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What is a VA loan

VA loans are home loans for the purchase of a primary residence available to consumers who have served or are presently serving in the U.S. military. While the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) does not lend money for VA loans, it backs loans made by private lenders (banks, savings and loans, or mortgage companies) to veterans who qualify.

A mortgage loan program established by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans and their families obtain home financing. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not directly originate VA loans; instead, they establish the rules for those who may qualify, dictate the terms of the mortgages offered and insure VA loans against default.

VA loans offer up to 100% financing on the value of a home. To qualify for a VA loan, borrowers must present a certificate of eligibility, which establishes their record of military service, to the lender. VA loans, FHA loans and other loans insured by departments of the United States government are securitized by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae). These securities carry the guarantee against default of the Untied States government.