The Veterean’s Administration (VA) has programs that guarantee loans to help veterans and active duty personnel purchase a home, or refinance a home. The VA does not grant loans, and most VA home loans are handled and approved by private lenders. The the VA does do is provide a guarantee on loans for people who are eligible so they will be able to get home loans easier, and without a down payment.

Other advantages to Texas VA loans include a lower interest rate, little to no closing costs, no mortgage insurance requirements, and no penalty for paying off the loan earlier than scheduled. There are many private lenders who participate in VA programs, so getting information, help with paperwork, and explanations of requirements is easy. The information is also available on the Veteran’s Administration website.

Those interested in a loan must first have a suitable credit rating, and sufficient income to afford payments, but the numbers are not as strict because the loan is guaranteed. That reduces the risk taken by the lender. A valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is required to qualify for a guaranteed loan. Basically, veterans have to have served for ninety consecutive days during war time, one-hundred and eighty-one days during peace time, or served six years in the Reserves or National Guard. A discharge for any other reason besides a dishonorable discharge is acceptable.

Those who served less than the required amount of time, but were discharged for specific reasons may still be eligible for a VA loan. Reasons include hardship, reduction in the force, certain medical conditions, and service-connected disability. There are also a few ways that veterans’ surviving spouses can qualify. Those on active duty for at least ninety days also qualify for a COE. Applications for the Certificate can be filled out online, via the lender, or by mail.

The loans can be used for building a home, buying a home or condominium in a VA-approved project, purchasing and improving a home simultaneously, purchasing a manufactured home or lot, and making energy-efficient improvements to an existing home. Refinancing is guaranteed for one-hundred percent of the value of the home. Most lenders will only allow people to use up to ninety percent of home equity.