With competitive rates and potentially no down payment, VA loans are some of the most helpful homebuying programs anywhere.
And if you’re an active member or veteran of the US military or reserve forces, you may qualify.
Lynnwood mortgage loan officer David Haley salutes you and your service, and is honored to help you buy a home, put down roots, and build a future in our community.
Qualifying for a VA loan
There are three general ways to qualify for a VA loan Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The following criteria apply in most situations, but details may depend on the era during which you/your spouse served.
Consult with the David Haley team and your military officer to ensure you’re aware of all available benefits and their criteria.
You’re currently in service and have been on active duty for at least 90 consecutive days OR you’re a veteran who served a minimum of 90 days to 24 months (depending on when and under what circumstances you served).
Service requirements are generally shorter if you were discharged due to a service-related disability.
2. Reserve or National Guard service
Since 1990, you spent at least 90 days on active duty OR, prior to 1990, you served at least 6 total years and met certain discharge, transfer, or retirement conditions.
3. You’re the surviving spouse of a veteran
Your spouse was killed, is MIA, is a POW, or later died from a service-related disability; AND (in most cases) you haven’t remarried if your spouse is deceased.
Remarried spouses of deceased veterans may also be eligible in limited circumstances.
VA loans, in brief
There are four main varieties of VA loans:
- A purchase loan to buy, build, or renovate your principal residence.
- A Native American Direct Loan (NADL) for properties on federal trust land. As its name suggests, this program is limited to Native American COE holders and their spouses.
- An Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) to reduce or stabilize payments on an existing VA loan.
- A cash-out refi loan to tap into home equity or to replace your private loan with VA financing.
All types offer no down payment, no private mortgage insurance (PMI), competitive rates, and limited closing costs.
As a COE holder, you can reuse this benefit throughout your life. Keep in mind that prior loan statuses may affect your entitlement, and therefore your personal loan limit.
Recent changes to VA loans
As of January 1st, 2020, there’s effectively no more cap on certain zero-down VA loans.
- Are an eligible veteran, active-duty servicemember, or reservist
- With full entitlement
- And are using your benefit for the first time
…you can now get a VA loan with no down payment even for “jumbo” mortgages or in high-cost areas like Western Washington.
These larger loans were previously subject to the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac conforming loan limit, which was removed by the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019.
The Blue Water Navy legislation also introduced:
- More uniform funding fees, temporarily higher for certain borrowers but lower for others.
- A funding fee waiver for Purple Heart recipients who close while on active duty.
- No more loan limits for NADL borrowers.
Beyond these highlights, there are even more benefits that certain borrowers can take advantage of.
It’s imperative to work with a well-versed loan officer like David Haley, who understands the complete nuances and options of VA lending, and will execute, execute, execute until the mission is complete.
Is a VA loan worth it?
We can’t (and wouldn’t) give a definitive recommendation before we discuss your needs and priorities one-on-one.
That said, they’re the first choice for the vast majority of those who qualify.
The terms of a VA mortgage—especially the no-down-payment feature—are virtually impossible to find outside of limited programs through Fannie Mae and the USDA.
If you’re not sure whether you qualify, or whether VA loans are appropriate for your situation, then the team at David Haley Mortgage can help you walk through these and other programs to find the right fit.