Military veterans have some excellent options when it comes to their seeking a mortgage to buy a home. Even when the veteran has a poor credit record, there are still options. For one, getting a VA home loan with bad credit is regarded as the most accessible option.
This is certainly true, with the Department of Veteran Affairs (the VA) essentially guaranteeing a share of the mortgage loan applied for, greatly helping to secure approval despite bad credit. But there are factors that anyone considering applying for these loans should be aware of.
Historically, these VA home loans only came about as a result of the 1944 GI Bill, which was introduced to help war veterans settle back into civilian life. By the VA guaranteeing these mortgages, veterans had a better chance of getting their own home. But there are still criteria for applicants to satisfy.
The Value of a VA Guarantee
The biggest problem for loan applicants is convincing lenders that they will get their money back. Even when seeking a VA home loan with bad credit, the lender needs to know that the borrower can be trusted to make the repayments that need to be made. Since VA loans come with a guarantee, that security is provided.
Unsurprisingly, the backing of the VA is a huge boost to anyone looking to secure approval despite bad credit. And for the borrowers, a guarantee from the VA also removes the need for a large down payment, and generally means that the interest rate charged is lower.
But the VA is not willing to guarantee 100% of the sum being borrowed – in fact, it only covers 25% of the value of the home. So, while the interest on a VA home loan is lower, and a down payment is usually not needed, there is still 75% of the sum borrowed that is not guaranteed.
Qualifying For A VA Loan
Since a VA loan is reserved for military veterans, qualifying for a VA home loan with bad credit is dependent on meeting some strict criteria. Of course, there are basic conditions to meet too, like age and nationality, but the VA need confirmation of military rank and deployment history before they are willing to guarantee the loan.
There are financial conditions too. For example, applicants cannot have defaulted on a loan with any lenders within the previous 12 months, and cannot have been declared bankrupt at any time within the previous 24 months. After all, lenders are only willing to grant approval despite bad credit if they can be sure repayments will be made.
Another condition to satisfy before qualifying for a VA home loan include proving they have full gainful employment. As with any other mortgage, repayments have to be made over decades, so financial security is very important.
Prepare Your Application Properly
Finally, it is tempting to believe that it is easy to get a VA home loan with bad credit, but the truth is that there is no guarantee that approval will be given. Many military veterans are rejected because their application was deemed unconvincing.
Bear in mind that the VA only agrees to guarantee a 25% share of the mortgage after the lender has approved the application. The actual application is submitted to the lender, so securing approval despite bad credit is based on their assessment.
There are ways to improve a credit score, and so lower interest rates, like using a consolidating loan to clear existing loans in one go. When an effort is made, a lender is more comfortable granting a VA home loan.