Military Home Loans

Your options explained. Your questions answered.

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.

Military Home Buying: Loans to Know

National Home Loans is your resource for military home loans and financing options for houses in America’s Finest City. If you are a service member, veteran, or military spouse, here are different loan types that you should be aware of. We’ll also answer questions about eligibility, the benefits of VA loans, and other frequently asked questions.

  • Purchase Loan
  • Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)
  • Cash-out refinance Loan

Purchase Loan

VA home purchase loans help veterans buy a home at more competitive rates and under better terms. These purchase loans often have no down payment required and no need for private mortgage insurance (PMI) or mortgage insurance premiums (MIP). PMIs are typically required on conventional loans if you make a down payment below 20% of the total mortgage. MIPs on the other hand is self-insurance required by the Federal Housing Administration to protect against liability on an FHA loan.

Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)

The IRRRL is a refinancing option with a simplified approval process. You can potentially save a lot of money by refinancing with the IRRRL. Your existing VA loan can be refinanced through IRRRL and with it, you can get a lower rate, lower payment, or both. If your current VA loan is at an adjustable rate (meaning the rate can increase over time), with IRRRL you can move the loan to one that’s at a fixed rate. In order to be eligible for this loan, you must:

  • Already have an existing VA-backed loan
  • Be using IRRRL to refinance the VA-backed loan
  • Be living or have lived in the home covered by the loan

Cash-out refinance Loan

The VA cash-out let you refinance up to 100% of your home’s value, whether your loan is VA-backed or not. This unique loan allows service members and veterans access to a large amount of cash—up to your entire home’s equity—to cover large expenses such as school and medical bills, a car purchase, major home improvements, and more. With the cash-out option, you can also convert or refinance your non-VA loan into a VA-backed loan for better rates. In order to be eligible for cash-out refinancing, you must meet the VA’s Certificate of Eligibility requirements, credit & income standards, and you must also live in the home you’re refinancing.

Military Home Buyer FAQs

  • 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

    Source: U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

  • 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.

Why Choose National Home Loans

You can get real estate financing elsewhere. Why does National Home Loans beat the rest?

Customer Service

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We have access to 100+ lenders, giving you the most options without any extra work.

Personal & Local

We offer a local alternative to the “big bank” feel that lenders provide. We’ll guide you every step.

Award-Winning Experience

Work with top mortgage broker and business development expert John Giannattasio.

Rated one of the top 100 mortgage brokers in the nation

by the Scotsman Guide

I shopped around a bit for a broker, and was referred to John by a coworker. He was by far the most personable, professional, and proactive broker that I interacted with. He promised me that he was doing everything he could to protect my family's money and get us into a house that we love, and he did. The bottom line is he got us our desired results, he offered great advice, and he earned my trust and confidence. I would recommend his services to anyone looking for a knowledgeable and passionate mortgage broker.

Kristopher J.

Have been working with John for a couple months now; he is very patient and understands our needs as first time home buyers. John has been amazing and answers all our questions, I think we have found our long time broker. He has the clients best interest in mind which is very refreshing. A++

Jeffrey C.

John is great at what he does, especially for first time homebuyers. He is willing to go the extra mile for his clients and will explain exactly what he's doing along the way. I'm so glad we were able to work with him and I highly recommend him.

Elizabeth D.

Beyond grateful to have been referred to John G. right after getting our offer accepted on a home. We would not have been able to do it without him. He secured us a great rate, which was a game changer in our decision to purchase. It was our first home purchase, and he helped us navigate every single thing, and was extremely responsive and available to chat when we needed him. The entire escrow process was smoother and quicker than we could have ever hoped for. He was a pleasure to work with, and we hope to continue to work with him in the future.

Jessica M.

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