What Is the Minimum Credit Score for a VA Loan?

Drawing of cell phones showing different credit scores with their ratings

Many lenders require your credit score to be above a certain number before they’ll issue you a VA loan. And they’re allowed to do that.

But there isn’t a minimum credit score for VA loan qualification according to the VA’s guidelines, so Low VA Rates chooses not to require one. We can, and often do, work with veterans who have very low credit scores.

Good and Bad Credit Scores

To refresh your memory, the lowest possible credit score is 300, and the highest is 850. Lenders often rate scores like this:

  • <550: Bad
  • 550–649: Poor
  • 650–699: Fair
  • 700–749: Good
  • 750+: Excellent

We know that some veterans with low scores have just had financial trouble in the past, but they’re now able and willing to pay their debts. And some veterans just haven’t had a chance to build a credit history yet.

Because of these reasons, we’ve chosen to help them instead of just turning them away for a loan.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Of course, we’re still aware of borrowers’ credit scores, and there’s a cost to a low score: you probably won’t be able to get the best interest rates, which leads to higher monthly payments.

Some borrowers choose to work on improving their credit score before taking out a mortgage—even if it takes a year or two. You’re going to pay off a house over many years, so it can benefit you to have lower payments over that whole period.

And we’ll definitely work with you any time you’d like to get a quote! And, if we find out your credit score doesn’t qualify you for the interest rate you’d want, we’ll work with you directly to help raise it, even if it means waiting a while before you can get a mortgage from us.

But, in the meantime, if you’re not quite ready to call in and talk with a loan officer, here are five tips that can help you start raising your score now:

  1. Never be late on debt payments
  2. Keep low or zero balances on credit cards
  3. Only get one new line of credit at a time
  4. Pay off debts as soon as possible, beginning with the one that has the highest interest rate
  5. Order your credit report once a year and fight any mistakes in it

One thing to note is that, even if you follow these pieces of advice exactly, you might not see an improvement to your credit score for several months. This is especially true for paying off a debt.

The reason for this delay is that it can sometimes take a few months for the credit bureaus to remove that debt from your credit report. But we promise, if you follow these steps, it will happen!

Even if you don’t have any kind of credit history, these five pieces of advice still apply, though in a slightly different way. Essentially what you’ll want to do is get a single credit card and follow these five guidelines in how you use that card.

Doing so will help you start building a positive credit history, and once you’ve developed good habits with one card, you could apply for another one, and so on, to keep that positive credit data growing.

How Low VA Rates Can Help Those with Low Credit Scores

We specialize in loans for veterans. If you talk with one of our loan specialists—some who are veterans like you—he or she will look at several factors in your background.

One of the first and most important is your honorable military service is first. The next important qualification is the stability of your income, which can be from a job, VA disability payments, or investments.

They’ll also help you add up all your expenses, including debt payments and the potential VA loan, to make sure you’ll have enough money left over at the end of each month. This is a VA guideline, which helps the VA loan program to be safer for you and for all veterans.

And, while they’ll also look at your credit score, we know that a high credit score doesn’t always guarantee that someone can handle a new mortgage because their situation may have changed.

We also know the opposite is true, so even if you have a low credit score, you can qualify for a good VA loan as long as you can show your willingness and ability to afford and pay for it.

So, whether you choose to improve your credit score first or you want to buy your home right away, Low VA Rates will be here to help.

American Ninja Warrior to Feature 2 Low VA Rates Employees

American Ninja Warrior Meets VA Loan Officers


Watch American Ninja Warrior to See Wally Roskelley and Clayton Wolf of Low VA RatesWe’re excited to announce that Wally Roskelley and Clayton Wolf (two loan officers from Low VA Rates) will be featured contestants on tonight’s episode of
American Ninja Warrior.

NBC’s hit TV show American Ninja Warrior sets contestants against each other in a race to see who can maneuver seemingly impassible obstacles in the fastest time. Competitors must complete a city qualifying round before moving on to the city finals. Regional winners go on to the national round, and in stages, the contestants are eliminated until they reach the final stage: Mt. Midoriyama. At this stage, they must complete a 75-foot rope climb in under 30 seconds. If a competitor successfully completes this last task, they claim total victory and take home one million dollars.

Among the thousands that apply every year since the TV series began in 2009, more than 3,500 athletes have attempted the challenge, and only two have won the title of total victory in that time. Most of the courses feature obstacles like the Log Runner. There are variations of this obstacle, but the one featured in the Oklahoma City Qualifier included five rotating logs that each sit at increasing heights with the exception of the fourth log that is even with the third. Another common hurdle is the Bar Hop. At this point, challengers must use their own body weight to swing the bar they hang from onto the next set of hooks. If done incorrectly, bar and contestant come crashing down. The Oklahoma City round airing tonight will also include the Ring Swing, the Floating Steps, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The Warriors of Low VA Rates

This year, two employees from Low VA Rates competed in the Oklahoma competition airing later tonight: Clayton Wolf and Wally Roskelly.

Clayton Wolf became a loan officer in 2007 and made the 2015 Scotsman Guide of Top VA Loan Officers in the nation. Clayton grew up in Dallas, Texas, and now lives in Utah County with his family. When he isn’t hard at work on VA loans, he likes to spend his time outdoors wakeboarding, boating, and four-wheeling. His adventurous spirit served him well in the ANW competition.

The other contestant, Wally Roskelley, told us that “This was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been able to do. I have loved the show and always wanted to compete.”

And competing in the American Ninja Warrior course was not such a huge leap from everyday life for Wally who has been rock climbing competitively for 20 years. Beyond that, he loves snowboarding, sky diving, and just about any other outdoor adventure you can think of. Since Wally grew up in Colorado and now lives in Eagle Mountain, Utah, with his family, he has had plenty of opportunities to do everything he loves.

Watch ANW and Cheer for Our Loan Officers!

The ANW courses are designed to test strength, speed, grip, and balance. This American contest is certainly not for the weak or undisciplined, and only two contestants to date have won total victory. If you’ve ever seen the TV show, you know how common slipups and injuries are—which is part of the fun! Even with the intense pressure, both Wally Roskelly and Clayton Wolf were excited to tackle the obstacles and try their hands at something new. Tune in to NBC tonight at 7:00 to see how some of the Low VA Rates team ranked in their quest to become the ninjas of America.

