FAQ: VA Mortgage Questions

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Are you looking for answers to the most frequently asked VA mortgage questions?

VA Mortgage is committed to offering service members, veterans, and families the support and resources they need to navigate their loan process. Our processes were developed by real veterans and are managed by experts who always act in your best interests.

Keep reading to learn the answers to frequently asked VA Mortgage questions.

Are you ready to take advantage of our personal approach to VA mortgage services? Contact us today by calling 888-256-5387 or begin the process right now by clicking here and submitting the VA loan pre-application form.

1 Loan Details
2 Contact Info
  • About Your Loan

    To begin, we need to get some basic information about your loan.

About VAMortgage.com Questions

  1. Is this the VA?
  2. Is there a lender associated with the VA?
  3. What is VAMortgage.com’s affiliation with the Veterans Administration?
  4. Where is my regional VA loan center?
  5. Are you a real company?
  6. Is this a scam?
  7. Are you simply a broker or part of an established bank that will see my loan through to closing?

VA Loan Eligibility Questions

  1. How do I get my Certificate of Eligibility?
  2. Does a VA loan require MI or PMI (mortgage insurance)?
  3. How do I find out my VA entitlement?
  4. Do you have to have been active duty or can you have been in the reserves and still be eligible for a VA loan?
  5. Do I need a real estate agent?
  6. Can I get a VA loan after declaring bankruptcy?
  7. Does my eligibility change if I receive VA disability?
  8. What is the minimum credit score required to qualify for a VA mortgage?
  9. Do I need a termite inspection AND a home appraisal?
  10. Who can be on my VA loan with me?
  11. I am due to be discharged in the near future. Can I still buy a home? Do I wait till I find a job outside or can you use my military income in order to qualify for a mortgage?
  12. If I am sent overseas can my spouse buy the home on my behalf? Can my spouse be my Power of Attorney?

General VA Loan Questions

  1. What is a VA loan?
  2. Can I take my spouse off of my VA loan?
  3. Does VA have a first time buyer program?
  4. Can I get a VA loan for 100% of the purchase price?
  5. What kinds of properties can I buy with a VA loan? (land, mobile home, rental property, etc.)
  6. Can I use my VA eligibility to buy a second home?
  7. Can I have 2 VA loans at one time?
  8. What is the difference between a fixed rate mortgage and an ARM?
  9. When should I refinance a VA mortgage?

Fees, Rates & Payments Questions

  1. How much will my payments be?
  2. How much is the VA funding fee?
  3. How much is the cost of a VA appraisal?
  4. Which fees are the seller allowed to pay?
  5. Can you add closing costs to the loan amount?
  6. What closing costs do I need to pay?
  7. What factors will affect my interest rate?
  8. How can I calculate a loan payment?

About VAMortgage.com Questions

1. Is this the VA?

No, VAMortgage.com is not a part of the Veterans Administration, but a division of a bank qualified by the VA to provide mortgage loans in accordance with their requirements.

2. Is there a lender associated with the VA?

No, the Veterans Administration does not have an in-house lender, nor is it associated with any one lender.

3. What is VAMortgage.com’s affiliation with the Veterans Administration?

We are a bank that is qualified by the Veterans Administration to provide mortgage loans in accordance with their requirements. We specialize in providing veterans and military personnel with government-guaranteed loans through the Veterans Administration’s Home Loan Benefit Program.

4. Where is my regional VA loan center?

You can find your regional VA loan center at http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/rlcweb.asp

5. Are you a real company?

Yes. We are a division of 1st Mariner Bank in Baltimore, Maryland. We are not a lead-generation site or a group of mortgage brokers, but an actual bank that handles all of our own loans from start to finish right here in our offices. This is actually an advantage to our customers because all of our loans stay in house, from end to end, during the loan process.

6. Is this a scam?

This is absolutely not a scam. We will work with you tirelessly to see to it that you are matched with the loan program that best suits your needs and qualifications, whatever your situation may be. We invite you to view our customer testimonials to see how other satisfied veterans feel about their experiences in working with us.

7. Are you simply a broker or part of an established bank that will see my loan through to closing?

We are a division of 1st Mariner Bank in Baltimore, Maryland, the largest bank headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. All of our staff and mortgage services — from Loan Officers to Processing and Underwriting — are located in our corporate offices, which are under the same roof as 1st Mariner Bank. The same team of experienced VA mortgage professionals will be at your service and see your loan through from initial contact until closing.

