The VA Loan Vs. Conventional Loans

Posted by admin | va loans | Friday 24 May 2013 2:20 pm

When it comes to buying a home, you have a few different options in terms of financing. More if you’re a veteran. There are Veterans Affairs (VA) loans as well as conventional loans that you can look into. Before you opt for one over the other, it’s important to know a little bit about each of them.

With a conventional loan, you will need to put 20 percent of the total purchase price of the home down as a down payment. If you are looking at a $100,000 home, that’s $20,000. Very few people have that kind of money. The other option would be to go with an FHA loan where you would put 3.5 percent down and then pay PMI until the equity reaches 20%.

If you are a veteran, you have the ability to file for a VA home loan. This means that you do not need to put any money down and you do not have to worry about PMI because the VA loan is acting as your loan backer to say that you will not default on the loan. By completing a VA home loan, you save a significant amount of money out of pocket – and with no PMI, you will save money each month as well.

There are a few things to know about a VA home loan. If you want to co-apply on a mortgage for qualification purposes, you will need to be married. Additionally, the home inspections for a VA loan are more stringent because the government wants to ensure you are buying a quality home – especially if they are the ones backing it.

Ultimately, when you look at a VA loan versus a conventional loan, there are many more benefits to a VA loan.

If you have served your country, you are entitled to the VA loan. Even if you’ve used it in the past, you may still be eligible, which means it never hurts to make the inquiry.

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How to use your VA Home Loan

Posted by admin | va loans | Tuesday 19 March 2013 2:41 pm

If you qualify for the VA home loan program, then you can purchase a home for no money down. You also may be able to get a loan with less than stellar credit. If you are an active duty military service member or are a veteran who was discharged honorably, here is what you need to know.

How to Qualify

Qualifying for the VA home loan program requires submitting VA Form 26-1880. If you qualify, you will be given a document indicating your eligibility. The requirements vary depending on the type of veteran or service member you are. Your VA lender can help you determine if your service qualifies you for the loan program.

Finding a House

Once you are approved for the VA home loan program, you will start shopping for a house. After finding one, you will have it inspected. If it passes inspection, you are ready to look for a lender.

You will need a lender that specifically offers VA guaranteed loans. If you need quick approval, find one that participates in the VA Lender Appraisal Process Program. This allows the lender to skip some of the paperwork, waiting to send it after the sale is closed. Find a lender with a fair interest rate, closing costs and points.

Buying a House

Before you can purchase the home, the VA will send an appraiser to the home to ensure it is worth what you are paying for it. As long as it passes the appraisal and the bank approves your VA home loan, you can purchase the home without a down payment. All that is left is to close the sale, move in and start repaying it as you would a conventional loan.

Using your VA home loan benefit is not much different than buying a home the conventional way. You simply need the approval from the VA, and you do not need to make a down payment. Otherwise, the process is similar to a conventional mortgage, just with slightly less stringent requirements.

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How to Save Money with a VA Streamline

Posted by admin | U.S. Military | Tuesday 18 December 2012 4:26 pm

In this tight economy, many veterans are relying on the VA Streamline loan to save them money. VA Streamline refinance rates are very low right now, even lower than just a few years ago. In general, VA loans with a five percent interest rate or higher can be refinanced. Everyone who has a VA loan, however, should see if refinancing can save them money.

Reduce the Monthly Payment

Perhaps the most common reason people refinance with a VA Streamline is to lower their monthly house payment. Even a slight drop in the interest rate on a loan can save people hundreds of dollars each month, depending on the specifics of their contract. Who wouldn’t want to have a few extra bucks in their wallet each month? This money can be used to pay of loans with higher interest rates, balance the day-to-day budget or just be spent. Since closing costs and points can be rolled into the refinanced loan in many cases, there are often no out-of-pocket expenses for the homeowner.