 

Cheer on Low VA Rates Loan Officers on American Ninja Warrior

Are Interest Rates On the Rise?

Federal Interest Rates: Expect a Rise


interest rate increaseInterest rates – not the most exciting topic. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important, so pay attention. No matter your situation, a climb in interest rates will affect you, and you don’t want to pass on the opportunity to take advantage of low mortgage rates.

For a while now, interest rates have been at a historic low, but just a few weeks ago, the Federal Reserve meeting told the country that plans to increase its benchmark interest rate will likely go into effect at the next meeting this month. The recent recession linked with a plunge in the economy prompted the Fed to intervene with interest rates at 0 percent in order to avoid another Great Depression. While a brilliant and helpful move under the circumstances, the organization is now working to unravel that plan, getting rates back to a normal, healthy level.

So what will this change mean for you? Well, if you’re thinking of buying a home or if you’re paying off a mortgage, it means that the decisions you make in the next few months could determine how much you’ll pay – or save – for years to come. Find out how a hike in Federal interest rates could affect your wallet!

Rate Hikes: Not If, but When

The Fed scheduled hikes to occur earlier in the year, but they delayed due to the sharply fluctuating winter market conditions. Over the course of the recent recession, the Fed has held rates so low to encourage risk-taking and When Will Future Federal Interest Rates Riseborrowing. Basically, the gist of their idea is that borrowers would feel more confident in making investments, allowing the economy to grow to a point where it could support a rate increase.

Investors were originally doubtful that an increase would actually occur until some point in 2017, but expectations changed drastically with the recent Federal Reserve meeting. It’s clear that whether the increase happens this month or later in the year, an increase will happen soon. The biggest question now is whether or not the raises will occur at the next meeting as scheduled.

The economy is starting to pulse with life again, allowing the Federal Reserve to “gradually and cautiously” raise bank rates. In a statement directly from Janet Yellen, head of the Federal Reserve, she says, “a rate rise would probably be appropriate in coming months.”

But why would this increase be necessary in the first place?

In the past, the Fed has likely not hiked rates due to the big fear that there would be a negative effect in the market. And the worst-case scenario is that a rate increase would plunge the economy into an even deeper recession or depression. However, there are several undeniable facts that prove it would not only be helpful, but absolutely necessary.

First of all, the Fed benchmark rate cannot go any lower. The only available direction is up. Secondly, the U.S dollar would strengthen (which is great news for anyone traveling abroad, particularly in Europe). Third, retirees will have more money flowing into their savings funds. And finally, inflation will be brought under control.

Future Mortgage Rates

The fact that the Federal Reserve feels comfortable raising rates indicates that their plan is working, and the economy is indeed healthy and growing. Definitely a positive thing, right? But what does this hike mean for consumers? And how will this affect the housing market?

The hike affects just about every asset class, meaning anything that has interest tacked onto it will have higher rates than what the U.S. economy has experienced in the past few years. Although this is good news for your savings account, your debt is going to take a bit of a blow. While it would make sense that a drop in rates would encourage borrowers to borrow, the opposite would also seem to be true. But before anyone gets too panicked, know that statistics say consumers are ready to handle an increase. In addition to that positive note, consumers can also be assured that interest would not spike all at once. The meeting’s minutes noted that “economic activity would expand at a moderate pace,” giving everyone a chance to adjust to the change.

Specialists say that consumers can expect this rate rise to affect interest for mortgages in addition to other bank loans. Although a rate rise could eventually result in a housing market slowdown, the market should boom initially, and homeowners and home buyers can expect a general increase in demand, prices, and equity.

Take Advantage of Low Rates Today!

If you are a home-buyer, jump on the market now rather than waiting. Interest rates will only go up from here. Purchasing a new home or refinancing your current home now could save you thousands of dollars in interest over the course of your loan. To take advantage of current mortgage rates, call us or visit our site at www.lowvarates.com to get started on your loan application. 

Red Bull 400- Alyssa Kroll

Military Daughter of Low VA Rates Employee Ran the Red Bull 400!

red-bull-400-park-city

 

One of our highly-valued and outstanding employees, Cheryl Kroll, has an 18-year old daughter named Alyssa who has joined the Army National Guard and is planning on entering the ROTC program in college and graduating as an officer in the Army. Alyssa also recently ran the first Red Bull 400 held in the United States!

Course

The Red Bull 400 is a special event in which the runners start at the bottom of an Olympic ski jump and run up the 400 meters to the top. The first RB400 in the US was held at Olympic Park in Utah, and Alyssa was the youngest female to run the race. The RB400 is so steep that race organizers are required to lay a cargo net across the entire length of the jump in order to give the runners enough traction to go upwards and something to grab onto if they slip. While 400 meters may seem like a short run, the difficulty of running up a nearly-sheer mountain face is extremely high. The men’s world record for the RB400 was set at this past races, and is 3 minutes 58 seconds, slower than the world record for running an entire mile (roughly 4 times the distance) on level ground. Suffice it to say, the RB400 is not for the faint of heart.

 

And faint of heart Alyssa is not. At 14 years old, she became the youngest person to do the first Spartan Beast race held in Soldier Hollow. She describes herself as always looking for a challenge. She strives to push herself to limits beyond what she or anyone else thinks are possible for her. Having already maxed out the female standards for the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test), she has now set her eyes on the male standards even though she is not required to do so? Why? Because she likes a good challenge. Alyssa is loving her time in the Guard and is looking forward to joining the Army after graduating from college and the ROTC. Alyssa says she’s grateful for her experience so far in the Guard because she’s learned so much about herself and life already, and can’t wait to learn more.

 

When asked what advice she would give to other young women thinking of joining the military, Alyssa had a lot to say, but what stood out the most was the following: “Being in the army has made me a lot more confident in myself and I love it. But if you’re going to do it, do it right…be the best soldier they have ever seen, female or not. It’ll be intimidating at times to be going against males twice your size and having to perform tasks you never thought you were capable of, but if you take the time to prepare yourself physically and mentally you’ll be able to tackle any challenge head-on and it’ll feel amazing.”

