VA Loan 101 – Learn About VA Loans

VA Loans provide veterans and active service members a guaranteed home loan that does not require a down-payment. They are offered as a benefit to service members, veterans, reservists and their spouses to help them purchase a new home, make home repairs, or make their home more energy efficient. These guaranteed home loans are designed to help service members move toward the next step in their life.

Use our VA Loan 101 links below to learn about VA Loans, or to get answers to questions you may have on VA Loans. 

What exactly is a VA guaranteed home loan?

A VA guaranteed loan is made by a private lender, such as a bank, savings & loan or mortgage company to eligible veterans, active duty personnel, and their spouses for the purchase of a home. The guaranty protects the lender against any loss if you fail to repay the loan. The guaranty replaces the protection the lender normally receives by requiring a down payment.

How valuable is something like the VA loan program?

The VA loan program is one of the best administered of all the home loan plans, being guaranteed by the US Department of Veteran Affairs. Veterans and active service members should be capitalizing on this opportunity.

What are the benefits of a VA home loan?

There are many reasons to consider a VA loan:

  • Loans are equal opportunity
  • You do not need a down payment (as long as the sales price does not exceed the appraised value)
  • Interest rates can be negotiated with the lender
  • No mortgage insurance premiums
  • In financial difficulty, the VA may provide some assistance in making payments
  • Limits the amount a service member can be charged for closing costs
  • Some closing costs may even be paid by the seller
  • Lenders cannot charge a penalty for paying off a loan early

Is getting a VA loan difficult?

Many people figure VA loans are more difficult, but they actually tend to be simpler than standard mortgage loans. Since the requirements are different than a conventional or FHA loan due to the guaranteed VA backing, there is much less work for the borrower. VA loan application tends to be a straight-forward process, whereas traditional loans require more checks and approvals.

Does my VA entitlement guarantee I will get a home loan?

It’s important to understand that the VA cannot compel a lender to make a loan that would violate their active policies. Lenders are mandated to comply with VA income and credit standards.

Why should you choose Benchmark Bank for your VA loan?

Benchmark Bank offers a better value for your money, all while providing personalized one-on-one service by giving you only one broker to work with throughout the entire loan process. Additionally, we actually have veterans on staff that have gone through the program first-hand. This insider knowledge makes us the right choice for your loan. As a local  lender, we’re active in the Columbus community, and we support a lot of great initiatives and causes.

What Can VA Loans Be Used For?

  • Buy or build a home
  • Buy a residential condominium
  • Buy a residential cooperative housing unit
  • Repair, alter or improve a residence
  • Refinance an existing home loan
  • Buy a manufactured home and/or lot
  • Fund energy-efficient home improvements

What are the Requirements For VA Loan Eligibility?

The requirements for qualifying for VA loan eligitbility are simple:

  • Borrower must meet the eligibility and conditions of service requirements
  • Borrower must maintain a good credit rating
  • Borrower must maintain a sufficient income
  • Borrower must have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
  • Borrower must agree to live in the property