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Step-by-step Guide to the VA Home Loan Process

A detailed guide on how to complete a VA loan application and the estimated time it takes from beginning to end.

Published on January 8, 2021

If you’re a Veteran or active military service member, then a VA loan could be your path to homeownership. With low-interest rates, no down payment, and easy credit score requirements, VA loans make buying a home simpler and less stressful than other mortgage options.

If you’re a Veteran or active military service member, then a VA loan could be your path to homeownership. With low-interest rates, no down payment, and easy credit score requirements, VA loans make buying a home simpler and less stressful than other mortgage options.

Think a VA loan may be the right option for your home purchase? Follow these eight VA home loan steps to get started.

1. Make sure you’re eligible.

The first thing you’ll want to do is check your eligibility. In order to use a VA loan, you must meet certain military service requirements. You also must have a qualifying discharge. To see if your time in the military fits the bill, check out the requirements for Veterans, active-duty military, and National Guard and Reserve members.

2. Retrieve your COE.

You’ll need to get an official Certificate of Eligibility from the VA before you can proceed with your VA loan application. You can get this through your eBenefits portal, or you can ask your mortgage lender to assist with the process. If you’re working with an experienced VA lender, they’ll know how to pull these documents quickly on your behalf.

3. Find a VA lender.

Choosing your lender is the next step in the VA home loan process. Not all mortgage lenders offer VA loans, so you’ll need to be choosy about which lender you go with. Your best bet is a mortgage lender that specializes in VA loans, as these loans require a bit more red tape than your typical mortgage loan.

Let VAMortgageCenter.com connect you with a VA lender today.

4. Get pre-approved.

Once you have a VA lender in mind, fill out their preapproval form. You’ll usually need basic information about your income, credit, and homebuying goals. If you meet the lender’s basic requirements, you’ll get a preapproval letter stating that you’ve been conditionally approved for a loan. There will also be a loan amount, indicating how much you can likely borrow. You can use this to guide your home search.

5. Shop for your dream home.

Next up is the fun part: Shopping for your home. To ease the process, you might consider working with a local real estate agent. They can help you find and tour properties, as well as put together offers and negotiate on your behalf.

6. Fill out the full VA loan application and provide your financial documents.

After you’ve found a house and your offer has been accepted, you’ll need to fill out your VA lender’s full loan application and provide any financial documentation that’s required. This usually includes things like W-2s, tax returns, bank statements, and more. Your loan officer will walk you through any of these requirements.

7. Close on your home.

Your lender will begin processing and underwriting your loan. They will also order an appraisal to verify the value of the home you’re buying, and eventually, you’ll get a scheduled closing date. This is when you’ll sign the final paperwork, pay your closing costs, and get the keys to your new home.

How Long Does the VA Home Loan Process Take?

It takes an average of 55 days to close on a VA loan, according to mortgage technology provider Ice Mortgage Technology (formerly Ellie Mae). To make sure your loan is processed quickly and efficiently, stay in touch with your loan officer and respond to any document requests in a timely manner. Choosing an experienced VA lender can also enable a faster loan process as well.

Start the VA Process Now

Ready to begin your home search? Then reach out to VA Mortgage Center today. We’ll walk you through the VA home loan steps from start to finish.