VA Loans in NC and SC
At Dash Home Loans, we offer plenty of options for home loans to make sure that you find the one best for you. For many of our military families, that best option is usually a VA home loan. As approved VA home lenders, we want to make your home loan experience the best that it can be. That’s why we assign a Dash Mortgage Coach to each borrower, to guide them through each step of the VA loan process.
We offer VA home loans in NC and SC. If you live in the Carolinas and want to buy a home as a veteran, contact us. Dash Home Loans can help.
What Is a VA Home Loan?
Sometimes called a $0-down payment mortgage, a VA home loan is issued by private lenders. However, it is partially backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, an assurance which offers competitive advantages for borrowers. VA home loans help people who have served or who are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces move into a home, affordably. It is designed to help active duty service members, U.S. veterans, as well as those whose spouses died in the line of duty.
The bill that created VA home loans was enacted in 1944, but it has changed significantly over the years. If you have enough military experience and you meet the VA home loan eligibility requirements, this can be an excellent option for buying a home.
VA Home Loan Requirements
I know what you’re thinking; So, does everyone who serves in the U.S. Armed Forces qualify for these loans? Not quite. Your length of service, as well as the years when you served, will impact your qualifications for a VA loan. For example, someone who served during wartime will qualify with a shorter amount of time served than someone who didn’t.
The first step, then, is to learn about these requirements. If you meet them, you’ll need to request a VA home loan certificate of eligibility from your local Department of Veterans Affairs.
Who Is Eligible for a VA Loan?
To obtain VA home loans in SC or NC, you need to meet one of these requirements:
- You are an active duty service member or you have been honorably discharged.
- You have at least 90 days of consecutive service during a time of war period (as defined by the VA) or you have at least 181 days of service during a time of peace.
- You have at least six years of service in the National Guard or Selected Reserve.
- You are a spouse of someone who died in the line of duty in a recognized Armed Service.
Benefits and Disadvantages of a VA Home Loan
If you meet the VA home loan qualifications, these loans can be an awesome option to purchase a home. The VA loan guarantee – which means the Department of Veterans Affairs backs these loans – reduces the risk to lenders. That reduced risk creates a number of benefits for borrowers, including:
- No down payment
- Lower credit score requirements
- Greater flexibility to those who may not qualify for conventional loans
- No private mortgage insurance
The disadvantage to VA home loans is their selective eligibility requirements: they are only available to those who meet the qualifications set by the VA. Additionally, there is a VA loan funding fee of between 1.25 and 3 percent that you need to pay.
VA Home Loan Rates
VA home loan rates can be very competitive. Your creditworthiness plays a role in determining your exact rate, but VA loans tend to have a lower interest rate than most conventional loans.
VA Home Loan Process
First, get prequalified by a VA loan lender. Only qualified private lenders (approved by the VA) can offer these loans. You will need to submit documentation requested by the lender. This often includes information about your employment and income, as well as documentation of assets you own.
Your VA home loan credit score is a factor in some ways. For example, it can help the lender to determine how much you qualify to borrow. There is no minimum credit score required, but most lenders often will work with borrowers with a credit score of 620 or higher. At Dash, we will work with VA loan borrowers who have a credit score of 580 or up.
Once you’re approved, the lender will give you a VA loan preapproval. This allows you to show sellers that you are a serious buyer who’s prepared to proceed. Ready to secure a VA home loan in NC or SC with a process you’ll actually enjoy? Prequalify with Dash today.
Documents and Paperwork to Submit
Lenders need to collect documentation to verify identity and to ensure you qualify for the loan. This will include:
- Proof of income (W-2s, federal tax returns, and paycheck stubs)
- Proof of expenses to verify your debt-to-income ratio (which should be about 36 percent)
- Identification, such as a state ID or driver’s license
- Certificate of Eligibility from the VA
Additional documentation may be necessary for VA home loan lenders.
How to Get a VA Home Loan
After you put an offer on a home, then a VA appraisal and underwriting process will begin. Underwriters need to ensure that the property meets fair market value and that you will be able to make payments on the loan.
The total time to close a VA loan can range from 30 days to 90 days – about standard for the mortgage industry. Factors that affect this timeline include the closing date, appraisal, any “subject to” repairs, and the underwriting process.
VA Loan FAQs
If you are thinking about obtaining a VA mortgage, reach out to Dash Home Loans. We can help you with everything from VA mortgage eligibility to securing the best VA home loan rates. Here are some commonly asked questions to help you begin.
How does the VA home loan work?
A VA mortgage loan allows you to purchase a home using a loan from a private lender. This type of loan is partially backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This backing allows consumers to qualify for key benefits, including a lower interest rate and no down payment.
Can you get a VA loan for a second home?
You can only purchase a home using a VA loan if it is for your primary residence. However, there are some ways to still use some of your benefits to purchase a second home, depending on the lender’s ability to work with you.
Who qualifies for a VA loan?
You must obtain a certificate of eligibility from the VA to obtain this loan. That means, for most active duty personnel, serving at least 90 days of consecutive active duty during wartime or 181 days during peacetime. National Guard or Selected Reserve members need at least six years of service. Those who have had spouses who have died in the line of duty may also qualify.
How long does it take to get pre-approved for a VA home loan?
Pre-approval for a VA home loan can take just a few days after you submit your complete application and eligibility forms. However, the closing process can take 30 to 90 days to complete.