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In a recent online survey taken by RallyPoint that asked which veteran benefit is most valuable, two dominated the conversation. One was the G.I. Bill.

The other was the VA Home Loan.

To help one learn about what this particular benefit is, how it works, and how it can make owning a home more affordable, here are a few quick facts.

What Is It?

The VA Home Loan can be used for buying a home — whether it’s an existing structure or in a pre-construction stage — and for refinancing an existing loan. It’s provided by private lenders, like banks and mortgage companies.

Eligibility

In order to establish eligibility, you’ll eventually need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility, or COE. You can get a COE by applying online, by mail, or through Vets.gov’s webLGY system. You can check out this page to find out what information you need to establish eligibility based on your military status.

In general, eligibility is awarded to:

– Veterans who meet requirements for length of service

– Service members on active duty who have served a minimum period

– Certain reservists and national guard members

– Certain surviving spouses of deceased veterans

Advantages

The VA Home Loan offers a deal that is not offered to non-military members. Here are some of the best aspects of the benefit.

– This loan is reusable and not a one-time benefit. You can apply for a VA Home Loan and other loans offered by the VA multiple times.

– No downpayment and no mortgage insurance is necessary.

– The VA Home Loan program does not have a minimum credit score. Although specific lenders might have their own requirements, this gives veterans more flexibility in finding the right lender for them, without worrying about additional guidelines.

– There is equal opportunity for all veterans who are eligible, so you aren’t competing for a loan against other applicants.

– The VA provides assistance for vets who become delinquent on their loan, and has additional services to help them get back on track.

Find out more about the VA Home Loan and its benefits by visiting the VA website or looking at the housing assistance guide on Vets.gov.