Finance Benefits for Military Members – Know Them and Use Them

Every veteran deserves to have a home – one that they own. They have served, protected, and sacrificed for our country, and they have undoubtedly earned their right to be called both patriots and homeowners. How can this be done? Through the VA loan program, which has helped over 18 million veterans achieve this dream.

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers government-backed loans to those who have served. With this secure backing, approved VA lenders can lend to a greater number of veteran borrowers as well as offer them great rates and benefits to help them save money. 8 in 10 veterans who have received VA loans would not have qualified for a conventional loan because of low credit or high debt to income rations. After all, they have given so much to our country, they should be helped in return.

Perhaps most importantly, VA loans save veterans money by:

  • Being one of the only home loan options with no down payment
  • Not requiring private mortgage insurance (PMI)
  • Offering interests rates typically .5%-1% lower than conventional loans

The VA loan qualifications require the borrower to have either served 90 days during wartime, 181 days on active duty during peacetime, 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard, or be the spouse of someone who died in service.

There are restrictions on what VA loans can be used toward. Home purchases must be the veteran’s primary residence, and VA loans cannot be used to buy either investment properties or land. VA loans can be used to buy a home, improve a home, or do both simultaneously. They can also be used to refinance both homes and VA-guaranteed or direct loans, and they can be used to purchase farm residences and single-family units in VA-approved condominium developments. In most areas in the U.S., there is a loan limit of $417,000, but the limit is raised in more expensive areas.

These benefits can (and do) save veterans hundreds of dollars every month. However, despite these huge savings, fewer than 10% of veterans have taken advantage of the offer. After graciously protecting the homes of so many, every veteran deserves their own home.