How You Can Have a Solid Home Living Situation After Serving in the Military

Housing costs are the biggest expense that most people have, and rents and mortgage costs continue to go up. If you find yourself shopping for a new apartment to live in every few years or have a mortgage that is too expensive, there are ways to get your living situation stable. First, you need to be a member of the military or a person who has been honorably discharged, or you have to be the spouse of a service member to qualify for VA loan refinancing. Whether you’re a single woman looking for a place to permanently call your home, a single mother seeking stability for your children, or a married woman who has the benefit of two incomes, VA loans are an excellent financial vehicle.

How to Qualify for a VA Loan

Qualification rules for VA loans are determined by the branch of military you served in as well as whether it is a time of war or peace. For example, active duty service members are able to qualify for a VA loan after just three months of being enlisted and subsequently deployed. If it is a time of peace, then it will be approximately six months before you can apply for VA loan benefits. On the other hand, National Guard reservists might need to be in the military for more than five years before they can get approval on their VA loan applications. If you are sure that you meet the minimum enlistment period for your branch of the military, you next need to look at your credit score. A score of at least 620 is needed to get approval on a VA loan application. Lastly, you have to have found the house that you want to purchase and have the seller agree to permit the sale to go through.

When Can You Refinance a VA Loan?

You can apply for a VA loan and pay less in interest than conventional mortgage loans, which can reduce your house payment by upwards of $500 a month. For someone who has been paying high rent costs or is locked into a conventional mortgage, VA loans are highly beneficial. A refinance VA loan is an option for anyone able to qualify for a VA loan when first buying a house. Since you already have a home that has been financed conventionally, you will have to go for the cash out option if you want to get the standard benefits of VA home loan refinancing. For homeowners who already have a VA loan but want to decrease their interest rates, refinancing is easy, and very fast.

What Is a VA Loan Cash Out?

Imagine that you bought a home before you entered the military and now qualify for VA loan benefits. You might think that traditional mortgage providers make it difficult for single women borrowers with modest incomes to quality or refinance 100% of their loans, but VA mortgages are much more consumer friendly. When you qualify for a VA loan refinance, you get 100% of the value of your home loan, which means that the full amount of equity you have in your house could end up as money in your pocket. After your VA cash out refinance loan is done, you will have lower mortgage payments and as such, the ability to pay off your house a lot sooner. Women who have become widows or are faced with the prospect of having their adult children move back home can really benefit from a VA cash out loan.

Are There Limitations On VA Loans?

VA mortgages are only an option for active and honorably discharged service members who have been in their fair share of service to the country. You can buy as many VA loan backed homes as you want, but note that you can only get a mortgage on a home if it is your primary residence. What this means is that you can’t use VA home loans to buy investment properties and then rent them out for a profit. You would also need to sell the home that you are living in if you want to qualify for another VA loan on a different property. Other than those clear cut rules, you can always live in a home that has been purchased via a VA loan if you want to live a little easier.

If you’ve been involved in the military, either as an enlisted service member or as the spouse of a military person, a VA loan is an option for you. Why rent when you have the ability to buy your own house or condo permanently? Refinancing is another option if you feel stuck paying high mortgage payments.

Thanks to Carol Trehearn

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