Stable housing leads to long-term stability, which factors into reliability and other characteristics of successful employees. Are you aware that loans guaranteed by the VA Home Loan Program have had the lowest foreclosure rate in the past 19 quarters compared to all other types of home loans? This is pretty significant given the trials and tribulations of the housing market during the past several years.

Many do not know that VA’s Home Loan Program Benefit is not a one-time benefit, but can be reused. Since 1944, more than 20 million Veterans and Service Members have enjoyed the benefit of a home purchase through the VA Home Loan program. Veterans who have already used their VA benefit in their home purchase may reuse that benefit to purchase another residence, or to refinance to a lower rate. This is referred to as an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) or Streamline Refinance Loan. No appraisal or credit underwriting is required.

Consider this: If a Veteran used their benefit, perhaps while on active duty, to purchase a home, they should compare their interest rate with current rates in their area. That Veteran can reuse their VA benefit to refinance their home with “no money out of pocket,” as costs may be included in the loan. If that Veteran has since separated or retired from the military and receives disability compensation of at least 10%, he or she is exempt from the funding fee. This can be a considerable monthly or total savings for the Veteran. On average, Veterans saved more than $200 per monthly payment on IRRRLs last year, saving those Veterans over $900 million in their first two years alone!

Veterans may obtain a Certificate of Eligibility online through eBenefits or through their lender. I encourage Veterans to seek the advice of a financial professional and to contact several lenders for quotes to determine what is in their best interest. If you have any questions, you can contact your closest VA regional office with Loan Guaranty staff by calling 877.827.3702, or visiting this website.

Curtis Coy is VA’s Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Opportunity and a U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force Veteran.

Share this story

Published on Jun. 11, 2013

Estimated reading time is 1.8 min.

Views to date: 235


  1. Arthur Bell III July 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Looks like I will never get this loan – not in this lifetime.

  2. Rosa Rosas June 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    I purchased my first home using my VA loan. It was a pretty smooth process for me and the rate was low too @ 4.75%, 30 year fixed. My lender is Wells Fargo and the person who helped me was also a vet, which was nice. Anyways, about one year after owning my home, which was actually recently I began receiving tons of mail about the IRRRL, which mind you I had no clue about. So, I researched it and found that it was ligit and I called Wells Fargo to ask about it, since they too sent me a flyer regarding lowering my interest rate and they were so helpful and knowledgable since, as mentioned earlier, the person helping me is a vet and actually went through that whole process himself. I was able to get an even lower rate of 3.25% and had certain fees waived since I have 40% disability. My mortgage went down by $350 monthly and it has been great! I had a totally positive experience with both processes and I am so glad and thankful that these benefits are availiable for vets.

  3. james lennon June 28, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I’m a 100% disabled Marine living in Jamaica and would like to know if I can obtain a VA home loan to purchase a house in Jamaica. Thank you for your time and response.

  4. Elisa Smith June 26, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    We are in the process of a VA refi from a 30 yr to a 15 yr mortgage. The list of requirements, for the VA, appears to be endless. So far this process has taken over 6 wks and cost us more than $1000 in expenses. We have had to have our septic tank drained so it could be inspected, a termite inspection, and a water quality test. We have county water and a well and, they are telling us, the VA requires a water quality test. This will entail a 2 hr drive each way to take a sample of water to a lab. Don’t know yet about the cost, but I’m sure there will be money involved. I guess I can see some of this on a new home purchase, but a refi. Really?

  5. Elisa Smith June 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    We are in the process of trying to refinance our home from a 30 yr to a 15 yr mortgage using a VA loan. So far this process has taken over 6 wks due to all of the VA requirements we are having to follow. Our lender’s list just seems to go on and on until so far we have had to spend over $1000 providing all of the items they require for a VA refinance. We had to have our septic tank drained so it could be inspected, a termite inspection, and a water quality test. I am having trouble with this one. We have county water, as well as a well, and they say the VA must have a water quality test. In order to do this, I am going to have make a 2 hr drive each way to take a sample to a lab. We have lived in this house for 7 years. If there were something wrong with the water or the septic tank we would have known it. I can see these tests being done on a new purchase, but a refi. Really?

