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For direct online access to VA benefits and resources, create an account here.

For a veteran, the VA home loan can be transformative, and even life-changing. It can not only equate to becoming a homeowner, but it can set up one or one’s family for a better quality of life, introduce them to a warm and friendly community, and even make them eligible for enrollment into a top school system.

After receiving a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) — which proves a current or former service member’s service — you’ll need to then hand it to a lender (if it’s not a direct VA loan, it’ll most likely be from a private bank or a mortgage company).

Here are a few tips to remember when searching for the best lender for your VA home loan (to start the process of getting a COE, click here).

Make sure the lender is approved. If they’re not (via the VA) then you won’t be able to secure a VA home loan through them.

Is the lender an expert? Ask the loan officer if they regularly process VA home loans — it could mean a great deal if they’re very accustomed to dealing with their unique ins and outs (i.e. if they don’t ask anything about military service or don’t have the guidelines memorized are a few things to look out for).

Beware of myths — and untruths. Like the myth that the VA home loan takes longer than other non-VA home loans. Or that it a service member can’t buy a home using the loan while deployed or overseas. Or that multiple loans aren’t possible. Or that multiple inquiries by a lender within a month negatively affects a credit score.

For other information regarding VA housing assistance, click here.