Myth #1 You need a perfect credit score to qualify
Reality: The VA has no rule regarding a minimum credit score. Each lender must verify the borrower’s ability to repay the loan and they all have their own determinations regarding credit score and debt to income ratio just as they do with all other types of loans.
Myth #2 VA appraisals take a long time
Reality: The VA appraisal process takes no longer than a standard appraisal.
Myth #3 Loan amounts are small and only work with starter homes
Reality: VA loan amounts can be anywhere from 417,000 up to 1,000,000- 1,500,000 in some geographical areas depending on factors such as debt to income ratio and credit score just like other types of loans. A VA loan doesn’t dictate what type of home a veteran can purchase, it just reflects how much they can borrow before needing to factor in a down payment.
Myth#4 The upfront funding fee makes VA loans too expensive and they have unexpected costs
Reality: Even with a funding fee, VA loans are often less expensive than conventional or FHA loans. They offer many benefits such as lower rates, zero downpayment and no private mortgage insurance (PMI) needed. There is a limit on what fees you can be charged per VA guidelines. Disabled Vets may also be able to waive the funding fee. The Good Faith Estimate will detail any out of pocket costs upfront. In 2017 VA loans averaged 98% loan to value while conventional loans averaged 80%.
Myth#5 VA loans can only be used to purchase a house
Reality: VA loans can be used to refinance, often up to 100% of the home’s value and can also be used for cash out refinances.
Myth #6 VA loans are risky
Reality: VA loans are backed by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and have had the lowest foreclosure rate of any loan for the last six years.
Myth #7 Only combat veterans can qualify
Fact: Eligibility is extended to Veterans, active duty service members, surviving spouses, Public Health Service Officers (PHS), Midshipman or Academy Cadets and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Officers (NOAA). Reservists and National Guard members are eligible after 6 years of service.
Myth #8 Most Veterans don’t qualify for VA Loans
Reality: Actually, more VA loans are being approved than ever before and most Veterans are eligible for VA loans.
Myth #9 Veterans can only use their VA Home Benefit once
Reality: There is no limit to how many times a Veteran can use their benefit throughout their lifetime. They can use it to purchase their first home, upgrade to a new home, refinance, get cash out and so on.
Myth #10 Vets who are serving overseas can’t get a loan until they can return to occupy the property.
Reality: Military men and women who are away can obtain a VA loan if they have a spouse or dependent child who will be occupying the home or if they intend to return home within a year.
Myth #11 VA loans have higher interest rates
Reality: The interest rates on VA loans are usually as low or in many cases lower than conventional loans.
Once you become familiar with VA loans its hard to deny their benefits. They are most often the most advantageous type of loan for Veterans.
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