By November 11, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Spread the Word: Millions of Veterans Unaware of their VA Home Loan Benefits

The VA loan program has helped more than 18 million service members achieve the dream of homeownership since 1944.

Today, these flexible loans remain the safest and most powerful lending option on the market for military borrowers and their families.  Qualified veterans can purchase a home without having to spend money on a down payment, private mortgage insurance and in some cases even closing costs.

In fact, scores of our borrowers purchase a home without spending a dime up front.

But millions of veterans and active duty personnel are missing out.

Unused Benefits

Fewer than 13 percent of the country’s 25 million veterans have utilized their VA loan benefits, according to an agency study released in 2009. Many service members don’t think they qualify for a VA loan or aren’t sure how to pursue one.

But a whopping 20 percent of veterans didn’t even know there was was a VA home loan benefit, according to a 2004 survey. That’s a shocking statistic, and it underscores the need for greater education and awareness regarding the important benefits available to those who served our country.

This loan program was create to honor their service and sacrifice. VA loans continue to make homeownership possible for thousands of veterans who might otherwise struggle to secure financing. About 80 percent of VA borrowers could not qualify for a conventional loan.

Spread the Word

The VA purchase and VA refinance benefits provided by the VA Loan Guaranty Program are becoming increasingly crucial in the current lending environment. Lenders have tightened credit and underwriting requirements in the wake of the subprime mortgage meltdown. It’s getting tougher for some prospective borrowers to obtain financing.

That’s where VA loans can become a lifeline. These government-backed loans help level the playing field and keep homeownership possible for veterans and active duty personnel who might not have sterling credit or the resources for a sizable down payment.

The key is to make sure military members and their families are aware of the benefits available. In some cases, a VA loan isn’t always going to be the best solution for a particular borrower. But it should always be an option.

It’s a benefit our veterans and active duty service members have earned through their commitment and dedication to our country.


About the author: Chris Birk writes about real estate and the mortgage industry for a host of sites and publications, from Lenderama and Bigger Pockets to the Huffington Post and Motley Fool. A former newspaper and magazine writer, he is also content director for a leading VA lender. Follow him on Google+.

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