Are You Eligible For A VA Refinancing Loan

Are you eligible for a VA mortgage? How about a VA refinancing loan? If you don’t know whether you have served enough time in the military to take advantage of your VA loan benefits, there is help for you to find out.

Currently serving military members should check for the current minimum required time-in-service needed. Minimum time in service requirements vary depending on when you joined and what type of service you signed up for--active duty, Guard or Reserve.

 Veterans should also check because minimums are not standardized--they are based on the years of your service between certain dates.

Once you know you are eligible, you can apply online or through the lender for a VA Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate is required for a VA mortgage loan and should be considered the first thing needed to submit to the lender before your other paperwork.

Veterans must provide copies of their discharge paperwork. All currently serving military members must provide documents showing proof of service including when the current term of military service is due to end. Applicants who are due to re-enlist, retire, or separate from the military within a year may need additional paperwork showing the intent to re-enlist, retire or separate.

National Guard or Reserves have different requirements--any member of the Guard/Reserve needs the paperwork supplied to them showing the same data--some of this paperwork may not be standardized but as long as the information comes from the unit orderly room or through the commander’s office (the official information from an “approved source”) it should be sufficient. If you need further assistance in this area, contact the VA directly for help by calling 1-800 827-1000.

If you are a veteran and are now working in a civilian job, you’ll need to provide your employment data including contact details, pay stubs and other required information. All borrowers may be required to submit copies of tax records, depending on the lender and the nature of the loan.

Getting all this together takes time, which is why it’s best to start early and plan ahead at least 12 months in advance of your VA home loan application. Borrowers should come to the VA loan application process with at least a year of on-time payments for all financial obligations for best results with the lender. Borrowers who don’t heed this advice may find it very difficult to get a VA loan unless there are compensating factors such as a large down payment, excellent FICO scores, etc.

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