If you’re a veteran, you may want to make a quick spot check to ensure you’re receiving the full value of the VA benefits to which you’re entitled. Among the most valuable of these are mortgage benefits which, when properly accessed, have a staggering average lifetime value of $42k.*
Take the quiz below and find out.
If your mortgage is less than $625,000, your chances of qualifying for HARP could be high. The Government wants the banks to cut your rates, which puts more money in your pocket, ultimately boosting the economy.
However, the banks are not happy about this. Here’s why:
1.The program makes it easier to qualify for lower mortgage rates
2.You have the option to shop lenders other than your current mortgage holder
You think banks like the above? Rest assured, they do not. They would rather make more money by keeping you at the higher rate you financed at years ago. The middle class seems to miss out on everything, and jumping on this benefit is a no-brainer.
The VA has been helping veterans buy homes less expensively since 1944, offering the following tremendous benefits:
0% down payment: Many people think they can’t buy a home unless they’ve saved tens of thousands for a down payment. While this may be true for most people, it is not true for qualified veterans. Vets can access this program to buy a home with 0% down. With rates as low as they are now, you’ll likely be surprised at how much house you can afford when buying vs. renting.
Reduced payments and lower interest: The federal government guarantees VA mortgages, allowing approved lenders to offer lower rates. In fact, between rates that average a little under half a point less, and the fact that vets do not have to pay private mortgage insurance, VA loan payments on a $250k mortgage average about $3,100 less than a conventional loan.
Prequalification: Getting prequalified is the best way to start testing the home buying market. It costs nothing to do it, but lets you know exactly how much house and what benefits you actually qualify for. Plus, touring homes with a prequal letter from a VA lender in your pocket will make sellers sit up and take you more seriously as a potential buyer.
The good news for those who didn’t tap into their benefits when they bought a home is that they still can. Even better news is that the average savings for those who refinance from a conventional mortgage to a mortgage with VA benefits is a healthy $3,100 a year. Just think about how far an extra $3,100 a year can go.
One of the most powerful features of a VA mortgage is the possibility of easily reducing your existing rate by making a “Streamline Refinance” or IRRRL. This is a simple process that can be completed without an appraisal and without any out-of-pocket expenses. It’s far simpler than the original loan because you don’t need another Certificate of Eligibility. Effectively it’s a scan for lower rates, and if a lower rate is available, a reduction of your payment to that lower rate.