  6. Michael Collins June 26, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I am 100 percent disabled by VA , CITIMortgage owns my mortgage and refuses to alter or allow any modification or IRRRL as told to me, I do not qualify and they simply refuse to alter prior agreements. I do not recommend CITIMortgage or CITI Group as they perform predatory lending practices. I was instructed to continue to pay my debt of $3,494.00 monthly payment at 6.99 percent. Why would any one want to alter an agreement if you or I was stupid enough to agree to. Yes I was stupid, but I continue to pay my debt until I sell my home, but I will NEVER obtain a loan from CITI again!
    Michael Collins

  7. philip johnson June 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    I have a home loan sertificate just housing

  8. Georges Couloute June 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I am looking to refinance my home, I am currently a government employee contractor. I would like to know if have any access to benefits that will allow me to refinance my existing mortgage with a reasonable rate as a result of my government benefits.

    • AFVet June 27, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Are you a veteran? If yes, talk to a VBA rep. If no, then you do not receive VA home loan benefits as they are reserved for veterans.

  9. Jim Ingli June 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    In the last forty years and having several homes that I financed, I have yet to use the VA loan program. Not because I did not want to but because I was told by my real estate agent/bank/and advisor that the regular FHA loan was easier and would save me more money. The VA service officers even tell me that it is excess paperwork. Thus I styed with the FHA or other source including DCUs to finance my homes. Do thess places that shy off from VA loans give off negative feelings legitimate or is the VA loan just too much to handle. At 70 years old, I may try again but I double if I can get the loan people to cooperate.

  10. La Tonya Westrick June 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Are the home loans available to surviving children of a veteran?

  11. kenneth oakes June 13, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    i am a 59 year old single male with a 40% service connected disability during the Vietnam Era War. I have filed two appeals to the veterans administration for an increase to 100% so I can be eligable for adaptive housing and transportation which the va denied and i just submitted another appeal. The thing is i need to live in a place where i can get around to take care of myself as i am bedbound 75% of the time and have to crawl around my apartment to take care of myself and do daily chores. In addition to my service connected disability I am also on Social Security Disability for my back, a trapped radial nerve in my left arm, and permanent brain damage as a result of meningitis I contracted in 2005 and spent months in the hospital and outpaitent in home care. At that time I was living with my girlfriend and she helped me with my daily living activities, grocery shopping, laundry, and cooking etc. We no longer live together and i am on my own. My local church helps me with food deliveries and morale and spiritual support. i feel like i am going down the tubes and i wish the va and other agencies could help me to take care of myself.

    • AFVet June 27, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Ken – I’m sorry you’re struggling. The VA can only be responsible for medical and in home care you need because of your service-connected disability. Injuries and exposures during active duty are what you are receiving compensation, disability, and free medical care for. The VA shouldn’t be asked to be responsible for other health issues. Filing multiple appeals uses business time that could be spent on other veterans. When veterans complain about how long it takes to get their paperwork processed, do you realize guys like you are making it worse.

  12. Carmen A Cantalupo June 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I wanted to refi My home but everyone I talk to Could not refi because it is a Mobile Home it is real property on eight point foundation 1974 I need to refi and how can I Need help

    • Al Thompson June 18, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Have you tried a loan modification through your original lender, this also does not require credit checks or most of the usual hassals associated with a normal refinance.

Comments are closed.

More Stories

  • Seeing a doctor can be a challenge for people living in rural communities. That’s why VA is making it easier than ever for Veterans to access health care. 

  • During Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September, the American Red Cross emphasizes the importance of a diverse blood supply to help meet the needs of those with sickle cell disease – the most common inherited blood disorder in the U.S.

  • CaringBridge, a free online tool to communicate health news to family and friends, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.