Centralized call center answers billing questions
I have some questions on my Department of Veterans Affairs billing statements. Who do I call to get answers?
Answer: You can now call a centralized call center with any questions about your VA billing statement. Call toll-free (866) 347-2353. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
The call center is staffed by specially trained VA employees at the VA Health Revenue Center in Topeka, Kan. VA employees will use a computer system to view information about a veteran's bill. All of their medical records and billing information will remain at the VA facility where they are receiving care. Only VA employees will have access to this information.
Q: Can you explain how VA-guaranteed loan financing, interest rates and terms work?
A: Veterans obtain VA-guaranteed loans through the usual lending institutions such as banks, savings and loan associations and mortgage brokers. VA-guaranteed loans can have either a fixed interest rate or an adjustable rate, where the interest rate may adjust up to 1 percent annually and up to 5 percent over the life of the loan. Veterans may also choose a different type of adjustable-rate mortgage called a hybrid ARM, where the initial interest rate remains fixed for three to 10 years. If the rate remains fixed for less than five years, the rate adjustment cannot be more than 1 percent annually and 5 percent over the life of the loan. For a hybrid ARM with an initial fixed period of five years or more, the initial adjustment may be up to 2 percent. Adjustments thereafter are limited to 1 percent annually and 6 percent over the life of the loan.
If the lender charges discount points on the loan, the veteran may negotiate with the seller as to who will pay points or if they will be split between buyer and seller. Points paid by the veteran may not be included in the loan (with the exception that up to two points may be included in interest-rate reduction loans). The loan may be for as long as 30 years and 32 days. For more information, call (800) 827-1000. Press 1, then 2, and 2 again for home loans. You can also access the VA Web site, www.va.gov, for information on home loans. Click on the benefits link, then home loans.
If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or visit the VA Web site at www.va.gov/hawaii
or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.