In today’s world, if you want to know the answer to practically anything, it’s just a few clicks away. Really. The way search engines have evolved over the years, you simply need to type your question in the search bar, hit “return” then several websites appear, all with some sort of answer included in the text. Getting information about VA loans is no different. From rates to loan programs and everything in between, you can gather as much or as little information that suits you.
Okay, so what if you’re just wondering if you can even qualify for a VA loan? If you’ve never bought a home before and have rented for some time, what’s the procedure? How do you know? Is there some secret to qualifying for a VA loan?
Placing a query in a search bar can get you started, providing some basic information on qualifying but there can be a problem with that alone. You may not be asking the right question. Or, you may be answering a question the wrong way. How’s that?
There are several examples but let’s look at just one. A major part of qualifying compares your current monthly debt along with a new mortgage payment with your monthly income. It makes sense to see how much you can afford after taxes and all are withheld from your pay check. After all, the money you put into your bank account each month is the amount left over after taxes and other withholdings.
So, by visiting a website and entering your income information when asked, you put in your take home pay and find out you really can’t qualify for the type of house you want to buy. It’s too expensive. But VA qualifications use your gross monthly pay, not your take home. If you use your gross monthly income you might find you qualify after all. But you didn’t know. And that’s fair because you’ve never purchased a home before.
Online research and qualifying tools are a convenience, but to really get the lowdown on VA mortgages, you need to pick up the phone and have a conversation with an experienced loan officer. No obligation of course, and yes you can expect an occasional follow up from the loan officer who helped you, but if you really, really want to understand the process and see what you can qualify for, talk to a human. Save the internet for other stuff.