 

Being in the military is, of course, only part of Alyssa’s life. She is a dyed-in-the-wool country girl and boasts having seen over 60 country artists perform on stage. She loves country dancing and even competes in small dancing competitions. She considers the gym her second home, and is planning on going into exercise science and nutrition in college, and is considering eventually working towards a Ph.D. in Kinesiology.

 

We’d like to congratulate Alyssa and Cheryl and say how proud we are to be associated with you. We wish you the best of luck as you continue your adventures, and hope you’ll keep us posted with upcoming events.

 

Why I Love Working at Low VA Rates

The People and Environment of Low VA Rates

We recently asked our team, How are we doing at work? The following was written by a Pipeline Manager of our VA Loan Closing Department- Lauren Clark.

Lauren Clark“I love working at Low VA Rates because of the people and the environment.  When I started here, I was a mom who was just returning back to the workforce in a field in which I had not previously been.  I was worried that my fellow employees would expect me to know everything right away.  But they didn’t!  Instead, they have helped me to learn everything they know and have been patient when teaching me new tasks.  I have a wonderful boss who really cultivates a team atmosphere in our department.  My co-workers treat everyone courteously and with respect.  One of my co-workers has established “Food Friday” in our department where we all bring something from home and share it with the team.  I love that I enjoy coming to work each day.

I also appreciate that when I have a concern, I feel I can talk with my boss one-on-one and have my opinion heard.  For example, when I first started working, I found myself doing the same task for a large percentage of my day at work.  After a while, I realized I wanted to expand my horizons and learn more about the mortgage industry.  I approached my boss and discussed my thoughts with her, and she arranged for some changes to be made the next day.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t also mention the kindness that was shown to me and my family when my one-year-old son was in the hospital for three days.  The company sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers in a vase and a note wishing my son well.  My boss never hassled me about taking time off of work to be with my son in the hospital.  Everyone at Low VA Rates was extremely supportive during that time.  Even after I returned to work, the HR Manager came and asked me how my son was doing and if everything was back to normal.  I was so extremely grateful that Low VA Rates allowed me to take care of my family first and not worry about work in such a critical time.

On a lighter note, Low VA Rates has some pretty awesome perks.  I love the monthly company-wide potlucks the company hosts.  There are also some events about once a quarter where the employees all get together outside of work and go to a company-paid baseball game or something along those lines.  I also have to mention the free soda and Red Bull.  I am not much into Red Bull, but a lot of people here are, and they sure notice if it temporarily runs out.    I am a big fan of Diet Dr. Pepper, and I definitely enjoy coming in each day knowing I have a little “treat” waiting for me as I dive into loan files and Google Docs.

That brings up a final thing I love about working for Low VA Rates.  There are in-office contests all the time!  For example, last week the CEO, Eric Kandell, held a contest where he asked everyone in the office to get to know three fellow employees.  I really appreciated the opportunity to get to know some of the people who I email regularly but had never actually met in person.  I met a loan processor I pass by on the way to my desk Low VA Rates Squaredevery morning.  She gave me a tip that I now put into effect when handling new tasks.  She told me that as soon as she gets a new assignment, she writes it down on a “to-do” list so that she doesn’t forget any of the details.  Then she prioritizes her list according to what is most urgent.  Though I didn’t win anything in the contest, I was glad to have a reason to meet some more of the great people who work here.

For all these reasons, I love being an employee at Low VA Rates.  I look forward to moving up in this company and establishing a career here.

 

 

What Makes a Good VA Lender?

 

Since Low VA Rates is itself a VA lender, this article might seem a bit self-serving, but in reality this is a question that every borrower should ask themselves. While Low VA Rates certainly fits all the criteria in this article, we’re hardly the only lender that does. We would love it for you to choose us, but above all we want you to choose a lender that is going to do right by you, so if you don’t pick us, hopefully you’ll at least pick a good VA lender. So what makes a good VA lender? A good VA lender is experienced, passionate and offers the VA loan program as the VA intended it to be offered.

 

ExperienceExperienced VA Lender

The VA loan program is a lot different on the back-end from the conventional or FHA loan program, and you don’t want a loan officer’s first rodeo to be your loan. You want a lender who has been doing this for enough years that they know all the ins and outs of the program and can foresee problems before they happen. It also helps when the lender specializes in VA loans, because they are much more likely to be caught up and current on any changes in the program, and will have an acute understanding of how to do the type of loan you’re wanting. Experience and knowledge also allow them to make recommendations to you on what loan option has the features you’re specifically looking for at the best rate. Experience makes a huge difference. Low VA Rates has a wealth of experience specializing in VA loans.

 

Passion

Passion is just as important as experience when it comes to finding a good VA lender. Why? Because the VA loan program isn’t just “business” – it’s about helping veterans find the housing they need at better terms than they can get elsewhere. It’s about serving those who have served us. A passionate VA lender can make all the difference in both the experience of getting a VA loan and the long-term consequences of doing so. A passionate lender cares about each applicant and prioritizes getting that applicant the best option available to them rather than which option puts the most cash in their own pocket. A passionate lender keeps better track of your loan and its progress and puts more of their own sweat into getting your application ready for underwriting. A passionate lender gets creative and goes to bat for you to help you qualify for the loan you need. Look for a lender who has a record of being passionate.

 

Offers the VA Loan Program the VA Intended

Way the VA IntendedThe VA loan program has a lot of leniency built-in for lenders to do things in a way that works best for them. The problem with these differences in ways of doing things is that they often make the loan program less advantageous to the borrower. While there are some things the VA doesn’t specify a preference on, the best VA lenders take the VA loan program and offer it as close to as-is as they can. This gives the most advantage to the borrower and makes the VA loan program as beneficial to them as it is supposed to be. This may be one of the more difficult things for you to ascertain about a lender beforehand, but you can do so by educating yourself about the VA loan program by reading our articles on the VA Lender’s Handbook, or if you have a stomach for dry material you can read the Handbook itself. Once you know how the VA recommends the program be run, you can compare it with what the lender is telling you.

 

Summary

So there you have it. You want to find a lender that is experienced, passionate, and offers VA loans the way the VA wants them to be offered. Those are the qualities that make up a good VA lender, and you definitely want a good VA lender to be working on your loan. If you have any questions about the VA loan program, feel free to contact us via our website or by calling our offices. We’ll happily answer your questions.

