Veterans who have served at least 90 days in active duty in a war zone or the minimum of 181 days outside war zones, in times of peace, qualify for mortgage loans with special conditions. These loans available for purchasing a house or a condo and offered for veterans are called VA loans, the abbreviation standing for Veteran Affairs.
In order to benefit from these loans, veterans need to use a lender approved by the VA, also called a VA lender. In what follows, we would like to provide information about how to find a VA lender in your neighborhood.
Who Is a VA Lender?
Not any loan lender is also a VA lender. Lending companies that want to get approved by the VA need to comply with very strict regulations and they undergo serious scrutiny, including ethical and financial aspects. The lenders that pass VA scrutiny are allowed to process VA loan applications in-house and to validate applications as well.
How to Find a VA Lender?
The steps of finding and contacting a VA lender are mainly similar to finding a regular mortgage lender, but there are a few other things to keep in mind.
1. Contact the US Department of Veteran Affairs
You can either locate the VA center in your neighborhood or locate it with the help of the website operated by the VA. In case there is no such center in your town, city or state, you may go to centers in neighboring states as well. Another way to find out about lenders approved by the VA is by contacting your bank for information or by checking the website of VA Loan Guaranty to obtain a list of approved lenders.
2. Contacting a Lender Directly
When you have the list issued to you by the Department of Veteran Affairs, the next step is to make your own list of VA lenders. You can ask around among your veteran friends to find out whether they have had experiences with any of the lenders you have in mind or you can check the websites operated by the lenders to find out more information about their experience and the way they work.
You can also check the lender’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau, and you must find out whether there have been any complaints filed against the company since they are in the business of VA loan lending. Or better yet, Google the names of the loan officers you find, and companies that employ those loan officers to see what others are saying about them.
In the case of VA loans, experience is very important, maybe even more important than in the case of non-VA mortgage loans. The lender you have in mind may have vast experience in the field of conventional loans, but you need your officer to possess the specific knowledge necessary for guiding you through the entire VA loan process.
Finally, contact the lender you consider the best after carefully analyzing the aspects presented above. Don’t hesitate to ask all the questions you can think of, and you should also ask the lender to show you referrals from other clients, again often times this is conveyed online in reviews on pages such as Yelp or Zillow.
If you conduct your research properly, you will surely be able to find the right VA lender and obtain the money to buy a new home with the most favorable conditions possible.