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VA Loans, A Gift from Uncle Sam
Uncle Sam has a gift for the men and women who serve our country. It is the VA loan. The VA loan, short for Department of Veterans Affairs home loans, is available to veterans, active service members, reservists, and members of the Public Health Service. These loans are so popular, that in the past fiscal year alone, Uncle Sam has guaranteed 300,000 VA loans totaling more than $38 billion.
Why are these loans considered a gift to our servicemen and women? Because VA loans require no down payment and are available from most lenders. Additionally, the government limits the amount of closing costs, origination fees, and appraisal fees. Because VA loan rates generally run the same as conventional rates, skipping the down payment is a big advantage. Not surprisingly, about 91 percent of VA buyers do just that.
Best of all, there is no private mortgage insurance (PMI) because the government prohibits lenders from requiring it. Not having PMI is a considerable cash savings for a borrower. For example, on a $126,000 loan, PMI would run approximately $40 to $64 a month for the first three to five years of a 30-year loan. The total savings? $1,440 to $3,840.
However, there is a downside:
* FUNDING FEES - In 1982 Congress levied a one-time funding fee on VA loans. And these fees can range anywhere from 1 1/4 percent to 3 percent, depending on the veteran's service and whether it's a first or subsequent loan. Although the VA will lower the fee if the borrower makes a down payment of at least 5 percent, and a buyer can finance the fee along with the home, there is a hidden cost. For example, on a $126,000 mortgage, a 2-percent fee can bloom into $14,474 over the 30-year life of a 6-percent loan.
* LOAN LIMITS - The maximum guaranteed is $240,000, yet buyers in high-priced markets such as California or Manhattan may have to evaluate other options for their financing. And while the eligibility certificate indicates how large a loan the government will guarantee, the vet may not be eligible. Just like a conventional loan, the actual mortgage amount will be based on income, assets, debts and credit history.
* QUALIFIYING - VA loans are available for active and former members of the armed forces who have a specific length and time of service and discharge conditions. Reservists and National Guard members may be eligible if they served at least six years and received an honorable discharge. Veterans discharged for a service-related disability are potentially eligible, as are some members of the Public Health Service and foreign veterans who served with the Allied forces during World War II. Additionally, a widow or widower may also apply for a loan, provided the spouse's death was service related. MIA and POW spouses may also qualify.
Applying for a VA loan is no different than applying for a conventional loan, except that one needs to obtain a certificate of eligibility from the VA. Not only are VA loans easy to get, Uncle Sam has made it even easier this year. The actual loan process takes about two to six weeks, the same time as a conventional loan. And just about every lender that handles FHA or conventional loans also makes VA loans.
Yet the greatest gift of all remains the fact that VA loans allow a buyer to purchase a home without investing a down payment. And that is a very good gift indeed.
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MORE RESOURCES updated Sun. August / 18 / 2019
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Mortgage rates have fallen so much lately that millions of homeowners might benefit by refinancing — even if they bought a home in 2018. Here's why, plus tips ...
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It is expected that 35% of all new mortgages in 2019 will be made up of refinanced mortgages, according to a report from Fannie Mae (FNMA) out on Thursday.
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With rates at three-year lows, Millennials are finally hopping on the refinance bandwagon. Refis accounted for 14 percent of all Millennial loans in June.
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How to tap into today's VA refinance rates with almost no paperwork | Mortgage Rates, Mortgage News and Strategy - The Mortgage Reports
How to tap into today's VA refinance rates with almost no paperwork | Mortgage Rates, Mortgage News and Strategy The Mortgage Reports
VA refinance rates have fallen significantly since late last year. For many VA borrowers, this is the time to consider the savings which might be available with ...
Will mortgage rates keep dropping? Homeowners and buyers benefit from lower interest rates - USA TODAY
Will mortgage rates keep dropping? Homeowners and buyers benefit from lower interest rates USA TODAY
Mortgage rates dropped to nearly three-year lows on China trade fears and a Fed rate cut. That's helping homeowners and buyers in the market now.
