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Does Your State Offer VA Perks?

By: Grant Moon 06/11/14 10:23 am

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The original Servicemen’s’ Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly referred to as the G.I. Bill, was a program enacted by Congress as a debt of gratitude as well as to help veterans returning from WWII more quickly assimilate to civilian life. Low interest loans were offered to help the soldiers start a business, go to college or a vocational school and a full year of unemployment compensation. And of course, the one program still in full gear today is the VA home loan program.

This zero down mortgage loan requires no down payment, low closing costs and competitive mortgage rates. It’s simply a great program and should be the first choice to finance a home for those who qualify and want to put little to nothing down on a home purchase. But beyond the federal government, individual states may also provide certain assistance when veterans buy a home.

Not every state offers home buying assistance so you’ll need to check with the proper agency in your state, but these little known programs can offer  quite a range of additional benefits. Some states offer subsidized mortgage rates that lower existing mortgage rates offered by VA lenders. A borrower applies for a VA mortgage and the state agency can offer yet a lower rate.

There are programs available that provide financing for raw land, something that the federal VA loan program doesn’t do. With such a program, a veteran can acquire raw land then obtain a construction loan to build a home then finally replace those loans with a permanent mortgage.

A popular state benefit is a second mortgage that can help eligible borrowers pay for closing costs or make upgrades or minor repairs. Some of these programs have either special income limitations or reserved for first time home buyers but before you get too far with your VA loan application, make sure you check to see if there additional benefits offered in the state where you live.

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