Military families and veterans looking to use their VA home loan benefits have experienced longer than normal processing and approval times in the past one to two years. Prior to our nation’s financial crisis in housing meltdown it was not uncommon for mortgages to go from application and in to funding within a few days or even less.
If you have tried to buy a home or refinance a home in the past year or so you have most likely experienced mortgage processing times that range anywhere from three weeks to three months.
Historically, those wanting to use their VA loan benefits have been taught or told that the process of getting a VA loan will be drawn out, full of surprises, and very difficult to accomplish. This has never been completely true, however because very few mortgage professionals understand the ends and outs of VA home loan financing the rumors did have some validity. The fact of the matter is that a VA home loan does not have any more or less paperwork than a non-VA or conventional mortgage. The reason mortgage processing and approval times have become longer and longer is due to the increased underwriting guidelines and restrictions imposed on the industry during the aftermath of the financial crisis in housing meltdown.
The following is a list of the top 10 ways in which veteran homeowners or of those eligible military families looking to purchase a home can speed up the approval process for either their VA purchase loan or their VA refinance.
Top 10 ways to speed up you VA loan approval and process:
1. Understand your VA loan benefits. Do your homework and research. The Internet is a great place to search for tutorial videos, blog posts, and other information about the VA home loan.
2. Shop for your VA lender before getting your loan into processing. Too many of veterans began the VA loan process and get a quarter to half way into the deal and then began to shop around for you a better deal and have wasted one to possibly even three weeks of VA loan processing.
3. Stick with your decision. If you have educated yourself and shopped for your lender upfront and made your decision to proceed, then don’t look back once you have started the process and you should have confidence in working with the VA lender that you chose.
4. State organized during the VA loan process. I suggest keeping a folder or binder with all of the communication between you and your VA loan officer. This folder should contain all of the documents that you will be required to send to your loan officer in any documentation or correspondence to your loan officer sends to you.
5. Be willing to take phone calls at work and on your cell. It is important that your loan officer can contact you at any time during the day. Unforeseen events can arise during the VA loan process in a quicker in which your loan officer is able to resolve those concerns, the quicker your loan will get processed and approved.
6. Be willing to work over the Internet and e-mail. We live in a society that does things online and is important that you’re working with a mortgage company that also is confident in working over the Internet. Much of the loan process can be accomplished without the need of drawn out phone calls and conversations.
7. Be willing to put forth effort. When I worked as a loan officer in the past I was amazed when my veteran clients wanted her loan to be processed quickly yet any time I asked for documents from them they took days or even weeks to get them to me. Please put forth as much effort on your own behalf as you requiring your VA mortgage company to do.
8. Be proactive. If a few days of online you have not heard from your VA loan officer then please make a phone call, send an email, or do whatever you need to do to get in contact with your loan officer.
9. Ask questions along the way. Many veterans will have questions or concerns during the loan process awake until the very end to ask them. If there’s something bothering you or something that you don’t understand you need to be comfortable early on in the process so that you do not cause unintended slowdowns near the end.
10. Do not ask for a quote from someone that has never gotten a VA loan. Nine times out of 10 if a veteran home owner talk to their accountant, investment manager, or anyone else they trust with their finances, the veteran will be told something incorrect. Understanding VA loans is easy if you’re experienced in working with veteran home loans, however those that do not have experience working with the loans will normally mislead the veteran unintentionally.
Using your VA home loan benefits is one of the best ways for you to either buy a home or refinance your current mortgage. Being prepared, educated, and willing to assist in getting your loan processed quickly will go a long way in speeding up your VA loan process.