Veterans get refinancing assistance from VA


POSTED: Sunday, November 23, 2008

Question: What are the new options to the Department of Veterans Affairs guaranteed home loan program?

Answer: Veterans with conventional home loans now have options for refinancing to a VA guaranteed home loan. The Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 will allow the VA to assist veterans with subprime mortgages to refinance for up to 100 percent of the value of the property. These types of loans were previously limited to 90 percent of the value. Additionally, Congress raised VA's maximum loan amount for these types of refinancing loans. Previously, these refinancing loans were capped at $144,000. With the new legislation, such loans may be made up to $729,750 depending on where the property is located.

Originally set to expire at the end of this month, VA's authority to guaranty adjustable rate mortgages and hybrid ARMs was also extended under this new law through Sept. 30, 2012. Unlike conventional ARMs and hybrid ARMs, VA limits interest rate increases on these loans from year to year, as well as over the life of the loans. For assistance or additional information on the VA's home loan guarantee program, call the VA at (800) 827-1000, or 433-0481.

Q: What does “;preferred facility”; mean?

A: It designates where you prefer to receive your primary care and is normally the facility closest to your home. However, acceptance in the VA health care system means that you may receive the comprehensive benefits package through VA's national health care system at any VA health care facility you choose or are nearest to when you require care.

If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Department of Veterans Affairs at 433-0049.