November 2018

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VA Loans Soar in Texas, and California - The city of Houston has one of the fastest growing VA Home Loan industries in the state as far as real estate goes. But why is that you may ask? Houston’s employment opportunities and easy access to VA Loans were on the rise in 2011 and are expected to increase in 2012 despite the slow economy of the U.S.

VA Loans Soar in Texas, and California

Now lets add this to the presidents announcements that troops stationed in Iraq are scheduled to return and you have yourself a free for all for who’s going to get the best deals on houses that were marked down in the housing crisis of 08. With houses down in price and veterans coming back with benefits to boot now seems to be a good time to put those benefits to work, invest and let the profits begin.

VA Lenders such as VA Mortage Center are also implementing a zero Money down policy which is a big upside to this years added incentive to get veterans homes which are affordable and within their means to pay off. Cause this time around we would like to see Americans get loans and keep their homes unlike during the housing crisis, it would be a nice change don’t ya think.

On another note the way loan limits are calculated is scheduled to change this year 2012. The limits in the 48 States in the U.S. that are in between Mexico and Canada will range from $417,000 dollars to a possible maximum of $625,500, depending on the median county price.

These limits are not the actual limit to which a lender can lend a veteran for a home loan, it is merely the limit to which lenders can loan to a veteran for a home and still recieve a 25 guarantee.

 What does this mean?

It means lenders will be more eager to loan only up to the limit since it almost guarntees a return on their investment. Basically it is a security for them to have so that they know the risks are minimal, and when they believe risks are minimal thats good for them and good for veteran who wants a loan because their more likely to get that loan. These are the cards we are dealt by this capitalist system so we might as well make a pair of twos into a royal flush. Click here to see your cards in the poker game that is American home purchasing roulette.

Help in Your Foreclosure Procedures - Learn 3 hints to help you in realizing the defrauds from the trustworthy aid. Be certain you recognize what to search for so that you do not get swindled and lose your house.

Help in Your Foreclosure Procedures

There are several people you can turn to for help when you are in the heart of foreclosure. Unfortunately not all of them are reliable and respectable generators of assistance. There are as many scams available as there are genuine spots that will help you with your foreclosure procedures. But when they are foreclosing on your place, you do not have a whole mass of time to acquire effective info and sound aid. So how do you tell the difference between the damaging ones and the right ones?

One immediate matter which ought to be easy to tell is whether or not they demand money initially. If they do, it is quite possible that they are a defraud. There is lots of no cost aid out there right at this time. Take advantage of it. There are ways like Hope Now available who can set you up with a foreclosure counsellor for free. They helped me and it is wholly no cost. Sometimes all you require is a person to help you speak through the topics that you are confronting and someone who can help you realise resolutions to the issues which you are facing.

Another thing to seek is high force tactics. If they are trying to sell you on something, even if they have not mentioned money, prospects are that they do not have your strongest interests in mind. A person who is really there to help you will offer solutions and options in your foreclosures procedures. They will not try to sell you on one way of puzzling out your problems. They will assist you consider about what is best for you and your spot. They will provide recommendations but they will not try to make you take it.

And lastly, you should seek is their credentials. How seasoned are they in aiding people in the heart of a foreclosure procedure? How many individuals have they helped? How long has their company been in business? Can they grant you the name of somebody they have worked with as a reference? Are they registered with the Better Business Bureau? These are each crucial questions that you should have the resolution to before you have them help you. You must know who you are looking at.



By Jill Seader

Getting Home Loans With Bad Credit: Tips to Increasing Your Approval Chances

Getting a mortgage approved depends on a number of factors, but having a strong application is key to success. For applicants seeking home loans with bad credit, there are ways to improve approval chances. 

Home Loans, Bad Credit

There is little doubt that the better a credit history, the more likely a lender is to approve a mortgage application. The reason why is quite simple, with a proven record in meeting financial obligations suggesting the risk in lending to them is less. But does this mean applicants seeking home loans with bad credit are wasting their time?

Bad credit borrowers are not in as strong a situation when it comes to securing mortgage approval, but they have options. There are a growing number of lenders, especially online, that are willing to accept the risk, and while terms cannot be expected to be excellent, at least finances for a new home can be secured.

It may seem strange, but credit scores are not the most important factor in an application, with the more significant factors being job security, income and debt-to-income ratio. It is only when they feel confident about receiving home loan repayments that lenders will be willing to grant approval.

