The housing benefits provided to Veterans remain one of the best perks available for those still in uniform and for those out of service. Over 22 million veterans have been able to purchase homes through the VA home loan program. Many lenders would have you believe that VA loan requirements for homes are too stringent to be worth the effort, but that could not be further from the truth. Here are some of the myths regarding VA home loan benefits and loan requirements.
Myth #1 – Veterans home loans are for retired Veterans only.
VA home loan requirements state that veterans must have served at least 181 days in non-wartime periods, 90 days during a war, or six years of Reserves or National Guard time to be eligible. The 90-day wartime requirement does not mean a vet had to be deployed to combat areas, they just needed to be in service during the time of a war. The widow of a deceased service member killed in action may also qualify for the veterans loan.
Myth #2 – VA home loan requirements are too strict with credit scores.
Fortunately, most veterans can prequalify for a veterans home loan with a credit score as low as 580, though most lenders look for a score of 620 and above. This score represents a “Fair” credit score. The higher categories are “Good” and “Excellent.”
Myth #3 – The VA home loan takes too long to get.
VA home loans take a little over 40 days to close and are more likely to close than FHA and traditional loans. This myth was born out of some problems with the VA loan program in earlier days, but they have made many enhancements to the process to keep pace with other loan options. Veterans home loans don’t require any deposit so this is one aspect that can speed up the process. Mortgage insurance is also not required.
Once you understand the myths and facts of VA home loan eligibility and processes, you can see the program still offers valuable benefits for veterans and their families. Over 700,000 VA home loans were administered in 2016 alone. Veterans are learning about all of the options of the VA home loan program and taking advantage of this proudly earned asset.