Frequently Asked Questions about VA Loans in the Tri-Cities

If you are considering applying for a Tri-Cities VA loan, you probably have a lot of questions about eligibility and how the process works. Below, we go over some frequently asked questions to help you figure out whether a VA loan in the Tri-Cities would be suitable for your lending needs.

Q: Why should I apply for a VA loan?

A: VA loans offer outstanding benefits, making it possible to shop for a home with no down payment. You also can look forward to low interest rates, no PMI, affordable closing costs, no penalties for prepayment, and easier qualification. In fact, qualifying for a VA loan can sometimes make it possible to afford a home when you would not be able to use conventional financing.

Q: Do only veterans qualify for VA loans?

A: No. You are also able to qualify for a VA loan if you are active duty. Every branch of service is eligible, but only activated members of the Reserves or National Guard can qualify.

You may also qualify if you are the surviving spouse of a veteran. In order to be eligible, you must not have been remarried since your spouse’ s death. The circumstances of the death must be connected to military service.

Q: How many days of service are required to be eligible for a Tri-Cities VA loan?

A: That depends both on whether you served during wartime or not, and what era you served during. The minimum requirement for wartime service in most situations is around 90 days active duty. The minimum requirement during peacetime is generally a minimum of 181 days of continuous active duty. There are separate requirements for National Guard and Selected Reserve members.

Q: What is a Certificate of Eligibility?

A: This is precisely what it sounds like. It’s a certificate which demonstrates that you are eligible for a loan insured through the VA. To obtain one, you will need to fill out VA Form 26-1880. If necessary, your VA lender can assist you with this process.

Q: How do I prove my service?

A: That depends on whether you are active duty, or you have received your discharge. It also depends on the date of your discharge. If active, obtain a signed statement from your commanding officer. If discharged, either obtain a copy of DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty or DD Form 214 copy 4. You need the former if your discharge was before October 1, 1979, and the latter if it was after.

Q: Can I only use a VA loan once?

A: No, you are not restricted to a single use of your VA loan benefits. You can obtain a new VA loan so long as your previous one has been paid off in its entirety. Note that you can only do this while holding onto a property purchased with a previous VA loan once. After that, you can only get a new VA loan if the previous property is paid off and no longer in your possession.

Q: How soon after serving do I need to use my VA loan benefits?

A: There is no time limit, so long as you meet the eligibility guidelines. You are free to call upon your benefits at the time which is most convenient to you. Some people use their VA loan benefits while they are still serving. Others may wait for many years before they take out a VA loan after being discharged.

Q: What if I was foreclosed on?

A: That will not stop you from getting a VA loan, though you do need to wait two years in order to qualify. The same is generally true for bankruptcy.

Q: Can I build a home with a VA loan?

A: You can, although it is not always the most convenient option. This is something to chat with your lender about.

Q: How much can I borrow?

A: As of 2019, the upper limit for a VA loan is $484,350 in most counties, which represents an increase from last year. If you live in a high-cost area, you may qualify for a larger loan amount.

Q: Who can help me apply for a VA loan in the Tri-Cities?

Applying for a VA loan can be a complex process. If you want to streamline it and make sure you do not miss out on any of your loan benefits, you will want to work with a Tri-Cities VA lender that is qualified to help.

Find Out Now If You Qualify for a Tri-Cities VA Loan

Not every lender in the Tri-Cities area can provide you with a VA loan. Here at Go Prime Mortgage, it is one of our specialties. Please call (256) 690-5132 to schedule a consultation where we can discuss your service record and your goals for your future. With a VA loan, you can move quickly and affordably into a beautiful Tri-Cities home!