A VA loan is a special loan that is available to all Unites States Military Veterans. These loans are back by the Department of Veteran Affairs and have a variety of benefits.
One of the most noticeable benefits of a VA loan is that there is no down payment required. Other loans such as conventional loans usually require a buyer to put down 5%. FHA loans typically require 3.5% down.
With other loan programs, paying off your mortgage early typically results in additional fees. However, VA loans do not penalize you for paying off your mortgage early. There are no additional costs for early payment.
VA loans also come with refinance options. If you have an existing VA loan you may qualify for a Veteran Affairs Interest Rate Reduction Refinance (VA IRRRL). This loan turns an existing VA loan into a new one, typically resulting in a diminished interest rate.
In general, VA loans have significantly lower interest rates when compared to FHA loans or conventional loans. This means smaller monthly payments for borrowers.
In order to be eligible for a VA Home Loan, you must meet one or more of the following conditions:
- Served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime,
- Served 181 consecutive days of active service during peace time,
- Served more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves. You may also be eligible if you are the spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty.