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By Jeremy Durham 

When you decide it’s time to begin searching for your first home, a step-up home, or even a downsize home, you should be provided with a number of loan program options and consulted on which best suits your specific personal and financial life. If you are or have been a member of our United States Armed Forces, you have access to a program that the majority of home buyers do not. A VA (Veterans Administration) Loan is reserved for Regular Active Duty, Retired Veterans, and Reservists who have completed 6 years of honorable service. 

Why would a VA Loan benefit me? 

Through the VA Loan program, a veteran is eligible for a 0% down payment loan, with NO monthly mortgage insurance! As this loan program is insured by the Department of Veteran Affairs, the interest rates are significantly lower than the rates offered on conforming loans as well. There is a popular misconception that VA Loan eligibility may only be used once, and this is inaccurate. While a veteran may only own one, owner-occupied home with a VA loan, you can sell a current home and use a VA Loan to purchase your next home, as long as you do not own two houses at the same time secured by a VA Loan. In addition to the Mortgage Insurance free loan and reduced interest rate, First Integrity Mortgage Services also waives our traditional $985 Commitment Fee at the time of closing out of respect for a veterans service to our country. 

Checking on Eligibility: 

If there are any questions regarding your eligibility for a VA Loan, I would be happy to request your Certificate of Eligibility from the Dept. of Veteran Affairs. I would just need a copy of your DD214 to get that started.  

VA Funding Fee:

While the VA Loan program does not involve mortgage insurance, veterans do need to be aware of the one-time VA Funding Fee. This fee is charged at closing on both Purchase and Refinance transactions, is rolled into your loan amount, and is paid to the Dept. of Veteran Affairs. The Initial Use VA Funding Fee is 2.15% of the loan amount (assuming $0 down payment) for active duty service members and 2.40% for Military Reservists. This percentage does decrease in the event a down payment is made by the veteran(s). 

After your first VA Loan, any additional VA Loans taken out will involve Subsequent Use VA Funding Fee of 3.30% regardless of Regular Military or Reserve status. A veteran can also refinance the balance of their VA Loan to reduce their interest rate with a VA IRRRL (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan) with a .5% VA Funding Fee (this is for Rate & Term refinances only and not Cash Out refinances) and is designed to be Much more streamlined than an initial VA Loan. 

If you are an eligible Veteran or knows someone who is and would like more information on the VA loan program, please contact Jeremy Durham at JDurham@firstintegrity.com or 314-856-5626, NMLS# 989777.