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Military Connection: VA Tops 21 Million Home Loans: By Debbie Gregory

VA 21 Million loansAs of October, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has guaranteed 21 million home loans for Veterans since the Home Loan Guaranty program was established in 1944. The program was one of the original benefits of the original Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the “GI Bill.”

This colossal milestone for the VA comes during its year-long commemoration, celebrating 70 years of the “GI Bill.” The bill established a wide range of benefits for Veterans returning from World War II. The original GI Bill provided zero-down, low-interest home loans, as well as education and vocational training benefits.

The VA Home Loan Program provides housing and home loan related benefits and services for eligible Veterans, service members and surviving spouses, in order to make home ownership possible and affordable. The majority of all VA loans are made with zero down payments.

In fiscal year 2014, the VA Home Loan Program guaranteed around 35,000 loans per month, resulting in a total of 438,398 VA home loans guaranteed for the year. The total value of all outstanding VA loans is over $380 billion. The program also approved 1,253 grants to disabled Veterans for the purchase, modification, *or* construction of a home adapted to meet their individual housing needs.

Despite what many people believe, the VA does not give loans directly to Veterans. The VA partners with approved lenders who provide the loans to eligible Veterans, and essentially vouches for the Veteran. Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that mortgages guaranteed by the VA Home Loan Program had the lowest foreclosure rate for more than the last five years, when compared to all other types of home loans in the nation, including prime loans. But the VA will assume part of the responsibility on the rare occasion when a Veteran is unable to pay off a VA loan.

Through GI Bill home loans and other loan serving efforts, the VA has helped 21 million Veterans fulfill their dream of becoming homeowners, and for many more, keep that dream alive. In Fiscal 2014, through loan servicing efforts, the VA Home Loan Program also helped nearly 80,000 Veteran borrowers to avoid foreclosure.  These actions saved taxpayers close to $2.8 billion in avoided claim payments.

Veterans can obtain a certificate of eligibility for a VA-guaranteed home loan through the VA Home Loan Program at: www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: VA Tops 21 Million Home Loans: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: More Veterans Owning Homes: By Debbie Gregory

Veteran homeownersOver the last few years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loan Program has gained significant market share, compared to competing private and government mortgage options. One of the main reasons for this is that big banks and mortgage companies have increased efforts to help returning Veterans become homeowners.

The VA Home Loan Program is now at record highs, having more than doubled since 2007. Back in 2011, VA guaranteed home loans made up only 3% of mortgages in the country. In Fiscal Year 2014, VA guaranteed home loans jumped to around 7%.

There are many reasons why VA loans are rapidly increasing. First and foremost, there is a large demand for homes among the Veteran community. With the number of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans separating from the service, there is an influx of families, relocating and looking for homes. In total, the VA estimates that there are more than 22 million Veterans from all generations, across the country. The majority of these Veterans will qualify for VA loans. And with today’s economy, the only way that some Veterans will get approved for a home loan is through the VA.

Here’s how the process works, in a nutshell: A Veterans applies for a certificate of eligibility from the VA. The VA reviews the Veteran’s credit, earning potential, etc. and then approves or disapproves the Veteran. Veterans with a certificate of eligibility are then free to seek out private lenders vetted with the VA.  The lenders provide the loans to the Veteran, with the VA’s guarantee that if the Veteran is unable to pay the loan, the lender will still be paid back.

Lenders recognize VA loans as good business. And VA guaranteed loans come with zero down payment and generous finance rates that make home ownership more affordable for the men, women and families who have made sacrifices in service to their country.

There are also scores of non-profits that partner with large corporations and lenders to help Veterans become homeowners. Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Homes for Heroes, the Military Warriors Support Foundation, HomeStrong USA, Operation Homefront, and Purple Heart Homes have gifted hundreds of homes to Veterans.  Many of these houses were acquired through donations from major lenders, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, SunTrust Mortgage, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank.

Considering the struggles many Veterans face in light of the current economy,  it’s satisfying to see so many Veterans and military families are able to fulfill their dream of owning their own home. It’s the very least a grateful nation can provide for as a way to say thank you for the sacrifices they have made.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: More Veterans Owning Homes: By Debbie Gregory