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“Serving Those Who Serve Us” Since 1983
All of us at Alpha Mortgage Corporation strive to deliver the highest customer service to our VA and we have a genuine desire to serve others. We believe that if you serve us and protect our freedoms, our values, and our families – than you deserve someone working for you to get you the benefit you earned. Active-duty and veteran military members hold a special place in our heart. That’s why we are proud to offer VA loans with fast approvals, flexible guidelines, and we close in 15 days or less.
You’ve served us, now let us serve you.
You need a mortgage plan that works for you now and well into the future. We give careful attention to your plan, your financial situation, and take personal pride in building a multi-generational relationship.
Beyond A Mortgage: VA Home Loan Guaranty
The VA Home Loan Guaranty program assists eligible Veterans, Servicemembers, and certain surviving spouses obtain, retain, and adapt homes. The VA Guaranty acts as a government backing to insure a portion of your loan and provide assistance in some difficult circumstances. If you experience temporary financial difficulties, VA stands ready to work with your servicer to mitigate delinquencies, avoid foreclosures, and provide alternative options if your financial difficulties become long term.
Purchase & Refinance VA Home Loans
Since 1944, VA and private industry partners have helped deliver the dream of homeownership to generations of Veterans, Service members, and eligible surviving spouses. A VA Home Loan benefit can change Veteran and their families lives and what home means.
VA Home Loan
A VA home loan has many advantages. First off, a VA loan allows 100% financing of the home, as long as that the appraised value is at or lower than the sales price of the home. Another benefit, one that really has a large impact on the monthly costs on a mortgage, is that even if you don’t have any equity in the home you needn’t worry about private mortgage insurance (PMI). Normally VA loans have more favorable rates than conventional loans as well. Some other cool features are that you can use your VA benefit more than once, and you don’t have to be a first time home-buyer to take advantage of your home loan benefit.
Alpha Mortgage: Learning Center
We believe that an educated buyer is the best kind – please use our learning center as you explore topics ranging from home loan purchase transactions, refinance options, and even local community news and updates from Real Estate Agents / Builders!
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While most real estate agents, builders, and borrowers are familiar with the "normal" process of mortgage origination, the COVID-19 pandemic makes...
Beginning 2020: Time To RefinanceAs mortgage rates have fallen to historic lows, mortgage applications have risen more than 30% nationally. Lower...
"We Speak VA"
Since the beginning, Alpha Mortgage has wanted to make sure that our Veterans have something good to look forward to when they come home. In almost all cases the thing that they look forward to most is just that – coming home. You served us – now we want to serve you. You deserve it.
VA Home Loan - Frequently Asked Questions
Even though VA home loans have been around since 1944 – many veterans and active-duty military members aren’t familiar with their benefits. Let’s dive in and see if we can clear up any questions. Meanwhile, if you don’t find what you are looking for here, please see our “learning center” or just call, chat, or fill out our online form and we will be happy to answer any questions that you have. Our Mortgage Loan Officers specialize in VA loans – and “We Speak VA!”.
What is a VA loan?
A VA loan is a mortgage that is made by private lenders, but partially backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. There are no limits on how much you can borrow, but there are limits on how much the VA will guarantee.
One of the benefits of VA loans, also known as Veterans Affairs mortgages, is that they consistently offer lower rates than traditional bank financing, according to Ellie Mae.
Eligible borrowers may only use VA loans for their primary residence. You can’t finance an investment property or vacation home with a VA loan.
The main draw of a VA mortgage is that they make it easier to get financing by offering no down-payment loans and more lenient credit and income requirements than conventional mortgages. Once you have your certificate of eligibility or COE, you can apply for a VA home loan.
What are VA Entitlements?
The VA guarantees a portion of your mortgage via “entitlements.” There are two types of entitlements offered to eligible veterans: basic entitlement and bonus entitlement.
The basic entitlement is $36,000 or 25 percent of the total mortgage if you default; you would get the lesser amount of the two. Generally, lenders will loan four times this amount, so you can think of the basic entitlement as a 25 percent down payment on a $144,000 home. However, you don’t have to use the full entitlement.
As home values continue to tick up, most homebuyers are faced with price tags in excess of $144,000, or the max loan amount for basic entitlement. This is where the bonus entitlement kicks in.
In 2018, the median sales price for a home hovered around $315,000, so for most VA buyers, the bonus entitlement is necessary. This is also called a second-tier entitlement.
The VA uses the national conventional financing conforming loan limit set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, to establish the bonus entitlement amount. The FHFA boosted loan limits in 2019 to $484,350. In high-priced areas, the ceiling is higher at $726,525, or 150 percent of $484,350. Homebuyers can check loan limits in their area here.