Reduce the Mortgage’s Term

Some people are fortunate right now and able to pay a little more on their mortgage than the monthly amount required. For these people, refinancing with a VA Streamline can still provide savings. In addition to reducing a monthly bill, refinancing can be used to shorten the term of a mortgage. By reducing the length of a mortgage, homeowners can save thousands, even tens-of-thousands, of dollars. The vast majority of a mortgage payment goes towards interest. By lowering the number of payments, the total amount of interest paid over the course of a mortgage is greatly reduced.

It is easy to save money by refinancing a VA loan. The U.S. Government is trying to help the country’s veterans. This is a great opportunity for those who served their country and are homeowners.

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VA Streamline Rates At All Time Lows

Posted by admin | va refinance loans, va streamline | Wednesday 12 December 2012 3:51 pm

A “Streamline” loan is the nickname given to an IRRRL, or Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan from the Department of Veterans Affairs. One of the great benefits of a VA Streamline Loan is the lowered interest rate – VA Streamline loans MUST result in a lowered interest rate for the borrower. The only exception to the lower interest rate rule is when the borrower is converting an existing VA guaranteed adjustable rate mortgage over to a fixed rate mortgage – this is the only time the interest rate is actually allowed to be increased. A Streamline Loan may also be done with no money out of pocket on the part of the lender – this is especially helpful for lenders going from one loan to another. While they are fully capable of handling their mortgage payments, cash on hand may be minimal, so no money down allows them to obtain the new loan with no problems. The VA also only requires a funding fee of one-half of one perent of the total loan amount. This fee may be paid upfront or rolled into the total loan, which also helps borrowers.

In addition to lower interest rates, VA Streamline Refinance requires that no appraisal or credit underwriting package be submitted to the VA. Each individual lender may require this package – check with your lender for information on their specific requirements. While the VA has set forth specific requirements for these loans, each individual lender is allowed to set certain terms of their own choosing, within VA specifications. The best place to go for information on these conditions is the individual lender, as the VA does not keep this information on file.

To find out more about a VA Streamline Loan, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website for more details, or contact your lender to discuss your options.

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How to Lower Your Rate with a VA Streamline

Posted by admin | va loans, va refinance loans, va streamline | Monday 5 November 2012 4:25 pm

Our military members deserve the best. For many Americans owning a home is a dream come true. Although, in the current economy, owning and keeping a home has become more difficult. If you are a veteran and currently have a VA loan, you may want to consider a VA streamline that could reduce your monthly payment by hundreds of dollars.

Although you may know people who have refinanced with a VA streamline loan, they may have paid points and closing costs as part of the process. Today, you can find a no cost streamline loan that can help you get back on your feet financially. Once you have refinanced for a lower rate, you will be able to use your monthly savings to pay other bills, pay for vacation or save for a rainy day.

Who should be looking at a VA streamline loan? Anyone who currently has a VA loan and wants a lower interest rate. Many homeowners are paying a high interest rate on their home mortgage. With rates as low as 4.5%, you could save yourself a huge sum of money with a refinance loan. One of the added benefits of a no cost VA streamline loan is your payoff amount shouldn’t go up. When you refinance, you have the option to forgo two months of mortgage payments and have them added to the end of your loan. If you are experiencing a short term lower cash flow, this could be a life saver.

Another benefit of a no cost VA streamline is opening a new escrow account. In some cases you can take a refund from your current escrow account and use that money for your own expenses. This is not the same as cashing out equity, it is just receiving the money currently saved in your escrow account for taxes and insurance. Many people choose to take advantage of this option and use the money for past due bills or making improvements to the home or landscape.

If you are planning to make some energy efficient upgrades to your home, you may be able to include these in the VA streamline refinance. Most homeowners are looking for ways to save money on every day expenses. If you install energy efficient windows, appliances and HVAC system, you can finance these expenses into your new loan. This is a long term savings that will continue for years to come. Reducing your monthly heating and cooling expenses is always a smart choice.