 

Highlighting the Military Service of Our Employees – Clemente Ardene

Highlighting the Military Service of Our Employees – Clemente Ardene

Clemente Ardene Army

Clemente Ardene is one of our great employees, and he is also a veteran of the US Army. Clemente served in the Army for 8 years and 9 months, and his last department was Retention NCO at Schofield Barracks, HI. Clemente joined up because he wanted to see the world and protect our freedom. Clemente holds the freedom we have here in the US very dear. Clemente left the military because he had started in the mortgage industry part time and saw what a great career path it was and the potential to help out other veterans on a full-time basis. Clemente jumped in the game and has no regrets about doing so.

 

Clemente’s military service impacted him on a very personal level. He found great meaning and power in pushing himself both physically and mentally to limits that he had no idea he could reach during his military service. He is very grateful for his experiences in the military that taught him how far he can really go. He has taken that understanding and applied it to every aspect of his life, working to achieve more than others think possible. When he thinks about the need for reforms in regards to military service, he thinks about vets coming out who were in the infantry or artillery fields during service and have trouble finding jobs that utilize the same skill set in the private sector. He thinks the military offering better workshops or transitional programs prior to those vets leaving the service would be a good step to solving that problem.

 

We say it often, and yet not often enough: thank you to all the veterans who have served and sacrificed for our country. Here at Low VA Rates we specialize in VA loans because we are passionate about helping veterans take advantage of their hard-earned benefits. The VA offers these benefits, and we work to try to get as many veterans to take advantage of them as possible. If you’re not sure you want a VA loan, and you just have questions you want to be answered, feel free to give us a call or reach out to us on our website. We’ll be happy to answer your questions regardless of whether you end up getting a loan with us.

 

Clemente Ardene- Sales Assistant Las Vegas, Nevada
 
US Army Served

Highlighting the Military Service of Our Employees – Carol Franklin

 

Highlighting the Military Service of Our Employees – Carol Franklin

 

Thank you veteransCarol is one of our great loan processors at Low VA Rates. She is also an Air Force veteran. While it has been some time since she served in the military, she still remembers it well and looks back on it as a growing experience that helped her become the person she is today. Carol is the type of person that gets things done, and done right. When we asked her for some information on her military service to write this post, she didn’t just answer the questions, she took the time to write almost an entire blog post’s worth of information. She’s a thorough, detailed person who doesn’t let anything get past her. She did such a great job that most of the rest of this blog post will be directly from her:

 

“My name is Carol A Franklin.  I served in the US Air Force for almost 3 years.

US Air Force

I was an Accounting and Finance Specialist:  I did the “intake” of incoming personnel by ensuring all paperwork was filled out correctly when they handed over their pay records to me that they would get paid in a timely manner without any bumps or hiccups.  I took care of all financial needs that the military personnel would have such as advances, marriage, new additions to the family, anything that had to do with the persons pay.  I did the processing of all personnel transferring out and releasing pay records with instructions going to their next duty station.

 

For my “War Skills”, I was Security Police:  I pulled duty at both the main gate and back gate to the base.  I also pulled duty as a co-rider that secured all perimeters of the base.

 

I was stationed at Blytheville Air Force Base which was (it closed in 1992) Strategic-Air-Command (SAC) base.  Home of the 97th Bomb Wing – B52’s bombers.

 

I always wanted to serve my country.  I wanted to make a difference.  I wished I had joined earlier in my life, however; that was not the case.  I was married and had a young child and my husband encouraged me to do what I always wanted to do so I enlisted and went to the AFEs for my physical.  That is when I was told I might be pregnant! What?  That prolonged my enlisting by a couple of years.  So there I was with a husband and two young children when I enlisted.  I did it though!

 

I have several “stories” / experiences that are memorable, however, I believe the best for me was the moment I went to Basic Training I was part of the experimental Brother / Sister Flight!  Yes, it was the first and was the last that the military put the men and women up against each other in training.  This was in the late 70’s so maybe things have changed (again) since then because it is always ever changing.  Hey, if you are going to be part of anything, let it be the first time!  The overall was an experience that was just for me.  It helped me become the person I am today and I am proud of that.  I believe I am an inspiration to the youngsters that are coming up today.   However, I don’t think my personal military experience can top the phone call I received a couple of years ago from a niece and asked “Aunt Carol, do you think going into the military would be a good thing for me?  Was it good for you? What did you get out of it?  Do you think I could do it?”  She is now in the USMC and loving life!

 

Again, I wanted to make a difference and I want to continue to make a difference in our world, no matter how big or how small.  So as I go forward, I hope, in my mind, that by being a part of this company I am doing just that…making a difference in a field that needs the most reformed.  Investing in the veteran’s future, their life, their home, their family is the best way I can think of in saying “Thank you for your service.””

Thank you for serving us

Thank you for your service, Carol, and thank you for working so hard at serving your fellow veterans. You make so much more possible just by doing your best and being passionate about your work.

 

Military Service of Our Employees – Dallas Dean

Highlighting the Military Service of Our Employees – Dallas Dean

 

Dallas DeanOne of our beloved employees here at Low VA Rates is Dallas Dean: a colleague, friend, hard worker, and military veteran. Dallas is a good representation of what we pride ourselves on: a willingness to go the extra mile, and making sure to offer the best options for the veteran he is working with. In addition to his outstanding record of service here at Low VA Rates, Dallas also served honorably in the US Navy as a Boatswains Mate.

 

Dallas has always looked up to his grandfather who had fought in World War II on the crew of a submarine. Dallas remembers feeling proud of his heritage as he heard stories about his grandfather hunting U-boats with SONAR. However, Dallas wasn’t intending to join the military until he was older. At the same time he was dealing with financial stress, he saw a US Navy recruiting card in the mail. Remembering back to the stories of his grandfather, Dallas picked up the phone the next morning and signed up. Looking to the military as a solution to his financial problems and a way to pay homage to his grandfather at the same time, Dallas was eager and ready to join.

