If you are a veteran in Maine and are thinking about homeonwership, you might want to consider the following article submitted to us by Matt Polsky of the VA Mortgage Center.
Whether you’re a service member or veteran looking for a home in the greater Portland area and all of southern Maine, there’s a home loan program exclusively available to you. For almost seven decades, the VA Home Loan program has helped more than 19 million men and women become homeowners. With the help of a Maine VA loan, you can finance your dream home with minimal financial stress.
Although VA loans feature an array of benefits, qualifying for them is often easier than qualifying for a traditional home loan. Less stringent credit and financial history restrictions make it easier for military members to get a Maine VA loan. The VA has no credit score requirement, but VA-approved lenders expect scores to be 620 or higher. In some cases it is even possible to get a VA loan even with a previous bankruptcy or foreclosure. Given the load of financial benefits, it is no wonder why VA loans are popular. Perhaps the most striking benefit is the minimal down payment. Qualified homebuyers will pay nothing down to fully finance their home. In Maine, VA loans max out at $417,000, which is more than enough to purchase a starter home.
Active-duty personnel still stationed at the Brunswick Naval Air Station will be happy to know that their interest rates are capped. For all VA loan borrowers, interest rates are generally lower due to the VA’s guarantee of up to 25% of each loan. Since the lenders assume less risk in case a borrower defaults, lenders take a few points off the rates. Another money-saving perk is the elimination of private mortgage insurance. However, VA loans require a one-time VA funding fee that can be rolled into monthly mortgage payments. The funding fee is to ensure the program continues so other veterans receive the VA loan benefits as well.
In addition, Maine VA loan borrowers can pay off their mortgage as they wish since VA loans do not have prepayment penalties. Other benefits include refinancing options that lower interest rates and resources to borrowers facing default.
Almost all veterans and service members are eligible for a VA loan in Maine; however, a dishonorable discharge immediately makes a veteran ineligible. Honorable or injury-related discharges are permissible. Overall, those who may be eligible are:
- National Guard members or Reservists who served for at least six years.
- Members of the military who served for 90 days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime on active duty.
- Spouses of service members who died while serving or because of a service-connected injury.
- The Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is the first task military members must complete in order to attain a VA loan in Maine. COEs confirm that you meet initial eligibility requirements. For more information on VA loans in Maine and to complete a COE, contact a VA-approved lender today.