VA Loan Eligibility Questions

1. How do I get my Certificate of Eligibility?

Your eligibility for the VA home loan benefit is validated with a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) which is the only reliable Proof of Eligibility on which the Lender may rely, except in the case of an Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan (IRRRL). We at VAMortgage.com can obtain this document quickly and easily for you or, if you prefer, you may apply for a COE personally online. An eligible veteran must still be income-qualified for a VA-guaranteed home loan to obtain approval for the loan.

2. Does a VA loan require MI or PMI (mortgage insurance)?

No. All VA home loans are guaranteed by the Veterans Administration so that they do not require monthly mortgage insurance or a down payment.  There is, however, a VA Funding Fee that is required if the borrower does not collect service-related disability.

3. How do I find out my VA entitlement?

Entitlement is the amount available for a veteran to use on a VA mortgage. The amount of available basic VA home loan entitlement is $36,000. This may be reduced if a veteran has used entitlement before which has not been restored. The amount of basic entitlement will be displayed near the center of the COE. For a description of VA home loan limits, as well as the limits for counties, visit the VA Loan Limits Web page. Please note county limits can change yearly.

4. Do you have to have been active duty or can you have been in the reserves and still be eligible for a VA loan?

Traditionally, service members who served on active duty for 90 days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime, but more recently a minimum of two years of service have been typical eligibility requirements. However, there are many exceptions to this such as time in reserves, disability, and what year you enlisted, so we suggest that you contact us, or the Veterans Administration Eligibility Center, to determine whether you are eligible. You can also refer to the information provided on the VA website. Look for Chapter 2, Section 5, at http://www.benefits.va.gov/warms/pam26_7.asp.

5. Do I need a real estate agent?

We do recommend shopping for a home with a qualified real estate agent. If you do not yet have one, we can provide you with a realtor in your area. It is also recommended to obtain a pre-qualification letter before you start house-hunting, which we would be happy to assist you with, as well.

6. Can I get a VA home loan after declaring bankruptcy?

It is possible to get a VA home loan a minimum of two years after bankruptcy is discharged.

7. Does my eligibility change if I receive VA disability?

If the VA deems you disabled, your VA funding fee will be waived. VA disability income IS acceptable income when determining your ability to pay back a loan.

8. What is the minimum credit score required to qualify for a VA mortgage?

We are able to qualify borrowers for VA home loans with a minimum score of 600, while most lenders will only take a minimum credit score of 640 or 620.

9. Do I need a termite inspection AND a home appraisal?

A termite inspection is only required with a home appraisal in areas where the probability of termite infestation is “very heavy” or “moderate to heavy” according to the Termite Infestation Map published in the International Residential Code.

10. Who can be on my VA home loan with me?

A service member or veteran with VA home loan eligibility may only use his or her spouse as a co-borrower.

11. I am due to be discharged in the near future. Can I still buy a home? Do I wait till I find a job outside or can you use my military income in order to qualify for a mortgage?

If you plan to reenlist or if your military income will stay the same following your discharge, you can absolutely buy a home using your VA eligibility. If you will not receive income from the military following discharge, you will need to have a steady civilian job for a period of time before being able to qualify for a mortgage.

12. If I am sent overseas can my spouse buy the home on my behalf? Can my spouse be my Power of Attorney?

Yes. If you grant your spouse power of attorney, he or she will be able to buy a house on your behalf as if they were you.

General VA Loans Questions

1. What is a VA loan?

While there are a variety of VA home loan programs, a VA home loan is a loan available exclusively for active duty service members and veterans discharged honorably. There are quite a few advantages to a VA home loan over a conventional mortgage, such as the ability to get a home loan with no down payment and no mortgage insurance.

2. Can I take my spouse off of my VA loan?

While it is not possible to remove one person from a joint loan, it can be refinanced in just one of the initial borrowers’ names. VAMortgage.com offers a variety of VA refinancing options.

3. Does VA have a first time buyer program?

While the VA does not have any special programs for first-time home buyers, there are a number of things to keep in mind. We provide a list of “first-time home buyers’ tips” on our site, or you can ask your VA home loan specialist.

4. Can I get a VA home loan for 100% of the purchase price?

Yes, a VA home loan can finance up to 100% of the purchase price. However, depending on your disability status and seller concessions, it may still require some closing costs.

5. What kinds of properties can I buy with a VA home loan? (Land, mobile home,rental property, etc.)?

You can use a VA purchase loan, or home loan, only to buy a house for personal use. There are, however, some refinancing options in which the proceeds can be used for things such as construction and home improvement.

