There is no doubt that veterans deserve our respect and admiration as they meet our nation’s call in times of need. But how does our country help veterans when it is time for them to live the American dream?
One way is to help them get a mortgage, and the first thing which comes to mind is the popular VA mortgage program. It turns out this is not the only mortgage program that caters to the needs of veterans, and here are some additional mortgage options for older veterans.
Like the VA loan program, this government-backed program is run by the Federal Housing Administration. While they are open to everyone, they are very popular with veterans and active-duty personnel who are looking to purchase their first home. Part of the reason is that these loans only require a down payment of 3.5 percent with a credit score of 580.
However, these loans are usually for first-time home buyers, but some borrowers can qualify even if they are not a first-time home buyer if they meet the FHA’s requirements. This might not matter for some veterans – especially those who served 20 years or longer – as they might not have been in one place long enough to justify buying a home.
These loans are also guaranteed by the government and are also popular with veterans as they offer zero-down mortgages. This allows many veterans to buy homes they otherwise couldn’t afford. However, there is a catch as these loans only apply to properties in rural and suburban areas.
Another catch is that USDA loans have a higher minimum credit score compared to FHA loans. While this probably isn’t an issue for most veterans, those with credit issues should check this out before applying.
Native American Direct Loans
Many veterans are also Native Americans, and this loan program, albeit lesser-known, could provide the help needed to acquire a property. This program only applies to features on a Native American reservation or Federal Trust Land.
It should be noted that the VA administers this loan, so if the intended property is Native American land, then the tribal government must sign off on the loan along with the VA.
This added red tape might be one reason why these loans are not that popular, but for the right borrowers, this might be the program that makes the most sense.
VA Reverse Mortgages
While many people assume reverse mortgages are usually used for homes which the borrower already owns, these loans can also be used to buy a home. Note this cannot be used for the purchase of a second home, one of the best mortgages for senior veterans on the market today is the VA reverse mortgage.
This loan program can be used by veterans to freeze the mortgage payments on their existing home effectively or to purchase a retirement home. The reverse part of the mortgage means that borrowers will not need to make principal and interest payments if they live in the house.
It might be an overstatement to say that just about every veteran knows about these loans, but it bears repeating. These loans are open only to people who have served in the military or currently active duty.
The loans are guaranteed by the VA and feature zero down payment options, low-interest rates, and even approval for individuals with low credit scores.
Also, there are additional programs tied to the VA Loan to help individuals who are having a hard time making payments. To meet the service requirements, you will have had to serve for a minimum of 181-days during peacetime or 90-days during wartime.
Beyond these government programs, several private lenders have programs to help older veterans. These include loan programs from USAA, the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, and the Navy Federal Credit Union. While there are pros and cons for these programs compared to the government-back programs listed above, for many veterans, these programs offer the speed and flexibility needed to fund a loan faster than other programs.
Veterans give their heart and soul to protect our country, and the least we can do is make sure they can have a part in the American dream. This includes helping vets to own a home of their own. While many of these programs apply to veterans of all ages, the VA reverse mortgage program is uniquely designed to help those 62 and above.
Regardless of the loan program you chose, the programs targeting veterans represent the minimum we can do to help veterans for their service to our country. With that in mind, remember that each program has its pros and cons. As such, you will want to check out the borrowing requirements to make sure you pick out the loan, which is the best fit for you.