Home loan help
Tip 3: Your Credit Score Isn’t Your Credit Score
Your free credit report will not contain your credit score. This is something you have to pay to see, and as far as mortgages go it’s often best to not waste your money. That’s because lenders see different scores than consumers, and they use a formula weighted especially for mortgage lending. What your loan specialist pulls can and often does look different from the “consumer” score you shelled out money to see. The only way to really know where you stand is to have a lender pull your credit.
Tip 4: Job Gaps are a Problem
Lenders ideally want to see you’ve had your job for at least two years. That’s not always feasible, especially for veterans who recently separated from the military. So it’s possible to have fewer than two years and still secure financing, but it’ll require a closer look by your loan specialist. They’ll want to see continuity between your previous work, education, MOS or experience and your current employment. But even if there is continuity, if there was a gap of unemployment you’ll likely need to wait until you’ve been back to work for a certain number of months — the length can vary by lender and often corresponds to the duration of your job gap.
Tip 5: Not a One-Time Benefit
Once you earn the VA home loan benefit, it’s yours for life. This isn’t a one-time lending option or a program exclusively for first-time homebuyers. You can use these benefits over and over again. In fact, it’s possible to have more than one VA loan at the same time. So don’t let anyone claim you’re ineligible because you had a VA loan a decade ago. You may even be able to get another VA loan after defaulting on a previous one.
Tip 6: Preapproval is Key, But It’s Not a Guarantee
There isn’t a ton of sense in looking for homes before you’ve got a clear idea of what you can afford and how much a lender is likely to extend. VA loan prequalification and preapproval will help with exactly that. Preapproval in particular is important in that it shows sellers you’re a serious candidate who’s likely to make it to closing day. A prospective VA homebuyer with a preapproval letter is a welcome sight among home sellers and real estate agents.
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I agree with Michael Cheng. If you have a great credit score, stable, verifiable income, verifiable cash on hand or assets, you are a dream client. By comparison shopping, you will be able to obtain a Loan Estimate from at least three different types of lenders: Talk with the mortgage department of where you currently bank. You already have a banking relationship with them. This is a good place to start. Next, apply with a local, licensed non-bank mortgage lender. Somebody located in the town in which you live. Last, apply with a local mortgage broker.