Veterans, military service members, and their families can qualify for a VA loan for the purchase, building, or refinance of a home. Additionally, special emergency assistance and loans help veterans who are in danger of foreclosure or are homeless.
There are four types of VA home loans, but in most cases, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not provide direct mortgages, despite its name. Instead, the VA backs a mortgage from an approved lender, enticing lenders to reduce mortgage eligibility requirements and offer better loan terms.
Additionally, VA loans have the advantage of dropping down payment and mortgage insurance premium requirements in most cases. Unlike many other government-issued and backed mortgages, a VA loan does not require the recipient to be a first-time homeowner. Instead, these loans provide the same veteran discounts and benefits, regardless of whether or not you have previously owned a home.
Many lenders that provide VA loans also provide additional military discounts and benefits. However, these benefits can vary between lenders since they are not part of the government program itself. That being said, it’s common for lenders to provide mortgages to borrowers even with a less-appealing credit score or history.
To date, one of the largest VA loan providers is Veterans United. To qualify, you must have a credit score of at least 660. However, if your credit score is too low to qualify, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the Lighthouse program. The Lighthouse program connects you with a financial expert to provide free counseling that can help you build your credit score, reduce your spending, and pay down your debts.
Additionally, your immediate family members may also qualify for the program and can apply for assistance.
If you are in need of a VA loan, but do not meet creditworthiness requirements and do not have the time to work on your debt-to-income ratio and credit score, you may qualify for a mortgage through AmeriSave Mortgage. AmeriSave Mortgage only requires a 580 credit score of its veteran and military applicants.
Additionally, the organization typically waives funding fees for veterans. VA loans issued by AmeriSave generally carry far lower interest rates compared to traditional lenders. On average, interest rates rarely exceed 2.40 percent.
If you are in need of immediate financial or housing assistance and you face potential foreclosure or if you are homeless, it’s important to get in contact with your local VA office for more information about these emergency services.