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Apply for a VA Loan

By: Grant Moon 09/17/12 01:22 pm

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Apply for a VA Loan

 

A VA Loan is a mortgage extended to eligible current and former member of the armed services. VA Loans are guaranteed by the US Department of Veteran Affairs however private lenders provide the loan. It is helpful to understand the process if you are looking to buy or refinance your home with a VA Loan.

VA Loan Eligibility

The very first step of VA loan process is to determine and verify your eligibility.  Eligibility is established for current and former members of the US Armed Forces and some surviving spouses. Those that served on active duty, reserves, and in the National Guard may be eligible.

Find a VA Approved Lender

Your next step would be to find an approved lender and compare the rates and fees being offered. Rates and fees will vary by lenders so it is important to look at several.     After you’ve decided on your lender you can have them assist you in obtaining a certificate of eligibility with the VA.  Before the loan application process can begin, you’ll need to have your certificate of eligibility which proves that you are eligible for VA Home Loan program. After the certificate is obtained, the lender can then move forward with the rest of the procedures.

Pre-Qualification

In order for the lender to determine if you can qualify for a loan, the lender will have to review your credit, employment, income, assets, and debts. If you pass all of the credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio requirements the lender will issue a pre-qualification if you are purchasing a house. If you are refinancing, the lender will begin the underwriting process.

Loan Review

After the lender verifies all of the information and determines that you are qualified the loan, your packet will go to underwriting. Usually, the underwriting can be the lengthiest process; sometimes taking as long as 30 to 60 days. In order to obtain final approval, the completed file and application shall be forwarded to a VA underwriter after the lending institution is done with reviewing all the required documentation.

Simultaneously, the lender will be working with you to schedule a VA Appraisal conducted by a VA appraiser. The appraiser’s job is to ensure that the property that you are buying or refinancing meets the VA guidelines.  You will also be required to have hazard insurance which is also known as homeowners insurance prior to closing your loan. Other activities associated with your loan will be a title search to ensure that there are no other claims on the title of your property.

Closing

Finally, the lender will issue you a clear to close and select the date and time of the closing. If you are buying a home you will also have the opportunity to do a final walk through of the property prior to your closing.  Then, we will conduct your closing and get your keys.

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