Talking About Loans and Financing

Getting A VA Loan As A Spouse Of A Service Member Killed During Active Duty

If you have a spouse who was killed while serving in the military, you might be eligible for a VA home loan. The VA loan program was established to help veterans or their surviving spouses buy homes. The loans are generally easy to qualify for and have better terms than other types of mortgages. Here are a few things to know about getting a VA loan

Why A VA Loan Is Worth Looking Into

You might be able to get a home loan with no money down with a VA loan. However, the funding fee for the loan will probably be lower if you can make a down payment, which would lower the cost of your monthly payments and the amount you'll pay over the course of your loan. Also, there is no mortgage insurance required for a VA loan. Mortgage insurance can drive up your monthly payments and this is eliminated with a VA loan since the loan is backed by the government.

The government itself doesn't make the loans. The loan goes through a traditional lender, but it is partially guaranteed by the government so there is no need for the cost of additional insurance. Compared to other types of mortgages, a VA loan is usually easier to qualify for and your monthly payments will be less because of the better terms of the loan.

How To Know If You Qualify

If your spouse was killed in the line of duty, then you'll probably qualify for a VA loan as long as you haven't remarried. You might also qualify if your spouse was discharged due to a disability and later died. You'll need proper documentation such as your spouse's social security number, death certificate, marriage license, and your spouse's discharge papers if you have them. You'll also need to fill in the surviving spouse's form you can obtain from a lender or download from the Veteran's Affairs website. Take these documents with you to the lender to have your eligibility determined and to obtain the Certificate of Eligibility that allows you to apply for a VA loan. In addition, you'll need to meet basic income and debt guidelines that ensure you'll be able to repay the loan.

How A VA Loan Can Be Used

You can use a VA loan to buy any type of primary home including a single family home, condo, or manufactured home. You can't use the loan to buy a vacation residence or property for investment purposes. Other than that, the loan works just like any other loan. There could be an upper limit to how much you can borrow without a down payment and the state of your credit will determine your interest rate. However, since the VA loan program is intended to be a benefit for veterans and survivors, it is usually easier to qualify for the loan if you have credit problems. You may even be offered assistance and credit counseling if you have trouble making the payments on your loan.

A VA loan could allow you to buy a home when you can't qualify for a traditional mortgage. If your spouse died serving his or her country, you may be entitled to one of these loans as a survivor's benefit.