As an experienced mortgage professional, Gavin Ekstrom draws on an in-depth knowledge of federal loan programs. Gavin Ekstrom serves as senior area manager with Citywide Home Loans, where he helps clients understand such opportunities as the Veterans Affairs Home Loan Guarantee Program.
Through its Home Loan Guarantee program, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) works with lenders to make borrowing more affordable to qualified borrowers. This includes current members of the armed forces as well as non-dishonorably discharged veterans, surviving spouses, and members of the Reserves or National Guard.
Qualifying individuals borrow directly from lenders but benefit from the VA’s backing. This leads to a number of more favorable terms, including less stringent down payment and mortgage insurance requirements.
The VA Home Loan Guarantee Program also allows eligible borrowers to finance closing costs. This can enable a borrower to finance every aspect of the loan. Approval does depend on the borrower’s credit history and ability to qualify through a lender.
Fortunately, the VA’s relationship with lenders allows for more generous qualification benchmarks as compared to traditional mortgage applications. Rates are competitive within the market, and approved debt-to-income ratios are typically about 3 percent higher than those required on the open market.