If you’re unsure of how to apply for a VA loan, you’re not alone. Many people are confused when it comes to applying for any type loan, especially when dealing with the Veteran’s Administration. Purchasing a home can be daunting task, but there are certain things, that every veteran can learn to help make their home-buying process quicker and easier. And a VA loan is well worth the minimal amount of learning needed.
How to Find a VA Approved Lender
VA loans are issued through VA approved lenders, like banks or mortgage companies, but are guaranteed through the Department of Veterans Affairs. A VA loan allows veterans of the armed forces the opportunity to purchase a home at a low interest rate, with no down payment as long as the loan amount is less than the appraisal amount.
There are several ways to locate a VA approved lender. The best way, though, is to visit the Ginnie Mae website where you can search for VA approved lenders by state, city and zip code.
How to Prequalify for a VA Loan
Ideally, you should prequalify for a VA loan before you begin shopping around. Prequalification means that you have a letter stating you’re prequalified for a VA loan, which will allow you to make an offer, up front, on a home that you’re interested in.
There are a couple of ways to acquire a pre-qualification. You can visit a VA approved lender or you can apply online.
It’s important to note, however, that a prequalification is not the same thing as a preapproval. Once you’re prequalified, your lender can start the preapproval process, which will tell you the amount of money you have available to you once you officially apply for a loan.
How to Get a VA Appraisal
A VA appraisal of the property you plan to purchase is required with all VA loans. Before your loan is finalized, your lender will request a VA appraisal via the Department of Veterans Affairs online, where you will be assigned a random appraiser.
You should also note that you’ll most likely have to pay for the appraisal prior to finalizing your loan.
How to Finalize the VA Loan
Once your appraisal is finished, and you’re ready to finalize your loan, your lender will schedule the closing. At the closing, you’ll sign all of your loan paperwork. At that time, you’ll also need to pay any closing costs you owe.
When you understand a VA loan better, you’ll find that the entire process, from finding a lender all the way through to finalizing your loan isn’t as scary as you first thought. And it’s a highly rewarding experience that may just land you in the home of your dreams.