A VA Loan is a mortgage guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and issued by a private lender. The GI Bill of Rights created the VA home loan program in 1944 to help veterans get a foothold in civilian life after World War II. VA loans can make it easier to buy a home because they typically don’t require down payments. Only qualified U.S. veterans, active-duty military personnel, and some surviving spouses are eligible for VA loans. Because the VA’s guarantee means the government will repay the lender a portion of a VA loan if the borrower doesn’t make payments, this reduced risk for lenders makes it possible to offer more favorable terms and require no down payment.
VA loans require a certificate of eligibility before the loan will close, but provide a number of benefits:
No down payment or mortgage insurance required
Competitive interest rates
Limited closing costs