How to Qualify for a VA Loan
Published on March 19, 2018

How to Qualify for a VA Loan

Whether you are a veteran or active duty, the VA loan is a great option for you. In my opinion, the VA loan is the best loan in the country. I'll break down everything you need to get a VA loan for your home purchase today.

First, though, I want to explain the three main benefits of the VA loan:

1. The VA loan offers 100% financing, which means there is no down payment involved. There are still closing costs, so talk to your lender and real estate agent. The lender can offer you a credit, and the agent can see if the seller would be willing to help with closing costs.

2. There's no mortgage insurance with the VA loan, which saves you between $200 and $400 a month compared to an FHA loan.

3. The VA can intercede if you are ever in a situation where you may lose your home. If you have financial problems, the VA can help try to come to an arrangement with your lender so that you can keep your home.

That said, there are two sides to eligibility requirements. One is the individual obtaining the loan, and the second is the property itself.

The property must be VA-approved. This is usually not an issue for a single-family residence. The appraiser will determine if the property is VA-approved. The VA will not allow you to overpay for a property, so the appraised price does have to line up with the purchase price.

"You can have more than one VA loan, just not on properties in the same county."

If you are buying a condo or townhome, your lender can help you determine whether that property will be VA-approved.

So, what determines if you do or do not qualify for a VA loan? It all comes down to your certificate of eligibility. After we meet with you, we send your DA14 to the VA. The VA then issues a certificate of eligibility that shows how much you qualify for.

The amount you qualify for will be very different in San Diego than in Riverside County. A lot of VA clients are moving to the Riverside area. We are able to help you there as well, but the VA rules do change from one county to the other, so keep that in mind.

You also need to be employed. If you are active duty, we need your latest LES to determine how much you qualify for.

The property must be owner-occupied. You cannot use the VA loan for second homes or investment properties.

Since you can't use the VA loan for second homes, many people wonder, "Are you able to have multiple VA loans?" You can, but you can't have two VA loans on two properties in the same county. If you had a VA loan on a property somewhere else and got transferred to San Diego, you can get another VA loan for the San Diego property. We would just have to determine how much entitlement is left.

You need a minimum credit score of 580 to qualify for a VA loan. If your score is not quite there, don't worry. We offer free credit counseling for VA clients. We want to help you get to the point where you are able to buy a home.

If you are looking to buy a home with a VA loan, just give us a call. We will see what you can qualify for and what your payments will be. Thank you for your service, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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