VA Loan Program Overview

Qualified Veterans in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota can purchase a home with no money down. The VALoansMN Home Loan Program is for veterans and active duty military personnel (referred to as Veterans throughout the rest of this page) and certain members of the reserves and National Guard. The VA's loan program provides an excellent product and benefit for Minnesota Veterans who have served, or are serving, to protect our families and our nation, as well as giving them a form of financing that will allow real estate professionals to sell more homes.

For those who are unfamiliar with the program, there are several advantages to using a VALoansMN Home Loan Program. As mentioned, The VA allows a veteran who qualifies income and credit-wise to purchase a primary residence without putting money down towards the sales price, as long as the sales price does not exceed the appraised value. Veterans do, however, need money towards closing costs and the earnest money deposit, which the seller generally requires when a sales contract is signed. These costs (up to 4% of the purchase price)may be paid by the seller, which is an item to consider when the sale price is being negotiated by your Realtor.

Other benefits of using VALoansMN loan program (other than the 100% financing of the sales price) include:

  • Loans are assumable, provided the person assuming the loan is a qualified Veteran.
  • Veterans' closing costs are limited by VA.
  • Additional assistance is offered by VA should veterans have problems making their home loan payments in the future.
  • Prepayment of the loan without a penalty.

Here are some quick facts you may find useful concerning purchase transactions:

  • The VA does not have a maximum loan amount. However, lenders do sell loans on the secondary mortgage market, so they will generally limit loans to $417,000 ($625,500 in Hawaii, Guam, Alaska and U.S. Virgin Islands) with no down payment. With a down payment, loans may exceed these amounts.
  • The veteran does have to qualify income and credit wise.
  • The veteran does have to occupy the home as their primary residence.
  • The veteran does not have to be a first time home buyer and may reuse his/her benefit.
  • There is no private mortgage insurance, but VA does charge an up front VA funding fee, which may be financed. The exception to this is that if a veteran is in receipt of VA service connect disability payments each month, he or she does not have to pay a VA funding fee.
  • The seller can pay for closing costs. There is a requirement that seller concessions do not exceed 4%, but only certain items are considered as part of the concession; i.e., payment of pre-paids (e.g. property taxes/homeowners insurance), VA funding fee, payoff of credit balances or judgments on behalf of the veteran, funds for temporary buydowns (not discount points).

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How much can the veteran afford (and other important factors)?

Please note that VALoansMN uses two methods for qualification purposes. The primary method of evaluating a veteran's income is the residual income method. Under this method, the underwriter determines that a veteran has sufficient income to cover day-to-day living expenses after paying housing expenses, taxes, and other debts such as car payments and credit card payments. VALoansMN also uses a debt-to-income ratio method like many programs. However, VALoansMN uses only one ratio which is the ratio of total debt (both housing and other debt) to income.

Important: This is provided for informational purposes only. VALoansMN is your best resource to see how large a VA loan the veteran truly qualifies for. VALoansMN will look at income (amount and stability), credit and compensating factors involved when rendering a decision. The Veterans' Administration also allows lenders to use certain approved automated underwriting systems.

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