If you serve in the military or are a veteran and want to buy a house, you probably qualify for a loan insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs. A VA loan requires no down payment, provides a favorable interest rate and fees, requires no private mortgage insurance and allows borrowers to qualify without a perfect credit history. Use this VA mortgage loan calculator to understand the costs of a VA loan.
What does a VA loan cost?
A VA loan will cost less than a conventional or other government loan in many cases. Down payments aren’t required for VA home loans and borrowers do not have to pay mortgage insurance, unlike on FHA loans and conventional loans for which it’s required. This often results in savings for VA borrowers.
However, you will have to pay a funding fee which ranges from 1.25% to 3.3% of the loan amount; it’s based on your service, whether this is your first VA mortgage and whether you’re making a down payment.
The funding fee is often waived for those receiving VA compensation for disabilities acquired during service and for surviving spouses.
Almost all members of the military, veterans, reservists and National Guard members are eligible for a VA loan. Spouses of service members who died on active duty, or as a result of a disability suffered during service, also are eligible.
The VA doesn’t require a minimum credit score, but lenders will usually have their own credit score requirements. The home being purchased must be for use as a primary residence.
How else do VA loans help?
The VA loan program allows you to use your home-loan benefits a year or two after a bankruptcy or foreclosure. If you can’t make payments on your mortgage, the VA will negotiate with the lender on your behalf.
The VA loan program program also allows refinancing, including cash-out refinances. For borrowers who already hold a VA mortgage and who want to lower their monthly payments, the VA’s Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan waives appraisal and underwriting requirements. This type of loan, also called a streamline refinance, does not allow borrowers to take any cash from the new loan.