Borne The Battle #150: Benefits Breakdown – 75th Anniversary of the VA Home Loan Program


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On June 22, VA will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the G.I. Bill. It was on that date in 1944 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act into law, which became widely known as the G.I. Bill of Rights. As Veterans came home from the war, many started families and used their VA home loan entitlement to become homeowners. Through subsequent decades, new generations of Veterans continued to use the VA home loan benefit that they earned through service to our nation, becoming a fundamental pillar of the U.S. housing industry and the building of communities.

In honor of this historic event, Army Veteran Maxine Henry and Air Force Veteran Mark Connors of the VA’s Loan Guaranty Service team sat down with Borne the Battle to discuss one of the best and most popular Veteran benefits–the VA home loan entitlement.

An Outstanding Benefit

The VA home loan guaranty has several advantages for Veteran borrowers:

  • Veterans using the VA home loan are generally not required to have a downpayment.
  • Veterans using the VA home loan also aren’t required to carry any mortgage insurance, which saves borrowers hundreds of dollars on their monthly mortgage payments.
  • Veterans using the VA home loan benefit enjoy limited closing costs.
  • VA home loans have very competitive interest rates.
  • Veterans aren’t charged any prepayment penalty if they are able to pay off their mortgage earlier than required while using the VA loan.
  • VA provides assistance to help Veterans retain their homes during periods of temporary financial difficulty.
  • The VA home loan benefit can be used multiple times throughout the Veteran’s life.

For more on the top five benefits to using the VA home loan guaranty, check out the video below.

Additional Links:
#BtBattle Veteran of the Week:

Eric Jones is a program analyst in VA’s loan guaranty service.

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VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. CATHERINE MARTINEZ    

    How about helping Vets that want to buy a CO-OP or refinance their loan. A Vet can purchase
    a CONDO with a VA loan, but there is no help from the VA for CO-OP’s!

  2. Catherine Thomas    

    Mortgage brokers should be forbidden from requiring a credit score at all to honor our home loan guarantees. Those of us without credit must go into debt to obtain a credit score. VA has no credit score requirement; so it should be made unlawful for the mortgage companies to demand one. My rental and creditor payment history is 100 per cent, but my credit score is still low, so I am unable to obtain a house and get rid of unstable, uncaring landlords. I find it amusing that if I had 10 per cent to put down on a house, I qualify for many other programs even with my low credit score, but not to use my certificate of eligibility. That is a shame.

  3. Catherine Thomas    

    What a FARCE! There needs to be a law enacted forbidding any mortgage provider from using any criteria other than VA’s: good rental payment history; good creditor payment history. There is no requirement for any type of credit score, but mortgage companies require it. So, in order to have anyone HONOR my home loan guaranty, I must go into debt to obtain a credit score good enough for a mortgage company to even consider honoring my home loan guaranty. My rental payment history and my credit payment history are both 100 per cent, but I still cannot obtain a mortgage. Instead, this Disabled Veteran must deal with inconsiderate, barely law-abiding landlords.

  4. Karen E Holcomb    

    So, what about Home Equity Loans? Are they included here somewhere or is there a program for them? My Dad had bought me this house before he passed away and I used the inheritance and some other windfalls to replace the roof, install. Heat pump and air, and have new floors laid. Now I have an estimate for $45 thousand for a deck replacement, Windows, and siding. My guy works but I am on disability. We could definitely afford theloan payment but are weary about dealing with the whole application process.

  5. donna    

    va home loans do not apply to widows of veterans. my husband served 30 yrs in US Army,, we used the VA several times and know it is in a drawer in Washington today.. not being used…. i applied for a refin on my home to take out equity.. agent told me i qualified for a VA . Wow!! this was April 2019 today is July 15.2019 after submitting numerous docs over and over i was told i actually did not qualify… i am not in a nursing home, or having nurses in or disabled…. which seems to be the critiera. for this loan…. i have now switched to FHA and am almost starating over again with paperwork etc… it has been 4 months…. summer will be over by the time this ever comes thru…if ever….. anyone know more about how this works?? i would really be interested in more details Hard to imagine this being the full answer or the right answer… thanks donna

