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Find out: What is a VA loan?

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Service member smiling in his living room | Roberto Westbrook/Blend Images/Getty Images

VA loans

Who they're for: Most active-duty military and veterans qualify for Veterans Affairs mortgages. Many reservists and National Guard members are eligible. Spouses of military members who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability may also apply.

How they work: No down payment is required from qualified borrowers buying primary residences. The VA does not lend money but guarantees loans made by private lenders.

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Cost: The VA charges an upfront VA funding fee, which can be rolled into the loan or paid by the seller. The funding fee varies from 1.25 percent to 3.3 percent of the loan amount.

The VA allows sellers to pay closing costs but doesn't require them to. So the buyer might need money for closing costs. Borrowers may also need money for the earnest-money deposit.

What's good: VA borrowers can qualify for 100 percent financing. Veterans do not have to be first-time buyers and may reuse their benefit.

What's not as good: There are limits on how much liability the VA can assume, which can affect the amount the lender will lend you.

Read up on VA loans.

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Brought to you by Veterans United Home Loans Veteran Homebuyer Central Veterans and military members have access to one of the most powerful homebuying tools on the market – the VA loan.
These articles were created solely by Veterans United, a paying advertiser from whom Bankrate receives compensation. The editorial staff of Bankrate was not involved in the stories' preparation.
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