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Requirements - VA Home Loan - VA Home Loans Today

The VA Home Loan program has helped more than 19 million veterans become homeowners since 1944. Even during difficult economic times, VA loans made home buying a streamlined and relatively hassle-free process for military home buyers.

Requirements, VA Home Loan, VA Home Loans

Like all government programs, there are requirements that need to be fulfilled before a service member can secure a VA loan to purchase a home, perform renovations or refinance a mortgage.

The VA insures up to 25 percent of each loan and applies its own guidelines to the program. But borrowers also have to meet any additional requirements and standards applied by an agency-approved lender. Ultimately, it’s the lender that issues a loan, not the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The VA doesn’t have any strict credit or income requirements for veterans. But lenders will certainly take a long, hard look at a prospective borrower’s credit score and overall financial profile. The lending climate has tightened in recent months. Service members need to pay closer attention to their credit and spending than ever before.

But there’s also a great deal of flexibility built into the VA loan process. Lenders don’t need to see perfect credit. In fact, the program’s flexible guidelines help scores of veterans who might not otherwise secure financing. About 80 percent of VA loan borrowers could not have qualified for a conventional loan.

There are also service requirements that determine a veteran’s initial ability to participate in the program. But a vast majority of veterans and active duty service members already qualify.

Veterans can talk to a VA loan specialist to see if they meet the eligibility requirements and obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, which is a formal government document that details a borrower’s VA home loan entitlement.

Streamline VA Loan - Refinance - IRRRL - Mortgage

IRRRL Facts - Streamline Refinance VA Home Loan - Veterans

IRRRL stands for Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan. You may see it referred to as a "Streamline" or a "VA to VA." Except when refinancing an existing VA guaranteed adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate, it must result in a lower interest rate.


When refinancing from an existing VA ARM loan to a fixed rate, the interest rate may increase. No appraisal or credit underwriting package is required by VA. You should be aware, however, that lenders may require an appraisal and credit report anyway.

A certificate of eligibility is not required. Your lender may use our e-mail confirmation procedure for interest rate reduction refinance in lieu of a certificate of eligibility.

* If you have a non-VA Home Loan (FHA, Conventional, or other) and cannot make your payments because of a hardship.

An IRRRL may be done with "no money out of pocket" by including all costs in the new loan or by making the new loan at an interest rate high enough to enable the lender to pay the costs. (Remember: The interest rate on the new loan must be lower than the rate on the old loan unless you refinance an ARM to a fixed rate mortgage).

No lender is required to make you an IRRRL, however, any lender of your choice may process your application for an IRRRL. While it might be the best place to start shopping for an IRRRL, you do not have to go to the lender you make your payments to now or to the lender from whom you originally obtained your VA Loan.

Veterans are strongly urged to contact several lenders. There may be big differences in the terms offered by the various lenders you contact.

Some lenders may contact you suggesting that they are the only lender with authority to make IRRRLs. Remember - Any lender may make you an IRRRL.

Some lenders may say that VA requires certain closing costs to be charged and included in the loan. Remember - The only cost required by VA is a funding fee of one-half of one percent of the loan amount which may be paid in cash or included in the loan.

You must NOT receive any cash from the loan proceeds.

An IRRRL can be done only if you have already used your eligibility for a VA loan on the property you intend to refinance. It must be a VA to VA refinance, and it will reuse the entitlement you originally used. You may have used your entitlement by obtaining a VA loan when you bought your house, or by substituting your eligibility for that of the seller, if you assumed the loan. If you have your Certificate of Eligibility, take it to the lender to show the prior use of your entitlement.

The occupancy requirement for an IRRRL is different from other VA loans. When you originally got your VA loan, you certified that you occupied or intended to occupy the home. For an IRRRL you need only certify that you previously occupied it.

The loan may not exceed the sum of the outstanding balance on the existing VA loan, plus allowable fees and closing costs, including funding fee and up to 2 discount points. You may also add up to $6,000 of energy efficiency improvements into the loan.

NOTE: Adding all of these items into your loan may result in a situation in which you owe more than the fair market value of the house, and will reduce the benefit of refinancing since your payment will not be lowered as much as it could be. Also, you could have difficulty selling the house for enough to pay off your loan balance.

Some lenders offer IRRRLs as an opportunity to reduce the term of your loan from 30 years to 15 years. While this can save you a lot of money in interest over the life of the loan, if the reduction in the interest rate is not at least one percent (two percent is better) and lots of new loan costs are rolled into the new loan, you may see a very large increase in your monthly payment.

Beware: It could be a bigger increase than you can afford

No loan other than the existing VA loan may be paid from the proceeds of an IRRRL. If you have a second mortgage, the holder must agree to subordinate that lien so that your new VA loan will be a first mortgage.

VA Refinance Home Loans - Although the housing market has plummeted in recent years, the record low interest rates have prompted many homeowners to refinance their mortgages with hopes of obtaining a lower interest rate.

VA Refinance Home Loans, VA, Refinance, Home Loans

With an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, also known as a VA Streamline, borrowers are able to obtain a reduced monthly mortgage payment through the most flexible and hassle-free refinance program on the market much easier than they would with a conventional refinance.

Securing a better interest rate through a VA Streamline, even if the difference is only a point, can save a borrower thousands over the life of their loan. A 30-year mortgage at $250,000 and 6.5 percent has a regular monthly payment of $1,580. However, that same mortgage with an interest rate of 5.5 percent has a monthly payment reduced by $161, and today, it isn’t unlikely for borrowers to obtain an interest rate under 4.5 percent.

For borrowers interested in cashing out on their VA loan, they may secure a Cash Out Refinance. Unlike a VA Streamline, with a Cash Out Refinance borrowers can refinance up to 90 percent of their current loan-to-value to acquire cash for home improvements, paying off debt, or to simply make other investments.

Although the current economic downturn has created lower interest rates, it has also increased the guidelines for refinancing which can make doing so more difficult for certain borrowers. VA-approved lenders have been forced to increase their guidelines to protect their investments. Current VA mortgage owners now need a credit check and an appraisal to secure a VA Streamline, and Loan-to-Values are capped at 90 percent.

There is also a VA Funding Fee of .5 percent associated with a VA Streamline however the origination fees and total costs are capped to keep out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum. Although the VA has no income or credit requirements, interested borrowers are encouraged to get their finances in order before applying.

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

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