Whether you’ve completed your service for the U.S. military or are currently still doing so, there are several key tips that can help you save money. These tips apply if you’re preparing to buy a home or even if you’re looking to refinance a home you already own with a local mortgage company.
1. Check your credit for accuracy score and pay history.
By doing this in the very beginning you can shave time off of your loan as well as get insight on what may be needed to help you qualify for the best rates and terms. While reviewing your credit look to see if any vendor has you listed with any payments showing you’re late 30 days, 60, or even 90 days or more. If you notice any discrepancies contact the respective creditor directly to see if they can fix their misreporting which will typically boost your score. The more recent your late payment was marked (incorrectly), the higher your score will jump when it is corrected.
2. Pay attention to your credit score.
While it is true the VA does not have a minimum standard for credit scores, they are not the ones making and servicing mortgage loans. While a low credit score alone may not automatically disqualify you, many VA servicers will not consider a VA loan with scores below 620. So what do you do if you’ve ordered your credit report and find you fall below this cutoff?
Depending on the accuracy of your credit report (see tip #1) and what your score reflects, there may be some simple things you can do to improve your score. Like a fingerprint, everyone’s credit score and situation are unique and will vary greatly from one another. What works for one person may not work for another when it comes to improving your score. Outside help from sources well-versed in credit improvement and credit repair may be needed to ensure a highest success ratio.
3. Request your certificate of eligibility.
Your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) will be useful for all lenders in determining whether you are eligible for a VA-insured loan or not. Number of years in service, amount of hours on duty, and type of duty will all factor into your VA benefits and determine your eligibility. In addition to your service time, how you ended your service will also play a role. Anything that is considered “less” than honorable discharge may disqualify you from receiving a VA insured loan.
4. Gather the most common items an underwriter will require for loan approval.
Start to hunt down items like your tax returns and W-2s for the last two years, your most recent bank statements and pay stubs, and any other asset item like 401(k) stocks bonds and investments. Having these documents handy will help expedite your loan to be reviewed by an underwriter to confirm your eligibility for a VA insured loan.
Let US Help You
If you have a unique scenario or question not addressed above, please feel free to reach out to one of our VA loan specialists to get the answers you need. We are here to serve those who have served us. Thank you from all of us at US Mortgages.