Here are 3 steps that can lead to stronger applications.


1. Understand Your Financial Strength

One of the biggest mistakes applicants make is to apply for financing without ever knowing their own financial position. Knowing your credit score, and how best to improve it, is a primary step to compiling a successful loan application, especially when seeking home loans with bad credit.

Get your hands on your credit report (available from the credit agencies) and read the details of your credit history. Reports are sometimes available for free from some lending institutions online, but these tend to give an overview rather than all of the details. Ordering directly from the agencies themselves means paying a fee.

But armed with the knowledge they contain, the chances of securing mortgage approval are increased. Remember too, the score provided may be wrong so get it reviewed. If corrected, then it can mean a lower interest is charged on the home loan.

2. Lower Debts and Include a Cosigner

Securing an affordable home loan with bad credit can be difficult, mainly due to the a high interest rates charged. Typically, between 4% and 6% is charged, depending on the lender and the strength of the financial situation of the applicant. Bad credit scores tend to double those rates, making a huge difference in terms of affordability. But there are ways to lower the interest rate.

Including a cosigner usually sees the interest rate lowered to a normal level because the risk factor is all but removed. After all, a cosigner guarantees the repayments will be made on time, even when the borrower is unable to make them. Securing mortgage approval becomes more straightforward, though the cosigner must have an excellent credit history and a large enough income to make repayments if necessary.

Alternatively, lowering the level of existing debt is also effective. Taking the time to take out a consolidation loan to clear some (if not all) debts can drastically lower the monthly outgoings, freeing up extra funds to commit to the home loan repayments.

3. Consider A Pre-Approved Loan


Lastly, seeking a pre-approved home loan, with bad credit score or not, is  good way to strengthen your position when it comes to negotiating prices with the property seller. Typically, approval takes between 60 days and 90 days, and the delay in awaiting approval results in the property being purchased by someone else.

By securing mortgage approval in advance, the borrower is able to buy the home they want immediately. It should be noted that a pre-approved home loan does not mean a lower interest rate is charged, but the speed in completing a home purchase can lead to discounts from the seller, thus saving on the overall costs.


By Joycelyn Crawford

VA Home Loans Surf to the Safest Bet on the Block

The loans given out by the VA have proven to have the lowest foreclosure rates in the mortgage industry. Record breaking numbers of Veterans are taking notice and using their benefits as VA loan origination’s reached their highest amount in eight years.

VA Home Loans Surf to the Safest Bet on the Block
“The continued strong performance and high volume of VA loans are a testament to the importance of VA’s home loan program and a tribute to the skilled VA professionals who help homeowners in financial trouble keep their homes,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki.

Last year the number of veterans that were helped through an almost default on their mortgage loan reached 72,391. These men and women were either able to retain their homes or avoid foreclosure. This number of veterans helped increased from the previous year’s number 66,030. At the same time foreclosure rates have dropped by a nearly 28 %.

The year of 2011 alone guaranteed 357,594 loans, a dramatic increase of 14%  that’s nearly 50,000 more loans than the year of 2010 according to the VA. There are over 1.5 million VA home loans out in circulation as we speak. The VA home loan program gains its strength from its employees nationwide who are on their on personal mission to ensure all veterans and service members are aware and receive all the opportunities to remain in their homes, avoid foreclosures and downgrades to their credit from the consequences of foreclosures.

“We are committed to making even more Veterans and Servicemembers aware of this important benefit and delivering the assistance they deserve when financial difficulties arise,” said VA’s Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.

Home Equity Loan Interest Rate - Comparing the Two. Both types of home equity-financing options are also referred to as "second mortgages" because they are secured by your property, just like the original (primary) mortgage. However, unlike the primary mortgage, these loans typically come with shorter repayment periods of anywhere from five to 15 years. Home-equity loans are ideal for borrowers who prefer the security offered by fixed-interest rates and for those requiring a substantial sum for a specific purpose, like another investment or debt consolidation (remember, it's a one-time loan – additional money cannot be withdrawn). HELOCs are suited to individuals who need access to a reserve of cash over a period of time, rather than upfront. You're never paying interest on more borrowed funds than you actually use at any one time.

