Lesson 6.7 Choosing Your Lender

VA Experience is Important

Buying a home is a big step and something you won’t do that often. It may be that you only buy one or two properties in a lifetime; although, of course, some people move far more often. Regardless of however many homes you purchase, you really need somebody on your side who understands how VA loans work. VA loans are a unique product, and the majority of loan companies and realtors won’t have much experience of working with them.

If a loan company or realtor tries to dissuade you from at least thinking about a VA loan, watch out. Normally this will be because they just don’t understand the process. It is no more complex or harder to work with than other loan product, it is simply different; having someone on your side who knows how the system works can make the difference between your deal coming off or falling through.

Whichever lender you select you should ask these questions before using them to help you obtain your VA home loan:

Are you experienced with VA loans?

If a loan officer hasn’t dealt with many VA loans in the past, they may not be very aware of what is required, what the restrictions are, and what exceptions or exemptions can be useful to you. A lender who has guided many military borrowers through the steps necessary to obtain a VA loan is worth their weight in gold. Look for a loan officer who can give you a proper explanation of VA loan entitlements, what you have to do to obtain a VA loan, and how the program measures up against the other loan products that are available.

What military documentation must I show?

Your loan officer should be able to explain what paperwork you must provide, be it a Member 4 copy of your DD-214, VA disability papers, or evidence of active service. It’s incredibly frustrating to have your purchase held up simply because you weren’t told what paperwork you had to provide.

Further reading: Information about your Statement of Service

Must I get my Certificate of Eligibility myself?

If a VA lender knows what they are doing, they can usually go online and get your Certificate of Eligibility very quickly. You can undertake the process yourself, but having a lender do it is often less hassle and quicker. Bear in mind that you don’t have to have your CoE to begin your application.

Do you know a realtor with VA loan experience?

There will be further discussion of how important it is to have a realtor who knows about VA loans later. If you have a realtor with a proper understanding of VA loans, the process can be so much easier and more effective. Ask a loan company if they can hook you up with a realtor of this nature in your area. If they can, this can cut costs and speed up the loan process. Need a recommendation on an experienced VA Realtor? Email us.

Will I have a loan team dedicated to my case?

Too many loan companies operate the loan process like a factory assembly line. At each step of the process, you are passed on to a different person for the next stage of approval. You may find yourself talking to different people with each phone call. This will mean that you’ll have to give identical facts multiple times to multiple people, unnecessarily wasting your time and upping the stress levels. If you have an identified team of experts who are going to work with you right through the process, it becomes much easier.

Always remember, you worked hard and served hard to achieve your benefits; make sure you are working with a company that can ensure you get the most advantageous deal for your circumstances.

Ready for the next lesson? Read more here.

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