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VA Home Loans, the Benefits for Service-members

What is a VA home loan? 

The Veterans Administration (VA) home loans apply to all Veterans and their families. To be approved for the VA Home Loan, the basic service requirements set by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must be met, which include:

  • A valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
  • The borrower agrees to occupy the property
  • Satisfy the lender’s credit and income requirements 

The loan itself is provided by private lenders but backed by the VA, so if a borrower defaults, then the lender is backed by the government. 

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for a VA home loan, you must be one of the following: 

  • Active-duty service members 
  • Members of the National Guard
  • Reservists
  • Surviving spouses of veterans 
  • Cadets at the U.S. Military, Air Force or Coast Guard Academy
  • Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy 
  • Officers at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. 

*A minimum term of service is typically required.

What exactly are the benefits of a VA home loan? 

The loan itself has substantially low rates and no down payment needed (dependant upon the lender). Compared to conventional mortgages, VA home loans create more savings for you. Even though it is not necessary, it actually helps your interest rate if you have good credit and down payment. The VA loan can be used to buy a home (including a townhouse or condominium unit in a VA-approved project), new-built home, manufactured home, to simultaneously purchase and improve a home, to improve a home by installing energy-related features, or to buy a manufactured home.

There is no monthly mortgage insurance premiums, or PMI, to pay on a VA home loan and it offers foreclosure avoidance advocacy. Homeowners with existing VA loans have the option to lower their monthly payments with a new interest rate. Eligible homeowners who financed their property with a loan other than a VA loan can refinance into the VA loan program. The VA has staff members who advocate on behalf of homeowners to find alternatives to foreclosure. Co-ops and vacant land on its own are not eligible for a VA loan. 

Through the VA, appraisals are matched at the going rate of conventional home loans keeping buyers with a VA home loan competitive without spending any extra! 

What is the difference between VA home loans and conventional loans?

VA Loan

0% Down (for qualified borrowers)

Does not require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Competitive Interest Rates

Easier to Qualify because they have less stringent qualification standards 


On average, 20% Down 

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is required for borrowers who finance more than 80% 

Increased Risk for Lenders- higher rates

Standard Qualification Procedures make it harder to buy

If you are looking for more information about a VA home loan, check out the Department of Veterans Affairs here.

Ginger Baxter Group can help with all of your VA home loan and real estate needs. We have great lenders that are extremely knowledgeable about the VA home loan and the approval process. Contact us at to get more information.

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