 

Dallas signed a 3-year active 5 inactive contract. He was stationed at a training command on the East coast and served there from 1994 to 1997. He describes his time there as follows:

Proud Navy Man

My main duties besides painting and ship maintenance were to train newcomers on line handling, anchoring, underway replenishment etc. I fulfilled my contract and received an honorable discharge. It was never my intention to be a lifer, although I did consider it, due to family obligations I decided not to re-up.

 

Choosing not to extend time in service in order to better fulfill his family obligations, Dallas was able to cash in on his Montgomery GI Bill benefits that he had paid into during his first year on active duty. Because of the Montgomery GI Bill, Dallas was able to earn two associates degrees in General Education and Chemistry. Dallas’ own experiences with the VA have been mostly positive, but he states that he would like to see Congress allocate more resources to the VA’s medical care and mental health care programs. Helping veterans like himself find suitable housing at better terms than they could get elsewhere is one of the things Dallas likes best about his job, and he looks fondly on his time spent in the military:

 

The thing that I miss the most about serving is the relationships between shipmates and other service members. There is a certain unique type of bond formed between people during service together. There was no question that we had each other’s backs and everyone knew it. That knowledge gave me a sense of security and an appreciation for friendship and comradery that is rarely equaled in the civilian world.

 

Dallas was proud of his grandfather’s service in the military, so when he was looking for a solution to the financial issues he was having, serving in the military was a way to honor his grandfather and solve his problems at the same time. After serving for three years, he used his GI Bill benefits to get an education and continue his career. Now, Dallas loves spending time with his family and enjoys his job helping out other veterans.

 

We want to give Dallas and all those who have served our country a special thank-you for your willingness to serve on our behalf. As you worked to improve our country, we hope that you were able to use your military service and your benefits to improve yourself and your own situation as well.

Thank You Veterans

Serving the Military

Paying it Forward

 

As a college student, I have gone from job to job looking for a position that would meet my needs and give me the stability I was looking for. I have always been independent and I like to pay for my own things. I have never wanted to be a burden to my parents, and therefore I have always accepted a job that would make that possible.

Paying it ForwardWhen I started at Low VA Rates, I wasn’t aware of just how rewarding it would be. The fact that we work specifically and closely with Veteran Loans helps me feel like I am giving back, even if it is a small portion, to those who serve in the armed forces.

My family has many links to the armed forces. My cousin and uncle are in the National Guard, and my grandfathers were in the Navy and the National Guard. I have grown up having American pride and gratitude for those who are willing to risk their lives for us. As a college student, I always thought there wasn’t much I could do to give back to them or show my thanks. By working at Low VA Rates, I get to talk one-on-one with these veterans, who in one moment or another in their lives, have served our country. It brings me joy to be able to assist them in any way I can and to help their refinance process go smoother.

I also love the fact that by working at Low VA Rates, I can continue to serve the Veterans of our country even if they are no longer in service. It is a way that I can help them realize that we have not forgotten their sacrifices. By working with them and getting them better rates for their home loans, we as employees can continue to show gratitude towards those who represented our country. My grandfather is not a man of many words, but he does occasionally talk about his time in the National Guard. He has always held the armed forces in high respect and has a deep love for our country. Like my grandfather, many of the veterans who we are assisting have a deep love and respect for our country. Many of them may have been honorably discharged due to injuries and can no longer serve the way they used to. I like to think that by specializing in Veteran Loans we are constantly acknowledging them and their sacrifices for us and our country, no matter how long or how long ago they served.Supporting Our Troops

By working at Low VA Rates, I feel I can give back my time to those who gave so much more for me. They did their duty and have continually given up their time and lives for people they don’t know, all in the name of a belief and love for our country. It is my chance to pay it forward, in some way or another to help them get through the refinance process quickly and painlessly as possible, so that there is one less thing they have to worry about. It is a small way that I can show my gratitude to those who have done and given so much so that I can enjoy the freedom that is so abundant in this country.

 

Morgan Hansen is a Loan officer assistant one of our finest at that. “My job is to gather the information that is needed to start the Refinance Process. Once I get the basic documents back I start the file and get it registered with the Lender. I also work on the loan past that point to get it ready for processing.”
Morgan works really hard to make sure that loans are run as smoothly as possible. She is a critical part of a team that works endlessly to take care of our veterans and show thanks for their service for our liberties and freedom. 

Military Service of Our Employees- Billy Schuler

Highlighting the Military Service of Our Employees – Billy Schuler

Billy Schuler As a company that focuses on serving those that have served us, we take great pride in our employees that have served in the United States armed forces. One of these employees is Billy Schuler, a loan officer that does a fantastic job. Billy served in the Air Force for 10 years before deciding to come home and settle down. His service is greatly appreciated and we hope that we can do him justice in this article. Billy joined the Air Force in a large part because of his grandfather. His grandfather had served as a Pilot in the Army Air corp. Billy looked up to his grandfather and wanted to follow in his footsteps, so, when the time came, Billy joined up and began to serve his country. Over the course of 10 years, Billy rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant working with 2W071 Weapons Systems. He also traveled the world, spending time in Saudi Arabia, Guam, Germany, and Turkey. While traveling so much scratched an itch he had had for years, it also made him want to get back to a more stable home life and spend more quality time with his family.   Billy feels that his military service opened his eyes to the value of the freedom we often take for granted. He shared the following experience: USAF Staff Sergent In 2001, I was at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, and to see first-hand what the other side of the world lives like and what their lives entail was a real eye-opener to the freedom we have here in America. It made me appreciate home that much more.   His experiences serving his country provide much of his motivation for his choice to serve his fellow veterans as his career. As a veteran himself, he understands many of the challenges and difficulties that service members go through both while serving and after discharge. When asked what aspect of military service or veterans benefits is in need of reform the most, he responded, “There are a lot of wounded and mentally unstable veterans that need help. They deserve to have a financially stable life just like any other America but waiting for years for benefits to come in and get approved is not fair.”   Billy takes his job seriously and does his best to provide every veteran or active service member with the best loan options they can get. You can visit his biography page and contact him to work on your loan application here. Thanks for your service, Billy! Thank You for Your Service

How to Compare VA Loan Offers

How to Compare VA Loan Offers

Here at Low VA Rates, we want to help keep you from mistakes that we have seen and felt over the years. There is definitely a stigma that exists when comparing lenders and the deals that they may offer.

