Veterans are not immune to financial difficulties. In fact, they face arguably more difficult challenges than we do since they must first adjust to life outside the military, establishing a new career etc. So, when it comes to seeking a mortgage, the challenge can be very big. Thankfully, the ability to secure VA home loans with bad credit offers a solution.
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) was established to help military veterans returning from conflict to return to civilian life, and finance is a major part of their efforts. With their support, veterans have a far better chance of getting approval, despite bad credit scores, and to ultimately buy the home they want.
What is more, because of the terms available, they are much more affordable than their civilian equivalent. Remember, the VA does not issue mortgages, only underwrites them. Nevertheless, a VA home loan still offers veterans and their families highly attractive options.
Qualifying for a VA Mortgage
It is no surprise that those seeking to secure a VA home loan with bad credit need to be former members of one of the branches of the military - either the US Army, Marines, Navy or Air Force, or the Home Guard, Reserves or Coast Guard. But there is more to it than that.
Applicants also need to have at least a respectable credit history. For example, prior to the date of the application, they cannot have defaulted on a loan for 12 months, or have been declared bankrupt for at least 24 months. To secure approval despite bad credit, the veteran needs to convince the lender, but the lenders is not the VA.
There are special circumstances considered too, with bankruptcy that was brought on by circumstances beyond the control of the applicant not viewed as seriously as bankruptcy caused by poor money management. A debt settlement does not affect the chances of getting a VA home loan.
Credit Scores Are Limited
Of course, there are ways to greatly improve the likelihood of securing a VA home loan with bad credit, with increasing the credit score one of the most effective. Taking out some smaller personal loans, and repaying them in full very quickly, has a definite benefit to these scores. Each time a loan is cleared, regardless of the amount, it pushes the score upwards,
If a bankruptcy exists on a credit record, as soon as the discharge is received, notify the credit rating agencies so they can remove it from the record. They will then increase the score to reflect the removal of that debt. Remember that getting approval despite bad credit is easier with a higher score.
Also, opening two secured credit card accounts, each with just small balances is another way to vastly improve credit ratings. Of course, paying the balances immediately after they are used is essential. Then getting better terms on a VA home loan is possible.
Secured Credit Cards
As mentioned, secured credit cards can help in securing a VA home loan with bad credit. But it is worth noting that the terms available from a VA mortgage make approval despite bad credit much more probable.
VA home loans come with terms where 25% of the mortgage is guaranteed by the VA. Because just 75% of the mortgage is unsecured, the interest rates are lower, and the repayments are more affordable. So, even with a slightly improved credit score, the savings compared to a normal mortgage deal can be huge.