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Tips for a Successful VA Refinance

Veterans and current military members may be able to get special home loan refinancing rates from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. These loans are funded by private lenders and guaranteed by the VA, and they typically come with favorable terms. Borrowers can follow these steps to increase their chances of approval and make a VA Refinance more affordable.

Ensure Eligibility

A military member must meet certain service requirements to get a VA mortgage or refinance. People may be eligible if they’re veterans, active service members, current or past Reserve or National Guard members, or a surviving spouse of a deceased military member. Clients can apply for a Certificate of Eligibility through a lender, via the VA’s website, or by US mail.

Fulfill the Occupancy Requirements

Because VA loans are intended to help borrowers buy primary residences, certain requirements apply. Check with a lender or real estate agent to determine the state’s occupancy requirements. These are especially important if the military member or spouse is on active duty and expected to deploy soon.

Set a Limit on Closing Costs

Before getting a VA Refinance, the borrower should determine whether the closing costs are appropriate. The VA limits what lenders can charge for some closing costs such as appraisals, surveys, and title examinations. Borrowers should ask for clarification on which fees are limited by the Veterans Administration.

Gather the Right Documentation

To improve the chances of refinancing approval, borrowers should include the right documents with the application. Most lenders ask for proof of alimony, child support, and income for the military member or spouse, as well as service verification, a list of liabilities and assets, and a home appraisal.

Stay Within the Area’s Income Requirements

VA loans and refinancing include residual income requirements. Residual income is the amount left over each month after a borrower satisfies his or her obligations, and the amount varies depending on location and household size. Borrowers should determine their residual income requirement before applying for refinancing.

VA home loans can help active duty personnel, veterans, and eligible spouses realize the dream of homeownership. Visit the VA website or for more information on its loan and refinancing programs. You can also connect them on Facebook.