6. Can I use my VA eligibility to buy a second home?

VA loan must be for a primary residence. It is possible, however, to reuse your VA eligibility if the previous VA loan is paid off or resolved (through sale, foreclosure, etc.). Technically, you can have two VA-insured properties at the same time in a case such as if a service member is being transferred and is not selling his or her current residence. The service member can rent his or her current residence and purchase a new primary residence with the same benefits and eligibility.

7. Can I have two VA loans at one time?

In some cases it is possible to have two VA home loans at one time if the second one is your primary residence. If you are interested in a second VA home loan, it is best to contact one of our qualified VA home loan specialists to find out if you could qualify.

8. What is the difference between a fixed rate mortgage and an ARM?

fixed rate mortgage carries the same interest rate for the life of the loan. An ARM, or hybrid mortgage, carries a fixed rate for either three or five years that is typically lower than the current market rate for a fixed rate loan. After the agreed-upon term of three or five years, the interest rate can change up to 1% per year depending on market conditions. There is a lifetime cap on how high your interest rate can go.

9. When should I refinance a VA mortgage?

Refinancing a VA mortgage depends on a variety of factors. Click here to read our page on when to refinance your mortgage. It includes more information about what you should pay attention to and explains how to use our free home refinance calculator.

Fees, Rates, Payments & Other Costs Questions

1. How much will my payments be?

Payments will vary significantly based on your loan amount, term, current interest rates, your credit score, the area where you live and other factors. Please refer to our Mortgage Payment Calculator to determine an estimated monthly payment that fits your budget. If you contact one of our VA home loan specialists, he or she would be glad to calculate a more accurate payment and amortization schedule for you.

2. How much is the VA Funding Fee?

The VA funding fee is a certain percentage of the loan amount for which the borrower is responsible, for the privilege of obtaining a VA home loan. The amount is between .5% and 3.3% of the loan amount and depends on the presence or amount of down payment, type of loan, and the veteran’s military category. This amount can be included in the total loan amount and is waived for VA approved disabled veterans. For an exact calculation, please contact us. You can view a breakdown of VA Funding Fees on the Department Veterans Affairs website. Again, the VA funding fee is charged by the government to defray costs of the VA home loan program.

3. How much is the cost of a VA appraisal?

Home appraisals for the purpose of obtaining a VA loan MUST be conducted by a VA appraiser. Their rates are determined by their local VA field station to ensure fairness and are based on fees for similar services in their jurisdiction. If you choose VAMortgage.com to handle your VA home or refinance loan, your appraisal will be provided free of charge. It’s our way of letting you know how much we value your service – and your business.

4. What fees are the sellers allowed to pay?

Expenses that the sellers are allowed to pay (seller concessions) include: VA funding fee, property tax and insurance, escrowed funds for temporary interest rate buy-down, and buyer’s credit balances and judgments. The total seller concessions must not exceed four percent of the appraised value. The seller is able to cover any closing costs or the payment of points.

5. Can you add closing costs to the loan amount?

For a refinance loan, all closing costs can absolutely be added to the loan amount. For a VA home purchase loan, 100% of the loan amount can be financed, but this does not include closing costs. In some cases, however, the seller can cover some or all of the closing costs.

6. What closing costs do I need to pay?

For a refinance loan, all closing costs can be added into the loan amount. For a VA home purchase loan, they cannot be added into your loan but the seller, in many cases, can agree to pay them for you. The costs can include a 1% origination fee, discount points (if applicable), prepaid taxes and hazard (homeowner’s) insurance, title fee, title insurance, flood zone determination, environmental endorsements, recording fees, special mailing fees and the VA funding fee.

7. What factors will affect my interest rate?

Factors that can affect your interest rate include your credit score, income, other debts, where in the country you live and the up-front costs you are willing to pay out-of-pocket. For more detailed information on interest rates, please contact one of our VA home loan specialists at 888-256-5387.

8. How can I calculate a VA loan payment?

Simplify the process of calculating a VA loan payment by clicking here to read our guide. The guide will break down the complexities of the process and help you find out what your VA loan payment may be. It also includes information about using our free VA loan payment calculator.

Contact Us For Other Questions

Ready to get started? Click here to apply for a VA Mortgage loan today!

If you have more VA Mortgage questions that we didn’t cover here, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 888-256-5387 or contact us online. We’d be happy to answer any VA mortgage questions you have and look forward to helping you.

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