Home Equity Loan Interest Rate

Your ability to borrow using either refinancing or home-equity loans depends on your credit score. If you're looking to refinance, and your credit score is lower than when you originally purchased your home, refinancing may not be in your best interests. Before going through the process of securing either of these methods, get your three credit scores from the trio of credit bureaus. (See Top Places to Get a Free Credit Score or Report.) If they aren't above 740, talk with any potential lender about how your score might affect your interest rate.
 
Refinancing and home equity loans have downsides, of course. If you're refinancing, try not to take on another 30-year loan. Instead of putting the money you save into your pocket, opt for a shorter duration loan – maybe a 15-year mortgage. Or, take a 30-year loan and make extra payments. Remember that the payment isn't as important as the total amount of money you pay over the life of the loan. Paying on your first loan for 10 years and refinancing for another 30 probably cancels out any positive effect of the refinance. The goal should always be to eliminate debt as quickly as possible. 

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is kind of like a credit card tied to the equity in your home. You can borrow as little or as much of that credit line, with an open-ended term, as you want. You may be required to pay a transaction fee each time you make a withdrawal, and an inactivity fee if you don't use your line of over a given period. During the draw period you pay only interest. Once the repayment period kicks in, you pay principal and interest. 

Taking out a home-equity loan or a home-equity line of credit demands you submit various documents to prove you qualify, and imposes the same fees as a mortgage. These fees include closing costs such as attorney fees, title search and document preparation. They also often include an appraisal to determine the market value of the property, an application fee for processing the loan, points (one point is equal to 1% of the loan) and an annual maintenance fee. Sometimes, lenders will waive these, though; so do ask. 

In addition to disbursing the funds in disparate ways, interest works differently on these two instruments. The traditional home-equity loan has a fixed interest rate (though some may be adjustable) and the HELOC has a variable interest rate. The APR for a home-equity line of credit is calculated based on the loan's interest rate. The APR for a traditional home-equity loan generally includes the costs of initiating the loan. 

Data as of March 2017. Comparison of longest average store hours in the regions (MSAs) in which TD Bank operates compared to major banks. Major banks include our top 20 national competitors by MSA, our top five competitors in store share by MSA and any bank with greater or equal store share than TD Bank in the MSA. Major banks do not include banks that operate in retail stores such as grocery stores, or banks that do not fall in an MSA.

If you're not planning to stay in your home for a long period of time, a home-equity loan, might be the better choice since the closing costs are less than those of a refi.
Refinancing is basically finding a new lender to pay off your old mortgage balance in exchange for a new mortgage at a lower rate. Sometimes your current lender will do a refinance, too.

President Obama delivered his State of the Union address last night and boy it sure sounded good

He spoke about a plan to make America built to last. In this plan he asks simple things such as higher taxes for the rich such as Warren Buffet and lower taxes for those earning under 250,000 dollars a year.


They even brought in Warren Buffet’s secretary to be present. That way when the president addressed the issue of taxes for the rich and less for the middle to lower income he could show the example of how the tax system is so backwards that Warren Buffet’s secretary pays more in taxes than her boss.

Even more dramatic effect was added when they peaked the camera at her for an instant as he was speaking of this issue.

Obama also went onto the usual bread and butter subject. That is no more outsourcing or incentives for companies who seek to outsource American jobs. Instead create incentives for insourcing of U.S. jobs. “send me the bill and I’ll sign it” Obama announced.

I was pleased to hear that he seeks to bring car companies manufacturing back home and with a green energy twist to boot. We have seen the new influx of completely electric cars in the last year. If America can just get with the program and embrace the future we can grab the reigns of this industry before other companies snatch it from our grasp. Getting this industry back means more jobs, more revenue, more taxes, reemergence of dying cities such as Detroit and others. It could be an American renaissance so to speak.

I’m not endorsing Obama for president just yet. He has still not spoken about the atrocities that the federal reserve is creating, barely addressed the national debt. He only offered about a total of 1 min to the national debt talk to say that they’ve worked out a 2 trillion dollar cut. Which I don’t know if that cuts it at all since he has these huge plans of rebuilding America’s roads bridges and things of that nature. Where would this money come from?

It all sounds idealistic but realistic I guess I’d have to see it to believe it and that’s where this State of the Union gets voters. It all sounds good and gravy but the only way to test his plan for validity is to re-elect him and see what happens. We’ve already went through that once with Mr. Obama electing him thinking, man all his change, hope and ideas they sound awesome we need that guy only to find most of it didn’t pan out like we wanted it to. The speech also spoke about how we got in this mess and who caused a lot of it aka Mr. Bush and Chenney.

