VA Mortgage Loans
Ultimate Zero Down Payment

VA mortgage loans with negotiable interest rates are the ultimate zero down payment program for active military and Veterans. The mandatory VA funding fee can even be financed!

Listening to the news? You might be led to believe that buying a house these days without a down payment is impossible. Think again! If you are a Veteran or active military, you may be able to buy a home with nothing down. Any participating mortgage lender can assist.

10 Benefits of VA Mortgage Loans for Veterans and Active Military

  1. No down payment is required.*
  2. Loan programs are tailored to both refinancing and buying a house.
  3. VA mortgage rates are set by lenders so they are negotiable.
  4. The base loan amount of $417,000 requires no down payment across most of the nation.**
  5. There's never a prepayment penalty.
  6. Choose between fixed and adjustable mortgage rates.***
  7. Friendly guidelines help struggling borrowers with less than perfect credit.
  8. There's no mortgage insurance. That's right! None.
  9. The VA funding fee can be financed or paid in cash.
  10. Certificate of eligibility is obtained by the VA lender using a streamlined automated system.

*With a down payment, loan amounts may be greater.

**VA mortgage loans do not have a maximum loan amount. However, lenders generally restrict loan amounts to the VA limit for the county where the property is located. For example, increased limits for VA mortgage loans in high-cost areas, for example, San Francisco, go as high as $1,050,000. Ask your loan originator about the VA loan limits for the home you wish to buy or refinance.

***Adjustable VA mortgage rate programs not always available.

VA Funding Fee and Mortgage Rates

A common concern among active military and Veterans addresses the VA Funding Fee. Is it a duplication of loan fees hidden in mortgage closing costs?

The answer is no. It is paid directly to VA to offset expenses related to VA mortgage loans. However you should always feel free to question unfamiliar mortgage closing costs as you review your good faith estimate. Also keep in mind VA mortgage rates are negotiable.

Veteran's Certificate of Eligibility

Veterans want to know the easiest way to obtain a certificate of eligibility. Years ago a form was filled out, mailed (long before we called it snail mail) and then anxiously awaited by all for a response from the Veterans Administration.

Now thanks to ACE (automated certificate of eligibility), this coveted piece of information is available in a minute or two in most instances.

Higher VA Home Loan Pricing for Refinances

By Jack S. from Scottsdale, AZ


Why do most mortgage companies charge a lower interest rate and/or loan discount for a VA loan that is used to purchase a home vs to refinance an existing VA loan - even when all things are equal?

Thank you...Jack

Ask Kate answers: Higher VA Home Loan Pricing for Refinances

Dear Jack,

Unfortunately, refinances of both existing VA and conventional mortgages have the potential to carry higher loan fees and interest rates. Homeowners who request a cash-out refinance should prepare to pay even higher premiums.

Why? Investors set the pricing and for the most part favor home buyers. Historically, refinances have been considered riskier than new financing. Perceived risk opens the door to higher rates and fees.

But if you are using the VA streamline program, the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), the VA funding fee is lower compared to a mortgage intended for home buying.

Best wishes,

Kate Ford

P.S. The VA funding fee should not be confused with loan fees or discount points. The funding fee is charged by the Department of Veterans Affairs to maintain the home loan program. It is a mandatory fee that all VA borrowers must pay with the exception of disabled Veterans.

Resources for Active Military and Veterans

VA AND HARP - How to compare a VA loan to the HARP program.

VA & FHA Loan Requirements - Questions followed by Ask Kate answers regarding zero down payment home loans for active military and Veterans.

Want to see what others are asking? Look at this question - Veteran asks Kate how to document that his mortgage was paid off 15 years ago.

Be sure to look into the 30 year fixed rate mortgage - a popular program with VA mortgage loan.

Ask Kate for Answers

What if you could ask a mortgage insider anything you wanted regarding VA home loans? Now you can. Ask Kate is specifically designed to answer your questions and create dialog regarding mortgage financing.

You'll also find a wealth of information at Kate's Mortgage Blog packed with current tips, interest rate updates and a fresh approach to homeownership.

Recent Articles

  1. Lock Mortgage Rates - How To Avoid Hidden Fees

    Aug 06, 18 11:58 AM

    If you lock mortgage rates over the phone, how do you protect against excessive points and hidden closing costs? Learn what to do when your lock is threatened.

    Read More

  2. Finding Low Down Payment Mortgage Financing

    Aug 06, 18 11:53 AM

    Getting a low down payment mortgage: Learn the first two steps to financing niche properties in resort areas. Tip: It's not about timing the real estate market!

    Read More

  3. Ten Best Kept Secrets to Low Mortgage Payments

    Aug 06, 18 11:45 AM

    Ask Kate's secrets to low mortgage payments help homeowners understand industry lingo related to refinancing. Learn how to get your best mortgage rate!

    Read More