A VA loan is a mortgage loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). They are designed to offer long-term financing to eligible American veterans or their surviving spouses (provided they do not remarry).
Since the VA guarantees a portion of the loan this reduces the lenders’ risk of loss, which allows for more favorable terms that most other loans do not provide; such as competitive rates, lower credit requirements, no down payment required, no prepayment penalties, and more.
VA loans are reserved for military veterans, active service members, or eligible surviving spouses.
Borrowers must have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime, served 181 days of active service during peacetime, or have 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves.
Surviving spouses of members who have died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability who have not remarried, may also qualify.