You may be wondering how you go about obtaining a VA streamline loan. You will need to talk with a lender who is offering these lower interest rates to eligible current VA homeowners. In some cases you will not have to go through the lengthy loan process, but the lender will want to make sure you are still able to make the mortgage payments. You may need to provide proof if income or tax returns although this isn’t always necessary.

There is no better time than the present to check into a VA streamline loan. Interest rates may never be lower and you should take advantage of this savings now. Since the process is fairly simple, you can get started right away and save yourself and your family some money. The two months mortgage payments you add to the end of your loan could go for a family vacation or paying off bills. If you are a current VA homeowner, you deserve a break. Let a professional help you find the best refinance loan for your situation and enjoy life to the fullest.

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Why we support the troops

Posted by admin | U.S. Military | Wednesday 17 October 2012 11:05 am

I come from a long line of military families–from my maternal grandfather, father and uncles to my beloved husband.  We are all Native Americans who felt a real sense of responsibility to our children and grandchildren to protect, honor and serve the United States and Canada by being active in military service.  My husband, who is an Army Veteran, knew from a very young age that he wanted to join the United States Army.  When he finally enlisted, he absolutely loved the time he was in the service where he was transformed into an honorable and very dedicated soldier.  Our son, who is now 11, has expressed an interest in joining when he comes of age, following in the footsteps of the men in his family.  So it’s so true when I state that all enlisted men and women are my superheroes for volunteering for active service to protect our country and fellowman.

My husband is now medically retired after the injuries he sustained during his service disabled him.  On top of severe back problems, he will be facing a double-lung transplant at the young age of 44.  But never once has he wavered from the love for the military and our country, but sadly tinged with the regret that he couldn’t continue with his military career.  I have been at home with him since the sudden unexpected death of our 8 year old son in 2009, and my husband’s health has declined so dramatically he is in need of daily help. Because of this, my lack of financial contribution and his mounting medical bills we have been forced to decide between saving for repairs, maintenance and the future or paying down our debts.  Debt takes precedence, naturally.

We are first-time homeowners and could really use the $1000 gift to do much needed repairs to our roof.  The leaks in our kitchen, garage and living room have damaged the drywall and ceilings, and this will give us the ability to buy some of the supplies to do the repairs.  My children and I have been on the roof countless times trying to locate, seal and repair the roof but we are very limited in our ability to repair because of a poor cash flow.  We buy cull wood at the local home repair store as it becomes available and for the low price.  We have saved enough of the cull wood to replace the ceiling, but we are still in need of other supplies like roof tar, coating, insulation, drywall, paint and stucco.  The gift would do SO much in the way of helping us help ourselves.  Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to do that.

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VA Streamline Loans Save you Money

Posted by admin | va loans, va refinance loans, va streamline | Tuesday 14 August 2012 2:09 pm

Military personnel have the honor of serving their country and protecting the citizens of this great nation. Military personnel have to make sacrifices that others are not faced with. They have to take care of finances while away from home on active duty. Most people can go and get a second job when things get tight or tough. Military personnel do not have that option when serving their country.

The VA has set forth an option that is available to current VA mortgage holders that military families can take advantage of to help save them hundreds of dollars each and every month. A VA streamline loan is designed to lower current VA mortgage interest rates. By lowering the interest rate the homeowner does not have to pay so much money on their mortgage. They can take the savings and payoff other debt or start a savings program.

The process for getting a streamline loan is very simple. A current VA mortgage holder can lower their interest rate by applying to the streamline loan program. There is no credit check or appraisal that needs to be done to get approved for the streamline loan. All the applicant has to do is apply and the process is almost done. The applicant just needs to be current on their mortgage payment and be active in the military or honorably discharged. The money that is saved can be used by the homeowner in anyway that they need to use it. Start saving money by lowering your interest rate through the VA streamline loan.

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Protect Our Troops Helps During Deployment

Posted by admin | Uncategorized | Monday 2 July 2012 9:44 am

Have you ever wondered how you can help out the troops? They get deployed and leave their families behind just so that they can protect the country that we all live in. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? If you’ve ever thanked a man or woman in fatigues then you know how important all of this is.

