Who qualifies for VA loans?
Military veterans, active-duty service members and eligible surviving spouses may qualify for a VA loan as long as they meet the minimum service requirements and have sufficient VA entitlement. You can verify your current entitlement by obtaining an online Certificate of Eligibility.
According to VA guidelines, you are typically eligible for a VA loan if you served:
- 90 continuous days of active duty
- 90 consecutive days during wartime
- 181 days during peacetime
- More than six years in the National Guard or Reserve
How do VA purchase rates compare to VA refinance rates?
Some VA-approved lenders may offer more competitive rates on purchase loans, while others specialize in low-rate VA refinance programs. Whether you’re buying or refinancing, get at least three to five loan estimates on the same day to ensure you’re snagging the best VA loan rate possible.
What is the difference between an interest rate and APR?
Your interest rate is the yearly cost of borrowing money expressed as a percentage rate. It doesn’t include any of the closing costs you may have to pay to get a mortgage. The annual percentage rate (APR) reflects the total cost of your home loan, including lender fees and other charges. Your APR is usually higher than your interest rate.
Do VA loans have lower rates than other mortgages?
Yes. VA loan rates tend to be lower than what most borrowers are offered for conventional loans or mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). However, keep an eye on the APR if you have to pay a funding fee — the total costs may be higher if you’re required to pay the maximum 3.6% of your loan amount.