Mortgage Confidential: What is a "VA" loan?


Mortgage expert David Reed invites Walletpop readers to ask him questions about real estate financing. leave your questions in the comment section of this post.

: David: What is "VA?" I'm hoping to be buying a house this time next year and I am trying to find out as much info as I can. - Josh

A: Josh: "VA" is short for "Veterans' Administration" or the Department of Veterans' Affairs. VA - backed mortgage loans were part of the original GI bill passed in 1944 as a benefit to those who served in the Armed Forces. VA loans require zero money down, highly competitive rates and relaxed credit guidelines when compared to conventional mortgages that follow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac standards.

Generally speaking, those that qualify for a VA mortgage are those honorably discharged from the Armed Forces Active Duty, having served 180 days, National Guard and Selected Reserves, and spouses of service men or women who died in service or from a service-related injury.

If you qualify for a VA loan and want a no-money-down mortgage, there is no better mortgage alternative, period. For more information on VA mortgages, you can find my book, "Your Guide to VA Loans" in bookstores everywhere and online at -David

Real estate finance expert David Reed is president of CD REED Mortgage Bankers in Austin, TX and author of Mortgage Confidential: What You Need to Know That Your Lender Won't Tell You and Mortgages 101: Quick Answers to over 250 Critical Questions About Your Home Loan.