Homeownership among Veterans fueled by the VA Loans

Reviewed: June 30, 2016
By FinanceWeb

Homeownership is synonymous to economic security. The ability to own a home should not be elusive given the many housing programs available in the market. For veterans and soldiers serving in the military, the veteran mortgage loans come in handy in making homeownership easy and affordable. Veteran mortgage loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), making them the best deal for veterans looking to own a home.

A veteran’s Checklist Before Application

In order to take advantage of the VA loan, numerous requirements must be met. To begin with, it is important to identify who can apply for the loan. According to the VA’s website, it describes potential applicants as limited to the following.

Veterans: they are grouped into different categories based on their participation in active military service. In this regard, the VA identifies veterans who served for at least 90 days in active war, such as the WWII and the Vietnam War, or 181 continuous days after any of the wars.

Active service members: any applicant currently serving in the military is only required to show that he or she has been in service for 90 continuous days.

Reserve members and National Guards: have served in the Gulf War for at least 90 days and his or her discharge was honorable. Alternatively, an applicant from this category could qualify if he or she has been a member of the Selected Reserve or National Guard for 6 years. Either way, he or she must be without any record of dishonorable discharge.

Veteran’s spouses: spouses who survive veterans who die while on active duty will qualify for the veteran mortgage loans provided they do not remarry. Spouses of missing soldiers or soldiers held as prisoners also become eligible for the loan subject to the same condition.

Additional Considerations

In addition to being a veteran or a service member, each applicant must also conform to basic credit checks. The VA outlines the need for applicants to ensure that they have a certificate of eligibility, maintains a good credit score, and has proof of sufficient income. Such credit evaluations, while not as stringent as is common with conventional lenders, are necessary for determining how much one could borrow.
The marital status of the veteran is also an important consideration when applying for the veteran mortgage loans. Married veterans are allowed to include their spouses in mortgage contracts implying that they will share the loan’s liability.
A veteran’s spouse could affect the credit evaluation while applying for the loan. If a veteran’s spouse has a credit score that is too low, the veteran’s eligibility for the loan will be affected adversely. In such a case, a veteran could apply for the loan on his or her name only provided he or she is not a resident of any community property states.

Key Benefits of the VA Mortgage Loan

While lenders may be reluctant to promote the VA loans, eligible veterans are better off buying homes through the veteran mortgage loans than they are if they use conventional loans. To begin with, veterans do not pay insurance for the loans since they are guaranteed by the VA. Additionally, veterans are not required to make any down payment when taking the loan.