The Veterans Administration loan program for military veterans is designed to make home ownership affordable with little to no money down. To qualify for a veterans or va mortgage, you need to be in the military or a veteran and complete the ACE, or Automated Certificate of Eligibility, form. If your information is incomplete, then you may also need to fill out a VA form 22-1880 or a Request for Certificate of Eligibility.
Once you are certified as eligible to participate in the VA loan program, you can get pre-approved for a loan amount and begin searching for a home. As the agency explains on its website, http://benefits.va.gov, the VA doesn’t set a cap on how much a buyer can borrow to purchase a home. However, the VA does limit the amount of liability it will assume, which in turn will affect the amount a bank will loan to you. The VA sets loan limits by county and makes the numbers available online. The limits are, as the administration explains, “the amount a qualified veteran with full entitlement may be able to borrow without making a downpayment.” As far as a lender is concerned, your specific loan amount also will depend on your personal financial situation — on the amount of debt you qualify to carry.
In addition to no down payment, VA home loans have the added benefit of not requiring PMI, or private mortgage insurance. Instead, there is a one time “vendee fee” that is typically far less than the cost of paying years of PMI.
Think you’re eligible? Use this quick checklist to see if you qualify for a zero-down-payment, low interest VA loan.
- Be a veteran who has served 90 days of active duty during wartime or 181 continuous days during peacetime.
- Have served in the National Guard or Reserves for six years.
- Have any discharge status other than dishonorable.