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VA Loan TipsServing in the armed forces is one of the most honorable experiences many men and women can have. Being in the military comes with a lot of perks and benefits. One of the most overlooked benefits by both Veterans and service members buying a home through a VA loan.

A VA loan is a mortgage guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued by private lenders and available only to veterans, active-duty service members and their eligible spouses.

Some of the advantages of buying a house through a VA loan are: low interest rates and closing costs, $0 down payment, and the option to forgo private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Additionally, the VA did not set a minimum credit score. However, having stellar credit can help to attain rock bottom variable or fixed rates. For peace of mind, be sure to get a free copy of your credit report and check for errors before applying. If you notice anything suspicious in your report, you can hire a credit repair company to help or you can remove the inaccurate items yourself.

Even though VA loans are more popular now than before, it is still different than a traditional loan.

Here are 7 VA loan tips that you need to consider if you’re thinking of buying a home through a VA loan.

1.    Your credit score still matters, but it’s not everything

  • Lenders tend to be more flexible with VA loans

2.    You can get started without the Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

  • A COE is issued by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and is proof that you are eligible for the VA home loan benefit

3.    Make sure you have enough saved

  • You are still responsible for certain closing costs (i.e. application fees, insurance, inspection fees, real estate taxes, and more)

4.    Shop for a VA lender and get pre-approved

  • Look for reputable lenders that exclusively cater to military members, veterans, military spouses, and their families – compare all offers

5.    Find a real estate agent that’s VA-savvy

  • Contact your VA regional loan center and ask if they can recommend a VA-savvy agent in your area.

6.    Choose a property that’s VA-approved

  • Properties purchased through a VA loan can’t be used as vacation homes or investment properties; condos must meet certain requirements

7.    Close the deal only when you’re ready to move in

  • Interested homebuyers must complete the VA’s minimum occupancy requirement
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