Tips for Financially Preparing for a VA Loan

Buying a home is usually the largest purchase any individual will make in his or her lifetime, and it can be a decision overwhelmed by questions and confusions. Conventional lending programs typically make the loan application process a daunting one, and leave many interested borrowers digging through paperwork on their own.

Luckily for veterans, the VA home loan program exists to make homebuying more accessible. Through the VA home loan program, preparing to become a homebuyer doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By adhering to the following tips, veterans can become knowledgeable and empowered borrowers allowing them to increase their odds of achieving homeownership affordably:

Do Repair Your Credit
The number one reason applicants are denied home loans is because they have a low credit score and poor credit history. Before seeking pre-approval or applying for a home loan, pull a credit report on yourself. If your credit score isn’t above 620, take the time to pay off lines of credit and speak with former creditors to see if they will remove delinquent payments from your report. Although waiting 6 months to a year to rebuild your credit may seem like a long time, the wait is well worth it when you get the approval you want along with great interest rates and loan terms.

Do Not Ignore Your Credit Once it’s Repaired
Once your credit score is where you want it, you need to then take the time to protect it. Before applying for a home loan you need to avoid pulling out additional lines of credit, missing payments, or having others do major credit inquiries. All of these actions could quickly lower your credit score, leaving you back at square one.

Do Start Saving
A VA loan may not require a down payment, but that doesn’t mean that investing in a home won’t come with its costs.  Home’s require regular general maintenance and annual property tax, and both can become expensive. To make sure that your potential home doesn’t become a strain on your monthly budget, it’s always best to start saving prior to purchasing a home.

Do Not Set Your Sites on a Rundown Property
Homebuyers are usually interested in buying a property in need of renovations because they believe that they can either get more bang for their buck or because they think they can flip and sell the property. While a rundown property may offer the opportunity to do either, VA loans are rarely suitable for homes in need of dire repair.

Do Speak with VA Professionals
Both VA loan specialists and real estate agents with VA home experience can offer a plethora of knowledge to any person interested in a VA home loan. If you have questions about the VA loan application process, contact a VA loan specialist. If you have questions concerning eligible properties or the VA buying experience, contact a real estate agent with VA home experience.

Do Not Avoid Getting Organized
Spending an afternoon sifting through paperwork is hardly anyone’s idea of fun. However, having all of your paperwork ready and organized before applying for a VA home loan can make the process less stressful and run more quickly. So prior to application, make sure you have your Certificate of Eligibility, income taxes, and consistent paystubs readily available.

Do Get a Pre-Approval Letter
Getting a pre-approval letter does more than just let you know that you pre-qualify for a loan; it gives you a budget. This budget lets you know what you can and can’t afford which will help you avoid falling in love with homes out of your budget, and the letter will also let sellers know that you are serious making them more inclined to do business with you.

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