  6. donna    

    i am the widow of a 29 yr US Army 06…. i recently applied for a refi on my home.. was excepted into the VA home loan and then on the 11th hour found out was not going to receive this loan after being promised by loan company i qualified… i am not disabled, am 76 yrs old and do have heart issues but did not have enough issues to qualify…. does anyone know more about this type of thing… i would be interested in feedback… i am now in the 4th month with this same company and am forever having to supply more docs and info even for a FHA loan now… what gives????/ i have needs for these funds for the summer, i have changed plans over and over waiting for this loan to finalize…. help!! donna

  7. Richard Payton    

    I’m a disable veterans. Who have been trying to used my va for the purposes of buying a home. Unfortunately after losing my job I overextended my credit and had to file a bankruptcy. It takes forever to bounce back from low credit especially if you’re trying to do this on your own. I need help in this category. I would like to know how to purchase s home. With the va with a low score or if anyone has idea of how to make my dream of owning a home a reality. I’m 100 percent and I could used someone expertises in purchasing a home. With low credit score.

  8. Richard Payton    

    I’m in the same situation as the guy above I realize that credit is everything but I’m a 100 percent disabled veteran who have been living and renting someone else property for 30 years. I can’t used my va because I messed up my credit. After not being able to obtain a job. I would appreciate any help showing me how to fix this so that I might use my home loan and finally get a home. Not a house that belongs to someone else

  9. Richard Sheehan    

    Thank you for the information about VA home loans, I’ve used it twice. Me and my wife are now renting and I am a service-connected disabled veteran due to multiple sclerosis.
    Can you please do a podcast on doing home modifications for disabled veterans?
    Thanks!

  10. Thomas Peterson    

    It was great that you mentioned with VA home loans you generally don’t need to place a downpayment. My brother is a returned veteran and he has been trying to get back on his feet after being away for so long. I would love to see what options we can find for him in Colorado Springs CO for VA home loans.

  11. Arnold Cabral    

    To who reads this can you please I took a loan a loan from my house about 6 months later my found out that my Veteran Friend who is Disabled Veterans is 100 percent service connected found out from his VA Dentist he needs to have G4implants their is no Veteran Medical Centers and don’t have a contract with the Veteran Affairs Administration but unfortunately they have Private Clinics know how but the majority of the Disabled Veterans is 100 percent service connected can’t afford to pay for the G4 implants so Veterans who reads this can you please email your Senators or Representative contract the Veteran Affairs Committee on passing a new Benefit Law if a Disabled Veterans is 100 percent service connected get a Dentist knows how put in put in G4 implants for free because my Disabled Veterans who is Disabled Veterans is 100 percent service connected don’t get the G4 implants it definitely will cause bad Health Care also it will cause bad gum disease and could possible cause Cancer and you don’t have to be Veteran to share my firm belief and Spread my belief…..Semper Fi Don’t Surrender.

  12. Bennie Coffey    

    Has anyone used Security America mortgage company In Houston TX for a mortgage. No listing on BBB for them just need to find out if they are reliable?

  13. Bennie Coffey    

    Trying to find a VA lender that will allow me to purchase a small land partial and then construct a small retirement home then do one closing on the property and home at one time. Any one know a lender doing this.

