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What Is the VA Loan Program?

The VA loan program launched in 1944 to help service members returning from WWII re-enter civilian life. Since then, Veterans and their families have benefited from more than 23 million VA loans. Because a portion of each loan is guaranteed by the VA, approved lenders can offer zero-down options for those eligible, along with other favorable terms.

Advantages of VA Mortgages

  • $0 down payment possible
  • No monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI)
  • Competitive interest rates, often lower than conventional and FHA loans
  • Limits on fees and closing costs
  • No penalty for early payoff
  • Streamlined refinance program

Who Is Eligible for a VA Loan?

If you are a Veteran, active duty service member, surviving spouse, reservist, national guardsman, academy cadet, midshipman, or an officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), you may be eligible. The VA estab­lishes proof of your eligibility for a VA loan via a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). An approved VA lender, such as Veterans First, may be able to help you obtain your COE.

What Is the Lender's Role?

Many people are surprised to learn that VA loans don't come from the VA. They are provided by approved lenders. It's the lender's job to verify that the borrower has the ability to pay the loan back, based on income and credit credentials, and to provide the funds for the loan. If the loan meets VA guidelines, the VA can provide a guaranty on a portion of the loan.

Why VA Mortgage Expertise Matters

Many lenders offer VA loans, but assisting with one once in a while is very different from working with Veterans day in and day out. Veterans First strives to empower Veterans in homeownership, and its specialized lending team has provided quality loans to military borrowers for decades. Experience like this can make for a smoother loan process, as you're guided through each step.

To see if you may be eligible for a VA loan, or to learn more about how VA loan rates work, visit .

To apply for a VA loan, start here, or call 800-213-8977.

Veterans First Mortgage is a trade name of Wintrust Mortgage, a division of Barrington Bank & Trust Company, N.A., a Wintrust Community Bank, NMLS# 449042. No official U.S. military or other government agency endorsement is implied.