Military Home Loans in San Diego
VA loans help eligible service members, veterans, and military spouses purchase a home with no down payment and at better rates. If you call San Diego home (or would like to!) and you are currently serving or have previously served, learn about your loan options and what you need when applying for a mortgage.
What is a VA loan?
Eligible service members and veterans can purchase a home using a VA loan from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. While the VA does not originate the loans, they set the guidelines and requirements for qualified lenders and borrowers.
Am I eligible for a VA loan?
Eligibility will be based on your service history and duty status. The VA provides more information on minimum active-duty service requirements here.
What do I need to have when applying for a VA loan?
Have copies of these documents ready:
- Your W2 statements for the past two years to verify your gross household income
- Copies of your previous two pay stubs
- Documentation of other assets (bank statements, investments, etc.)
- Proof of Military Service:
- DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty) if you were discharged from regular active duty after January 1, 1950.
- VA Form 26-1880.
- DD Form 214 copy 4 if you were discharged after October 1, 1979
Note that you do not need to submit the original copy of your DD Form 214. Photocopies will suffice. Here is a chart listing the type of service member and relevant documents.
Description Proof Veteran Copy of your discharge or separation papers (DD214) Service member Statement of service—signed by your commander, adjutant, or personnel officer—showing the following:
Your full name
Your Social Security number
Your date of birth
The date you entered duty
The duration of any lost time
The name of the command providing the information
Current or former activated National Guard or Reserve member Copy of your discharge or separation papers (DD214) Current member of the National Guard or Reserves, never been activated Similar to service members Discharged member of the National Guard, never activated Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB Form 22) for each period of National Guard service, and
Retirement Points Statement (NGB Form 23) and proof of the character of service
Discharged member of the Reserves, never activated Copy of your latest annual retirement points and proof of your honorable service Surviving spouse of a veteran who died on active duty or had a service-connected disability; receiving Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC) Veteran’s discharge documents (DD214), a filled out Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility—Unmarried Surviving Spouses (VA Form 26-1817) Surviving spouse not receiving DIC benefits Completed application for DIC, Death Pension and/or Accrued Benefits (VA Form 21P-534EZ), copy of marriage license, and Veteran’s death certificate
What is the Certificate of Eligibility?
Your Certificate of Eligibility or COE will help your lender determine whether you qualify for the loan you’re applying for. For VA-backed loans, you will still need to meet your lender’s credit and income requirements.
The fastest way to obtain the COE would be to have a VA-approved lender to request this for you. You can also apply for your COE online through the VA’s eBenefits portal or by filling out this request form and mailing it to your regional loan center.
What are the benefits of a VA home loan?
VA-backed loans come with many benefits, including a guarantee that the federal government will pay back a portion of the loan. VA loans are typically easy to qualify for, have lower interest rates and require no down payments, mortgage insurances, and prepayment penalties. There are also no restrictions if you wish to refinance your home or decide to sell it within a certain time frame. Closing costs are also lower with VA loans, so you can use the extra money to cover other things your home needs.
Keep in mind that while VA loans have some of the most lenient requirements, you still need to meet the credit and income requirements from your lender.
How much credit should I have to qualify for a VA loan?
There is no minimum credit score required when applying for a VA loan. However, different lenders will have their own FICO score requirements ranging between 580 to 620 or higher. The VA requires the lender to review the entire loan profile and not just zero in on your FICO score.
What can I use a VA loan for?
You can purchase, build, or improve a home (for example, retrofitting with adaptive equipment and installing energy-efficient upgrades). With a VA loan, you can also refinance a home through Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) or the cash-out refinance program.
What kinds of homes can I buy with a VA loan?
You can purchase a detached home, condominium, a newly built or manufactured home, and multi-unit homes (duplexes, triplex, or four-plex) provided that you make the home your primary residence.
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