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Top Questions I Get Asked About VA Mortgage Loans


The Memorial Day holiday is a time to remember and thank our currently serving military and those who served their country in the past. It’s also a time to remember that veterans get a very special deal on mortgages through the VA loan program.

If they meet the qualifications, a vet can get a home mortgage with ZERO down payment — a rarity in this day of extreme bank scrutiny of mortgage applications.

The VA does not “make” the loans. Instead it guarantees the loan. There is no mortgage insurance payment. The VA is guaranteeing the loan payments to the lender on your behalf, as a reward for serving your country. A VA loan can only be used for a personal residence, not an investment property.


Does it cost anything to get prequalified?

No, it does not. I’m a VET and a loan specialists that takes great pride in helping veterans and military personnel get into homes.

Are you the VA or a branch of the VA?

No we are not the Veteran’s Administration. The VA does not lend money, they insure the money that we lend. We are a mortgage company that specializes in VA insured home loans.

What is a COE? Where can I get it?

COE stands for Certificate of Eligibility. It is the certificate that proves that you as the veteran are eligible for a VA guaranteed home loan. Veteran Loan Center can get these for you during the loan process.

Why use my VA home loan benefit?

The VA loan is a program set up to help active duty and retired military personnel into homes. They will give you 100% financing on a home without having to pay mortgage insurance at a very competitive rate. The VA also limits the types of fees that can be charged protecting against predatory lending.

How do interest rates fluctuate?

Interest rates can change daily, sometimes even a couple times in the same day. They are based on the 30 year mortgage bond and many other market factors. Credit, employment status, loan program, and many other things can also affect your interest rate.

What is a funding fee? Do I have to pay for this?

VA funding fee is a fee added to your loan that goes to the Veterans Administration. For your first time use of a VA loan, your funding fee is 2.15% of your loan amount. For each subsequent use it is 3.3%. You will be required to pay it unless you have a service related disability of 10% or greater in which case the funding fee is waived.

What do I need to get qualified? Am I eligible?

I have a few quick questions to ask to get you qualified. That includes your income, debts and SSN to pull you credit history. We will contact you within minutes to give you the status and possibility of you obtaining a loan.

What are the benefits of a VA loan?

The VA loan offers 100% financing with no mortgage insurance. The loan is assumable and you are eligible for a streamline refinance if rates go down. It offers great rates and is less strict on credit than most conventional loans.

Can I get an interest only loan?

The VA loan does not offer an interest only option at this time. We do have access to interest only conventional programs and would be happy to put you into one of these programs.

May I purchase land with the VA?

No, the VA loan is designed for existing home purchases or new construction. They are unable to do land loans at this time.

May I use my VA eligibility more than once?

Yes, but in most cases you will only be able to hold one VA loan at a time.

Does it matter what your credit score is with the VA?

The VA doesn’t put an extraordinary amount of weight on credit scores, but does look for a clear 12 month history.

May I use a co-borrower to help get approved?

VA guidelines will only allow a spouse to be a co-signer. I am able to provide conventional financing as well which may be more suitable if a co-signer other than a spouse is needed for qualification.



Some other key criteria:

• Credit Score above 640
• Demonstrate steady income, or a two-year history of self-employment, or a stream of retirement benefits.
• Spousal income can help qualify, and some spouses of deceased vets can qualify if the spouse died of a service-related disability.
• Total debt payments cannot be more than 43 percent of total income.
• No unpaid liens or judgments.
• Must wait two years after a bankruptcy to apply.

Since there is no age limit to apply, even older vets can use this program. And if you have previously used this benefit, there may be some remaining eligibility left.

A VA loan can also be used to take cash out of your home. Since the mortgage is guaranteed up to 100 percent of the home’s value, many vets choose to refinance even non-VA loans into a new VA loan, in order to withdraw much needed cash from home equity.


To get started on a VA loan for either a new purchase or a refinance, you need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This certificate may be used to purchase a property with no down payment, refinance an existing conventional loan up to 100 percent of the home’s value, or streamline refinance an existing VA loan into a lower rate. Once you have that certificate, I will work with the VA to get the loan guarantee and process your mortgage.

If you’re already registered with the VA, I may be able to get you an immediate certificate of eligibility. Being a Veteran myself, I specialize in VA loans. CLICK HERE TO CONTACT RICH SUREK TODAY.

Memorial Day holiday is a perfect time for this reminder, because I know that Freedom isn’t Free.  It may take a little extra effort for myself and the team, but it’s a shame to lose out on our opportunity to help you finance (or re-finance) your home.

Richard Surek | 608-960-4363 |

After serving in the first Gulf War and fulfilling 7 years in the US Navy, I began my career in mortgage lending. Since 1996 I have focused on customer care and built my reputation through old fashion honesty and hard work.. This has resulted in established and long lasting relationships with my clients.

Department of Veteran Affairs:

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