You can do some research yourself to learn more about VA-approved lenders. Another option is to work with a mortgage broker who specializes in VA home loans. After you narrow down your choices, you can move forward with the application process.
Get Your COE
Since VA home loans are only available to active-duty military or veterans, you will need to provide proof to your lender that you are eligible to take out a VA home loan. To do this, you will need to provide a Certificate of Eligibility, which is provided by the VA. Your COE will serve as proof that you are eligible for the loan and it will also state what size loan the VA will guarantee on your behalf. If your lender is approved to originate VA loans, a mortgage specialist will be able to assist you in getting your COE — in most cases, it is a quick process that can be done online.
Get an Appraisal While the Lender Processes Your Loan Application
After you find a home that you love and your offer is accepted, you will need to send the contract to your lender. Once they have a signed purchase contract, your loan application will be processed. One thing that must be done during this time is a VA appraisal to ensure the home is worth the amount of the loan. The appraisal must be done by an appraiser who is certified by the VA. Assuming the appraisal goes as planned, you will just have to wait for your real estate transaction to close and then you can move into your new home.