This article and video is dedicated to help you to be educated because we want to protect you like you have protected our country. Common knowledge tells us that it is important to either get a second opinion, compare companies loans terms or services,  or at least compare apples to apples. We are not making juice here. We also understand that the more you understand or educated about your decision, and your money you are, the most likely you will be able to see just how much we can help you.

You will see that we offer the low rates GUARANTEED. Of course, customer service along with a friendly and knowledgeable staff are very important, but we realize there are many friendly competitors out there. We want our clients to enjoy very low VA interest rates around and we are ready to back that up. And that is just one of the many reasons that this video, and others, will help you become more and more likely to do business with us.  Let us prove that to you.

This video will help you learn how to intelligently shop for and compare VA loan options (any loan really) and determine with a Good Faith Estimate, what is the best loan for you.  We want to help you get a great rate. We hope you like the video and will take us up on our offer.

Enjoy!

Low VA Rates and the Mortgage Bankers Association

Low VA Rates Becomes a Member of the Mortgage Bankers Association!

 

Low VA Rates
Since our founding, Low VA Rates has been dedicated to giving back to the community and helping those less fortunate. We are always looking for the best ways to help people who are in need. Earlier this year, we opened a Donor Advised Fund with $200,000 of initial funding with the main purpose of supporting as many veteran-oriented charities as possible. Launching our DAF was a major step, but there’s always more that we can do, so we decided to pursue membership with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

 

The MBA is an organization dedicated to serving communities and helping those in need primarily through assisting Americans find suitable housing – similar to the goals of the VA Loan program. The MBA Opens Doors Foundation has the following Mission: “The MBA Opens Doors Foundation seeks to aid, nurture and empower people and communities by developing and supporting programs that promote and defend sustainable homes for American families.” In other words, their goal is to help families find and keep good housing.

 

So far, the MBA Foundation has focused on their very first initiative – The Home Grant Program, which provides assistance with mortgage or rent payments to parents who have critically ill or injured children, which in turn allows the parents to take unpaid leave from work to be with and care for their child without sacrificing their home to do so. Being in a situation where you cannot be there for your child because you have to be at work is a difficult and terrible situation. The MBA Foundation has helped numerous families all across the nation so far and will continue to grow their initiative to help as many families as possible.

mba_member_logo

The MBA Foundation is exactly the sort of organization that Low VA Rates is looking for. No one is more important to us than the people we serve, and when we can help those in need, we absolutely will.

 

Membership with the MBA isn’t just about the Foundation, either. It will also allow us the ability to expand our reach to more of our nation’s veterans, which will allow us to offer them mortgage loans on much better terms than they can get elsewhere. Our services change the lives of those we serve in a major, positive way, and we want as many people as possible to be able to experience that change. The MBA offers us training conferences, educational courses, professional development, market research, and many more tools to make us more effective at serving our nation’s veterans. By joining the MBA, we are investing in our nation’s veterans by making ourselves more fit to serve them. We are also investing in America by helping families avoid financial stress when a child is critically ill or injured.

 

We will continue looking for ways to improve ourselves, expand our reach, and make a difference in the lives of those we serve and those that have served us.Investing in our Future

 

FAQ How long do VA loans take

How Long do VA Loans Take?

 

This is a good question, but unfortunately there’s not a set answer, and it can vary depending on the type of loan you’re getting (e.g. new purchase vs. refinance). However, we can give you ballpark numbers so you have a general idea. The general rule of thumb is that it takes around 45 days to get a VA loan. However, if you’re refinancing an existing VA loan with an IRRRL, you can get it done in as little as 10 days, while some new purchase loan can take up to 90 days depending on a variety of factors. We’ll cover some of the variables here so that you can get a better idea of what to expect, but to get an accurate answer for your situation, you’re going to be better off speaking with your loan officer, or a VA-approved lender if you don’t have a loan officer you’re working with.

How Long do VA Loans Take?

One of the biggest variables that can affect how long your loan takes is whether it needs to be submitted to the VA for prior approval. There are two types of VA-approved lenders: those who have received automatic authority to approve most loans without prior approval from the VA, and those who have not received that authority. Instinctively, you may be inclined to avoid lenders that have not received that authority, but there are perfectly legitimate reasons for not getting it. For example, that particular lender may simply not do enough VA loan business to make the process of getting automatic authority worth it. In addition, there are some loan situations that must be submitted for prior approval before being closed regardless of whether the lender has automatic authority. Your lender will let you know if your situation is one of these.

 

The other major variable has nothing to do with the lender; it’s you. When my wife and I were buying our first house, there were several times my loan officer sent me an email requesting documents, and I took a week or two to get back to them. Consequently, the loan took a very long time to close, and I had no one to blame but myself. If you want to get your loan done quickly, respond within a day or two to any requests for information that your lender makes, and try to come prepared with everything you need from day one. Sometimes borrowers in a hurry can be their own worst enemy when they forget or postpone sending the lender the information they need to progress on the loan.

 

There are plenty of other variables that can contribute to how long it takes to get a VA loan. The schedule of the VA appraiser, for example, can set the loan back as much as a full week if they happen to be busy or out of town. Since the loan can only progress to a certain point before the appraisal has been done, it can often wait days for the appraiser to get to the home, appraise it, and get the report back to the lender. There is also the schedule and workload of the loan officer to consider, the schedule and workload of the underwriter, and issues with your loan application. There could be things that come up in your credit report that need to be resolved before the loan can move forward. How long it takes to take care of those things affects how long it will take for the loan to close. This is yet another reason why it’s wise to get your credit report cleared up before you ever apply for a VA loan.
There are some things you can’t control – if the underwriter comes down with the flu in the middle of underwriting your loan, there’s not much you can do about it. You also cannot control what information the loan officer or underwriter will request from you. You can’t control how quickly your employer verifies your employment, or how quickly your credit report comes back. However, there are plenty of things you can do to speed up the process. Start thinking about your VA loan at least a year before you intend to get it: clear up any issues on your credit report, pay off and close any credit cards you don’t strictly need, start saving up for closing costs and a down payment, and start striving to find full-time work if you’re only working part-time. If you do everything in your power to be prepared, you’ll find that getting a VA loan is a fairly painless process.

