By John Voket
Most active-duty service members and veterans and some National Guard members and reservists can seek out home-related loans through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
VA home loan programs may be used to finance the purchase of homes, condominiums or manufactured homes, refinance an existing home loan, or install energy-saving improvements. The three main types of guaranteed home loan benefits are:
• Purchase Loans
• Cash-Out Refinance Loans
• Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans
Qualified vets need suitable credit, sufficient income and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to be eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan. Private lenders underwrite and fund VA home loans according to VA standards. VA’s partial guaranty for these loans means that nearly 90 percent of all VA-guaranteed home loans are made with no down payment required.
If a VA-guaranteed loan becomes delinquent, the VA will work with the borrower to avoid foreclosure, including providing financial counseling and, in some cases, direct intervention with a mortgage loan servicer on the borrower’s behalf.
Any veteran or service member having difficulty making mortgage payments should call (877) 827-3702 to speak with a VA Loan Technician. More information about avoiding foreclosure can be found at: benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/resources_payments.asp.
Native American veterans who want to live on Federal Trust land can seek assistance through the VA’s Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program, which provides direct loans to eligible Native American veterans for the purchase, construction or improvement of a home.
The VA also offers grants to veterans with certain service-connected disabilities to build an adapted home or make modifications to an existing home. Three types of grants exist: Specially Adapted Housing, Special Housing Adaptation, and Temporary Residence Adaptation.
Homeless veterans, or those at imminent risk of becoming homeless, are urged to contact their local VA medical center, call (877) 424-3838, or visit va.gov/homeless.
Consult your real estate professional to learn more about the VA’s home-related services, or visit explore.va.gov/home-loans-and-housing.
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