A Florida VA mortgage, guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a very significant benefit, helping veterans get favorable financing to puchrase homes. Qualified veterans can purchase a home with little to no money out-of-pocket, and get competitive loan rates and terms. Unlike a conventional loan, VA loans don’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI), which can save veterans thousands of dollars over the life of their mortgages. More and more veterans are taking advantage of this benefit. In fact, the VA guaranteed 629,312 loans in 2013, up from 539,884 the year before. If you’re a qualified veteran who’s planning to use your Florida VA mortgage benefit, here’s some helpful information:

  • Certificate of Eligibility. You’ll eventually need your COE from the VA to certify to your lender that you are eligible for a VA loan. You can apply online, or your approved lender can help you apply. That means you don’t have to wait for a COE to get pre-qualified and pre-approved. Remember, your VA home loan benefit isn’t just for first-time home buyers. It’s yours for life, and you can use it over and over again.
  • Credit Profile. This is important to any lender, so you should get a free copy of your report and check it for discrepancies and errors. You can request a free report at www.annualcreditreport.com, which is maintained by the major credit bureaus to provide you with free credit reports under federal law. Your credit report doesn’t contain your credit score, however, and you shouldn’t bother paying for that. Lenders typically use different credit scores than consumer scores that you pay a fee to get.
  • Employment History. Generally, lenders will want to see that you have stable employment (two or more years), and a steady paycheck. However, even if you don’t, you may still be able to qualify. Lenders have different requirements, so check with yours.
  • Get Pre-Approved. Pre-approval will clarify how much you can afford to spend on a house. Remember, though, that pre-approval for a certain amount doesn’t mean you should spend that much on your home. Stick to your budget and remember that you’ll have new expenses as part of owning your new home.

Find Out More From Embrace Home Loans

As a VA-approved lender, Embrace Home Loans can help you review your options and get the most from your Florida VA mortgage. Call us at 407-733-6425, or browse our website to find out more about VA home mortgages, and be sure to check out parts two and three of this blog series.

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