May 5, 2006, Newsletter Issue #14: What IS A VA Home Loan?

Tip of the Week

It's easy to misunderstand what the VA home loan program does. The Veterans Adminstration does not lend money to homebuyers except in specials circumstances. Native American veterans do qualify for something called a VA Direct loan, and there are situations that may qualify a disabled vet for such a loan. For most people, what the VA offers in the VA loan program is something called a guaranty.

Among the first requirements for such a guaranty is a good credit rating. It's a very good idea to consult a credit counselor or financial planner to learn A) what your credit rating actually is, and B) to take any reccomended steps to improve your credit rating before applying for the guaranty and the home loan itself.

A VA home loan guaranty is only available if the veteran has enough income to cover mortgage payments. Many people assume that a VA loan guaranty is an automatic benefit, but there are financial requirements. A financial planner or credit counselor can go a long way towards helping you prepare your personal finances for the kind of scrutiny they'll be under when you start the process of buying a home.

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