He didn’t directly blame them but he did however make it clear that he didn’t exactly inherit a prosperous on the up economy nation. He had the opposite. A nation in a war that couldn’t be won. Costly to the people and veterans. It cost the non military adults their checkbooks, the veterans their health, and the youth their future.

Most of all the speech sounded like a diagnosis much of OWS would agree with. The middle class is failing, foreclosures on the rise and the poor struggling with homelessness and healthcare. It was very Occupy Wall Street-esque in the sense that his answers to these problems were very broad. No exact answers as a speech as short as 7000 words can’t tell the exact details of how to fix the problem but it can tell you there’s a problem and it needs fixing today.

Now how does this tie into VA Home Loans you may be asking since in fact this is a home loan site? A strong and aware America is a better America is the answer. If we know what the problems are and keep fighting for solutions eventually we’ll get them. Like the SOPA and PIPA bill shutdown the people still do have a voice.

It’s only when the American people get together as a whole and agree on what needs to be done that politicians actually listen. When they pass a law we need to be right next to them breathing down their neck reminding them that they represent us not companies or anyone else other than citizens of THIS COUNTRY.

Secretary Announces Protections for Veterans

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs announced its participation in the largest state-federal legal settlement in history that deals with problems within the mortgage industry.
VA, Participates, Settlement, Mortgage Banks
“Through this historic settlement, VA has ensured that Veterans, Servicemembers, and National Guard and Reserve members will continue to receive every possible opportunity to retain their homes,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

VA joined with the Department of Justice, a coalition of state attorneys general and other federal agencies in the settlement.

The nation’s five largest mortgage servicers have agreed to this landmark $25 billion settlement that addresses past mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses, provides substantial financial relief to borrowers, and establishes significant new homeowner protections in the future.

In addition to cash payments to avoid litigation, the banks also agree to undertake other activities, such as principal forgiveness, interest-rate-reduction refinancing, and forbearance during unemployment.

The settlement also enhances protections available under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and provides additional assistance when Servicemembers are forced to sell their home at a loss due to reassignment to another location.

“VA will continue its oversight of lenders and servicers to ensure that Veterans and Servicemembers are able to enjoy the benefits of VA’s home loan program, including access to no-downpayment loans and assistance in retaining their homes should they encounter payment difficulties,” added Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.

VA has always provided assistance to Veterans and Servicemembers who experience trouble paying their mortgage, whether they have a VA loan or not.  Depending on the situation, VA’s loan specialists can intervene on a Veteran’s behalf to help pursue home-retention options such as repayment plans, forbearances and loan modifications.

To get help, Veterans and Servicemembers – even those without a VA guaranteed loan – may call a national toll-free number, 1-877-827-3702 to speak with VA loan specialists who will provide information about the process of obtaining a VA-guaranteed home loan, or assistance in retaining their home loan or avoiding foreclosure.

Information about the VA Home Loan Guaranty program is also available online at http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans.  To see videos of Veterans who reached out to VA and were able to keep their homes or avoid foreclosure, please visit www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/alt-foreclosure.asp.

Since 1944, when home loan guaranties were first offered under the original GI Bill, VA has guaranteed more than 19.4 million home loans worth $1.18 trillion.  VA helped over 72,000 (83 percent) Veterans who were in default on their VA guaranteed loan avoid foreclosure in FY 2011, a 10 percent increase from FY 2010.  This assistance resulted in a 30 percent reduction in foreclosures over the same year.

VA’s foreclosure rate for the last 14 quarters and serious delinquency rate for the last 11 quarters have been the lowest of all measured loan types, according to a survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Benefits of a VA Loan - The VA Home Loan Program has helped over 18 million veterans and active duty service members achieve homeownership since 1944. After over 65 years of service, the VA Home Loan Program remains one of the most progressive lending programs on the market continually striving to offer military members exclusive benefits they wouldn’t be able to find with other conventional lending programs.

The Benefits of a VA Loan

The Department of Veterans Affairs does not own each VA loan, but they do insure part of each VA loan allowing VA-approved lenders greater lender confidence. This greater lender confidence, grants VA lenders the opportunity to provide eligible military members with low interest rates and flexible loan terms. In addition to these money saving perks, other benefits of a VA loan include:

<>    No Mortgage Insurance Required
<>    No Down Payment
<>    Regulated Closing Costs

The VA’s guarantee also allows VA loans to have higher loan limits than other lending programs in the same class. Eligible military members may secure a loan up to $417,000 in most areas of the United States, while those wishing to purchase a home in a more expensive real estate market can secure a loan up to $1,094,625.