  14. Laura Mar Downs    

    I wish there was a clear understanding of what is expected or covered under the mortgage guarantee. Here I am the daughter of a Vietnam vet. My father passed away july of 2017. I dedicated the past 20 years of my life taking care of my father who was 100% service connected disabled. My father recieved the SAH Grant and I have in my possession his mortgage guarantee eligibility certificate. The VA says its NO GOOD. If it’s no good than why was he not made aware of that? In the past benefits letters they state as long as he recieced the SAH Grant and applied once he should remain eligible through out. I am under forclosurer loosing my home my father left as we both were under the impression it was to be paid off. Here I never in 20 years recieved any sort of compensation for taking care of him. I applied for aid and attendance and was denied as they said his condition was not service connected but when he died from that condition the say he died from a service connected disability. I am really upset that I am ready to loose everything and end up on the streets. I can’t even get help with the cost of college because I am now to old. Well shame on me for not sending my father to a nursing home so I could use his benefits when they were allowed. No shame on you leaving me with nothing but heart ach and tears. My father needed me and stood by him at his worst times in need and now I feel I am being punished and its sad cause my father always felt the same way as he had to fight to get his 100% disability. My father was only 27 years old when he was medically discharged from the Navy with a total disability rendering completely unemployable. His life at the age of 27 was ripped from him. He had his hip removed and several years lost his chin and that’s not considered a traumatic injury. He was on board a naval ship and recieved the staff infection do to the unsanitary living conditions at a time of war and because it’s a disease he is not covered. Please somebody important thats knows what they are talking about talk to me cause I just do not understand how this can be happening to me. I live in Pueblo, Colorado and there is not one person I have spoke to that knows 100% about the benefits offered as they have changed over the years and its sad but more concerning. I can only imagine how many families are experiencing exactly what I am going through.
    President Trump Hello Sir If ever given the chance I would like the opportunity to start a nonprofit organization where all my staff would know every detail about our veterans benefits. We would talk to our veterans making them aware of all changes to there benefits allowing them to stay current and knowledgeable of what in my opinion they are entitled to. I have some great ideas and a team which togethether we can make a huge impact overtime. We need more people who are trained on individual benefits as we all need that one person that knows what they are talking about. It would be wonderful to call the VA and only talk to one person not get the run around for months and still not have our problems solved. Sorry for venting but I actually had faith in The VA which has turned out to be a complete let down for a man who dedictaed 12 years to the Navy and who made pilot 2 weeks befor they medically discharged him. At least his dream come true. Sad he could not carry out the experience and memories of being a pilot his life long dream.

  15. Hollis Babb    

    Should you go to your favorite lender for a VA loan or is there a better way to go directly to VA? Are VA rates & terms held at same rate no matter who you go thru?

    1. Tanner Iskra    

      Hi Hollis,

      I asked the same question in the podcast episode. What I learned is that the interest rate is not the same. You’ve got to do some shopping. I didn’t even know this when it came to my first loan. The VA is not who you’re paying. I would say, listen to the episode and then if you have any follow-on questions – contact the regional loan center at 1-877-827-3702.

    2. Morris Norman Friedman    

      the VA doesn’t loan money, the guarantee the loan

  16. Adele Thomas    

    I have a problem leaving in an apartment. My credit score is a problem i would love to get a little house to grow old in. My husband was a 100 % disabled veteran. I would like to get a home. I pay almost a 1000 dollar for rent with utility. I do wish there was a way.

  17. Angelo Cenotti Jr    

    I have a VA loan and I haven’t used it yet if I go and look for a home and want to use the VA loan which is the truth about what I can use is there a down payment do they go by credit score or all of the above

  18. Ms. Deedra Aldag    

    How many veterans come home to their children 100 percent ? 75 percent ? 50 percent ? 25 percent ? How many don’t make it home ? How many divorce ? So my point is the divorced spouse and the abandoned children of vets need and deserve guaranteed home loans too !!! History proves maybe in another fifty years they’ll get to that when it’s to late ! Take my father to Vietnam send him back home where here disappears .PTSD Then gets on the death hit wait list at the VA in Fla ! Yeahhhhhhh FFS

  19. Edward Vidmar    

    Mr. Lewis, you can fix that credit score. I did it, and I know you can. What it will take, though, is a great amount of discipline and dedication. It starts with not buying the new big screen TV, the new car every year, to stop going out to dinner 4 times a week, stop smoking, drinking… whatever vices you may have. Most importantly, most people who have bad credit are in that boat because they spend money they should not be spending and pay cash for everything.

    I tried to buy windows for my house in Jan 2014. My credit score then was 540. I could not get financed. I started educating myself, formulated a plan, and stuck to it. I just bought an item that required a loan and my score is now 745.

