VA Loans Blog

Here’s the choice:  you have money stuck away in a mutual fund that’s been appreciating at about 7% a year. A veteran can borrow money to buy (or refinance) a home for under 3%. What’s a better choice, taking money out of your mutual fund or using OPM (Other People’s Money) for a home purchase? If you answered OPM then you get a gold star from most financial planners. 

The Federal Reserve is indicating they see no change in low interest rates in the foreseeable future. This is very, very good news for our V.A. loan home buyers. In the not too distant past we were urging veterans to take advantage of low V.A. loan rates because they were sure to rise. We no longer take that position. Now we urge veterans to shop for a home wisely taking your time to find the right house. We believe you are not about to see any dramatic increase in V.A. home loan rates anytime soon. \

As you begin your search start with us at VALoansMN/Leader One. Every home shopper should be armed with a pre-qualification letter. This letter puts you in a very strong position when your offer to buy is put to sellers. Even more than that, it puts you in a strong position as you select a real estate agent. Any agent is more likely to work with a home shopper who comes armed with a pre-qualification letter from VALoansMN. What does it take to have this letter?  Only a phone call and a short conversation.

When you call us (612-240-9922) we will ask about your current financial situation; do you have any savings, a checking account, a steady job or are you self employed. We ask about any outstanding loans such as a car loan or credit cards. We will ask for your current address and social security number. Then we put all the available information into our system and run a credit report. Do not be afraid of this!  VA loan requirements are not as stringent as you may think. 

It is possible to get a VA loan even with what you may consider bad credit. First, a reminder. The V.A. is not the lender. The V.A. only guarantees or backs up your loan from a bank or other financial institution. Our lenders look beyond a credit score. They want to see your loan or credit card payment history. Do you make payments on time? They want to see how long you’ve been employed. If you’re self employed they want to know how long you’ve been in business. Do you have any bankruptcies or foreclosures in your past. Not to worry. Our job is to put together your loan “package” and present it in the best light to lenders. 

Our goal is find you the best loan possible. We want to make sure you get the best interest rate at the lowest cost. This is our responsibility to you. We also want to ensure you have a V.A. loan you can afford. This why so many Minnesota, Dakota and Wisconsin veterans turn to VALoansMN. We have the experience and knowledge to get it done right. Let us get it done for you today. Pick up the phone and call Brad. There’s never been a better time to take advantage of this great benefit you earned when you served us all in uniform. Now let us serve you.

Posted by Joan Rusco on December 7th, 2020 7:59 AM
We have good news and bad news for Minnesota veterans. Hold on, even the bad news may be good for you.  First let’s talk about the good news.

Here at VALoansMN we keep a constant eye on mortgage rates. We are happy to report VA mortgage rates in Minnesota and the Dakotas while higher than one year ago, are no different today than they were three months ago. Despite all the talk this year of increasing rates it just isn’t happening this summer. Behind the rates on Minnesota VA loans stands the 10-year Treasury. It’s been flip-flopping around in recent weeks but as far as it’s impact on mortgage rates recently: almost negligible.  So what is your VA loan rate? We’ve gone through this before but it’s worth repeating. The answer to this question is: it depends.

There is no one mortgage rate. We can’t say today you can get a rate of 4.75% or 4.5% because there are so many factors involved. There’s your credit history, your employment history and several other considerations. VALoansMN can guarantee that we will work to get you qualified no matter your credit history and  we will work to get you the lowest rate possible. This is why we have teamed with Leader One, a mortgage brokerage. We don’t just look to one bank or one lender, we look at many to find the best fit for you. To repeat the good news: mortgage rates have stabilized this summer meaning there’s still extremely good loan rates for you. Now the bad news (maybe it’s good news for you).

Housing prices are on the move. In the Minneapolis area home prices have climbed about 6.5% in the past year according to Case-Schiller Home Price Index. That means, generally speaking, you will be paying more for a house than last year. But this may be good news for some. 

Veterans wanting to refinance may find they have more equity and therefore more cash available to pay off an existing mortgage, credit cards or other debt. Don’t forget VALoansMN can refinance your current mortgage and replace it with up to 100%. This could be a huge money saver for some. Let’s look at an example:

Mary bought a home a few years ago using a conventional loan which required her to put down 20% toward the purchase price of her $250,000 home. As an Army veteran she’s now considering taking advantage of her VA loan benefit. She comes to VALoansMN (because we’re local) and says she wants to refinance her existing mortgage with a 100% VA loan. Her home has increased in value by 10%. Her 100% VALoansMN mortgage will give her $275,000. She pays off her current mortgage  which started out at $200,000 and after 2 years of payments is at about $193,000. That leaves her over $80,000 to pay off her car loan, her credit cards and any other outstanding bills. It could be a huge money saver for Mary.

As summer starts winding down we wanted to remind you that we’re here to help you sort through your own financial situation. We always encourage clients to seek advice from professional financial planners but come to us and we can give you real numbers to take to your professional so you can make an informed decision on what works best for you.

VALoansMN is able to help you purchase a home or refinance an existing loan whether it’s a VA loan or not. When you call us at 612-240-9922 you’ll speak to Brad directly, not some answering service in a cubicle handling 800 numbers for numerous corporations. We live here, we work here, we serve veterans in Minnesota, the Dakotas and Wisconsin. We’re waiting on your call!

Posted by Joan Rusco on August 4th, 2018 7:13 AM

VA mortgage rates in the upper midwest are on the move. The rates we find for our clients have increased, then decreased, then increased again. 


One of the first questions you may have when coming to us for your Minnesota or North Dakota VA mortgage loan is “what’s the rate?”. This is a question that takes some investigation to answer. So let’s take a look at where we stand this month.


