How to Get Pre-Approved for a VA Home Loan

Find out how to get pre-approved for a VA home loan and what kind of documentation you’ll need. We’ll also cover some of the benefits of being pre-approved for a loan.

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Get Your Documents in Order

Applying for a VA home loan can be a lengthy process. If you’re not prepared, it can be even lengthier. One of the best things you can do to speed up the process is to get pre-approved. This will show lenders that you’re serious about buying a home and that you have the financial Means to do so. To get pre-approved, you’ll need to provide documentation about your income, debts, and assets. This can all be done online now and it’s a good idea to do it before you start shopping for a home.

Know what types of documentation you’ll need

As you get started on your journey to VA home ownership, one of the first things you’ll do is get pre-qualified for a loan. During this process, your lender will ask for a variety of documentation from you so they can get a clear picture of your financial situation. Here’s what you can expect:

-Your most recent federal tax return: Lenders want to see at least two years’ worth of tax returns to verify your income. If you’re self-employed, they’ll also want to see your Schedule C form.
-Your most recent bank statements: Lenders will ask to see at least two months’ worth of bank statements to verify your assets. This includes checking, savings, and investment accounts.
-Proof of any other income: If you have income from sources other than your job (e.g., alimony, child support, disability benefits, etc.), you’ll need to provide documentation of this as well.
-Your current debts and credit history: Lenders will want to see a list of all your current debts, as well as your credit history. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once per year at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Get your credit score and history in order

The first step in getting pre-approved for a VA home loan is to get your credit score and history in order. You will want to make sure that you have a good credit score—a score of at least 620 is generally considered good, although the higher your score, the better. You can get your credit score for free from several sources, including Credit Karma and Annual Credit Report.

In addition to your credit score, your lender will also look at your credit history—that is, your record of repayment on previous loans and lines of credit. They will be looking for a history of on-time payments, and may also take into account any derogatory marks such as bankruptcies or foreclosures.

Find a Lender

You’ve served our country. Now let us serve you. As a veteran, you’re entitled to a VA home loan. But what is a VA loan and how does it work? Getting pre-approved for a VA home loan is a great first step. By being pre-approved, you’ll know how much of a loan you can qualify for and you’ll have a better idea of what kind of home you can afford.

Research lenders who offer VA home loans

There are a number of ways to find a lender who offers VA home loans. You can ask your real estate agent for recommendations, look up lenders online or in the Yellow Pages, or contact the Department of Veterans Affairs directly.

The important thing to remember is that not all lenders offer VA loans, and not all lenders who do offer VA loans may have the best terms or rates. It’s always a good idea to compare several lenders before you decide on one.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you shop around for a lender:
-Be sure to ask if the lender offers VA home loans. Not all lenders do.
-Compare interest rates and terms from several different lenders.
-Ask about fees and closing costs associated with VA home loans. These can vary from lender to lender.
-Make sure you feel comfortable with the lender you choose. You should be able to communicate easily and have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.

Compare interest rates and terms

When you compare VA home loan interest rates, have in mind that most lenders will give you a rate that’s tied to the market. That means it could change soon after you get your loan.

With a bit of shopping around, you can find a VA home loan that has a lower interest rate than what’s common in the market. Check with at least three different lenders so you can spot any potential differences in their rates.

Get Pre-Approved

Are you looking to get pre-approved for a VA home loan? If so, there are a few things you need to know. In order to get pre-approved, you will need to have a good credit score and a steady income. You will also need to have a down payment saved up.

Complete a loan application

You can apply for a VA loan with any mortgage lender that participates in the VA home loan program. But it’s a good idea to start your search with a VA-approved lender.

VA-approved lenders are licensed by the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to provide loans that are backed by the agency. These loans are available to eligible active duty military, reservists, veterans and certain surviving spouses. The main advantage of working with a VA-approved lender is that you can be assured they have experience working with borrowers who qualify for a VA loan.

When you’re ready to start your search for a VA-approved lender, you can use our Loan Finder tool to get started.

Once you find a few lenders that look promising, it’s time to fill out a loan application. The application will ask for some basic personal information as well as your financial history. Be sure to answer all questions honestly and accurately. This information will be used to help determine whether you pre-qualify for a VA loan.

Provide documentation to the lender

One of the first things you’ll do when applying for a VA home loan is to get pre-qualified. Your lender will ask you for some documentation so they can determine how much house you can afford and what kind of interest rate to give you.

You’ll need to provide:
-Pay stubs from the past 30 days
-Your two most recent W-2 forms
-Your federal tax return from the past two years
-Documentation of all your assets, including bank accounts, stocks, and bonds

If you’re self employed, you’ll need to provide:
-Your business license
-Your business tax returns from the past two years

Wait for the lender to pre-approve you for a loan

The best way to get pre-approved for a VA home loan is to wait for the lender to pre-approve you for a loan. This can take up to two weeks, but it will give you an accurate idea of your borrowing power and help you find the best deal on a home.

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