VA Loan Questions? We've Got Answers!

The following is a list of commonly asked questions concerning VA home loans.

Veteran with spouseQ. Can I get a VA home loan with a general under honorable conditions discharge?
A. Generally, in order to qualify for VA benefits and services, the Veteran's discharge or service must have been under circumstances other than dishonorable (e.g., honorable, under honorable conditions, general). Individuals who get unfavorable, poor conduct, or other sorts of dishonorable discharges, however, may be eligible for VA benefits based on a VA decision. Read more about VA discharges

Q. Is a VA loan guaranteed?
A.VA loans are guaranteed, but not for the benefit of the Veteran, but for the benefit of the lender. The majority of Veterans are required to pay a funding fee. The financing fee fund protects lenders in the event that a VA loan defaults. The VA is guaranteeing that the lender will receive a partial reimbursement if the borrower defaults.

Q. Does a VA loan require mortgage insurance?
A. The VA does not require mortgage insurance, but the VA does require the payment of a funding fee. The funding fee is not required for Veterans receiving disability compensation. Veterans who receive a Purple Heart are also relived of the funding fee. There is no PMI requirement with VA home loans. Read more about VA funding fees

Q. Does 6 years in the National Guard make you a Veteran?
A. A National Guard individual who deployed on federal active duty orders for at least 180 days and did not get a dishonorable discharge or a poor conduct discharge is now deemed a "veteran" under a 2016 federal law amendment.

Additionally, the bill now recognizes National Guard troops who have served 20 years or more as certified "veterans," even though they were never mobilized on federal active duty orders for more than 180 days outside of training.

Q. Does a VA loan require down payment?
A. No down payment is required for VA loans.

Q. Can I use a VA loan for a second home?
A. VA home loans are intended for primary, owner occupied properties. Second homes, vacation homes and investment properties are not specifically eligible, however, there is a work around. After one year of occupancy, you can rent out your home or turn it into a second home. Assuming you have sufficient entitlement, you can purchase another property with your remaining entitlement as your primary residence.

Nice suburban homeQ. What will fail a VA appraisal?
A. The Department of Veterans Affairs has reasonable appraisal guidelines to protect the Veteran. Obviously, the dwelling must meet the sales price. Other requirements are:
Broken Windows
Inadequate Electrical Systems
Insufficient Heating - A home will never pass the VA appraisal without a sufficient heating system. To be approved as a residence, the home must have an efficient and appropriate supply of heat capable of providing occupants with a suitable living environment.

Houses that primarily heat with a wood burner must have a backup heating system capable of maintaining a minimum temperature of 50 degrees in plumbing areas of the house.
Roof in Disrepair
Termite and Pest Control Problems

Q. What is a VA streamline refinance?
A. The VA Streamline refinance program is a simple refinance loan program. See Interest rate reduction

Q. How to calculate the VA funding fee
A. See Funding fee

Q. How to get a coe for a VA loan
A. See Certificate of eligibility

Q. Does a VA loan require an inspection?
A. There is not an inspection with VA loans, other than an appraisal.

Q. Does VA disability count as income for a mortgage?
A. Yes

Q. How much VA loan entitlement do I have left?
A. Ask the VA or your lender to update your COE

Q. How to get a VA loan certificate of eligibility?
A. See Certificate of eligibility

Q. What is the VA loan limit?
A. See Loan limits


In conclusion, VA loans are a great option for those who are eligible. They offer many benefits, such as no down payment and no mortgage insurance. If you have any questions about VA loans, be sure to contact a lender for more information.