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Who qualifies for a VA loan?

Those who can qualify for a VA loan are veterans, active military members, National Guard members, and reservists. The spouse of a military member who died while on active duty, or a disability that is service connected may also qualify for a VA loan.

Active duty members generally qualify after 6 full months service. For those in the reserves or National Guard that are not considered “active duty” would need to wait 6 years to apply for a VA loan. However, there are several conditions that allow for earlier applications to be accepted.


What is an FHA loan?

FHA loans are home loans offered by the Federal Housing Administration. These loans typically allow for a low down payment and were created to promote home ownership. FHA loans can be approved with lower credit scores, making it easier to qualify for a loan. FHA loans are issued by private lenders who are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA loans typically have no income limits and allow for lower credit scores but require the borrower to carry mortgage insurance as part of the terms of the loan in order to protect the lender incase of failure to pay by the borrower.


What is a jumbo home loan ?

A jumbo home loan or jumbo mortgage is a loan that is in excess of a conventional loan amount. Jumbo home loans typically come with a higher demand on requirements for approval. Jumbo loans are used to buy property at a higher cost than average. The threshold for what is considered a jumbo home loan is determined by the area in which it would be applied. In general, higher down payments are required and the loan approval might also require two appraisals rather than just the typical one. Higher than average credit scores are usually a requirement as well.


How to prequalify for a mortgage?

Being prequalified for a home loan is the best way to know how much you can borrow. This prequalification is based on a number of factors such as income, debt, credit score, and savings. To become prequalified, you will need to contact a mortgage lender and complete any required documentation as well as provide proof of income and savings. You will also need to determine which type of home loan you would like to pursue. The mortgage lender will use of all this information to determine what types of loan programs are applicable to you and how much you are eligible to borrow as well as what your interest rates will be. Typically, a pre-approval for a home loan is limited on time for which it is valid. It is important to know that a pre-approval application is considered a “hard inquiry” on your credit. These pre-approval applications do fall into a special category for credit scoring however.


How to refinance a mortgage?

First you will need to determine if the current interest being offered is lower than what you currently have. Next you will need to contact your current lender or find a new mortgage lender you would like to go with that offers refinancing as an option. You will then have to complete the refinance application for the lender, order an appraisal to determine the value of your property. Keep in mind the average cost of an appraisal can be $300-$500. Your completed application and appraisal will then be forwarded to an underwriter for review. If approved by the underwriter, you will then review the loan and conditions they issue. You will want to make sure you diligently look over this information, especially the conditions of the loan to make sure they match what you expected. Next, lock in your new interest rate! Finally, you will want to order the final documents, sign, and move on to closing.

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