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Lesson 4.7

Finding a VA Lender


VA Experience Matters

Buying a home isn’t something most people do with any great regularity. You might only purchase one or two houses in your life. Others will do this dozens of times.

Whether it’s your first or your twenty-first home purchase, working with someone who really understands VA loans is critical. This is a specialized loan product. It’s not something most loan officers and real estate agents work with every day.

Be wary of lenders or real estate agents who try to steer you away from exploring the VA loan program. This is often due to a lack of familiarity with VA loans. The VA process isn’t more complicated or difficult than any other loan. It’s just different, and knowing how to navigate those differences can make or break a deal for buyers.

Whether you choose Veterans United or another lender, it’s important to ask the following key questions before obtaining a VA home loan:

Do You Have VA Loan Expertise?

Lenders familiar with the VA program and the unique needs of military borrowers can expertly guide you through the process. Loan officers who don’t do a lot of VA loans may not have a great grasp on the program’s requirements and restrictions, along with its exceptions and exemptions.

Lenders that know VA loans inside and out can help make sure you get the most from your home loan benefits. Your loan officer should be able to clearly and concisely explain how VA loan entitlement works, walk you through the VA appraisal process and break down how this loan program compares to other options.

What Military-Related Documents Will I Need to Provide?

Lenders and loan officers should be able to walk you through the types of documents you’ll need to furnish, whether it’s a member 4 copy of your DD-214, a statement of service for active military or VA disability paperwork. The last thing homebuyers need is a delay because of easily avoidable paperwork problems.

Will I Need to Obtain my Own Certificate of Eligibility?

Some VA lenders will often be able to obtain your COE for you in minutes using the VA’s online portal. You’re certainly welcome to try and obtain the COE on your own. But having a lender take care of it for you can save time and potential delays. You also don’t need this document in hand to start the process.

Can You Recommend a Real Estate Agent Who Knows VA Loans?

We’ll talk more about the importance of VA-savvy real estate agents in the next course. Working with agents who truly understand VA loans can make a big difference for veterans and military buyers. Ask lenders if they can connect you to a veteran-friendly agent in your market. Real estate agents who know VA loans can save you time and money. Veterans United has an national realty network of more than 5,000 veteran-friendly agents.

Will I Have a Dedicated Loan Team?

Many lenders shuffle their borrowers through a process that looks something like a conveyor belt. Consumers are passed from person to person as they move through the loan approval process. You might talk to a different person every time you call. Borrowers can find themselves explaining the same information over and over to new people, and that can waste time and add a lot of needless stress to the homebuying process. Having a dedicated loan team means that you work with the same set of VA loan experts from start to finish.

The key takeaway is this: Protect your investment and your financial security by choosing a lender that can help you get the most from your hard-earned benefits.