The VA usually covers 25 percent of your loan amount, so eligible borrowers would get 25 percent of $484,350, which is $121,087. Then the VA subtracts the basic entitlement, which is $36,000, from the $121,087, leaving borrowers with a total of $85,087 in bonus entitlement money.
Keep in mind, lenders will generally loan VA borrowers four times the amount of the entitlement. This means you would multiply $85,087 by four, which is $340,350. Finally, you would add the $144,000 VA loan limit from your basic entitlement to the $340,350 sum which gives you a total loan limit of $484,350 — the same as the national conforming loan limit.
For homebuyers in high-cost states, the entitlement amount is larger. In counties with higher limits, the VA will guarantee 25 percent of a maximum $726,525. If your mortgage exceeds that limit, the VA won’t cover it. That means on a $900,000 home in a high-cost area, the VA will only back 25 percent of $726,525.
It is possible to use your entitlement more than one time. This depends on several factors such as how much entitlement you have left (you don’t have to use all of it when buying a house), mortgage amount and county loan limits.
The goal of VA loans is to help veterans become homeowners no matter where they live, so don’t let a costly housing market or a prior VA loan deter you from exploring this option.
VA loan eligibility requirements?
Most members of the regular military, veterans, reservists and National Guard are eligible to apply for a VA loan. Spouses of military members who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability also can apply.
Active-duty military personnel generally qualify after about six months of service. Reservists and members of the National Guard must wait six years to apply, but if they are called to active duty before that, they gain eligibility after 181 days of service.
You may qualify if you:
- Served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime
- Served 181 days of active service during peacetime
- Have been an active member of the National Guard or Reserves for 6 years or more
- Are married to a service member who died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability
It’s important to note that getting a COE doesn’t mean veterans qualify for a mortgage — these are two separate processes. Once you qualify for a COE, you can shop for a home loan. However, you still have to meet lender requirements which include things like income verification, credit (FICO) score, and debt-to-income ratio.
Do VA loans require PMI?
The benefit translates into significant monthly savings for VA borrowers. For instance, a borrower who makes a 3.5 percent down payment on a $200,000 FHA-insured mortgage would pay $100 a month for mortgage insurance alone.
What are VA loan funding fees?
Although the costs of getting a VA loan are generally lower than other types of low-down-payment mortgages, they still carry a one-time funding fee that varies, depending on the amount of the down payment and military category. This fee helps offset taxpayers’ costs since there’s no PMI or down payment required.
A borrower in the armed forces getting a VA loan for the first time, with no money down, would pay a fee of 2.15 percent of the loan amount. The fee is reduced to 1.25 percent of the loan amount if the borrower makes a down payment of 10 percent or more. Reservists and National Guard members normally pay about a quarter of a percentage point more in fees than do active-duty members.
Those using the VA loan program for the second time, without a down payment, would pay 3.3 percent of the total loan amount.
Can existing VA borrowers lower their interest rates?
The Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRL) gives existing VA loan holders the opportunity to get a lower interest rate. This option requires borrowers to refinance their current VA loan into another VA loan.
The advantage of the IRRL is that credit and appraisal underwriting packages are not required. Additionally, you won’t have to pay cash out of pocket for an IRRL. It’s structured so than any fees are rolled into the new loan or the interest is adjusted so that the lender’s costs are covered.
Are there VA loan home occupancy requirements?
VA loans typically require borrowers to move into their home within 60 days of purchase and to use it as their primary residence. However, exceptions can be made depending on the circumstances, says Chris Birk, director of education at Veterans United.
“Lenders will evaluate occupancy scenarios on a case-by-case basis. For active duty service members, a spouse can fulfill the occupancy requirement when the military member cannot. A service member’s minor child can also satisfy occupancy in some cases,” Birk says.
Borrowers can’t use VA loans to buy investment properties or second homes.
What are VA loan underwriting requirements?
The VA doesn’t require a minimum credit score for a VA loan, but lenders generally have their own internal requirements. Most lenders want an applicant with a credit score of 620 or higher.
Borrowers must show sufficient income to repay the loan and shouldn’t have a heavy debt load, but the guidelines are usually more flexible than for conventional loans.
VA guidelines allow veterans to use their home-loan benefits a year or two after bankruptcy or foreclosure.
VA’s Say The Darnest Things!
“I can not say enough great things about Scott Sarjeant and how hard he worked to get our family in our beautiful dream home! He made the entire process easy and exciting. We are truly grateful for his determination and the part he played in the start of this next chapter in our life!”
“It was a true pleasure working with Alpha Mortgage. I was treated with the greatest respect and given the best customer service possible. Each staff member of the Jacksonville, NC office exhibited a vast knowledge of Veteran Loan assistance and were eager and willing to answer any and all questions I had regarding the mortgage process.”