VA loans are generally easier to qualify for as well. 8 out of every 10 military members who secure a VA home loan would not have been able to secure financing through a conventional loan. The VA Home Loan Program makes home financing more accessible by allowing:

<>    No Income Requirements
<>    No Credit Requirements
<>    Higher Debt-to-Income Ratios

The VA Home Loan Program also has no income or credit requirements so even those with imperfect credit are encouraged to apply as those with a history of bankruptcy and foreclosure have been approved in the past.

VA Funding Fee - VA Home Loans - The VA Home Loan program aims to alleviate financial pressure on military homebuyers. With no down payments, low interest rates and no private mortgage insurance, a VA loan represents one of the most flexible and low-cost lending options available.


But there’s one cost that’s unique to the VA program: the VA Funding Fee. This fee helps the Department of Veterans Affairs keep the program going. Without it, the agency would struggle to cover its losses in the event of foreclosure or default.

The Funding Fee is applied to every loan, purchase or refinance. There are exemptions for borrowers with service-connected disabilities and some surviving spouses.

Regular military personnel pay smaller VA Funding Fees for home purchases than Reservists and Guard members. Below is a breakdown of fees for purchase loans for regular military members:

Funding Fee for Regular Military Members
Down Payment Funding Fee (1st   use) Funding Fee (2nd use)
None 2.50% 3.30%
5-10% 1.50% 1.50%
10% and up 1.25% 1.25%

Here is the fee table for members of the Reserves and the National Guard:

 
Funding Fee for Reserves and the National Guard
Down Payment Funding Fee (1st use) Funding Fee (2nd use)
None 2.40% 3.30%
5-10% 1.75% 1.75%
10% and up 1.50% 1.50%

Borrowers don’t have to cover the cost of the Funding Fee out of pocket. Most simply include the cost of the fee in their overall loan amount, a maneuver that results in a slightly higher mortgage payment each month.

Veterans who seek to refinance existing mortgages must also pay a VA Funding Fee. Those fees vary slightly depending on the type of refinance and the type of borrower.

    VA Home Loans Today - VA New and Refinance Home Loans using the Veterans Administration Benefits Act for U.S. Military Veterans.
    Equity VA Loan - New Home Loans and Refinance Mortgages for U.S. Military Veterans. Fast, Efficient, Lowest Interest Rates guaranteed by the U.S. Veterans Administration and Benefits Act

The United States has had the same AAA credit rating for 70 years. Up until August of last year when our credit rating was downgraded to AA+.

This means the government cannot borrow to fund its operations overseas or pay for public schooling as cheaply as it once did. The interest rates at which the government borrows money at have gone up.

VA Home Loans not Affected by S&P’s U.S. Credit Rating Downgrade

There is still denial by the Obama administration that the downgrade conducted by Standard & Poor was justified. It was said that the budget could not be balanced adequately with the bipartisan agreement of 2.1 trillion dollars in savings that are available to implement.

Luckily for veterans the VA Home Loan Centers announced that loan applications for veterans will not be compromised despite the downgrade. Veterans also have the benefit of not worrying about skyrocketing interest rates which is a plus.

“Smart Veterans are taking advantage of the record low interest rates caused by the S&P announcement,” says Phillip D. Georgiades the VA Home Loan Centers’ Chief Loan Steward. “We’re happy that we’ll be able to help our nation’s veterans even more now, and not cause additional strain.”

The U.S. Veterans Administration Loan Guaranty Loan Benefit
Mortgage VA Loans Veterans Administration Home Loan Program is for U.S. Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel and certain members of the reserves and National Guard. The VA program provides an excellent product and benefit for those individuals who have served or are serving to protect our families and our nation, as well as giving them a form of financing that will allow real estate professionals to sell more homes.


For those who are unfamiliar with the program, there are several advantages to using the VA Home Loan Program. The VA allows a veteran who qualifies income and credit-wise to purchase a primary residence without putting money down towards the sales price, as long as the sales price does not exceed the appraised value. Veterans do, however, need money towards closing costs and the earnest money deposit, which the seller generally requires when a sales contract is signed. Closing costs may be paid by the seller, which is an item to consider when the sales price is being negotiated.

