VA mortgages in 2017 have unique features that other government-backed mortgages don’t have. For example, one major difference between VA loans and FHA mortgages is that unlike FHA, the VA loan benefit does not specify a minimum FICO score in the VA lender’s handbook and uses a mortgage comparison tool.
That doesn’t mean a borrower can have any FICO score and still qualify for the loan; it simply means that lender standards apply. Your loan officer will explain what minimum FICO scores are required for the loan and how your FICO scores affect important issues such as down payment, interest rates, etc.
VA mortgage loans are also quite unique among other home loan options because in most cases, no down payment is required under the VA loan rules. Lender standards apply here as well, but a financially qualified borrower who meets minimum VA requirements has the option of a no money down VA mortgage.
Having no down payment means being able to use more money in other areas; do you want to purchase discount points to lower your interest rate? Do you wish to use more money up front to pay for repairs or improvements to an existing construction home? Don’t forget that you also have an option to apply for a VA Energy Efficient Mortgage which allows more money to be added to the loan for approved energy-saving upgrades.
Applying for your VA loan benefits in 2017 is easy to do, even if you haven’t established your VA loan eligibility yet. Your loan officer can help submit that paperwork to the Department of Veterans Affairs and begin the process. All borrowers must have a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA (COE) in order to begin the application process, but your lender has the tools needed to submit on your behalf, at your request.
Once you have your COE, you can then begin the journey toward home ownership in 2017. It’s very important to plan ahead for your VA loan application by making sure you have no late or missed payments in the 12 months leading up to your loan paperwork; if you do have lates or missed payments, consider a delay in completing your VA loan paperwork so that you don’t risk getting turned down for the loan.
That doesn’t mean you cannot get your VA COE in the meantime-there is no credit check involved with obtaining your basic eligibility for this important VA loan benefit. But when it’s time to give your completed paperwork to your loan officer, you should have no lates or missed payments, you should know the contents of your credit report, and basically know what the lender will see when she or he processes your application data.