VA loans are one of the best mortgage programs for veterans or active military members in Texas, Florida, and other states. The loan program allows applicants to finance 100 percent of the home, without having to worry about any down payment, private mortgage insurance, or high interest rates. However, just like other government-backed loan programs, such as the USDA and FHA, VA loans also have certain eligibility requirements that applicants must know about before applying. Let’s discuss a few of these requirements.
Although the VA doesn’t set a minimum income threshold, applicants must have a regular income to meet the monthly VA loan installments and other debts, if they have any. They must also have a certain amount of residual income for necessities such as food and transportation. The residual income requirement is to ensure that the VA loan and its rates don’t become a liability that prevents borrowers from leading a normal life. In fact, the residual income requirement enables the VA to maintain its foreclosure rates low.
VA’s minimum property requirements ensure that veterans purchase a house that’s safe and hygienic to live. These requirements include:
- Proper ventilation in the attic spaces
- Adequate plumbing, electrical, and drainage systems
- Far from gas or petroleum pipelines and high-voltage transmitters
- 75 percent of residential space in the property
- No presence of health hazards such as nuclear waste and asbestos material in or around the property
- Safe to access from the road
Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
The Certificate of Eligibility or COE, through the verification of your character of service, its length, and other such elements, helps determine whether you qualify for a VA loan. What’s important to note is that you can initiate the VA loan process and later obtain the COE. Contact a VA approved lender to get your COE. You can also speak to a loan banking officer for assistance in this regard. If you want to do the paperwork yourself, directly contact the VA and ask for VA Form 26-1880.
As a VA approved lender issues the VA loan and not the government, there are additional requirements such as debt-to-income ratio and credit, which VA loan applicants in Texas or elsewhere must meet. Most VA lenders, for instance, expect you to have a minimum credit score of 620; however, the requirement varies from one lender to another. The requirements are quite lenient than those what you usually have to meet when you’re borrowing a conventional loan. The primary reason is while VA guarantees a portion of the VA home loan, conventional loans are not backed, and their lenders are at a greater risk of loss if the applicant defaults on the loan payment.
VA loan applicants, in addition to meeting the above requirements, must also have a clean slate when it comes to the end of their military service. If, for instance, a veteran was discharged from the service as they dishonored it, they don’t qualify for a VA loan. Contact an experienced loan officer or a VA lender to learn more about such requirements. These professionals can also give you an insight into VA loan rates in Texas and other states. In addition, they can help evaluate your financial condition and tell you about any other mortgage types that may better suits your needs.