The Veteran’s Affairs Department has many programs designed to benefit our past and present service members. One of these benefits is the VA home loans. With VA loans, you can receive special rates and $0 down payments for the house of your dreams.
Ready to get started on securing your dream home? Here’s how to get pre approved for a VA home loan.
What Exactly Is a VA Loan?
VA loans work similarly to traditional mortgages but with several added benefits. Because VA loans are backed by the U.S. government, lenders offer special rates for these types of home loans.
Most mortgages will require a 20 percent down payment to finance a loan. With government-backed VA loans, down payments are usually not required at all. This helps make home-buying more affordable for veterans and their families.
How Does VA Loan Preapproval Work?
To become preapproved, you must first determine if you are eligible to receive a VA loan. Eligibility for VA home loans is determined by both the Department of Veterans Affairs and the lender for your VA mortgage.
Veteran’s Affairs will establish if you are eligible for a government-backed loan and your lender will decide if you are a safe investment to repay the loan amount.
VA Loan Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible to use a VA loan, you’ll need to the requirements. First, you have to qualify for the loan. Although backed by the government, VA loans are offered through private lenders. This means that you must qualify for the loan before you can purchase your home.
To use a VA loan, you’ll also need a Certificate of Eligibility. To acquire a COE, you must meet one or more of the criteria to qualify for the program:
- A veteran
- An active duty service member
- A member or discharged member of the National Guard and Reserve
- A surviving spouse
Prequalification vs. Preapproval For a VA Home Loan
A pre-qualification is an estimate of what loan terms you might be approved for. Usually, lenders will ask for an estimate of your income, your credit score, and your debt-to-income ratio to determine what payments you can afford.
A pre-approval is a more robust outlook on your potential loan terms. The lender will ask for more documentation for a preapproval of a loan. A pre-approval means that assuming you have no unforeseen financial barriers, you are likely to be approved for the loan.
VA Loan Preapproval
To determine if you can receive a specific VA mortgage loan, there are several steps you’ll need to follow. First, you should gather the financial documents the lender will need to determine what loan terms you are eligible for.
Documents You May Need To Provide During VA Loan Preapproval
Offering a loan is up to the discretion of the lender. They’ll use your financial history to determine the amount of risk they will take on if they were to offer you the home loan. To make these determinations, your lender will likely ask for the following documents:
- W-2s or paystubs
- Proof of employment
- Social security card
- Past bank statements
- Drivers license
See What You Qualify For
After you have gathered these documents, speak to a representative to get an estimate of what home loan you might qualify for.
How To Get a VA Home Loan Preapproval Letter
Fill Out Your COE
If you’re ready to start the preapproval process, the first thing you’ll need is your Certificate of Eligibility. This document is to prove to lenders that you qualify for a VA loan. To acquire a COE as a Veteran, you’ll need your discharge document.
For other qualifying factors, you’ll need the documentation to prove you meet the requirement. If you need assistance filling out a COE, feel free to contact one of our experts at VA Loans for Vets.
Get Your Financial Documents Together
The next step in the preapproval process is to gather the financial documents your lender needs. Each lender will have specific documents they’ll request, but most lenders will ask for documents proving your employment, salary, and past financial history.
Documentation Needed For VA Loan Preapproval
Outside of documents proving VA loan eligibility and financial loan documents, there may be additional information needed for a VA loan.
This information depends on the lender. Stay in touch with the loan representative to ensure that you’ve provided all the information they need.
Pick a VA Lender
There are many lenders that give out VA loans. We recommend that you inquire with more than one lender for your VA home loan. This gives you the opportunity to see which offer gives you the best interest rates and payment terms.
Submit Your Preapproval Application
Once you’ve finished the preapproval process, you’re ready to submit your preapproval application. Once your application is received, a representative will be in touch to let you know what you qualify for.
Your VA Home Loan Preapproval Letter Has Arrived
If your application is approved, you should expect to receive a pre-approval letter. The pre-approval letter will outline your loan offer and what price range you can afford for your home.
Needing Assistance on How to Get Pre Approved For a VA Home Loan?
The pre-approval process can sometimes be complicated and arduous. If you need assistance getting pre-approved or have questions about the eligibility requirements for VA home loans, give us a call at 602-908-5849.
We have years of experience helping active duty service members, veterans, and their families find the best loan options. Our experts are ready to help you achieve your dream home.