VA Loans

About VA Loans

Stars and Stripes provides you with information about researching and obtaining a loan as a U.S. active-duty servicemember or military veteran. Below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about VA mortgage financing, as well as other resources.

To determine if a VA loan could be right for you, use this free loan calculator.

What is a VA loan?

VA loans are offered through a special mortgage program reserved for veterans of the United States armed forces, active-duty service personnel and certain National Guard and Armed Forces Reserve members. These loans are government-backed so that qualified VA lenders who issue them are compensated should a loan ever go into default.
Read more at our VA Loan Center.

What can VA loans be used for?

VA loans may be used to purchase owner-occupied residential housing including single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes as well as manufactured housing, under certain conditions. Two- to four-unit homes are also eligible, as long as one of the units is occupied by the veteran holding the mortgage.

Why a VA loan instead of a regular mortgage?

VA loans are the best-in-class for those who qualify. They provide financing with:

  • no money down;
  • reduced closing costs;
  • relaxed qualifying; and
  • lower monthly payments.

Besides requiring no money down, VA loans do not require any additional mortgage insurance, saving the borrower the expense of monthly premiums.  VA loan typically offer the most competitive low or no down-payment mortgages available today.

How do I get approved for a VA loan?

To be approved for a VA loan, a VA-approved lender has to qualify you as eligible. You need to have good credit, verifiable income and proof of sufficient funds for the costs needed to close and fund the loan. Borrowers must complete an application, submit it to a VA-approved lender and supply all requested documentation.
Read more at our VA Loan Center.

Am I eligible for a VA loan?

Veterans, National Guard and Armed Forces Reserve members with six years of service, active-duty with 181 days of service, and surviving spouses of veterans who died as a result of service-related injuries, are eligible for VA loans. Your eligibility must be validated by ordering and receiving a Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs. This request may be made directly to the VA or with assistance from an approved VA lender.
Read more at our VA Loan Center.

How do I get started with a VA loan?

The first step is to review the VA Loan Center website and contact an approved VA lender. The VA Loan Center website will guide you through the process of determining your loan requirements and provide you with up to six offers from approved VA lenders. Once you are in contact with your chosen lender, an experienced loan officer can explain the process, answer any questions and provide you with a list of the documentation you will need to gather. The loan officer can also provide you with an estimate for the closing costs you may be responsible for, as well as preapprove you for a specific loan amount.