People have approached me with a number of great questions about VA loan eligibility, so today I would like to highlight and address some of the things I'm most frequently asked.
"How do you get a VA loan?"
As simple as this question sounds, many people don't know where to start this process. To get a VA loan, you'll need to visit a financial institution, like a bank, or a direct lender that is qualified to handle VA loans. We at American Mortgage Group would be happy to assist you in this pursuit.
"What determines how much you can borrow from the VA?"
Your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) will tell you how much you can borrow from the VA. A COE can be obtained directly from the VA or from your lender.
"What qualifies as acceptable proof of military service?"
The answer to this question will actually vary depending on whether you are a veteran or are still active duty. Active duty military personnel will need to present a Statement of Service. Veterans, though, will need to present a DD 214.
"Can you still obtain a VA loan if you are unable to present a Statement of Service or DD 214?"
Actually, yes. Another way to obtain a COE (and a VA loan) is to fill out a VA Form 26-1880. This will allow your lender to gather military records and determine how much you qualify for.
"Can you have a cosigner on a home purchase you're financing with a VA loan?
Having a cosigner help you purchase a home when using a VA loan is acceptable, but the cosigner must be your legal spouse. You may have other people on the title of the property, but not on the VA loan.
"If someone already has a VA loan, can they get another one?"
Yes, but the amount you will qualify for depends on how much entitlement you have left after your previous purchase. Your COE will indicate this amount. Also, eligibility can be restored if the previously purchased home has been sold. A lot of people think they can only have one VA loan at a time, but this is not correct.
"Can you get a VA loan if you had a bankruptcy in the past?"
Yes. It will need to be determined whether your bankruptcy was a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13, though, because these will each be handled differently. More than anything, the most significant thing you will need to do is sit down and have a conversation about your current financial standing. And you will want to pay special attention to your FICO score.
With these common questions out of the way, there is one more common concern I'd like to touch on.
Many people fear that they will overpay for a home when making a purchase with VA loan financing. However, the VA appraisal process won't allow you to do so. There are certain codes and conditions a property must meet to qualify for VA financing in the first place. You can rest assured that when you purchase a home using a VA loan, you will be paying a fair price.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.