Refinancing For Veterans

Not only are there advantages for first-time homebuyers who apply for Veteran's Administration (VA) guaranteed loans, there are benefits for veterans who refinance their current mortgages. Even if you already have a current VA home loan, you can still take advantage of the program, if you qualify. A VA refinance loan can save you lots of money over your mortgage term.

Eligibility

If you served during wartime for at least 90 consecutive days, or during peacetime for at least 181 consecutive days, you're eligible for this loan. Active duty personnel are eligible after 90 days of active service. Reservists are also eligible, provided you've served for at least six years. These can be non-consecutive years, and from any branch of the Reserves.

Types of VA refinance home loans

If you currently have a VA loan and want a lower rate, you need a streamline refinance, also known as an Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan (IRRL). This also allows you to refinance from an adjustable-rate mortgage into a fixed-rate loan. There are no out-of-pocket costs and you don't need mortgage insurance or an appraisal. There's no maximum loan amount, and no income or credit check to qualify. The funding fee on all interest reductions is 0.5 percent.

If you have equity in your home, a second option is a debt consolidation VA refinance loan. You can receive a cash-out of up to 90 percent of your home's value, without mortgage insurance. The maximum loan amount is $333,700.

If you have a conventional loan, you can refinance into a VA refinance home loan. There is a 2.2 percent fee, which can be figured into the loan cost. There's neither mortgage insurance nor out-of-pocket costs. You can take cash out up to 90 percent of the home's value. If you have poor credit, you may even qualify for low interest rates just like borrowers with good credit.

If you're a veteran, the VA home loan program arms you with a wide range of benefits. You defended your country; now, that country wants to defend your right to own-or refinance-a home. It's America's way of showing gratitude for your service.

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