Nearly 10 million borrowers could lower their mortgage rate by 0.75% by refinancing right now - HousingWire
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Homeowners rushed to take advantage of a sizable drop in mortgage interest rates, but potential homebuyers were unimpressed.
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How do you get the best refinance mortgage rates? Plan ahead and have a strategy. Here's how to do it in today's low-rate mortgage marketplace.
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Refinance rates were mixed today. See what that means for your chances of getting a better mortgage rate.
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Refinance rates were mixed, but one key rate trended upward. See what that means for your refi.
Mortgage rates fall, reaching nearly three-year low The Washington Post
Mortgage rates dipped slightly to a nearly three-year low because of concern about a potential global economic slowdown and some weak home sale news.
Simply Money: What to keep in mind before refinancing Cincinnati.com
Question: Carole in Independence: Is now a good time to refinance? I have 15 years left on a 30-year mortgage and still have about $135,000 left to pay.
Is now the time to refinance? Las Cruces Sun-News
Since there is no “one size fits all” reason why one may desire to refinance, the first order of business is to identify the purpose of the refi.
U.S Mortgage Rates Tumble as Trade War Angst Bites Yahoo Finance
An escalation in the U.S – China trade war and negative business sentiment weighed on mortgage rates. Any near-term upside will be limited at best.
Mortgage rates today, August 12, 2019, plus lock recommendations | Mortgage Rates, Mortgage News and Strategy - The Mortgage Reports
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Mortgage rates today, August 13, 2019, plus lock recommendations | Mortgage Rates, Mortgage News and Strategy - The Mortgage Reports
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How much do refinance rates need to drop before I refinance? Is the rule 1%, or should I refinance for just a 0.25% lower rate?
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Mortgage rates hold to low levels as the Federal Reserve cuts rates for the first time since 2008.
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FHA cash-out refinancing rules will change starting September 1, 2019. The new rule will limit cash-out refinances to 80% of a property's fair market value.
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After rising the previous week, interest rates fell back again last week, but consumers were not enthused.
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Your comfort level with the lender should be the deciding factor.
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The 30-year fixed mortgage rate recently reached its lowest levels since September 2017.
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Nearly 6 million people can now cut their mortgage payments with refinancing.
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Home Values Are At Their Highest Point In More Than 12 Years Zing! Blog by Quicken Loans
Property values are the highest they've been in quite some time. Additionally, homeowners and appraisers are now more in line on property value.
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The usual reasons to refinance are to reduce the monthly payment or to raise cash. The third option, which is under-appreciated, is to shorten the period of ...
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How to get the best deal on your home mortgage refinance cleveland.com
Mortgage rates may be rising but there's still room to refinance your home loan. You might have heard much said about the constant rise of interest rates over the ...
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Homeowners scramble to refinance mortgages as rates hit the lowest level in 17 months. But mortgage applications for home purchase rose just 0.5%.
Mortgage refinancing spree becomes a race against the clock Bankrate.com
Some 2.43 million homeowners can reduce their mortgage interest rate by refinancing, according to a recent mortgage report by Black Knight, a mortgage data ...
Refinance mortgage rate eases for Thursday Bankrate.com
Refinance rates were mixed, but one key rate slid lower. If you're shopping for a mortgage, see how your payments might be affected.
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As mortgage interest rates drop, homeowners could save hundreds per month by refinancing. However, it's not a smart financial decision for everyone.
How to Refinance a Mortgage and When to Do It TheStreet.com
Your mortgage can cost a lot of money over time. Here's how it might just cost a little less....BAC.
Will mortgage rates drop even more? Should I wait to refinance? | Mortgage Rates, Mortgage News and Strategy - The Mortgage Reports
Will mortgage rates drop even more? Should I wait to refinance? | Mortgage Rates, Mortgage News and Strategy The Mortgage Reports
Mortgage rates are near historic lows, but maybe you've heard that nagging voice, the one which says “wait just a little longer. Rates can drop lower.
Refinance mortgage rate slides for Friday Bankrate.com
Refinance rates were mixed, but one key rate slid lower. See what that means for your chances of scoring a killer refi rate.
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Refinance rates were mixed, but one key rate ticked up. See what that means for your refinance.
Mortgage refinance boom goes bust as rates shift higher CNBC
A turnaround in interest rates turned borrowers back on their heels last week, deflating a quick boom in refinance demand.
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Mortgage rates are continuing their downward spiral. According to Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan has dropped to just 3.82%—down ...
Refinance mortgage rate moves up for Monday Bankrate.com
Refinance rates were mixed, but one key rate cruised higher. See what that means for you if you're in the market for a mortgage.
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Whether you've owned your home for a short time or you've had your mortgage a bit longer, a mortgage refinance involves careful consideration. After all, you'll ...
4 irresistible perks of a VA mortgage refinance Bankrate.com
Interest rates are near historic lows, and one particular VA loan refinance option that is easy to qualify for can enable homeowners to save thousands on their ...
Refinance mortgage rate moves up for Thursday Bankrate.com
Refinance rates were mixed, but one key rate cruised higher. See what that means for your refinance.
5 Signs It's Time To Refinance Your Mortgage Forbes
You've probably heard that refinancing your mortgage can save you money. While that's true in many cases, refinancing needs be done at the right time in order ...
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Mortgage application volume was 40% higher than a year ago, largely because lower rates are strengthening the refinance market.
Debt Consolidation with Mortgage Refinancing: How to Pay Off Debt with a Refinanced Mortgage - Zing! Blog by Quicken Loans
Debt Consolidation with Mortgage Refinancing: How to Pay Off Debt with a Refinanced Mortgage Zing! Blog by Quicken Loans
Considering a mortgage refinance to consolidate debt? Before you do, read our guide to make sure you understand how it works along with the pros and cons.
Refinance mortgage rate moves higher for Friday Bankrate.com
Refinance rates were mixed, but one key rate were higher. If you haven't locked a refi yet, see how your future mortgage payments could be affected.
Refinance rates ease for Wednesday Bankrate.com
Several closely watched refinance rates dropped today. If you're shopping for a mortgage, see how your payments might be affected.
Refinance mortgage rate retreats for Tuesday Bankrate.com
Refinance rates were mixed, but one key rate ticked downward. If you're shopping for a mortgage, see how your payments might be affected.
More than 8 million homeowners are leaving big money on the table by not refinancing CNBC
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Should you refinance your mortgage now? Clark.com - Clark Howard
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Nearly 6 Million People Can Now Cut Their Mortgage Payments With Refinancing | RisMedia.com
With interest on the low side, there is a potential to refinance and save.
What to consider before determining whether to refinance your mortgage Washington Post
REAL ESTATE MATTERS | For a home-run refinance, try to find a deal that helps you do these four things: lower your interest rate, shorten your loan term, lower ...
Falling yields rock U.S. mortgage bond market Midwest Communication
By Richard Leong (Reuters) - The massive U.S. bond market rally has not been a boon for all types of fixed-income securities. Some $8.4 trillion in ...
Your money: Buying or refinancing? The mortgage rate frenzy is back Reuters
Mortgage rates are nearing historic lows again in the United States, making it an ideal time to buy a home - or refinance.
THE WOLF STREET REPORT: Fuel for the Next Mortgage Bust? WOLF STREET
Here we go again: Cash-out refi hype is back full-blast, and for the first time since early 2006, people are doing it in large numbers (11 minutes).
Cash-out mortgage refinancing: Here’s where homeowners are using it most Bankrate.com
Homeowners who snagged a low-interest mortgage in recent years generally avoid refinancing the loan because interest rates are higher now. When they need ...
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Let us do the heavy lifting for you. Compare rates from multiple lenders with no impact to your credit score. Refinance your mortgage with peace of mind.
Refinance rates tick lower for Tuesday Bankrate.com
Multiple closely watched refinance rates sunk lower today. Average rates nationwide for 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed refinances both declined. Meanwhile ...
Applications for mortgages, refinancing spike amid low interest rates Fox Business
Amid the lowest mortgage rates in almost two years, overall mortgage applications swelled last week by nearly 27 percent according to data released ...