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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I obtain a VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility or a duplicate of a certificate? VA Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility?

A: Apply online! To get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) online, please go to the eBenefits portal. If you need assistance call the eBenefits Help Desk at 1-800-983-0937. Their hours are Monday-Friday, 8am to 8pm EST.

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VA offers mortgage guaranty programs for Active Duty Service members, Veterans, National Guard and Reservist. One of the most common questions regarding a VA Mortgage is what kind of credit should I have, or more specifically, what should my credit score be? Most lenders require a credit score of 640 or above, however you should not let your credit score impede your progress towards obtaining a VA Mortgage. Requirements such as debt to income ratio are much less restrictive for VA Mortgages than with FHA or Conventional mortgage products. As an aside; it is a good idea to start a relationship with a lender. This way you know where you stand and what you need to address in terms of credit. Many lenders will steer you in in the right direction when it comes to raising your credit score.

Can I use my VA Mortgage more than once? The answer is yes. Your VA Mortgage is an entitlement that you earned for your or your spouse's service.

Is the VA Mortgage process more difficult than a typical mortgage? The answer here is no. The VA Mortgage process is just as seamless as the Conventional, FHA or Jumbo loan processes. In fact, there are two elements that separate a VA Mortgage from the others mentioned above, first there is no down payment required for a VA Mortgage, and second, VA Loans do not require mortgage insurance! VA Mortgages stand alone in the marketplace because they offer these benefits.

What is an IRRRL? IRRRL is an acronym for Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan. You may also see it referred to as a "VA Streamline Mortgage". IRRRL's are used to refinance an existing VA guaranteed loan to reduce the interest rate or to refinance an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate.

How much will this IRRRL cost? An IRRRL may be done with "zero dollars out of pocket" by rolling all costs into the new loan. Some lenders may say the VA requires certain closing costs to be charged and included in the loan. The only cost required by VA is a funding fee* of ½ % of the new loan amount. This may be paid in cash at closing or, again rolled into to the new loan. There are also funds available for energy efficient improvements, and you may also include up to 2 discount points into the loan.

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What are the benefits of a VA Mortgage? The answer is there are a number of advantages to purchasing, rehabbing or refinancing with a VA Mortgage. Because the VA provides lenders a guarantee lenders in turn provide Veterans with very favorable terms such as:

  • No down payment as long as the sales price doesn't exceed the appraised value.
  • No private mortgage insurance premium requirement.
  • VA rules limit the amount you can be charged for closing costs.
  • Closing costs may be paid by the seller.
  • The lender can't charge you a penalty fee if you pay the loan off early.
  • VA may be able to provide you some assistance if you run into difficulty making payments.




*Programs are subject to change please verify through Department of Veterans Affairs that this program is up to date.
Not all borrowers will qualify.

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