VA Loan Overview
The VA loan was designed to offer long-term financing to eligible American veterans or their surviving spouses (provided they do not remarry). The basic intention of the VA direct home loan program is to help veterans purchase properties with no down payment
A VA-guaranteed loan is a loan made by private lenders (such as credit unions, banks, savings & loans, or mortgage companies) to eligible veterans. If you want to purchase a home, condominium or manufactured home, the VA can guarantee up to $417,000 of the total loan. If you are considering refinancing an existing loan, VA offers you two options. You can either refinance to reduce your current interest rate or you can take equity out (cash-out). The "cash-out" option is limited to $144,000.
Before you start the hunt for a house, the best thing you can do is to get pre-approved for your VA loan amount. The time you save quite literally will be your own. Once you have determined the loan amount you are approved for, you can start house hunting with confidence. In a tight housing market it will also give you a heads up with the seller, as other potential buyers may not have taken this important step.
Knowing in advance what you are able to afford offers a great deal of security. That kind of security will go a long way as you search for the best value for your money. Having a VA mortgage is an excellent benefit, but finding the right home is just as important. With pre-approval, you avoid wasting time with homes out of your price range or sellers who are unsure whether you are a serious buyer.
In order to qualify for a VA loan, American veterans must have a certificate of eligibility. Although we do not maintain the site or guarantee the accuracy of the information located on the site, we recommend that veterans seeking information on obtaining a certificate of eligibility visit the United States Department of Veteran Affairs website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans.