Who Pays Closing Costs on a VA Loan?

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Who Pays Closing Costs on a VA Loan?As a veteran or active duty military member, VA loans are often the solution to your concerns about being able to afford to buy a home.

While you can look forward to enjoying benefits such as no down payment and more lenient credit standards with these government-backed loans, you must still be prepared to pay for the VA loan closing costs.

In most cases this expense is the buyer’s responsibility, but you can consider these options to make paying this part of your home purchase easier to fit into your budget. 

How Closing Costs Differ With VA Loans 

Closing costs is a bit of a catchall term that is used to describe a wide range of fees and expenses that can be charged during the purchase of a loan.

For example, discount points may be purchased to lower the interest rate on the loan. You may also be required to pay fees for an appraisal, pest inspection and a credit report by the lender. A portion of the property taxes and homeowners insurance may also be required at closing.

While watching these fees add up is unsettling if you are not prepared, the VA does have guidelines in place to ensure that they are fair. For instance, the lenders can only charge one percent of the loan for the origination fee. 

Roll the Funding Fee Into the Loan 

One of the most important VA loan closing costs to know about is the funding fee. This fee is paid to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and it is meant to help offset the costs that the government incurs when loans default.

The amount that you will need to pay is determined by several factors that include your military service status, the amount you are putting down on the home and whether or not this is your first loan.

If you are unable to pay the funding fee outright, it can be rolled into your loan. Just keep in mind that this will influence the monthly mortgage loan payments. 

Negotiate for the Seller to Pay the Closing Costs 

The VA also allows for the seller to pay all of the closing costs that are associated with the loan.

This includes the

  • origination fee
  • credit report
  • appraisal fee
  • title insurance

If the seller is not interested in paying all of the closing costs, it is possible to negotiate for them to cover at least a portion of them. 

Request Seller Concessions 

Under the VA loan guidelines, you are also able to negotiate for the seller to pay up to 4 percent of any closing costs that are unrelated to the loan as well as other expenses.

For instance, the seller could pay the prepaid insurance and taxes cost. You can also ask the seller to give credits for items that you ask them to leave with the home such as a distinctive piece of furniture or special lawn equipment.

Although this pay not pay the closing cost directly, it can help to offset any funds that you must use from your personal account. 

Closing on a home is a complicated process that does require financial payments on your part. As you get ready to start looking for a home, be sure to begin with the end in mind.

Be sure to let our loan officers know about any questions that you have about the closing costs on VA homes so that you can be prepared for the last steps in your home buying journey.


How Long Does It Take to Raise Your Credit Scores?

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How Long Does It Take to Raise Your Credit Scores?

Having good credit is important for many reasons. Unlike in the past when credit scores were only used to determine approval for loans, today they’re used for many other things.

Some of these include potential landlords, auto insurance rates, homeowner’s insurance rates and even potential employers. Your credit scores play an important part in determining if you’re approved for a mortgage.

Unfortunately, raising credit scores takes a lot longer than it does to lower them. Get the facts about credit scores here.

What Determines Credit Scores?

Your credit scores are determined by five different factors, each of which plays a different role.

  • Payment history – 35 percent – This means how you are about paying your bills on time both now and in the past couple years.
  • Credit utilization – 30 percent – This is the amount of your available credit you have used up in comparison to the total amount available.
  • Length of credit history – 15 percent – This is how long you have had credit accounts. The longer you have accounts, the more it helps your scores.
  • Credit mixture – 10 percent – This is the different types of credit such as credit cards, installment loans, mortgages, etc.
  • New credit – 10 percent – This is the amount of new credit that has been opened recently.

How to Improve Credit Scores

Since there are various things that have gotten your credit scores to where they are, there are also various things that need to be done to improve them. One of the most important things to do is make sure your monthly bills are paid on time each month. If you have small debts, do your best to pay them off as soon as possible because that will improve your credit utilization.

Do not open any new accounts if you’re trying to improve your scores. Do not apply for several credit cards because the hard inquiries on your credit report can also lower your credit scores.

How Long do Certain Things Stay on My Credit Report?

Many people don’t realize that negative things on a credit report can stay on and affect credit score for years. A few missed payments or an account sent to collections may be corrected quickly. However, being corrected quickly does not necessarily mean they are removed immediately from your credit report. Below are some of the causes of bad credit report scores and how long these things stay on your credit reports.

  • Accounts in collections or charged off – Stay on seven years from the date the lender reports the first missed payment. If you make payments during the seven years, it’s still going to be on your report, but it won’t have such an impact.
  • Late payments – These may be on the credit report for up to seven years from the date of the first missed payment…even if you pay the past-due amounts. For example, if a payment was missed in September 2013, it would come offer your report in September 2020.
  • Bankruptcy – Depending on the type of bankruptcy, it can remain on your credit report anywhere from seven to ten years.
  • Repossessions, foreclosures or similar negative accounts – These also remain on your credit report for up to seven years from the first late payment.

How Long Does It Take to Improve Credit Scores?

The time it takes to improve the actual credit score depends on why the score got to that point. For instance, if your score was low because of too much credit, the score will go up in a couple of months once you get some of the balances paid down. If the scores were low due to bankruptcies and collections, it can take years. Even though your credit isn’t perfect yet, your scores can go up just by continuing to pay the accounts down.

For instance, a score of 680 from late payments can go up to 780 in nine months even though it stays on your account for three to seven years. A foreclosure may stay on your report for seven years, but your score may go from 680 to 780 in three years. The important thing is to always try to make regular payments to work on the scores.

How Long do VA Loans Take to Close?

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In the past VA Loans have gotten a bad wrap on many different issues ranging from issues like… the appraisal takes too long, the seller has to pay for all of the closing cost, and of course that the VA Loans takes to long to close. All of these of course are not true, but today I wanted to focus on one issue in particular and that is… How long do VA Loans take to close?

There is no real right or wrong answer, but I will do my best to give you as simple an answer as possible. You ready? It depends. It depends because it’s up to the VA Lender that you are working with and their particular timelines. Often times many VA Lenders will quote 45-60 days because of their current workload. However, this does not mean that it take the VA that long to close your loan. The reality is that VA has very little to do with the transaction. The VA Lender lends the money and the VA just guarantees the loan. That said, the VA Loan should take no longer to close than any other loan type out there, FHA, Conventional, USDA, etc. A good general rule-of-thumb for the VA Loan closing is 30 days.

In our experience the VA Loan usually take 30 days  or less to close from the date of your accepted purchase contract. So, if you are being told that the VA Loan take 45-60 days to close you may want to reconsider the lender you are working with. If you have questions about your VA Home Loan Benefit feel free to roger-up with us direct at 602-908-5849 or email me at jimmy@VALoansForVets.com

Thank you and may God bless you for your service to our great country!


Semper Fidelis,

Jimmy Vercellino

Items Needed for a VA Loan

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I have been very fortunate to serve a lot of Veterans with all of their VA Loan financing needs for the past 9 years, soon to be 10 years in 2015 (gosh time does go by fast). Anyhow, as I thought about a my next blog topic I remembered how on every single one of those transactions 1 particular question always comes up from the Veteran. That question? “Jimmy what are the items needed for a VA Loan? ” This question can come from a Veteran who is ready to buy a house tomorrow, or maybe even a year from now, and that’s okay. The YouTube Video below explains the items needed for the VA Loan.

In order for a Veteran to use their VA Home Loan Benefits the VA Loan requires the following documentation.

Most Recent 2 Years of W-2’s
Most Recent 2 Years of Tax Returns
Most Recent 2 Months of Bank Statement
Copy of Photo I.D.
Copy of DD-214
Copy of Certificate of Eligibility

This is a list that should be enough to get you started. However, keep in mind that the lender can always reserve the right to request more documentation. For example, if you own homes, you may need to provide a copy of the current mortgage statement and tax bill along with insurance dec page. Or maybe if the Veteran has had a foreclosure in the past they may needed to provide additional documentation to support the hardship. It’s truly a case by case basis. However, the information listed above should be enough to get you stared and on the right track for the items needed for a VA Loan.

If you have more questions about your VA Home Loan Benefits I would be honored to serve you. My name is Jimmy Vercellino and I am a United States Marine Corps Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Mortgage Originator Specializing in VA Loans. To contact me direct you can reach me at 602-908-5849 or email me at jimmy@valoansforvets.com

Thank you and may God bless you for your service to our great country.

Semper Fi,
Jimmy Vercellino

VA Loan in Gilbert AZ

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Looking for VA Loan in Gilbert AZ ?


This blog post had to come sooner or later. I say that because it seems as if more and more Veterans are purchasing homes in Gilbert and talking about and how much they love it, and honestly I can’t blame them. With more and more Veterans exiting the military and relocating to the Valley of the Sun I feel like it’s a safe bet to say that we are going to see our Veteran population grow who want to want to take advantage of their VA Loan in Gilbert AZ.

For what reasons you ask? I’ll give you a few.. Gilbert seems to have a sense of community that you might have a hard time finding in other parts of the Valley. In addition to great schools, coupled with clean streets, and a happening downtown that is drawing in award winning Restaurants like North, Postino’s, and many others make Gilbert the Southeast Valley’s happening spot.

So if you are a Veteran and you would like to purchase a home in Gilbert – I have good news for you, it’s still very affordable. For a VA Loan in Gilbert AZ a Veteran may be able to purchase a home to $417,000 with no money down! Keep in mind that this is the only type of loan that will allow somebody to do this. In addition to the no down payment the VA Loan allows for less than perfect credit allowing a Veteran to possibly obtain a VA Loan with a credit score as low as 600.

So if you are in the market to purchase a home and would like to know more about how you can use your VA Loan in Gilbert AZ the first thing that you need to do is get pre qualified. Once you have accomplished that we can get you in touch with a Real Estate Professional who can begin to show you homes in this rockin city. You can apply by going to https://www.valoansforvets.com/apply/ or you can call me today at 602-908-5849.

Lastly if you would like you can also email me at jimmy@VALoansForVets.com to take advantage of one of the most competitive loans on the marketplace.

Jimmy Vercellino is a United States Marine Corps Veteran and Mortgage Originator Specializing in VA Loans and serving Veterans and Active Duty Service Members.


Veterans Day

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Veterans Day V line

Veterans Day is a special day. It’s a day where men and women who have so honorably served our great country get recognized for their service along with their selfless sacrifice.

I feel so blessed and fortunate… I say that because over the years I literally go to work everyday to help hundreds Veterans buy homes and use their VA Home Loan Benefits. It’s truly an incredible gift that I will be forever grateful to our Veterans for.

So to all Veterans past, present, and future, we salute you for your service to our great country and wish you a blessed, happy, and healthy Veterans day.

Semper Fidelis,

Jimmy Vercellino

VA Loans Active Duty Military

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VA Loans Active Duty Military?

Often times I am asked by Active Military Service members if they are entitled to use their VA Loan Benefits just as an honorably discharged Veteran would – and the answer is simple… Absolutely!

Active Military are entitled to use their VA Loan just as any Veteran would past, present, and future. That said, it’s important to know exactly what your lender will require when pre qualifying for the VA Loan, and always remember…Just because you are eligible for a VA Loan does not mean that you are pre qualified. This is why it’s so important for you to work with a Mortgage Originator who Specializing in VA Loans that can ensure you are protected and that your VA Approval is strong and in tact.


Below is a list of documentation that will be required for VA Loans Active Duty Military.

  1. Most Recent LES Report
  2. Last 2 Bank Statements Covering a 60 Period (be sure to include all pages even if page is blank)
  3. Most Recent 2 Years of Tax Returns
  4. Most Recent 2 Years of W’2’s
  5. Copy of Photo I.D.
  6. Copy of your Certificate of Eligibility (if you don’t have we can assist you with this)

Your VA Home Loan Benefit is truly one of a kind as loan that allows an Active Duty Service member to purchase a home up to $417,000 (and higher in some counties) with no down payment required, and with a credit score as low as 600.

For more information about VA Loans for Active Duty Military contact Jimmy Vercellino at jimmy@valoansforvets.com or by calling direct at 602-908-5849


Jimmy Vercellino is a Marine Corps Veteran and Mortgage Originator Specializing in VA Loans with Goldwater Bank and licensed to lend in 48 States.


VA Mortgage Lenders in Arizona

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Looking for VA Mortgage Lenders in Arizona?

Then look no further because you have found the right guy. Jimmy Vercellino is a Marine Corps Veteran and Mortgage Originator Specializing in VA Loans with Goldwater Bank in Phoenix AZ.

What Veterans must understand is that just because VA Mortgage Lenders in Arizona tell them something about their VA Home Loan does not necessarily mean it’s the truth. Time and time again Jimmy Vercellino has educated Veterans and Real Estate Professionals alike with respect to the VA Home Loan process making it his primary focus to devote his mortgage practice to the Veteran and Active Duty Military Home buyer.

Jimmy recently sat down with Tiffany Hunter, Host of the AZ Home Hunter to discuss VA Home Loans. Click on the YouTube video below to check it out for yourself.



If you are a Veteran, and are looking for VA Mortgage Lenders in Arizona then look no further. Jimmy Vercellino will ensure that you are taken care of from start to finish and will ensure that he will treat your VA Loan as if it were his very own. For more information or to apply for you VA Loan simply click on the APPLY button or you can always email me at jimmy@valoansforvets.com



VA Loan Rates in AZ

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What are VA Loan Rates in AZ?

The VA Loan has some of the most competitive interest rates (if not the most) on the market today. What makes a VA Loan great is that a Veteran may be able to purchase a home anywhere in Maricopa County up to $417,000 with no down payment.

Having said that, one of the most common questions that I get from Veterans that inquire about VA Rates is as  follows… “Does the VA determine the interest rate or does it vary from lender to lender ?” Simple answer: VA does not determine the Interest Rate on a VA Loan.

The truth is that different lenders will have varying interest rates on their VA Home Loans. This also rings true when Veterans are looking to get a quote for VA Loan Rates in AZ.

So how does a Veteran get a rate quote on a VA Loan? It’s simple, you must apply for a VA Loan, and allow the lender to review your credit score which in-turn will allow the lender to give you a rate quote.

Many lenders can give you a hypothetical interest rate quote, however until they have reviewed your loan scenario in it’s entirety that rate quote could possibly be inaccurate causing the Veteran to incorrectly  budget for his upcoming home purchase (which we all know is never a good thing).

By now you might be asking the following question… “So what determines my VA Loan Interest Rate then?” Honestly, it’s quite simple and really applies to all loan types and not just VA Loans. The single greatest impact that you can have on your VA Loan Interest Rate is having a strong credit score. Think of it this way…The better your credit score, the better your VA Loan Rate will be.

To discuss current VA Loan Rates in AZ, feel free to roger up with me at jimmy@valoansforvets.com or you can call me direct at 602-908-5849


Jimmy Vercellino is a United States Marine Corps Veteran and Mortgage Originator Specializing in VA Loans. In 2013 Jimmy and his team were fortunate to serve over 60 Veterans and their families with all of their VA Home Financing needs resulting in over $14,000,000 of  VA Loans originated and closed.




VA Lender in Arizona

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Looking for a VA Lender in Arizona?

If you’re a Veteran and currently live, or plan on moving to Arizona and would like to purchase a house you might be looking for a VA Lender. However the real question is –who do I use and who can I trust? There are plently of lenders in Arizona who orginate VA Loans. However, what we have found is that very few actually specialize in VA Loans and have devoted their mortgage practice to the Veteran and Active Duty Military Homebuyer.

Veterans seeking a VA Lender in Arizona should always ask the following questions when seeking financing from a VA Lender.

  • How long does it take your company to close on a VA Loan? If more than 30 days this could make your offer less competitive.
  • Are you a direct endorsed VA Lender? This allows your lender to decision your loan file  upfront and not send your loan to VA to be underwritten saving you precious time.
  • What are the fees you charge in conjunction with the VA Loan? Do they seem on the high side?
  • How familiar are you with VA Loans? If the lender cannot confidently answer your questions quickly you may want to reconsider working with them.

For more information and questions about finding a VA Lender in Arizona feel free to contact us directly at jimmy@valoansforvets.com or direct at 602-908-5849.



Jimmy Vercellino is a United States Marine Corps Veteran and Mortgage Originator Specializing in VA Loans. His mission is simple–To provide and assist Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers, regardless of service, with all of their VA Financing needs.

Last year Jimmy and his team were fortuante enough to serve over 65 Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers and their families with thier VA Loans, resulting in over $14,000,000 worth of VA Loans originated.