According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there were more than 1.5 million veterans in Florida in 2014. As of 2014, almost 32,000 Florida home mortgages were backed by VA guarantees, with a total value of some $6.6 billion.

Despite that, veterans are still not taking advantage of their VA mortgage loan benefit. In fact, VA surveys have shown that a third of veterans didn’t know they had a mortgage loan benefit. With that in mind, let’s look at five facts every veteran should know about the VA mortgage loan benefit:

  • No down payment. This is arguably the biggest benefit of a VA loan. According to Realtor.com, about 90 percent of eligible VA buyers get into a home without making a down payment.
  • Government guaranteed. Veterans aren’t actually borrowing from the VA but are using VA-approved lenders. The VA guarantees a portion of the loan if the veteran defaults. That means lenders have less risk with VA loans, and, typically, that means lower interest fees.
  • No PMI. Because the loan is partially guaranteed, VA loan borrowers don’t have to shell out for private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is a significant savings. Other loans, like FHA loans, require an upfront mortgage insurance premium along with an annual fee.
  • Looser credit requirements. VA mortgage lenders typically require lower credit scores. In fact, realtor.com notes that VA lenders usually require a FICO credit score of about 620, which is a substantially lower credit score than other loans require.
  • Reusable. Veterans can use their VA loan entitlement over and over. In fact, you can have more than one VA loan at a time, based on how much of your entitlement you’ve paid off and how much is remaining. It’s also possible to obtain another VA loan after losing one to foreclosure. Qualified veterans may be able to obtain a VA loan just two years after a bankruptcy or foreclosure.

Take advantage of your VA loan entitlement

While these five facts are some of the biggest benefits that VA loans offer, there are even more, like streamlined refinancing options and VA jumbo loans. If you’re a qualified veteran who is in the market for a home in Florida, talk to an expert in VA mortgage loans. Embrace Home Loans is an experienced VA lender, and we can work with you to help you use your VA loan benefit. Call us today at 407-733-6425.

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