Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Apr 5, 2021

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For individuals who have served in the military, there are additional benefits to help in financing mortgage loans. The Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loan Program is a government service that puts veterans in the homes they need by offering financial assistance.

How to Get a Veterans Affairs Home Loan: Eligibility

To be eligible for the Veterans Affairs program, a borrower must be a veteran, in active duty or a reservist, or a National Guard member. In addition, surviving spouses of members of the military who have died on active duty or as the result of a service-related disability are eligible, as well as some spouses of servicemen or women on active duty who are missing in action, captured, or detained.

Under the program, a veteran can obtain a home loan without paying a down payment and does not need to buy private mortgage insurance. The service also can limit closing cost charges and can even facilitate a closing cost paid by the seller. Finally, if after obtaining the mortgage the veteran has trouble making the payments, he or she may be eligible for assistance from VA.

VA home loans are helpful for veterans who need extra help, but penalties for bad credit or insufficient income are still present; a veteran still must qualify for the loan.

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Size and Fee of Veterans Affairs Home Loans

As far as the size of the home loan for which a veteran may receive, there is no specific loan limit; however, there are limits on the liability that VA is permitted to assume on the veteran’s behalf. As a result, the loan amount is determined based on the veteran’s income.

It also never hurts to keep a close eye on what you can personally afford. Turning to resources such as a home affordability calculator will be an important first step in determining the amount of the loan.

The VA does charge a funding fee for the loan, although this cost can often be folded into the loan and some veterans may be exempt – such as those who receive a disability payment for a service-related injury. Veterans with VA loans will also need to pay interest over time, as with any home mortgage.

Next Steps: Applying for the Veterans Affairs Loan

To apply for a VA home loan, a veteran first needs to find a real estate agent and a lender to work with who supports the program. A certificate of eligibility is available online or in hard copy form. Finally, after finding a home to purchase, the veteran must ensure that the sales agreement includes a VA option clause, apply to the lender for the loan, and go through the sale process.