A VA home loan is provided to US military veterans and is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. These loans are also available for the widows or widowers who have not remarried and the spouses of the veterans and active military personnel.

However, partners who are not married to the veterans cannot benefit from this type of loan unless they are also veterans or active military personnel. The primary advantage is that the borrower does not have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) and down payment.

The primary purpose of the VA home loan is to offer home financing to veterans and active-duty military personnel in areas where there is insufficient or no private financing service. These areas are usually rural areas and small towns or cities are far from the big cities.

The maximum loan is $417,000 and the seller will be paying all of the closing costs for the veteran or military personnel as long as it is not more than four percent of the purchase price. This is one of the few remaining loans that are provided without down payment and mortgage insurance. Normally, the borrower will have to pay for mortgage insurance if the down payment is less than 20 percent of the selling price.

The veteran will have to pay an additional amount known as the VA funding fee, which is 2.15 percent of the loan amount, if it is his first time to get a loan. He will not be required to pay this amount out of his pocket because it will just be added to the loan amount.

This VA benefit may be utilized more than once. If the veteran has paid the first loan off, he may get another VA home loan. However, this VA funding fee will increase to 3.3 percent of the loan amount.

Where do I apply?

You just need to locate any mortgage lender that participates in the VA home loan program. Make sure you have Certificate of Eligibility from VA to prove to the bank that you are eligible for this type of mortgage.

How do I get a Certificate of Eligibility?

All you need to do is complete a VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility and submit it to the Winston-Salem Eligibility Center along with proof of military service. Sometimes they are allowed to waive this requirement, but it is always best to have proof.

Here is a link to find a center near you: http://www.homeloans.va.gov/rlcweb.htm

Your lender cal also request your Certificate of Eligibility by obtaining a Web LGY. Many banks will have access to the Web LGY system. This is a simple way for banks to establish eligibility and issue an online Certificate of Eligibility quickly. Please note that not everyone can be processed through Web LGY – only those for which VA has sufficient data in our records.

What is acceptable proof of military service?

If you are still serving on regular active duty, you must include an original statement of service signed by, or by direction of, the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of your unit or higher headquarters which identifies you and your social security number, and provides your date of entry on your current active duty period and the duration of any time lost.

If you were discharged from regular active duty after January 1, 1950, a copy of DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty should be included with your VA Form 26-1880. If you were discharged after October 1, 1979, DD Form 214 copy 4 should be included. A PHOTOCOPY OF DD214 WILL SUFFICE…..DO NOT SUBMIT AN ORIGINAL DOCUMENT.

VA Resource Links:



Moe Bedard
My name is Maurice "Moe" Bedard. I am the founder of America's #1 Mortgage Forum, LoanSafe.org. My online work has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, Fox Business, and many other media publications.