There are so many factors influencing the rate you will get on your VA loan but let’s start where you have little control, the bond market. If you want to see what’s happening to mortgage rates the best indicator is the ten year U.S. Treasury Bill. In recent weeks we’ve seen a slight uptick in the yield. Likewise we’ve seen some increase in mortgage rates. No sooner had we watched this than some depressing economic news came out pushing the rate downward. At the end of the month of May the ten year treasury bill closed at it’s lowest rate in 4 weeks. But this is just one piece of a very complex puzzle. Your mortgage rate will depend also on things you do control: credit score, credit history, amount of credit, length of credit, amount of income, money in the bank. All of these impact the VA loan rate available to you.  


If you have a very high credit score, say in the upper 700’s, you’re going to have the best rates available. If your score is in the 600’s your rate will be somewhat higher because this indicates to lenders you may have had some trouble managing money. If you have a lot of credit card debt, car loan debt, student loan debt this may impact the rate you can get. If, on the other hand, you have hardly any debt and a good income you’re going to do better.


We wish we could answer the question about mortgage rates on our first contact but it’s impossible to do so without knowing  your credit history. We can give you a general  idea. For  instance, we can tell you that mortgage rates as of this writing are generally (very generally) speaking  in the low 4% range. In a few days they could be in the 3’s or maybe inched up into the high 4’s. Rates change weekly, daily, even hourly. We can also tell you that historically speaking rates are extemely low. Many forcasters expect that to change and not for the better.


There’s a line in a movie we recently saw that may capture where we stand today. “A short time from now this will seem like a long time ago”. If you are ready to buy a home or refinance your existing mortgage using your great VA benefits don’t let the grass grow under your feet. Call us at VALoansMN and let’s get to work so you can tell people a short time from now how rates were so low a long time ago!

Posted by Joan Rusco on May 31st, 2015 6:36 AM

There are times when the most precious of our values must be on display. This month is one such time. This month is a special month. It’s a time when we honor those who have passed on after serving.  Our “About Us” page gives you some background on why we are inclined to serve Veterans and families of Veterans. But this May, this month of Memorial Day, we found something that exemplifies our core beliefs:


It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has preserved our freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has preserved our freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has preserved our freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has preserved our freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has preserved  the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician, Who has preserved the right to vote.

So we thank you for the service you gave. As you make your home again in Minnesota or the Dakotas or Iowa and Wisconsin we hope you will allow us to repay you. Let us help you receive the benefit of a VA Loan to purchase or refinance a home. It’s our turn to serve you. 

Posted by Joan Rusco on May 16th, 2015 5:44 AM

Housing prices have actually shown some decline here in the upper midwest and that is good news. Really?  Good news?  Yes, and we’ll tell you what the experts are saying.


How could declining home prices be a good thing?  First, let’s think back to the early to mid 2000’s. Here in the upper midwest including Minnesota and the Dakotas there was incredible price appreciation. You could buy a home for $150,000, hang on to it for just a few years, sell and pocket thousands. Then came the bursting of the bubble around 2008. 


Home buyers who purchased in 2006-2008 saw their home values tank. Buy that home for $150,000 and overnight you were down twenty, thirty, up to 50%. It takes a lot of appreciation to make up for that kind of loss. For example if you bought a $150,000 home and lost 20% of it’s value you’re down to $120,000. Let’s say that same home appreciates 20% (the same amount as your loss). A 20% appreciation on a $120,000 home takes you up to $144,000. You’re still below your starting point of $150,000. We can  tell you there are no homes in this area appreciating 20% let alone enough to take you back to your starting point. So back to the original question: how can home depreciation be a good thing?


Finally we’re starting to see some stabilization in home prices. We had some gains in recent years, some modest gains. But we’re not seeing the kind of gains that lead to that bursting bubble. It’s been slow, then it backed off slightly.


Home sales have decreased also. According to the National Association of Realtors chief economist the number of homes being sold has decreased by about half a percent in  the last year.  That indicates there’s no mad buying pushing prices into bubbleland. The housing market is stabilizing, returning to a modest growth potential of about 5% a year according to some economists. 


This moderate growth means current homeowners can see some growth yet home buyers are not going to see such drastic appreciation they are being priced out of the market.


Interest rates remain historically very low and VA loans are still, in our opinion, the best loan program available. If you are a Veteran then we urge you to give us a call at VALoansMN and let us explain all the benefits of the loan program that only you have available. We’ve been doing this a long time and there’s a reason we’re considered the best there is when it comes to VA Lending in the upper midwest. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by….please!

Posted by Joan Rusco on January 1st, 2015 3:11 PM

Veterans Day has passed. The plethora of gratitudes is now subsiding. Now we take this moment to come forth, to thank, to show we are grateful.  It’s easy to think of a Veteran on November 11th, it’s a challenge to keep them in mind every day. 


We at VALoansMN are blessed. We  have the opportunity to talk with and serve Veterans every day. It’s what we do and we shall never forget that it is our honor to be given such a gift.


We found that so many people are grateful for what you have done and are doing. We wanted to suggest a way that citizens of this great country can take it even further. There is something a civilian can do to thank a Veteran. Try this:


Give your time to someone you know. If you know a veteran or soldier, take him to lunch. Spend some time with him, and just listen. Offer to help him run errands, or offer to fix something around his house. A kind gesture can make all the difference for him and for you.


Now that Veterans Day is passed and we approach Thanksgiving let us all be thankful to our Veterans. But beyond the gratitude, let’s try and do something to show this gratitutitude.


Thank you Veterans and Active Duty Military for giving us at VALoansMN the opportunity to serve you everyday.


Posted in:General and tagged: VA Loan MinnesotaVA Loan MN
Posted by Joan Rusco on November 23rd, 2014 7:41 AM


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