Low VA Rates opens up a $200k Donor-Advised Fund; Is this the beginning of a legacy?

Recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics paint a tough picture for veterans building up their new lives after discharge – with 6.9% unemployment among young veterans compared to 5.6% among non-veterans.

VA Mortgage Experts

LINDON, Utah – Jan. 9 2015 – As the housing market experiences changes made this past October and many of our nation’s veterans are finding an economically inhospitable private sector after leaving the armed forces, Low VA Rates has commissioned the formation of a new Donor-Advised Fund with an initial gift of $200,000, with additional endowments to be given annually. The purpose of the fund? To sponsor as many veteran-oriented charities as possible.

 

While veterans can be huge assets to companies, younger veterans are having a harder time finding gainful employment than their nonveteran peers – the unemployment rate for younger veterans is 6.9% – compared to a civilian unemployment rate of 5.6% – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for December 2014.

 

Additionally, many veterans are finding themselves under-employed and working fewer hours than they would like. Veterans everywhere are having a hard time saving up enough money and maintaining enough positive cash flow to purchase a home, and are more-and-more finding themselves renting long term.

 

There are many charities, companies, and other organization in place that are working to fight on behalf of our veterans. The VA is offering a more comprehensive set of benefits to veterans that at any other time in the past, there are dozens of charity organizations that focus on helping veterans with everything from medical issues to financial advice to employment services, and there are many companies who use their resources to provide products and services that meet the specific needs of veterans. One of these companies is Low VA Rates.

 

Low VA Rates is a mortgage lender that specializes in offering loans through the VA loan program. The VA loan program offers loans to veterans under much friendlier and better terms than any other loan option available – including omitting the need for a down payment or mortgage insurance. Low VA Rates is especially passionate about providing these services to veterans and does everything it can to give veterans the support they need in building up their lives after discharge.

 

“When you are looking to do a loan and you have lots of choices we feel you should also try and determine, along with the lowest rates or best products, you want someone that you can trust, that has similar values and that supports what you support.” Says Eric Kandell, President of Low VA Rates.

 

Opening a Donor-Advised Fund is just the first step, according to Kandell, who intends to set an example and create a legacy that looks beyond the bottom line to really helping and serving those who have served us on a daily basis. Using a Donor-Advised Fund will also allow Low VA Rates to direct where the money is going to go:

 

“We will focus our support and donations toward military and veteran centric causes.  All our donations from our Donor advised fund will go to 501C3s,” Kandell said.

 

Kandell and the staff at Low VA Rates hope to be able to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars every year and watch the Fund grow into a never-ending legacy of charity and support for our nation’s military and veterans.

LowVARates unveils new look web site to assist Military Families

LEHI, Utah, Oct. 27, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Low VA Rates recently updated its web site to better assist veterans and military families with the VA home loan process.

The new web site is designed to help veterans easily get started on the VA home loan process. The web site also has many informational quick links on the home page to help veterans quickly find what they are looking for.

lowvarates-stacked@x2

Web site users can also receive quick assistance with the “Live Chat” feature that allows users to have online communication with a representative at Low VA Rates. Veterans with questions or concerns about VA home loans can also be directed to the “FAQ” page or learn more about the specific loan they are interested in by clicking on the “Refinance”, “Purchase” or “Hybrid Loan” links.

Owner of Low VA Rates, Eric Kandell, felt the old web site needed a new face and wanted to help people get into the VA home loan process quicker.
“The new home page is designed to get our customers into the VA loan process right away,” Kandell said. “Once we know some basic information and what type of loan the home owner is interested in, it becomes much easier for our professional loan officers to effectively assist the veteran home owner.”

The home page also features a great video about the VA Hybrid Loan. The VA Hybrid Loan continues to be a valuable option for many military home owners. The video on the home page helps military home owners understand the basics of the VA Hybrid Loan.

“The VA Hybrid Loan is one of the most misunderstood loans on the market today,” Kandell said. “We added the video of the VA Hybrid Loan on the home page to try and take away some of the negative perception that surrounds the VA Hybrid Loan.”

Low VA Rates also revamped the company blog on the web site. The new blog will help users easily find pertinent information about specific topics they are interested in. The new blog also helps users find the most recent blog posts, the most popular blogs and the blogs with the most interaction and discussion.
Low VA Rates prides itself in keeping content fresh and up to date on the company blog by posting new content daily. The content on the company blog varies from military news to VA home loan topics. All topics and posts on the company blog are always military or veteran related.

“We work really hard to keep the content on our blog fresh, entertaining and valuable to anyone that is interested in the U.S. military,” Kandell said. “At Low VA Rates we are passionate about the U.S. military and we try and make our blog a forum to discuss all things related to the military.”

The new web site also has links to all of the Low VA Rates social media pages. Low VA Rates is very active in social media and currently has pages/accounts for: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

The company is currently running a $2,500 home makeover on Facebook and is constantly looking for opportunities to give back to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. To view the home makeover contest click here.

To find out what recent customers are saying about the Low VA Rates and its staff, web site users can take advantage of the testimonial page. On the testimonials page, military families across the nation tell about their experiences with Low VA Rates and give advice to potential customers.
“We are really happy with the new changes on the web site and know it has become more user friendly,” Kandell said. “We are constantly trying to become more efficient at helping military home owners and we know the new web site layout will help customers have a better experience with Low VA Rates.”

The new Low VA Rates web site can be found at http://www.lowvarates.com/ 

Homeless Vets Get Housing Grant Money

Here’s some good news to share with a needy veteran who may not be in the best of circumstances presently. A July 11, 2013 Department of Veterans’ Affairs announcement pledges $300 million in grants to get homeless veterans and their families into housing and keep at-risk vets in their homes.

The money triples the amount the department previously awarded through its Supportive Services for Veteran Families program to non-profit organizations that help the homeless and at-risk veteran populations, according to Lisa Pape, Director of Homeless programs

“This program is the crown jewel of programs in our continuum of care … to provide funding for community partners and nonprofit orgs to help homeless vets, their families and their children exit homelessness very quickly or maintain their current place of living if they’re having difficulty with paying bills and getting their needs met,” Pape said.