Other benefits of using the VA Home Loan program (other than the 100% financing of the sales price) include:

* Loans are assumable, provided the assume is qualified.
* Veterans closing costs are limited by VA.
* Additional assistance is offered by VA should veterans have problems making their home loan payments in the future.
* Prepayment of the loan without a penalty.


Here are some quick facts you may find useful concerning purchase transactions:

* VA does not have a maximum loan amount. However, lenders do sell loans on the secondary mortgage market, so they will generally limit loans to $417,000 ($625,500 in Hawaii, Guam, Alaska and U.S. Virgin Islands) with no down payment. With a down payment, loans may exceed these amounts.
* The veteran does have to qualify income and credit wise.
* The veteran does have to occupy the home as their primary residence.
* The veteran does not have to be a first time home buyer and may reuse his/her benefit.
* The lender, not VA, sets the interest rate and discount points, so they may vary from lender to lender.
* There is no private mortgage insurance, but VA does charge an up front VA funding fee, which may be financed. The exception to this is that if a veteran is in receipt of VA service connect disability payments each month, he or she does not have to pay a VA funding fee.
* The seller can pay for closing costs. There is a requirement that seller concessions do not exceed 4%, but only certain items are considered as part of the concession; i.e., payment of pre-paids, VA funding fee, payoff of credit balances or judgments on behalf of the veteran, funds for temporary buy downs (not discount points).
* The veteran is not allowed to pay for the wood destroying insect (termite) report; it is generally paid by the seller.
* VA does not approve the majority of loans. The majority of transactions are handled directly by the lender with little VA intervention.

How much can the veteran afford (and other important factors)?

Please note that VA uses two methods for qualification purposes. The primary method of evaluating a veteran's income is the residual income method. Under this method, the underwriter determines that a veteran has sufficient income to cover day-to-day living expenses after paying housing expenses, taxes, and other debts such as car payments and credit card payments. VA also uses a debt-to-income ratio method like many programs. However, VA uses only one ratio which is the ratio of total debt (both housing and other debt) to income. To calculate the ratio click here.


Important: This is provided for informational purposes only. A VA approved lender is the best resource to see how large a VA loan the veteran truly qualifies for. The lender will look at income (amount and stability), credit and compensating factors involved when rendering a decision. VA also allows lenders to use certain approved automated underwriting systems.

Other Useful Links:
* Ginnie Mae - This site will give you information on the process and calculators
* HUD - Contains information on shopping for a home, closing costs and terminology
* MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association of America) - Will give you information on the purchase process, calculators and real estate terms.
* Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.) - Site will give you information about the purchase process and real estate terms.
* FNMA (Fannie Mae) - Contains information on the purchase process.


Steps in the Process of a VA Home Loan:

There are five basic steps when obtaining a VA backed home loan. Although there are los of details within each step and some may overlap, here is a basic overview of how the process works.

    The veteran selects a home they are interested in. The purchase and sales agreement should contain a VA option clause. Sample wording for a VA option clause:

    "It is expressly agreed that, notwithstanding any other provisions of this contract, the purchaser shall not incur any penalty by forfeiture of earnest money or otherwise of be obligated to complete the purchase of the property described herein, if the contract purchase price or cost exceeds the reasonable value of the property established by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The purchaser shall, however, have the privilege and option of proceeding with the consummation of this contract without regard to the amount of the reasonable value established by the Department of Veterans Affairs."

    The contract must also allow the veteran to "escape" from the contract without penalty if he/she is unable to obtain a VA loan. Some veterans prefer to contact a lender to get "pre-qualified" (see how much they can afford) prior to searching for a home. Veterans may also apply for a certificate of eligibility prior to looking for a home or contacting a lender. Please review our site for information on certificates of eligibility and a listing of lenders.

    Contact a lender to apply for the loan. At this point, if the veteran has not already obtained his/her certificate of eligibility, they will need to. The lender may be able to obtain it off the internet or the veteran may have to complete a form and send it to the appropriate eligibility center. In either case the lender will be able to assist in the procedures of how to obtain a certificate of eligibility. The lender will complete a loan application and gather supporting documentation, i.e., pay stubs and bank statements. An important item for veterans to know is that lenders set their own interest rates, discount points and closing points.

    The lender will "process" (develop) all credit and income information. Lenders are allowed to use VA approved automated underwriting systems. The lender will also order a VA appraisal. The VA appraisal is not a home inspection or a guaranty of value. It is an estimate of the market value as of the date the inspection is made comparing it to similar homes that have recently sold in that area. Although the appraiser does look for obviously needed repairs, VA does request that appraisers not address cosmetic items. VA does not warrant the condition of existing homes. The appraiser is a licensed individual who does not work for VA but is chosen by VA to assure his/her review is unbiased in any way. The lender can not request which appraiser to use, they are assigned on a rotation bases.

    Upon receipt of the appraisal and all supporting documentation on credit, income and assets, the lender will "underwrite" the loan. It is the lender who reviews all the data collected and decides if the loan should be granted, developed for additional data or if the veteran does not qualify and must be denied. Although VA does "underwrite" some loans, it is very rare. The decision on whether or not to approve the loan is generally made by the lender.

    The final step for loans that meet VA regulations and guidelines is the loan "closing" (when the transfer actually takes place). The lender chooses the title company, attorney or if their representative will conduct the closing. The title company, attorney or lender representative who will handle the closing will coordinate the date and time. If there are any questions during the process that the lender can not assist you with, please contact a VA representative.

Need a home loan? Try calling up red white and blue bank of The ol’ U.S. of A!

In the last year the Government has insured that 489,418 veterans get a home Loan. Thats nearly 63 billion dollars allotted to VA home loans. Now with the gov’t protecting the lenders and dishing out the cash is now a time to jump on the gravy train before its too late?

Is a VA Home Loan an Option for you
While the government doesn’t always do a good job on taking care of veterans in health issues they seem to be more than happy to dish out cash at no money down for vets to move towards owning a home. They limit the amount lenders can charge on closing costs, origination fees and even appraisal fees.

No mortage insurance is required as well. In fact the VA prohibits lenders from requiring it which is fantastic news. Bob Finneran, the VA’s assistant director for loan policy and valuation said. “We’re putting a guarantee on the loan, so we’re not expecting them to get other insurance and charge the veteran for that.”

Why is the government so intent on helping veterans buy homes?

I just don’t know. Could be that they’re self conscious of the housing crisis many of them let happen and how it makes America look on the global stage.

Or maybe they’re not the completely conspiratorial money horders we make them out to be, and they do have a sliver of concern left for those who served and protected in the wars they voted for and didn’t serve in.

The answer is we’ll never know, but one thing I am sure of is that this VA loan benefit is just that. A benefit, a tool to be used with discretion but certainly a tool just like a fork if used right you’ll have a better chance at getting all the food in your mouth instead of on your nice 700 dollar tacticle turtle neck you just got for christmas. Beware though if the tool I speak of is used wrong you could end up with a fork sticking out of your leg if you catch my drift.

What is the limit on these loans anyway?

An easy guide to know how much you can get a loan for.

Lets get to Brass Tax here.

The maximum guaranteed on a VA loan is 240,000 and while this might buy a fairly large sized house in most areas of the country, high priced markets such as San Francisco or New York  you may want to try a different form of financing your loan. For the most part first time buyers will be guaranteed up to the VA’s Maximum of $240,000 dollars says Keith Pedigo, the director of loan guaranty services at the VA. But more than likely the actual mortage rate is based on assets, income, credit history and debts, just like any other regular loan provided in America.

VA, Loan, Limit

A positive spin to this story is that a seller is allowed with permission by the VA to let  the buyer assume their loan, making resales much more attractive then they previously were. The only downside is the veteran is shackled to that home until paid off before he or she can use that loan to buy another home. A veteran is only allowed to borrow the difference between the outstanding loan and the maximum allowed by the certificate of eligibility, says Pedigo.

A cautionary piece of advice that most veterans already know is save your paper work if you paid off your loan so if you ever apply for another VA loan you can ask for the maximum amount you’re allowed.

A VA loan is still tough to be approved for.

“Because we’re a no-down-payment program, that’s a benefit to vets,” he says. “We do try to be as flexible as we can. But that doesn’t mean we approve an application with a serious lack of credit or insufficient income.”

But the major distinction for a VA loan is that a buyer can get into a home without investing a down payment, says Pedigo, “which is a huge advantage.”


And a huge advantage is saying the least in these days of economic shortcomings. As Hunter Thompson once said, “The bastards now have a formidable opponent”.

Well, till next time lads and like always if you’d like to find out if you qualify for a VA home loan click here.

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