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A V.A. loan is a mortgage that requires no down payment, no mortgage insurance and is available to active duty military, veterans, military spouses, reservists and National Guard members. The V.A. loan program, backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, aims to help service members and veterans enjoy the benefits of home ownership.
Credit score and credit history requirements for V.A. loans are not as strict as with some other government programs and conventional loans. The V.A. guarantee gives lenders the confidence they need to make these loans even if the borrower’s credit isn’t up to typical mortgage standards.
If you meet eligibility requirements for a VA loan, you’ll be able to buy a home without saving for a down payment or paying mortgage insurance. Instead, you’ll need to pay a funding fee. The fee varies depending whether it’s for a purchase or a refinance and on factors including whether you served in the regular military, the Guard or the reserves, whether you’re disabled, or if you’re the surviving spouse of a service member. The fee typically ranges from 1.5% to 3.3% of the loan value. It can be lower for some refinances and can be waived for disabled veterans and some surviving spouses. You’ll also be responsible for other closing costs, such as appraisals and inspections.