If you or someone in your family is a veteran, you already know just how important VA benefits can be. They can help you further your education, keep your health in check and a bit of extra cash in your pocket. If you're looking to buy a home or already own one, there are some important VA benefits you need to know about.
Tap Into Missed Savings
If you've already bought a home, there are still ways to save! If you went for a conventional mortgage, you can easily refinance to one with VA benefits. This simple process can help you slash hundreds or thousands off your mortgage each year.
If you originally opted to get a VA mortgage, you may be eligible to lower your current rate. With a "Streamline Refinance" (also known as an IRRRL), you can easily search for lower rates. That leads to an immediate reduction in your monthly payment, which means extra cash in your pocket.
In fact, the average savings for those who refinance from a conventional mortgage to a mortgage with VA benefits is *$3,100 a year. That's a huge chunk of change that could help fund a family vacation or that home improvement project you've been putting off.
If you don't already own a home, there are still ways to use VA benefits to your advantage.
Prequalify and Save
Before you do anything, get prequalified. It's free, and it helps you to figure out just how much you want (and can afford) to spend. When shopping for a home, being pre-qualified allows sellers to see just how serious you are about buying.
Skip the Down Payment
Saving thousands of dollars for a down payment can be difficult and stressful. Qualified veterans can buy a home with 0% down, which can make home ownership a lot more attainable.
Lower Your Payments and Interest
All VA mortgages are guaranteed by the government, which means approved lenders are able to supply you with lower rates. Take advantage of these discounts, which can save you thousands in comparison to conventional loans.
* Average value calculated on a $250,000 mortgage, and come from an average rate reduction of .5% (worth $840 annually), and the elimination of PMI (worth $2,292 annually until equity threshold.