Applying for a VA mortgage is like anything else you achieve in the military: planning makes all the difference.
If you’re a veteran or military member, you probably already know about your access to one of the most powerful home buying tools on the market – the VA Loan. Backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA home loans come with plenty advantages, including no down-payment requirement and attractive interest rates. But how do you get the best deal available? You follow these four steps to strengthen your finances before you apply:
1) Obtain your credit reports
Everyone is entitled to one free credit report per year from all three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you need help deciphering your credit reports or correcting errors, contact a local affiliate of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. The organization has counselors approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development who can look at your credit through the eyes of a lender and give you pointers.
2) Determine how much you can comfortably spend on a monthly mortgage payment
It’s easy to determine. Just tally all your monthly bills, then divide the total by gross monthly income. If your debt-to-income ratio is higher than 41 percent, look for ways to trim expenses and pay off debt.
3) Compile the necessary paperwork
While you’re examining your finances, start compiling the following paperwork so that you’ll be ready when VA-approved lenders ask for it:
• Your pay stubs or earning statements from the past 30 days.
• Two months of statements for your IRA, 401(k), savings account or other assets.
• Your W-2 forms from the past two years.
• Your DD214, if you’ve been discharged from the military.
4) Build your cash reserves
One reason VA mortgages are so popular is because a down payment isn’t necessary. But it’s still a good idea to have some savings. Even with the VA’s backing, lenders want to be sure that you’re a good risk. Experts recommend that you have at least 2 to 3 percent of the purchase price in the bank.
If you’d like to learn more about the getting the best deal on your VA mortgage, please contact Mister VA at (805) 389-0505 or get qualified today. We help active service members and veterans get the VA benefits they’ve earned. Mister VA provides expert services that help you get approved for a VA home loan through the excellent benefits of a VA or CalVet loan. We assist you with the DD-214 and VA Form 26-1880 Certificate of Eligibility.