VA Home Loans
VA Home Loans: Top Benefits and Advantages
The G.I. Bill was enormously popular and successful; the many perks and benefits that it afforded to United States military personnel and veterans were the impetus for that popularity. Few parts of the bill were met with more enthusiasm than the VA home loan provisions. Since being introduced, VA home loans have been quite popular and have helped thousands upon thousands of military personnel to get into affordable homes. If you are qualified to take out a VA home loan, you should seriously consider doing so; some of the main reasons include:
- No Down Payment Needed - One of the most attractive things about securing a VA home loan is that you can finance 100% of the purchase price of a home. In other words, down payments are not required. Therefore, you do not need to have a lot of money saved up for a down payment, and can use any money that you have saved to make whatever purchases you need. Nine out of ten people who secure a VA loan take advantage of this benefit and put no money down when buying a home. Without question, this is a major selling point for many people.
- No Private Mortgage Insurance Required - The vast majority of people who take out mortgages have to pay anywhere from $100 to $200 extra per month, on average, in order to pay for mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance is required for most people who have less than 20% equity in their homes, in order to protect their lenders in the case of default. Since the U.S. government guarantees a portion of every VA loan, private mortgage insurance - or PMI - is not required. This shaves a significant amount of money from the average monthly payment of those who participate in the VA home loan program.
- Relaxed Qualification Standards - Incredibly, the United States government does not have a minimum income requirement for people to qualify for VA loans. In addition, there is no minimum credit score required either. Debt-to-income ratio limits are also very relaxed for VA home loans when compared with most tradition mortgages, which imposes a 36% limit. VA home loans impose a 41% debt-to-income ratio limit. If your credit is quite poor - even if you've recently had a bankruptcy - you can still qualify for a VA mortgage. These relaxed standards have helped thousands of people get into homes.
- Low Interest Rates - Since your credit score isn't taken into consideration when you apply for a VA loan, you are always going to pay a lower interest rate. For traditional mortgages, a person's credit score can have a dramatic - and very negative - impact on the rate that they end up paying. For every 20 points that their credit score dips below 720, traditional borrowers pay a higher rate. Regardless of what your credit score may be, you'll enjoy the same interest rates that someone with impeccable credit would enjoy when you qualify for a VA home loan.
- No Prepayment Penalties - Many times, lenders who pay off traditional mortgages ahead of schedule are subject to a fee. These kinds of mortgages are known as prepayment penalty mortgages, or PPMs. A great advantage of a VA home loan is that there is no penalties or fees for paying off the loan ahead of time. For this reason, you can easily pay a bit extra toward the principal of your VA loan each month without the threat of incurring a huge penalty when you do pay it all off. It's just one more way that VA loans save you money.
How Do The Interest Rates For VA Home Loans Compare With Those For Other Mortgage Products?
As noted previously, the interest rates for VA home loans are generally quite a bit lower than for traditional mortgage products. In fact, this is one of their major selling points and is the main reason why so many people are sold on them. For people with poor credit, especially, the low interest rates offered through the VA home loan program are very enticing. After all, those with low credit scores generally enjoy the same competitive interest rates that people with topnotch credit scores enjoy. Whether your credit score is 750 or 600, you're going to pay a lot less interest with a VA loan.
Basically, if you want to get a feel for how much a VA home loan will cost in terms of interest, you should just look at what standard, fixed-rate, 30 year mortgages are going for in terms of interest and shave a little bit off of the total. Since rates fluctuate, there is no point in documenting how much you are going to pay in interest for a VA home loan. Suffice it to say that it is generally a great deal less than you would pay for many other popular mortgage products.