Veterans Administration - Q & A
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Q: What are VA programs?
A: Veterans Administration loans, which are available to veterans, reservists and military personnel, are attractive because the buyer is not required to make a down payment. The maximum loan amount the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will insure varies by region. There is no restriction on the purchase price as long as you have the cash to make up the difference between the loan amount and the purchase price.

For the nearest regional office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, call (800) 827-1000; va.gov.



Q: Can National Guard vets, and other reservists, get VA loans?
A: The Veteran's Benefits Improvements Act of 1994 gives men and women who have completed six years in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard Reserves, the Army National Guard or Air National Guard eligibility for VA home loans, including no-down payment programs. If you are a reservist or a National Guard veteran, you can receive VA home loan benefits, but you will pay higher funding fee, up to 2.75 percent of the loan amount. If you make a down payment, the fee can be incorporated into the loan amount; www.homeloans.va.gov.



Q: What if a VA loan is foreclosed on?
A: VA loan holders who suffer a foreclosure must repay the full debt before the federal agency will insure another loan. People with concerns about a specific loans should contact their lender or the VA directly at (800) 827-1000.



Q: Do all loans require impound accounts?
A: If you are taking out a FHA or VA loan, the lender can require an impound account to pay real estate taxes and hazard insurance premiums, as with a standard loan. Most conventional loans do not require an impound account.



Q: What are rates for FHA and VA loans?
A: There are no set interest rates for FHA and VA loans. The FHA stopped regulating rates in 1983 and the VA followed suit soon after. Shop around for the best rate.



Q: Who can get a VA loan?
A: Millions of veterans and service personnel are eligible to participate in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Home Loan Guarantee Program, which in most cases requires no down payment. VA loans can be used to buy a home, build a home, improve a home or to refinance an existing loan.

After issuing a certificate of eligibility to the vet, the VA guarantees the loan to the lender up to $203,000. VA loans frequently offer lower interest rates than ordinarily available with other kinds of loans. To qualify for a loan, the first step is to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (complete Form 26-1880). Call (800) 827-1000 for more information about VA programs; homeloans.va.gov.



Q: How does someone qualify for VA loans?
A: After issuing a certificate of eligibility to a veteran, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees the loan to the lender up to a certain amount. VA loans frequently offer lower interest rates than ordinarily available with other kinds of loans. The Veteran's Benefits Improvements Act of 1994 gives men and women who have completed six years in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserves or the Army National Guard or Air National Guard eligibility for VA home loans, including no-down payment programs.

To qualify for a loan, the first step is to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (complete Form 26-1880). Call (888) 487-1970 for more information.



Q: Where do I get information on mortgages?
A: For information on mortgages, check out the following sources for information:

  • American Bankers Association; 1120 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20036; (800) BANKERS; aba.com.
  • Mortgage Bankers Association of America, 1919 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20006-3404; call (202) 557-2700; mbaa.org

Q: Where do I get information on VA loans?
A: For information on VA loans, call the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs directly at (800) 827-1000; homeloans.va.gov. Also refer to:


Copyright 1999 Inman News Features



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