American flag and key from home.  VA Streamline Refinance Loan Concepts.
VA loans have many benefits for those who qualify, including low interest rates.

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The housing market has slowed quite a bit in recent months. Sales have taken off, prices have stopped their steep upward climb, and mortgage rates have even started to drop a bit. They now hover around 6% — and are predicted to stay there for some time.

While that’s down from the 7%-plus rates we saw late last year, it’s still higher than the record-setting lows seen not too long ago. Fortunately, if you’re hoping to buy or refinance a home, shopping around for your lender — and more importantly, your loan — can still help you. best rate Possible.

One option known to have particularly low rates is VA Loans. Below we’ll discuss what you need to know about these mortgage programs — and how to get one for yourself.

Get started by getting a free personalized price quote so you know exactly what to expect

What is a VA loan and who qualifies?

A VA Loans A mortgage backed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. This means that the VA guarantees the loan and will repay the lender if a borrower defaults and stops making payments. This guarantee takes some of the risk away from lenders and allows for more favorable terms and interest rates to be offered to those who qualify.

There’s a catch, though: VA loans are only available to active-duty members of the U.S. military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Space Force), veterans of these branches, and certain members of the National Guard. and reserves. In some cases, a veteran’s surviving spouse may be eligible.

Applicants must meet certain military service requirements. These vary depending on when they served, their rank and whether they served in peacetime or wartime.

If you think you might benefit from taking out a VA loan, get started by requesting a free price quote.

VA loan facility

May have VA mortgages Many benefits For those who qualify. Chief among them is their low interest rates. Rates on 30-year, fixed-rate VA loans currently average about 40 basis points lower than conventional loan rates. Mortgage news every day.

Another advantage of VA loans is that they don’t require a down payment (other loan programs require at least 3% down). This can be especially helpful for borrowers who do not have savings.

VA is also limited Closing costs Borrowers are allowed to pay, and none Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Either way it can help buyers make monthly payments more affordable.

How to get a VA loan

To get a VA loan, you must first request your COE — or Certificate of Eligibility, which shows a lender that you’ve met the department’s military service requirements and are eligible for a loan. You can do this through your eBenefits portal, by mail, or through your lender.

This is another task you need to complete: selecting your lender. Only certain mortgage companies and banks are authorized to issue VA loans, so be sure to shop with that in mind You should aim to get quotes from at least three lenders, as companies can vary widely in rates, terms, fees and more.

Once you’ve chosen a lender, you’ll fill out a complete loan application, submit any required financial documents, and wait for your home to be appraised. If the appraisal confirms that the home’s value matches what you’ve offered for it, you’ll get a closing date, when you’ll sign the final paperwork and get your keys.

You can easily start shopping for VA loan lenders using the table below.

Other options

VA home loans are only available to a select group of military service members and veterans. If you don’t qualify, there are other government loan programs you can consider for your home purchase, including FHA loans and USDA loans.

FHA loans require at least 3.5% down and a low credit score. USDA loans are higher, for use in rural and some suburban areas Credit score Minimum and no down payment required. Talk to a loan officer or mortgage broker to determine which of these options is right for you.

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