Veterans Benefits and Discounts
If you’re a veteran or servicemember of the United States Armed Forces, you may be entitled to a number of helpful benefits and discounts. Below are just a few examples of these benefits and some ways they can help you and your family. Keep in mind that you may have to meet a few additional eligibility requirements in order to get them.
VA Home Loans – These home loans for veterans, servicemembers and eligible military spouses are offered by private lenders. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guarantees a part of the loan, enabling the lenders to offer favorable loan terms. These terms generally include low interest rates and no down payment requirement.
A VA purchase loan can help you buy a house, but you can also get helpful VA loans if you already own a house. For example:
- VA refinance loans can help you lower the interest rate on a house you bought with a VA loan.
- VA adapted housing grants let you modify a home if you have a service-connected disability.
In addition to being a qualified veteran, servicemember or military spouse, you will have to meet other eligibility criteria for VA home loans. For example, you will need to have a minimum credit score to qualify for a VA purchase loan.
VA Education Benefits – The VA offers a number of education benefits that can cover the costs of college, university or trade school programs. One of the most popular is the Post 9/11 GI Bill, an education benefit that covers your tuition. If you’re eligible for the GI Bill, you may even qualify for additional money to help you pay for your books, housing and other education-related expenses.
Other VA education benefits cover higher education costs for the spouses and children of deceased or disabled veterans.
In addition to VA education benefits, you may be able to find schools, nonprofits or other organizations that offer their own grants and scholarships for veterans and their family members.
Car Insurance Discounts – Some auto insurance companies offer great discounts for veterans and servicemembers. These companies include USAA, which caters exclusively to military customers and their spouses. USAA and other insurance companies like Geico may even give you up to a 90 percent discount on insurance for a vehicle you are storing while you are deployed.
Life Insurance – The VA offers several life insurance benefits. Here are just a few examples:
- Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) is a low-cost option for servicemembers.
- Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) is available for veterans upon separation from service.
- Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) provides coverage for spouses and children of servicemembers who have SGLI.
Homeowners Insurance – To get a VA loan, you will have to get homeowners insurance. Fortunately, some homeowners insurance companies offer great discounts for veterans and servicemembers. Companies like Armed Forces Insurance (AFI) and USAA provide homeowners insurance policies exclusively for service members. Other companies, such as Progressive and Farmers, work with the general public, but they offer discounts and special rates for veterans and servicemembers.