Salute Our Soldiers Military Loan Program for Florida Homebuyers*
• 100% financing available
• No first-time homebuyer requirement
• 3%, 4%, and 5% forgivable DPA at a 0% interest rate option over a 5-year term
• FL Assist Second Mortgage Program provides funds up to $7,500 at 0% interest in the form of a 30-year, fixed-rate second mortgage. Assistance may be applied towards closing costs, mortgage insurance premiums, or as a principal reduction to the first mortgage.
• FL Homeownership Loan Program
Do You Qualify?
• Must be a US veteran or active duty servicemember
• Must be purchasing a primary residence in the state of Florida
• Must meet income and purchase price limits
• Must qualify for a first mortgage
• Must successfully complete a homebuyer education course
*VA loan program only available in Florida. Please check with your lender as availability is subject to change.
What is a VA Loan?
A $0 down mortgage option offered to Service Members, Veterans and select military spouses is known as VA loan. Private lenders such as a bank or company issue the loan and U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guarantees it.
The VA home loan program was started in 1944 by the U.S government to help returning service men in purchasing houses without having to need an excellent credit or down payment. Since its inception, the VA loan program has guaranteed over 25 million VA loans to veterans and active duty military members purchase or refinance a house.
Today, VA mortgages are more important than ever. A huge number of military buyers and veterans are finding it difficult to get a home financed because financiers have tightened their regulations due to Recession and the pandemic.
In the last decade alone, VA loans program has proven to be a lifeline for active military and veteran homebuyers facing higher down payment and credit score requirements.
Types of VA Loans
There are several types of VA loans and each one is discussed below:
- VA purchase loan
The standard new purchase loans allow military members and veterans to buy a new home without having to make any payments. This is the most important benefit of the VA loan program.
- VA cash out refinance loans
This loan program allows you to have 100% access to your home’s equity. Maybe you want to make any home improvements, pay off a credit card debit or just replenish your savings accounts for a future purchase. Using the VA cash out program you have more borrowing power than conventional, FHA or USDA loans. FHA offers access to 85% and conventional 80%, whereas VA cash out gives you 100% equity in your home.
- VA IRRRL
Interest rate reduction refinance loan (IRRRL) also known as “VA streamline” is a loan program designed for active military members and veterans using which you don’t need to provide any income documentation, nor do you need to get an appraisal.
- VA renovation and home improvement loans
In April of 2018, VA made an update to their VA renovation and home improvement loan program. With this update, you can update the home you own or are intending to buy.
Unique Benefits and Special Features of VA loans
- Shorter Time Period: Most loan programs on the market require you to wait for at least 3 to 4 years before you qualify for another loan after a major credit event like foreclosure or bankruptcy. The VA loans program has a waiting period of just 2 years.
- Buying a Second House with Zero Down Payment: Military members might need to get relocated on a moment’s notice therefore VA loan programs offer you the option to buy a second home without making any down payment. There is not always time to put the house on the market or your house’s value has suddenly dropped so low that it makes more sense to keep it and rent it out. For such cases, a VA loan can be very crucial.
- Renovate Your House Without Any Equity: Using the VA loan program, you can get up to 100% of the “after-improved” value of the house which means you can get all the renovations done without having to take a personal loan or use any credit cards.
Documentation Required to Qualify for a VA Loan
Here is a list of all the documents that you need in order to qualify for a VA loan:
- DD214: When you get discharged, retire or separate from the armed forces, the United States Department of Defense issues DD Form 214 to all the veterans. A certificate of eligibility confirming your eligibility for VA loan will be issued using this form.
- Statement of service letter: If you are still an active duty personnel, you will need to produce a service letter showing your current ranking and posting.
- NGB 22, retirement points summary: National Guard veterans or Retired military reservists need form NGB 22 or a retirement points summary to check whether you are eligible or not. In this case, you will not be issued a DD214 because it is only issued for regular military forces.
- Certificate of eligibility: This form states your home benefits as well indicate whether you are eligible for funding fee waiver.
- Proof of pension: You will also receive some paperwork from VA when you decide to retire. This letter outlines your monthly benefits as well as any lifetime benefits that you might receive.
- Proof of service related disability: VA form 26-8937 is required by the lender in order to confirm the amount of any or all benefits that you receive from your disability.
- Paystubs/W2s: Just like any other loan, if you are employed, you need to provide W-2s to show your income. In case you are self-employed you need to provide tax returns for the last two years.
With all the benefits offered by the VA loan, there does not seem to be any reason why a veteran should opt for any other type of loan. There is some hectic paperwork involved but an efficient VA loan provider will process your application in about the same time as any other loan requires.