VA Home Loans: Helping Hawaii Service Members
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have fallen while serving our country. The day was originally founded to recognize soldiers in the Civil War, but later expanded to give tribute to all service members. For the bravery and service of our current military members and veterans, the VA offers programs that enhance the quality of life and provide options that aid the military lifestyle. One such program is the VA Home Guaranty Loan program.
What is the VA Home Loan Program?
The VA Home Loan program was established in 1944 to help veterans and active duty service members more easily achieve homeownership. Since service members move more frequent than most, conventional lending programs offer less of an appeal. Through the program, military members are able to obtain a mortgage partially backed by the VA that gives them benefits not commonly found in conventional lending programs.
Why Choose a VA Home Loan?
Traditional home lending programs usually require good to above average credit, a large down payment of close to 20%, and charge Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Due to the mobile nature of military service members, most veterans and active duty service members have little chance to build savings or strong credit.
The VA Home Loan program is specifically designed to cater to military member’s financial situation, and offers benefits not seen in conventional lending programs, like the zero down payment option, which helps military members continue to build their savings in case they are reassigned to a new base and need the money for their Permanent Change of Station (PCS). Other benefits of the program are:
- Competitive interest rates
- Flexible mortgage terms
- Refinancing options
The VA Home Loan program also has high loan limits, which is great for military members interested in purchasing a home in Hawaii, where homes can vary in price. In higher priced real estate markets, VA Home Loans can even be secured up to $1,000,000, without the need of a down payment.
The first step in determining eligibility is to see if you fall in one of the following categories:
- Served for at least three months on active duty during wartime or 181 days during peacetime
- Served a minimum of six years in the national guard or reserves
The next step is to acquire your Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This can be done by contacting a Hawaii VA home loan specialist like VA Mortgage Center or by calling the Department of Veterans Affairs. A VA loan specialist can streamline the process and obtain the certificate in a matter of minutes, whereas the VA can take up to two weeks to process the request.
Although the VA Home Loan Program has no credit or income requirements, most VA-approved lenders will require a mid-range credit score of 620 in order to secure financing. Regardless of their credit history, all interested veterans and active duty service members are still encouraged to apply as even those with a history of bankruptcy and foreclosure have been approved in the past. For more information, contact a VA home loan specialist today!