Can I get a VA refinance on my subprime home loan?

As of this year, the answer to this question is yes. The Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 makes it possible to refinance subprime loans. Previously there was no authority to refinance such loans, but there is now. There are numerous changes in federal regulations to help keep soldiers in their homes and out of deepening debt.

Video: VA Home Loan Assistance

What are the advantages of a VA loan?

First, VA “loans” are not actually loans by the government. What we call VA loans are actually loan guarantees given by the VA to a lender. In today’s volatile market, such a guarantee makes you look lot better to the lender.

Veterans DayThe terms of such loans are very favorable to Veterans. First, VA guaranteed loans are true “no money down” loans. Other loans try to act as though they are “no down payment” by doing a second mortgage to cover the down payment. If you have less than 20% of the price to put down, such loans normally require Private Mortgage Insurance, which is fairly pricey. Additionally, you will have two mortgage payments to deal with, rather than one. Also, you will wind up paying higher interest rates for your loan(s), especially the second.

You still have to qualify for a VA loan, but the standards for qualification are significantly easier to meet than conventional loans. This means that the credit and income standards are not as strict, increasing the chances that you will be able to qualify for the home you want. As an additional benefit, you usually get a significantly better interest rate on a VA loan than you could otherwise qualify for.

The limit for certain VA loans has been increased to $407,000 for the time being.

Many mortgages may have prepayment penalties on your note, but VA loans do not.

How do I qualify for a VA loan?

Although there are a number of parameters, the basic requirement < > is that you have served on active duty for two years, or have served in certain conflicts for which you were called up for the full term of your call-up, so long as it is at least 91 or 181 days, depending on your particular circumstances.

What are the steps in getting a VA loan?

The steps are fairly simple. First, you need to qualify under the VA’s more relaxed standards. Second, you need to provide the required documentation. You need to place a a contract on a qualifying house (your new home has to meet fairly stringent physical standards), and then you need to close on the house.

Video: Understanding the VA Home Loan Process

Here are some VA Loan Specialists in several states with military installations:

VA Mortgage Center - 800-405-6682

Pacific Shores Realty – 800-400-0000

Safeguard Properties - 800-852-8306

Utah Financial - 801-352-4000

Choice Finance – 888-404-8111

North Carolina
AmeriSouth Mortgage Company – 800-849-2378

Atlanta Mortgage Broker & Lenders – 770-565-7556

Texcorp Mortgage Bankers, Inc. – 800-411-3768

Seabrook Mortgage – 866-502-5363

New Mexico
TC Mortgage – 505-792-5777