There may be a way to offer a little help in protecting the troops when they are deployed. We can’t do anything about their safety but we can offer protection to the family members that they have to leave behind. A free home alarm or security system for military families can go a long way in protecting them against harm.

A home security system can be installed quickly and tell a family if someone is breaking into the home or if someone has tried to break in. The home alarm will sound when there is an intruder and hopefully send the intruder running for the hills. It will also alert the monitoring company that there is a problem in case the intruder didn’t take the message well.

When a security system is added into the home of the troops, it adds a lot of safety precautions. Just because the government gets involved in wars of other countries for our safety doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye. The troops work hard overseas to make sure that we remain “the land of the free.” It is they who ensure that we get to keep the title of “home of the brave.”

But we shouldn’t sit back and do nothing while they have to leave their family for extended periods of time. There are many troops with husbands or wives and kids or babies on the way. They never know when they’ll get called into active duty and they won’t know for how long, either. But they go for us.

If we can give home alarms to all of the military families out there who have deployed troops, it’s a way of saying thank you to all of the military. The least we can do is protect their families while we protect ours. It’s a simple form of gratitude that can go a long way in a sense of well being and security.

The family members who have to watch their loved one go off to war are left unprotected. Someone could break into their home at any given time and they have no way of fending off the intruder. If the entire family were together, they would be better protected – but they’re not. A home security system can protect the family, though. This way there is a way to fend off an intruder – and an effective one at that.

Saying thank you, buying the troops phone cards around the holidays and little donations go a long way in expressing gratitude but they should get something else, too. Protecting their families is the most important thing to the deployed troops because it’s not something that they can do themselves because they might be clear across the world.

The home security systems do not cost that much money – not in comparison to the peace of mind the troops get knowing that their family is well protected. Not in comparison to how much better the family members will sleep at night knowing that their home is properly guarded when their loved one is not there to offer his or her protection. A home alarm is a very simple way of protecting troops during deployment and it might be the best and most effective way of saying thank you that we can possibly do.

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My Sister and Her Husband Needed To Refinance

Posted by admin | va streamline | Wednesday 30 May 2012 3:08 pm

My sister’s husband has been in the Army for many years. My sister also worked as a school teacher. Together they made a pretty good income and a few years ago they purchased a beautiful house with a VA loan. Unfortunately my sister had a baby last year that had severe health issues. She had to quit her job in order to stay at home and care for her son full time. Without her income it was very difficult for them to make the mortgage payments on their house. I knew that interest rates were at historic lows and I wondered if they should look into veteran streamline loan.

My sister didn’t know that much about the loan process but fortunately my husband and I had just refinanced our house with a veteran streamline loan. I told my sister that by refinancing her house at a lower interest rate she could slash hundreds of dollars off of her monthly mortgage payment. My sister was really encouraged because a refinance could make it possible for them to stay in their house. She talked to her husband and they decided to apply for the loan. They were able to drastically reduce their monthly payments and their financial stress.

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We Needed To Refinance

Posted by admin | va streamline | Wednesday 18 April 2012 11:11 am

A few years ago one of our children was very sick and spent months in the hospital. We had insurance of course but it didn’t cover everything and we were left with a ton of medical bills. On top of that my husband is in the Army and he was recently reassigned to from Texas to North Carolina. We tried to sell our house but no one wanted to buy it. We ended up renting out the house and now we are paying a mortgage on a house we dodn’t even live in. My brother suggested that we look into a veteran streamline loan to reduce our monthly payments.

My brother said that we could refinance our house, lower our interest rates and save a ton of money. I didn’t know if it would work because I thought that we had to occupy the house we were refinancing. My brother told me that the requirements were different for a veteran streamline loan. He told me that we only had to have previously occupied the house. My husband and I decided to apply for the loan and we were amazed at how much money we saved. Even though we have a ton of medical bills, a mortgage in Texas, and rent in North Carolina, we are in a much better financial situation than before the refinance.

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