Thursday, June 12, 2014

VA Home Loan Options and Eligibility

Veterans Affairs helps Servicemembers, Veterans and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. As part of their mission, they provide a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy. VA Home Loans are provided by private lenders, such as Lakelender Michael Lasson.  VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide you with more favorable terms.

The length of your service or service commitment and/or duty status may determine your eligibility for certain home loan benefits. Check out the different benefits below to see which you can qualify for:

Purchase Loans and Cash-Out Refinance

VA guaranteed loans are available to Servicemembers and Veterans, spouses and other eligible beneficiaries for homes for their own personal occupancy.  To be eligible, you must have a good credit score, sufficient income, a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and meet certain service requirements.

VA Home Loans can be used for any of the following purposes:

  • Buy a home, a condominium unit in a VA-approved project
  • Build a home
  • Simultaneously purchase and improve a home
  • Improve a home by installing energy-related features or making energy efficient improvements
  • Buy a manufactured home and/or lot.

        For more information on this type of loan, please visit:

        Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)

        The IRRRL is a loan that can only be applied to refinance an existing VA loan.  By obtaining a lower interest rate, your monthly mortgage payment at the Lake of the Ozarks should decrease. It can only be done if you have already used your eligibility for a VA loan on the property you intend to refinance.  Additional eligibility requirements include:

        • A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is not required. If you have your Certificate of Eligibility, take it to the lender to show the prior use of your entitlement.
        • No loan other than the existing VA loan may be paid from the proceeds of an IRRRL. If you have a second mortgage, the holder must agree to subordinate that lien so that your new VA loan will be a first mortgage.
        • You may have used your entitlement by obtaining a VA loan when you bought your house, or by substituting your eligibility for that of the seller, if you assumed the loan.
        • The occupancy requirement for an IRRRL is different from other VA loans. For an IRRRL you need only certify that you previously occupied the home.

        For more information on this type of loan, please visit:

        Native American Direct Loan (NADL)

        The NADL program helps Native American Veterans purchase, construct, improve or re-finance a home on Native American trust lands.  Your tribal organization must participate in the VA direct loan program and you must have a valid COE, as well as meet certain service requirements.  To obtain a NADL, the following eligibility requirements must be met:

        • The Native American Veteran is eligible for VA home loan benefits and have available entitlement (go to this link for information on how to get a Certificate of Eligibility)
        • The tribal government must have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The MOU spells out the conditions under which the program will operate on its trust lands (see a sample MOU here)
        • The loan must be to purchase, construct, or improve a home on Federally-recognized trust or allotted land.
        • The Veteran must occupy the property as his or her home.
        • The Veteran must be a satisfactory credit risk.
        • The income of the Veteran and spouse, if any, must be shown to be stable and sufficient to meet the mortgage payments, cover the other costs of owning a home, take care of other obligations and expenses, and have enough left over for family support.
        • All prospective applicants are encouraged to contact VA to determine if they are eligible for VA home loan benefits and to contact either their local housing authority or VA to find out if this program is right for them and to apply for a home loan.

        For more information on this type of loan, please visit:

        Adapted Housing Grants

        VA helps Veterans with certain total and permanent disabilities related to your military service obtain suitable housing with either a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) or Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant.

        SAH grants can be used in the following ways:

        • Construct a specially adapted home on land to be acquired
        • Build a home on land already owned if it is suitable for specially adapted housing
        • Remodel an existing home if it can be made suitable for specially adapted housing
        • Apply the grant against the unpaid mortgage balance of an adapted home already acquired without the assistance of a VA grant.  
        SHA grants can be used in the following ways:

        • Adapt an existing hoem the Veteran or a family member already owns in which the Veteran lives
        • Adapt a home the Veteran or family member intends to purchase in which the Veteran will live
        • Help a Veteran purchase a home already adapted in which the Veteran will live.  

        For more information and eligibility requirements for these grants, please visit:

        I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance.  Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at with any questions you may have!!

        For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 

        Michael Lasson
        Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender
        NMLS #: 493712

        2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
        PO Box 1449
        Lake Ozark, MO 65049

        Direct:  (573) 746-7211

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