    In order to build credit, you have to use credit, and use it responsibly. Visit Capital One and look at their secured credit card. You have to put money into escrow. It varies from $49 to $199. You get a card wit a $200 limit. Spend $20 bucks on a tank of gas, and then do not touch that card again. At the end of the month, pay that off in full. Do that for 6 months. They will then raise the limit to $500. Then you spend $500, and again pay it to $0 every month. DO NOT take the approach of “They gave me a $500 limit so I will go spend $499.” It is critical that you pay it down to $0 every month. Your credit will slowly start to climb. The discipline to do this EVERY MONTH is critical. If you get those balances to where you can’t pay them off every month while you are in the building phase, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Start there and our score will;l improve.

  20. Joe Escobar    

    I myself in buying a home through the VA right now and I will say this much it takes an act of Congress to buy one!! They asked for so much paperwork and then they want information from your retirement plans and your bank accounts. I figured if you run a check on me and you can see that I can afford to pay a house when you know I have been paying rent $850 a month for the past nine years with a good job where I have been there for over 12 years and my wife as well at her job. If government loves us and Praises us so much this home business or land business oughta be a gimme. An automatic here’s your plot of land build on it you don’t have to pay it back or maybe a home. NO QUALIFYING! !!!

  21. Ken Blanchard    

    I used the VA loan twice since getting out of service. Both were easy to apply for and much more secure than the other loans I had. My loan was 0% down and no MPI. My loan was backed by VA and I use PNC Mortgage at a great rate. Thank you VA!

    1. S M Wallace    

      I was DENIED a VA loan. The VA appraiser used the most ridiculous excuse to deny me. I feel I was discriminated against because I’m a WOMAN VETERAN. So I’m paying OUT OF POCKET!!! with nothing for security that I won’t lose my home if I become seriously ill and can’t make the payments. Thanks for nothing you bunch of no good “good ole boys” at VA.

  22. Michael Richardson    

    Aloha… I’m a 62 year old Veteran from a family of Veterans…My father was a 30 year combat Veteran fighting for this country in WWII, Korea, and two tours in Vietnam….He died a few years back…This was my first time listening to Borne The Battle podcast and I enjoyed it very much… I wish things like this were available when I was a young Veteran…The topic of VA Home Loans was informative and clear…Your guests were great…Although my home buying days are over, I’m sure many other listeners will take advantage of the information you all shared…I look forward to listening to more of your shows and valuable Veteran topics….

    Mahalo

    Mike Richardson

  23. Frank Upton    

    The VA loan is actually a handicap for two reasons: 1. The VA offers are last in being considered by Sellers. 2. They are too exclusive and only useful for those who are able to buy conventional.

    They need to be more competitive. They need to be more flexible.

    Here’s the problem:
    They won’t lend you $100,000 to buy a $50,000 house needing work, even if you offer to hold the $50,000 in escrow to be paid out directly to contractors after work by contractors of their choice and inspected by the VA so you can get in the run away market reasonable and be a good steward with your finances.

    They won’t lend you $100,000 on a house that just needs updating that at $100,000 you could afford to put money into it each month and fix those minor defects.

    But they will lend you $200,000 on that same house after someone’s bought it for $50,000, put $20,000 into it, and flipped it on the market for $200,000 – giving “you” a net loss of $100,000 and making you house poor.

  24. John Finch    

    Thanx folks for your good & positive information on VA home loans.
    Is the best place to start with my VA Home Loan my local VSO office?

  25. CHARLES E WEBB    

    Why tell vets they can get q home loan but don’t tell them they have to have a stick build and not a mobile or manufactured home. Can’t get a loan on them.

  26. Soufyan    

    As of the banks they are rip off they have no guidelines to go by they just charge whatever interest they feel like I have a friends that they are 100% disabled veterans that they have to pay 4.5% interest even though the lowest rate at that time was 3.1% just because they didn’t have the down payment and that’s what they been told over and over they kept shopping around but they had the same situation with each lander they all take Adventures of veterans

  27. Soufyan    

    I was on the market for a home I found my dream house but the seller refused to take my offer even offer was higher than the second one and the reason is that the other buyer has a down payment Of 20% that is not good I understand that the seller has the right to choose who to sell it to but what make me sick his dad that I’ve been rejected just because I didn’t put down payment

  28. Raymond T Lewis    

    I cannot use my G.I. BILL because my crefit score is low and past negative actions against me. So I guess I will be out of luck. I get a very small amount of disability pay . I need a home.

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