You can find some good information about VA grants for the homeless and financially distressed at the VA website: http://www.va.gov/homeless/housing.asp

You might be surprised at what a little expertise can do for you in the VA home mortgage space.  For example, the experts at lowvarates.com can guide you through your options and provide answers to almost any question  you might have.

On the national level, Vincent Kane, director of the National Center for Homeless Veterans, said the latest announced funding marks the third time the department has awarded the grants. Kane touts the program as successful according to detailed research. “We found we had served over 35,000 individuals [through the program], 21,500 veterans and close to 10,000 children,” he said. “The success rate is at 86 percent.”

The number of vets without homes has since dropped 17 percent, though the problem still affects some 62,000 former service members on any given night, according to recent government estimates. Kane said the department expects the latest grants will help 120,000 veterans and family members re-gain permanent housing or stay in their homes over the next year.

The VA awarded the competitive grants to 319 community organizations with proven track records in providing vets with aid and services such as case management, financial planning, employment assistance, including transportation and child care. The groups also draw on other agencies’ services “when necessary to promote reestablishment of housing and the ability [of veterans] to be successfully reintegrated back into the community,” Kane said.

The VA committed more than $1 billion for the fiscal year 2013 to strengthen programs that prevent homelessness among veterans. In addition to housing-oriented programs, the department also funds health care, job training and education programs for homeless veterans, those at-risk of homelessness, and their families.

If you are a veteran in need of housing; or, if you know of a veteran in housing need, there is no time like the present to act.

Get Started With Your VA Loan Today

100,000th Facebook Fan wins an iPad

LowVARates.com recently gave away a free iPad mini to its 100,000th Facebook fan.  The winner, Shannon Scott, was very grateful for the iPad and recorded a video about her experience.

LowVARates.com prides itself in running many contests and giveaways to show its appreciation for all the social media fans and military personnel.

We also gave away another iPad to Chelsea Forestell for referring the most amount of fans during the 100k fan contest.  Chelsea referred over 30 fans to the LowVARates Facebook page.

LowVARates is proud to continue to serve military homeowners and appreciates all the sacrifices our troops make for this great nation.

Win an iPad with LowVARates 100,000th Facebook Fan Contest

Would you “LIKE” an iPad?! LowVARates is giving away two free iPads in association with our 100,000th Facebook fan.  Here are the two ways our Facebook fans can win an iPad:

1)      For those who have not “liked” our Facebook page, be exactly the 100,000th fan to “like” our Facebook page and win the free iPad!

2)      For those fans who have already “liked” our Facebook page, refer your friends to our contest and have them “like” our page.  Once they have liked our Facebook page, send them to this blog post and have them comment on the blog the name of the person that referred them to the contest.  The person with the most referrals that BOTH “like” our page and comment on this blog will win the free iPad!

The new fans referred must both “like” our Facebook page AND post on this blog to be counted as valid.  For example, if a new fan ONLY likes or Facebook page and then comments on our Facebook page that they were referred by John Smith they will not be considered valid because they failed to comment on our this blog who referred them.  Both steps must be completed to count valid towards winning the iPad.

To reiterate, here are the two steps that MUST be taken to considered valid towards winning the second iPad:

1)      Have the referral like the LowVARates Facebook page

2)      Have the referral comment under THIS blog post the name of the person that referred them to the contest

We are so proud and thankful of all our customers and fans! We are thrilled to offer our fans two different opportunities to win an Ipad and hope our fans continue to support our Facebook community.

The contest will continue until we reach that 100,000th fan.  Once we have reached the 100,000th fan, the contest will officially close and the iPad will be awarded.  The Ipad will be shipped directly to the two winners’ home.

The winners will be announced on the Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/lowvarates?fref=ts

If you have any other questions about the contest please contact us at pr@lowvarates.com.

** The iPad given to the winner is a brand new 16GB iPad mini

 

 

VA Interest Rates Stay Low Thanks to FED Chief Bernanke

If you are one of many Veterans or Military Home Owners and have an interest rate at 3.75% or higher, then please pay close attention. It could be perceived as your PATRIOTIC duty, to take advantage of the VA IRRRL or Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan. Never before in the history of our country have we had a Federal Reserve that has done so much to keep interest rates on VA home loans so low. On 9-13-12 The FED committed to buy an additional 40,000,000,000.00 of mortgage bonds (that is a lot!) every single month until further notice.

By purchasing these mortgage backed securities (MBS) the FED is essentially forcing interest rates on home loans to stay low. The current rate for a VA 30 yr fixed rate loan is somewhere between 3.25% to 3.75%. Both of these rates are going to allow most of our readers to see VA mortgage payment decreases of anywhere from $75-$350 a month. If you are not familiar with the VA IRRRL or VA streamline loan please keep reading our blog as you are sure to get more information.

Have you ever wondered why the FED would want to keep interest rates low for so long? Well as most home owners are aware, our country has been struggling to recover from the housing collapse and very high unemployment. Just imagine if you are saving $150 a month plus when you refinance you normally skip a payment or two, that means lots of extra money in your possession now. Well if hundreds of thousands of people refinance each month, then MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars will flow back into the economy. This is called Stimulus.

So if you have a VA loan and an interest rate over 4%, start looking into a refinance. The FED wants you to do it, of course our loan officers here at Low VA Rates want you to also. But, research on your own and make the decision that is best for you and GOOD LUCK.

© 2019 Low VA Rates, LLC™. All Rights Reserved. Low VA Rates, LLC™ is not affiliated with any U.S. Government Agency nor do we represent any of them. Corporate Address: 384 South 400 West Suite 100, Lindon, UT 84042, 801-341-7000. Alaska Mortgage Broker/Lender License No. AK-1109426; Arizona Mortgage Banker License #0926340; Licensed by the Delaware State Banking Commission License #018115; Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee License #40217; Illinois Residential Mortgage License #MB.6761021; Licensed by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, Ohio Mortgage Loan Act Certificate of Registration #SM.501937.000; Oregon Mortgage Lending License # ML-5266; Rhode Island Licensed Mortgage Lender License #20143026LL; Texas License LOCATED at 201 S Lakeline Blvd., Ste 901, Cedar Park, TX 78613; EAH041719. Click on these links to access our Privacy Policy and our Licensing Information. Consumer NMLS Access - NMLS #1109426