VA home loans can be invaluable to veterans who want to finance a new home or make improvements to their current one. The program can help lower closing costs, won’t penalize a person for paying off the loan early and will provide funds for energy efficient home improvements. Don’t let common misconceptions keep you from applying for a VA home loan and taking advantage of these benefits.
Myth #1: I don’t think my type of duty makes me eligible for a VA home loan.
This program applies to servicemembers in all branches of the military. Servicemembers can apply if they have been on active duty for 90 consecutive days. Other members can also apply if they spent six years of service in the Selected Reserve or National Guard and were discharged honorably or were placed on the retired list. They are also eligible if they were transferred to the standby reserve or Ready Reserve after honorable services or if they continue to serve in the Selected Reserve. Veterans’ eligibility and paperwork differs from war to war, so they should check with the Veterans Administration or a VA-approved lender to see what requirements they need to fulfill to get the loan.
Myth #2: The program won’t help if I can’t meet my mortgage payments.
The VA Home Loan program is meant to help veterans if for some reason they are having trouble meeting their mortgage payments and are facing foreclosure. Veterans who are past due on their payments can discuss methods with the VA to avoid foreclosure. Options may include having the VA pay the delinquency, payment assistance, re-amotization and refunding. They also have the option of forbearance and repayment, a private sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
Myth #3: It won’t apply to me because I already used the program once.
The VA Home Loan program can be used multiple times as long as each property purchased with the previous VA home loan has been sold and paid in full or another veteran has assumed the VA loan.
Myth #4: I don’t want to use the program, but my family does.
The only people who can use this benefit are eligible veterans, servicemembers and the spouses of veterans who meet specific criteria as set by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Spouses of prisoners of war or missing in action may also be eligible. The program can’t be used by veterans’ children or by spouses who remarried before age 57.
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