When seeking a VA home loan the first step is to determine your eligibility status. The second is completing the proper steps to get the Certificate of Eligibility, and the third is to determine which lender to use for processing your loan application.
Every VA loan requires a Certificate of Eligibility and this can be done in two ways. First is that you provide proof of adequate service and complete a VA Form 26-1880. The second is that your lender access what is called the Web LGY system which you’ll find that most lenders have access to. However if you’re wish is to have the process move as quickly as possible it might be best that you have the Certificate of Eligibility in hand when you visit your lender to complete an application.
Eligibility Requirements for COE
Eligibility for regular active duty military can be completed by having a statement of service completed that includes your social security number and the duration of your service that is signed by a superior. If you’re currently discharged you are required to provide documentation that proves that you’ve had at least six years of honorable service, this form is called a Standard Form 180.
The spouse of a veteran can also be eligible for a VA home loan if their spouse was deceased while on active duty or do to a service related disability. If this is the case, the spouse must contact the Atlanta Eligibility Center to get the Certificate of Eligibility. However the children of a living or deceased veteran would not be considered eligible for a VA loan program.
If you’ve had a VA mortgage in the past you might still be eligible for a future VA loan depending on whether or not you sold the previous property and it was paid off free and clear or if you had a VA loan that was paid in full.
There are a number of approved lenders that provide VA loans and it’s very likely that you can find one locally to handle your VA loan application. Just like on any other home loan, rate shopping is very important prior to deciding on a lender that is right for you.
Closing costs will also be a factor however it is important to know that all lenders are required to charge you what is called a VA Funding Fee. This fee is a small percentage of your final loan amount and is usually 1.25 to 1.5 percent of the total loan amount depending on your eligibility and your type of military service.
The loan officer will be able to determine the exact amount on your HUD statement and this fee can be financed into your VA loan. It is important to note that just because you’re a veteran it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed an approval for a VA loan. Also, the criteria for approval may differ from one lender to another.