Five Easy Steps to a VA Loan
The more you know about our home loan program, the more you will realize how little “red tape” there really is in getting a VA loan. These loans are often made without any down payment at all, and frequently offer lower interest rates than ordinarily available with other kinds of loans. Aside from the veteran’s certificate of eligibility and the VA-assigned appraisal, the application process is not much different than any other type of mortgage loan. And if the lender is approved for automatic processing, as more and more lenders are now, a buyer’s loan can be processed and closed by the lender without waiting for VA’s approval of the credit application.
Additionally, if the lender is approved under VA’s Lender Appraisal Processing Program (LAPP), the lender may review the appraisal completed by a VA-assigned appraiser and close the loan on the basis of that review. The LAPP process can further speed the time to loan closing.
- Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility. A veteran who doesn’t have a certificate can obtain one easily by completing VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility for VA Home Loan Benefits and submitting it to one of the VA Eligibility Centers with copies of your most recent discharge or separation papers covering active military duty since September 16, 1940, which show active duty dates and type of discharge.
- Decide on a home the buyer wants to buy and sign a purchase agreement
- Order an appraisal from VA. (Usually this is done by the lender.) Most VA regional offices offer a “speed-up” telephone appraisal system. Call the local VA office for details.
- Apply to a mortgage lender for the loan. While the appraisal is being done, the lender (mortgage company, savings and loan, bank, etc.) can be gathering credit and income information. If the lender is authorized by VA to do automatic processing, upon receipt of the VA or LAPP appraised value determination, the loan can be approved and closed without waiting for VA’s review of the credit application. For loans that must first be approved by VA, the lender will send the application to the local VA office, which will notify the lender of its decision.
- Close the loan and the buyer moves in.