What is a VA loan?
A VA loan is a mortgage that’s backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The benefit of getting a VA loan is not having to put money down toward the purchase of your new home. Also, there’s technically no minimum credit score requirement for getting a VA loan, though individual mortgage lenders may set their own thresholds.
Unlike conventional loans, VA loans don’t impose private mortgage insurance — a premium borrowers must usually pay when their down payment is less than 20%. That said, VA loans do come with closing costs and a funding fee, which varies depending on whether you’re able to make a down payment and whether this is your first VA loan application.
As with conventional mortgages, your closing costs with a VA loan will generally fall between 2% and 5% of your loan amount. Your funding fee, meanwhile, will depend on whether this is your first VA loan and whether you’re making a down payment or not. For your first VA loan, you’ll pay a 2.3% funding fee. For subsequent applications, you’re looking at a 3.6% fee. But if you’re able to make a down payment of 5% but less than 10%, your funding fee will be 1.65%, whether or not this is your first VA or loan. For a down payment of 10% or more, your funding fee will be 1.40% for a first or subsequent application.
While VA loans don’t require a down payment, if you have relatives or friends interested in giving you a down payment gift, you can use the gift for 100% of your down payment on a VA loan (if you want to). This isn’t the case with all loan types.
How to find the best VA loan rates
Shopping around with different VA lenders is the best way to snag the most competitive loan rate you might qualify for. You can apply online for multiple VA loans at once, and doing so within the same 30-day period is better for your credit score than spreading your search out. (Each time you apply for a loan, it results in a hard inquiry on your credit record that can cause a slight drop to your score, but multiple hard inquiries for the same purpose in a short time frame generally count as a single inquiry.) Many lenders who offer conventional loans offer VA loans as well.
When shopping around for a VA loan, keep the following items in mind:
- The interest rate you’re eligible for
- The closing costs (these can vary from lender to lender)
- The loan terms (such as how long you have to pay it off)
View more information: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/mortgages/va-loan-rates/